Slaughters’ Boardman leads on Standard Chartered settlement

Slaughter and May partners Nigel Boardman and Richard Swallow have advised Standard Chartered in its $340m settlement over allegations of hidden Iranian transactions.

Nigel Boardman
Nigel Boardman

Corporate partner Boardman and dispute resolution partner Swallow are instructed on the UK side, with Sullivan & Cromwell financial regulatory partner and senior chairman Rodgin Cohen and dispute resolution partner Samuel Seymour handling the US response to the New York State Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) accusations.

New York superintendent of financial services Benjamin Lawsky, who brought the claim, alleged that the London-listed bank concealed 60,000 deals for Iranian clients totalling $250bn between 2001 and 2010, producing “hundreds of millions of dollars” in fees for the bank (8 August 2012).

The filing in the US said Standard Chartered’s actions potentially violated US sanctions policy and left the US financial system “vulnerable to terrorists”. It also suggested in-house legal counsel at the bank ignored external regulatory advice.

By settling the claim, Standard Chartered will keep its lender’s licence, which it could have been at risk of losing. A formal agreement containing the detailed terms of the settlement will be concluded later.

Other US authorities are continuing to investigate the allegations.

Standard Chartered issued a statement last week in response to the allegations, rejecting the “portrayal of facts” and claiming it had “voluntarily approached all relevant US agencies, including the DFS, and informed them that we had initiated a review of historical US dollar transactions and their compliance with US sanctions”.