Image of Michael Kent

Michael Kent

Financial Regulation Partner, London

“I have 30 years’ experience of advising on corporate and financial regulation issues, and am regularly called upon to offer strategic, practical and commercially focused advice to the heads of companies and financial institutions, on managing their businesses from a regulatory perspective.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Michael is renowned as a leading practitioner in financial regulation, and is the firm’s lead regulatory partner for many major banking clients and investment management firms. He offers strategic guidance on regulatory, compliance and risk management to CEOs and Chairmen, boards of directors and general counsel.

Michael has extensive experience in advising banks, broker dealers and asset managers on governance, provides training to executive and non-executive directors, and has assisted many banks and large investment firms on their implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification regimes in the UK.

Michael has been a leading figure in devising new alternative trading systems (ATSs) and clearing and settlement systems, including leading a consortia of banks in the restructuring of the over the counter (OTC) derivatives market. 

Michael advises on regulatory enforcement work, and also on acquisitions and reconstructions of banks and broker dealers, including the migration of banking/brokerage businesses to different entities and jurisdictions. He has acted on many high-profile transactions and enforcement actions.

He also has particular expertise advising and training on market abuse and multi-jurisdictional licensing and conduct issues, and has acted for asset managers and others in relation to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) enforcement of client money and client assets rules.

Michael is currently global head of the firm’s Finance and Projects Division, having previously headed the Financial Regulation Group for seven years. He sits on the firm’s executive committee and was a member of the firm’s partnership board for six years.

Work highlights

Michael has led on a number of the market’s major developments and leading transactions. A selection of these include:

  • leading a consortium of banks on a project to restructure the OTC (over the counter) derivatives market from 1999, with that work still ongoing. OTCDeriv brought the key market players together, created a partnership with LCH, and underpinned the development of Swapclear. Those changes provided stability and efficiencies in the market by introducing centralised clearing of swaps and in due course foreign exchange and credit default products. Swapclear proved its’ value when tested during the collapse of Lehmans in 2008, in which many hundreds of billions of dollars of derivatives transactions were successfully closed out with counterparties insulated from losses
  • acting as the lead regulatory partner to PricewaterhouseCoopers on the Lehman Brothers International administration in the aftermath of Lehman’s administration
  • acting as lead regulatory adviser to Merrill Lynch in Europe following its acquisition by Bank of America
  • advising Citi on the complex multi-jurisdictional MTS bond trading case designing and documenting the London Metal Exchange’s system for the immobilisation of LME warrants (“SWORD”)
  • acting for a consortia of 15 buy side and sell side firms in the establishment of Plato, a not-for-profit group focussed on creating efficiencies in the market structure for the trading of equities

Professional experience

Michael is a member of, and legal adviser to, the FICC Market Standards Board (“FMSB”), which defines and sustains good practice standards for wholesale Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) markets and raise standards of behaviour, competence and awareness.

He is also a member of the Bank of England/FCA Lawyers Consultative Group

He is a trustee and member of KXC, an Anglican church in King's Cross.

Education and qualifications

Michael studied law at the University of Liverpool and received a first class degree