Hogan Lovells has hired the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) chief criminal lawyer.

Claire Lipworth will join the firm as a financial services partner after a three-year career as the FCA’s chief criminal counsel.

She was promoted to the top role in 2014 following five years as a senior lawyer in the regulator’s enforcement and financial crime division.

The move sees Lipworth return to private practice for the first time since 2009. She was a partner at Peters & Peters before departing for the FCA.

It is not the first time a law firm has lured away the FCA’s top criminal lawyer. Lipworth replaced David Kirk in 2014 after he departed for the Government, regulatory and criminal investigation department of US firm McGuireWoods in London.

Action taken by the FCA in the last two years includes an investigation into Bank of New York Mellon, which saw the regulator hand down a £126m fine for breaching custody rules.

The FCA also worked with the Prudential Regulation Authority to investigate the failure of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBoS), which was acquired by Lloyds Bank.

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