CC, DLA among firms on post-FSA Financial Conduct Authority panel

The newly formed Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed a line-up of law firms to its ‘Skilled Person Panel’, from which it can seek an independent view of the activities of financial firms under its jurisdiction.

Seven law firms have been appointed the panel, with roles going to Ashurst, Clifford Chance (CC), DLA Piper, Eversheds, Hogan Lovells, Macfarlanes and Pannone. The law firms join a number of accountancy, risk management and consultancy firms, all of which will sit on the panel until 31 March 2017.

The appointments come after the Financial Services Authority (FSA) was broken up in favour of a new ‘twin peaks’ operating structure, comprising the Prudential Regulation Authority and the FCA.

The FCA’s ‘Skilled Person’ panel is divided into eight lots: client assets; governance; conduct of business; data & IT infrastructure; financial crime; prudential – deposit takers & Recognised Clearing Houses (RCH); prudential – insurance; and prudential – investment firms, intermediaries & recognised investment exchange.

CC won the highest number of appointments – advising on client assets, governance controls & risk frameworks, financial crime and prudential – deposit takers & RCH. DLA Piper, Eversheds and Hogan Lovells have all been appointed to the conduct of business and financial crime lots, while Ashurst have won a place on the client assets lot alongside DLA Piper.

Eversheds and Hogan Lovells join CC on the governance, controls & risk frameworks lot, while Macfarlanes and Pannone will also advise on conduct of business and financial crime respectively.

An FCA spokesperson said the appointments were not a guarantee of instruction, but represented the full list of external advisers to which it would invite to pitch for contracts. According to FCA documentation, this tender process “will include an assessment of technical capabilities, resources available, conflicts of interest and commercial aspects”

Pannone managing partner Emma Holt said: “Given that the other firms on the panel are some of the most highly regarded international law firms and consultancies, we are particularly proud to have been successful in our tender.”

The review process began before Christmas, and will be monitored on a regular basis throughout the appointment term.

Click here for an in-depth feature on financial regulation.