In a year of high-profile financial litigation, investigations and conduct were two of the top issues on the agenda at The Lawyer’s in-house financial services conference in London.
Up to 100 in-house lawyers attended the event held this week, from a wide range of institutions such as Barclays and Standard Life, as well as CMC Markets and Mastercard.
Headline speakers included the Financial Conduct Authority banking, lending and distribution head Graeme McLean, who has been with the regulator for over two decades. His talk paved the way for debate on financial crime risk management – a worry for in-house lawyers as costs associated with fraud and anti-money laundering reach record highs.
Risk continues to be a headache for the financial community, while debates over legal privilege are now more relevant than ever. In May, the High Court ruled documents shared between Eurasian Natural Resources Company (ENRC) and its former law firm Dechert would not be protected in the Serious Fraud Office trial, raising questions over the judiciary’s position towards privilege.
A year after the EU referendum, Brexit is still a perpetual source of conversation, forming a key part of the introductory talk by speakers from Standard Life and Barclays. While some delegates may be submitting contingency plans or merely assessing the regulatory landscape, all will be keeping a close on negotiations for the foreseeable future.
The morning started with a Brexit theme, as sponsor Latham & Watkins led a breakfast briefing on what they call “the crazy-ex”. The panel, chaired by Latham financial regulation co-chair Rob Moulton, focused on how institutions can make the US-UK-EU love triangle work – a task made even more problematic by Brexit.
Smaller roundtable discussions enabled delegates to go beneath the surface on some of the toughest pieces of regulation coming into force. GDPR and Mifid II were debated by Axiom and Wells Fargo respectively, while White & Case led a session on what has been learnt from the introduction of the Senior Managers Regime and whether it is making any difference.
The conference was chaired by Lloyds Banking Group deputy company secretary Zoe Bucknell, the former general counsel of OneSavings Bank.
The day was rounded off with an informal drinks reception, bringing The Lawyer’s second financial services conference for in-house lawyers to a close.
Find out more about the event, the lineup and speakers here.