The function of regulators around the world is to scrutinise the conduct of companies and to impose sanctions where rules are found to have been breached.
The consequent reputational and financial consequences for a business are serious. Appropriate handling of regulatory investigations is therefore a top priority for international financial institutions and corporates.
The world’s leading companies and financial institutions depend on Linklaters’ experience of handling significant global regulatory investigations. Working closely with the firm’s pre-eminent Financial Markets Group in identifying questions of legal and regulatory risk, Linklaters’ litigators investigate the most complex issues and advise clients when they face regulatory action. The firm’s global presence allows it to conduct investigations and to harmonise the response to regulatory investigation across all jurisdictions.
Linklaters has a long-standing track record of dealing with regulators throughout an investigation and in any subsequent disciplinary action or third party proceedings. The team assists clients to identify and respond to relevant regulatory issues at the earliest possible stage, so that regulators do not take action where none is necessary. When action is taken, Linklaters ensures that the action taken is proportionate, while aiming for an early settlement of proceedings.
The firm regularly acts for financial institutions in dealing with market abuse allegations from multiple regulators across Europe. Linklaters’ global team also advises third parties which have become involved in a regulatory investigation into another entity.
Recent regulatory investigation cases include advising:
- in relation to the successful settlement of US SEC insider dealing proceedings involving Sir David Li, which was one of Hong Kong’s most high profile cases during 2008
- an international financial institution in its settlements with the US Department of Justice and State criminal and regulatory authorities related to international payment practices
- a large financial institution in a regulatory investigation by Euronext concerning a market manipulation allegation
- a major UK bank in relation to the test case proceedings commenced by the OFT in relation to current account overdraft charges and the related OFT Enterprise Act investigation and market study
- a Spanish bank in the context of AMF (the French Financial Markets Authority) enforcement proceedings to examine whether this Spanish bank may have committed regulatory insider dealing offences regarding shares in a French Company, which was the target of another Spanish company at the time
- a major company in France, civil party in a criminal investigation regarding allegations of insider dealing and dissemination of false information in relation to one of the most publicised white-collar crime matters in the past 20 years