We include many of the UK's largest insurers and intermediaries amongst our key clients, who trust us as first tier advisers in relation to Financial Services Regulatory work. We believe that our perspective across the Insurance & Wealth Management sector gives us a unique offering that combines regulatory specialists with an in-depth knowledge of markets. This enhances our ability to give practical, commercial advice to our clients and our knowledge of the markets means that we understand what the Regulators want, not just in terms of black letter law - we understand the practical application of the Regulators' priorities.
The breadth of our Regulatory practice also means that we routinely deal with the Regulators. In addition our specialisms in competition law and information law, where we have similar experience working with the relevant regulators, means that we are used to supporting our clients in achieving a joined up approach across the Regulators. We believe that this multi-disciplinary expertise is key in a regulatory environment where the Regulators themselves are increasingly joined-up.
The team's services include the following:
- Advising on product development and T&Cs, including advising on the application of unfair terms regulations and issues arising from the Consumer Insurance Act.
- Advising on all aspects of sales processes.
- Advising on whether activities constitute regulated activities and on whether proposed activities fall within existing regulatory permissions.
- Advising on outsourcing and third party administration agreements where the relevant activities are regulated activities and / or impact on the outsourcer's ability to comply with its own regulated activities.
- Advising on the full range of perimeter issues, including for example whether products fall within the regulatory perimeter and whether activities contravene the internal contagion rules.
- Advising on all aspects of Consumer Credit Act compliance, including advising clients on the transfer of CCA responsibilities to the FCA, the impact on regulatory permissions and on group restructuring to simplify regulatory permissions post transfer.
- Advising on all aspects of governance issues, whether in the context of financial services regulation or companies law.
- Advising on Financial Ombudsman Service issues, including strategic issues concerning large volume complaints arising out of alleged mis-selling issues.
- Advising on the implementation in the insurance sector of the gender directive.
- Advising on financial promotions.
Our recent experience includes the following:
- Advising an SPV on the development and placement of a non-payment insurance policy designed to facilitate investment into the sports sector.
- Advising a major player in the life insurance and wealth management sector on regulatory issues arising from the implementation of a new direct to consumer platform.
- Advising a specialist pension provider on a white-labelled product distribution agreement for distribution of a pension product through an innovative D2C platform.
- Advising a major pensions consultancy on the boundaries of regulated advice relating to long term insurance products.
- Advising a leading utilities business on the implementation of the Green Deal, including on the insurance backed guarantee element and whether relevant activities of group entities were regulated financial services activities.
- Advising insurers on numerous occasions in relation to whether an insurer is within its permitted regulated activities, for example advising on whether the insurer can intermediate add-on products underwritten by another insurer.
- Advising numerous insurers and intermediaries on white labelling, particularly on how to achieve the maximum level of white labelling within the regulatory framework.
- Advising on the implementation of the transfer of CCA responsibilities from the OFT to the FCA, including the impact on regulatory permissions and requirements for restructuring the activities of group entities.
- Advising two top-5 insurers on the implementation of the Gender Directive, including advising on the impact on product T&Cs and on underwriting procedures / policies.
- Advising various leading insurers on issues arising from alleged endemic mis-selling issues (particularly in relation to PPI and mobile phone insurance products) concerning their distributors, particularly around responsibility for FOS complaints in circumstances where the sale was performed by an independent intermediary.
- Advising on the rules applicable to payment methods, particularly in relation to the impact of applicable direct debit regulations in relation to block transfer on renewal transactions.