Govt appoints Norton Rose as sole adviser to Islamic finance forum

The Government has appointed Norton Rose as the only law firm on its new Islamic finance forum.

The firm met with market participants and Economic Secretary to the Treasury Ed Balls for the first time at Downing Street last month (16 April) to discuss effective implementation of sharia-compliant financial instruments in the UK.

Norton Rose partner and Islamic finance specialist Neil Miller said: “We’ve worked very closely with the Treasury on various issues and we’ve been advising them on how to develop Islamic finance in the UK for a year.

“The firm’s involved in this group because we have the strength and the necessary expertise.”

The forum, which will meet at Downing Street several times a year, includes various contributors, such as accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the European Islamic Investment Bank.

Tax issues and the UK regulatory environment were discussed at the meeting, as well as the possibility of a UK sharia-compliant sovereign bond.

Miller said: “The Government wants to anticipate any new developments of sharia-compliant instruments.

“The group will discuss how it would be best to provide these kind of instruments in the UK.”