PRACTICE AREA

Regulatory & Disciplinary

"The team has a breadth and depth of experience across the white collar crime and regulatory sphere that makes them a stand-out firm."

THE LEGAL 500 2022

There are multiple UK regulatory bodies, covering everything from finance and healthcare to media, utilities and the environment.

As the regulated sector grows in size, so does the number of investigations and the risks of adverse enforcement action. Corker Binning has significant experience in advising individuals and corporate entities in relation to investigations and enforcement actions by a wide range of regulators, most notably the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). More investigations are also being conducted by individual trading exchanges.

We advise clients on FCA self-reporting notifications and handle regulatory investigations relating to insider dealing,  market abuse, s benchmark manipulation, and spoofing in securities and commodities markets both here and overseas. We also handle regulatory matters concerning non-financial misconduct, which is increasingly a focus of regulatory attention. In dealing with cases on behalf of our international banking and finance clients, we regularly negotiate with the FCA to achieve the best outcome. We have a deep understanding of how the regulator operates: Corker Binning partner, Claire Cross, was a Senior Lawyer in the FCA’s Enforcement Division.

Our experience of other regulatory investigations, including sanctions and export controlextends to a range of other agencies, such as the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the Environment Agency (EA) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), as well as Trading Standards and various professional disciplinary bodies. We have acted for individuals across a broad spectrum of regulated entities in different sectors, including telecoms, healthcare, and defence, as well as acting for professional services firms, most notably larger law and accounting firms.

Recent and current cases in which our regulatory and disciplinary lawyers have acted:

Corporate manslaughter/health and safety

  • Acting for a client in relation to a recent air show disaster.
  • Acting for a high-profile figure in relation to the Hillsborough disaster.
  • Acting for a nursing home prosecuted for corporate manslaughter.
  • Acting for a director of a care home charged with health & safety offences & perverting the course of justice.
  • The successful defence of two UK companies charged with offences under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations relating to the export of contaminated waste paper. The EA was forced to drop the case before trial and a costs order was made in favour of our clients.
  • Acted for a scrapyard company and one of its directors were cleared of manslaughter following the death of a worker and the injury of others in an explosion caused by employees cutting up gas cylinders.

Export controls and trade controls

  • Representing a UK company which successfully negotiated a £1,000 compound penalty as an alternative to being prosecuted for alleged breaches of Open General Export Licences arising from the sale of armoured vehicle components within the EU
  • Advising a household name business regarding its obligations under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora and the associated EU legislation governing imports of restricted goods into the EU
  • Advising two listed UK companies in the aviation sector as to whether their export business was being conducted in compliance with UK/EU law
  • Assisting two multinational law firms which made voluntary disclosures concerning their unlicensed export of cryptographic software to sensitive destinations including China, and ensuring that no prosecution action was taken
  • Representing in HMRC interviews two individuals employed by a multinational in the chemicals sector concerning exports of particular compounds to south Asia

FCA Criminal Examples

  • Acted in Operation Tabernula, the FCA’s largest ever prosecution of insider dealing
  • Represented a suspect in the joint FCA/SFO London Capital Finance investigation
  • Advised in a multi jurisdictional spoofing/market manipulation case where both criminal and regulatory offences were alleged
  • Acted in plea negotiations with the FCA relating to a serious criminal insider dealing prosecution
  • Represented an individual accused of criminal offences relating to misleading investors through falsifying documents
  • Advised a firm re criminal breaches of FSMA

FCA Regulatory Examples

  • Represented an individual facing a prohibition order relating to non-financial misconduct at the RDC
  • Acted for five employees of a high-street bank in compelled interviews conducted by the FCA into suspected AML breaches by the bank
  • Advised an authorised firm in respect of Supervision/pre-Enforcement action
  • Advised a number of Senior Managers in dual track FCA Money Laundering Regulations investigations
  • Advised a bank employee in an FCA sanctions breach investigation

HMRC Investigations

  • Conducting an internal investigation into a group company in which several of the executives had been accused of tax fraud. The outcome of our investigation caused the criminal investigation to be dropped.
  • Advising a suspect in a film tax credit scheme investigations in which we persuaded HMRC not to bring any criminal charges in return for a financial settlement.
  • An employer in a multi-million-pound case concerning the alleged underpayment of the taxes of building workers on a major construction project.
  • Representing a client in the first negotiated plea agreement with the CPS under the Attorney General’s Guidelines for Plea Discussions in Serious Fraud cases involving over £1.5 million of VAT reclaims.

Money laundering

  • Advising numerous companies and funds (both in the regulated and non-regulated sectors) on compliance with their money laundering obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, when to make suspicious activity reports to the National Crime Agency and how to comply with the provisions on tipping-off and prejudicing an investigation.
  • Advising an overseas political party on a major Met police investigation into money laundering arising from alleged terrorist activities.
  • Advising a number of witnesses at a major bank in connection with an SFO investigation into suspected money laundering and failure to report.
  • Acting for one of the main defendants in a $36 million international money laundering case tried in the UK and involving Nigeria’s mobile telephone provider.
  • Advising two major high street banks on behalf of employees interviewed or investigated either for actual money laundering or for failure to report suspicion of money laundering offences. In both cases we persuaded police to drop their investigations.
  • Advising many individuals in the well publicised operation by the Metropolitan Police called Operation Rize in which three London safe depositories were raided and 6,700 deposit boxes opened and searched.
  • Acting for a foreign national extradited back to the UK to face charges for laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking.