We’re back with a new instalment of the Fides Weekly Update. Read on to see what legal and business news our Researchers have been talking about this week.
Tweet us @Fides_Search to let us know your thoughts!
1) Paris attacks
Our sympathies go out to all friends, families and colleagues affected by the horrific terror attacks that took place in Paris on Friday. Hogan Lovells experienced great tragedy in losing one of their junior lawyers during the attacks at the Bataclan concert hall, Valentin Ribet, a litigation associate and LSE graduate. He was described as “a talented lawyer, extremely well liked, and a wonderful personality in the office.”
The loss from this event has been shocking and it is touching to see how the international legal community have united in the wake of such sorrow.
2) HBOS report leads to probe
A report released yesterday by the BoE and FCA, which looked into the failure of HBOS plc, has identified up to 10 former executives of the bank linked to its collapse.
Some of the former bank’s top executives have retained senior manager positions at other companies, including Andy Hornby, ex-HBOS Chief Executive, now COO at Gala Coral, and Mike Ellis, former group finance director at HBOS, who has taken on a position as chairman of the Skipton Building Society.
The former UK regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), was also heavily criticised for its failure to deal with the reckless management of banks, with the BBC citing the report in saying the FSA had been “deficient” in the way it handled HBOS. Clive Adamson, former director of supervision at the FSA, noted that “the most culpable people were let off”.
The BoE and FCA are considering barring the executives in question and plan to take enforcement action “as early as possible next year”.
3) Back-office centres “more efficient and effective”
This week saw DLA Piper launch a low-cost centre in Warsaw to service its business globally, whilst White & Case are considering opening a further shared services centre, alongside their existing hubs in Tampa and Manila, to provide back office support across its European offices.
The Lawyer revealed DLA chief operating officer Andrew Darwin said: “Our objective is to improve our ability to provide integrated and efficient service internally so that, in turn, our lawyers can do the same for our clients.”
This outlines a trend in which international firms are launching shared services centres, many of those based in the UK. Freshfields launched their shared services centre in Manchester in February this year, with an objective to support their client-facing lawyers in the most efficient way.
Other firms to have opened low-cost centres include Baker & McKenzie, BLP and Ashurst.
4) Asset managers under the spotlight
The FCA have an issued a review on the £6.6 trillion asset management industry, arguing that the level of competition in this market needs to be examined.
The review will concern the services delivered to both retail and wholesale customers, and looks to ensure these consumers are purchasing value-for-money services. The lack of transparency in costs and charges from asset management compBanies will therefore be the one of the focal points of the study, alongside the assessment of the role of investment consultants. The FCA plan to examine how investment consultants in particular affect competition in the market, as they provide critical advice to customers on product and manager selection.
The FCA will publish interim findings in the summer of 2016 and a final report by early 2017. The FT reports.
5) Barclays shell out further $150m to regulator
Barclays will have to pay an extra £98m ($150m) fine to US regulators for misconduct through the use of their forex trading platforms, Reuters reports. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has also declared the bank must let go of their global head of electronic fixed income, currencies and commodities (eFICC).
Barclays’ super-fast trading systems allowed them to take a “last look” at trades, which they then used to automatically reject clients’ orders. The regulator argued that this misuse of their trading system put the bank’s interests ahead of those of its clients.
This settlement adds to Barclays’ total for forex related fines of £1.53bn, with fines for FX manipulation across the seven implicated global banks totalling over $10bn.
Until next week,
Hello and welcome to the first instalment of the Fides Weekly Update. Here we provide you with a roundup of the top legal and business news of the week as collected by our Research team.
1.) The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
News emerged earlier in the week that hidden software had been fitted to diesel-engined cars to deceive regulators during emissions testing. This threatens to affect and possibly reshape the automotive industry, as this article from The Economist explains.
2.) Merger talks across the pond
Legal Business reported today that US firms Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and Chadbourne & Parke entered early merger talks, indicating further consolidation within the US market as mid-tier firms look to compete with globalised offerings.
3.) Followed by major team moves in Hamburg
DLA Piper has added a team of 20, including five partners from Bird & Bird to its Hamburg office. Hires join the firm’s IPT, litigation and regulatory and corporate practice groups, and double the current office headcount in size The Lawyer reports.
4.) Lord Sumption was trending on Twitter
An interview published with Lord Sumption in the Evening Standard on Monday caused a Twitter furore when he suggested equal representation of women at the top of the legal profession could inflict ‘appalling consequences’. Barrister Charlotte Proudman offered the best response we read as reported in The Guardian.
5) Linklaters London office was raided by Kirkland (again)
Nordic Head of Private Equity Rodger Johnson became the third partner to depart for Kirkland this year following corporate partner Matthew Elliot and competition partner Paula Reidel, reports The Lawyer. Johnson relocated to the City in October 2013 following the departure of Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw.
Stay tuned for next weeks instalment!