FSA names former Dechert lawyer as director of enforcement

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has confirmed that Tracey McDermott, a former litigator at legacy Dechert firm Titmuss Sainer Dechert, has been appointed director of enforcement and financial crime.

Margaret Cole
Margaret Cole

McDermott, who has been acting director since April last year, has been given the role permanently, with the appointment following the exit of conduct chief Margaret Cole to PricewaterhouseCoopers as its UK general counsel earlier this year (20 March 2012).

McDermott took on the interim position last spring after incumbent Cole stepped up to the role as managing director of the conduct unit. McDermott, who qualified in 1995, is a former trainee and litigation lawyer at Titmuss Sainer Dechert, which was created when Titmuss Sainer & Webb merged with Dechert in 2000. She joined the FSA in 2001 as an associate in the enforcement division.

Cole, a former White & Case litigator, took on the chief role in the enforcement and financial crime division in September 2010, joined the FSA’s board at the same time, and became managing partner of the conduct business unit in April 2011, quitting the organisation roughly a year later (15 February 2012).

McDermott’s permanent appointment comes amid the FSA’s imminent split into two organisations, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), next year, with the latter responsible for enforcement.

FSA managing director Martin Wheatley said in a statement: “Tracey has been acting director since April 2011, and this permanent appointment follows the impressive work Tracey has led on credible deterrence and tacking financial crime.

“Over the last 16 months we’ve seen the results of both new and significant, long-running cases and activities the enforcement team has been involved in, often with months or even years of hard work being carried out in the background. I look forward to building on the strong position Tracey has ensured we’re in, and working with her to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead, both now and in the FCA.”

McDermott was among a group of FSA representatives including executive chairman Lord Turner and prudential business unit head Andrew Bailey who testified before a parliamentary committee last month as part of an investigation into the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and other interbank lending rates.