Financial services big hitters form alliance

The Financial Services Lawyers Association (FSLA) was launched last week by some of the most influential lawyers in the financial services sector.

The FSLA is the brainchild of a group of lawyers who were on secondment to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) last year and who felt the need to work together as financial institutions struggle to deal with an increasingly complex regulatory environment.

Richard Lissack QC, a barrister at Outer Temple Chambers and a member of the advisory board, said the purpose of the association is to provide a focal point for lawyers in an important area of law that is “growing out of control”.

The FSLA advisory board reads like a Who’s Who of industry heavyweights, including FSA head of enforcement Margaret Cole, FSA regulatory decisions committee chairman Tim Herrington, HM Treasury chief legal adviser Stephen Parker and Clifford Chance director Carlos Conceicao, who is secretary of the executive committee.

Lissack added: “Regulation is becoming so intense around the world and is touching on business in London to enough of an extent that it’s got to be kept on top of.”

While the idea is to bring people together to share ideas and consider developments within financial services regulation, the association has stressed that it does not want to become another financial services lobby group, with a number of bodies already doing that.