Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
Some investment-related activities (including insurance distribution activities) of Linklaters in the United Kingdom and elsewhere are regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 of the United Kingdom (“FSMA”).
Like most law firms, we are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (the "FCA") under FSMA. Instead, we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the “SRA”). The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of FSMA, but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions. The SRA is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints about lawyers registered in England and Wales. In the light of this, we can provide investment-related services (including insurance distribution activities) if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide, if they can reasonably be regarded as a necessary part of our professional services or if we are otherwise permitted to provide them under FSMA. For the purpose of insurance distribution activities (broadly, advising on, selling and the administration of insurance contracts), we are included on a register maintained by the FCA and are permitted by the FCA to carry on insurance distribution activities as an ancillary insurance intermediary. This register can be accessed via the FCA website at www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services/register.
If for any reason our clients and we are unable to resolve a problem between us regarding the carrying on of investment-related activities (including insurance distribution activities), those clients have access to the complaints and redress mechanisms provided through the SRA and the Legal Ombudsman.
Since we are not authorised under FSMA, we are only permitted to communicate invitations or inducements to engage in investment activities (“financial promotions”) where these have been approved by an authorised person or are exempt from the requirement for such approval. We are retained only to provide legal and, where applicable, tax advice to our clients and nothing that we say or do should be construed as advice to anybody on the investment or financial merits of acquiring or disposing of particular investments, including insurance contracts, or as an invitation or inducement to anybody to engage in investment-related activities (including insurance distribution activities). Also, we do not act as brokers of investment transactions.
In order to progress matters on which our clients retain us, we need to communicate with clients and with others involved in those matters. If in relation to any such matter anybody decides to participate in a meeting, conference call or other interactive communication involving us, we will consider that they thereby request an interactive dialogue with us in our capacity as professional advisers to our client in the course of that communication.
Regulations under FSMA contemplate a disclosure in the following terms where we promote our own investment-related services which are incidental to our professional practice:
This firm is not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, but we are able in certain circumstances to offer a limited range of investment services to clients because we are members of the Law Society authorised and regulated by the SRA. We can provide these investment services if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide.