Global Divisional Practice Head, Litigation, Arbitration & Investigations, London
“I lead our global team of disputes and investigations lawyers comprising over 60 partners across the UK, US, Europe and Asia. My practice is in contentious financial services, regularly advising on internal and enforcement investigations, particularly in the retail banking sector. Clients praise my pragmatic, straightforward advice and calm head under pressure.”
Alison specialises in contentious financial regulation, working closely with colleagues in the firm’s Financial Regulation Group, and on banking litigation. She routinely advises market-leading financial institutions on their most significant Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) enforcement investigations, as well as on a range of internal investigations. She has extensive retail banking experience. She also has experience advising clients under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and overseas enforcement agencies. Alison’s contentious regulatory experience includes pre-enforcement and risk advisory work, often helping clients through section 166 Financial Services and Markets Act reviews, thematic reviews and FCA executive procedures.
Alison is listed as a leading individual in Legal 500 as part of Linklaters’ tier 1 contentious regulatory practice, was included as one of Global Investigation’s Review’s 40 under 40 investigations lawyers in 2017, as well as being a Rising Star in Litigation in Legal Week’s 2016 list.
Alison’s extensive bank sector knowledge has been supplemented by three secondments to the in-house litigation teams of both RBS and Barclays.
Alison was appointed Global Head of the Litigation, Arbitration & Investigations division in 2021 and is a member of Linklaters’ Executive Committee.
Alison has acted for clients on a wide range of disputes and investigations. Those that can be disclosed include:
- acting for the London branch of a European bank on an enforcement investigation into AML and financial crime systems and controls
- acting for two major UK retail banks in connection with enforcement investigations into their arrears handling systems and controls, including making use of the FCA’s focused resolution procedure
- acting for a leading UK general insurer on an enforcement investigation into communication with customers at renewal
- acting on a number of internal investigations and an enforcement investigation relating to culture and conduct
- regularly advising on public law remedies in the context of customer complaints
- acting for Barclays Bank at all stages, including the Court of Appeal, in R (Holmcroft Properties Limited) v KPMG (judicial review about duties owed by a “skilled person” appointed under section 166 Financial Services and Markets Act) and on its customer remediation programme in connection with the sale of interest rate hedging products to SMEs
- acting for a major UK retail bank on an FCA enforcement investigation into PPI complaints handling
- acting for a UK lender on a sensitive SFO investigation arising out of the financial crisis
Other work highlights
- acting for Standard Chartered Bank in its action against Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to recover sums owing under a number of oil derivative contracts
- together with the firm’s Hong Kong office, acting in Rainy Sky S.A. & Ors v Kookmin (contractual interpretation)
- successfully challenging the jurisdiction of the English courts in Vava & Ors v Anglo American South Africa Ltd (parent company liability for tortious acts of a subsidiary)
Alison studied Law and German law at Warwick University.