FCA probes, DPAs and impact of Brexit top agenda at Banking Litigation & Regulation Forum

Deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigations and Brexit’s impact on enforcement of judgments were among the subjects on the agenda at the Banking Litigation & Regulation Forum 2017, held at the Hilton London Bankside yesterday (15 June).

The event, attended by more than 100 partners and in-house lawyers, was chaired by Slaughter and May dispute resolution head Deborah Finkler and Ashurst commercial litigation partner Edward Sparrow, chairman of the City of London Law Society.

The keynote address, given by FCA director of investigations Jamie Symington (pictured), discussed the changing nature of investigations and how the watchdog is placing more emphasis on individual responsibility.

Symington said: “We see culture change as the key aim of our work on individual accountability… where there are grounds for investigating a matter, there will be a need to investigate the role of senior management in the conduct issues that arise.

“The key point is that a matter is not passed to enforcement only so that enforcement can do its best to bring an enforcement case. An investigation is opened because we want to understand what happened. With that concept clearly in everyone’s minds, persons who are within the scope of an investigation can make better judgments as to how to respond and engage with the process.”

The morning also saw a panel discussion between Serle Court’s Professor Jonathan Harris QC and One Essex Court’s Alexander Layton QC, which focused on the consequences of Brexit on the English courts and the value of English law for global corporations.

Harris said: “People choose English law and its courts for a number of reasons; the quality of its lawyers and the certainty of English law, and that’s not going to change because of Brexit.”

Other sessions saw Sir Edward Garnier QC, Richard Whittam QC and Ben Morgan, joint head of bribery and corruption at the Serious Fraud Office, discuss the mechanics of DPAs.

Other speakers included HSBC deputy GC Cameron Craig, Barclays EME litigation head Octavia Knox Cartwright, as well as representatives from Goldman Sachs, Linklaters, Latham & Watkins and Lloyds Banking Group.