Delivering Services Differently
Complex: we draw on the sector-specific expertise of our highly experienced practitioners to deliver innovative solutions to complex issues. Led by a partner who has assisted wealth managers for nearly 20 years, our team includes former 'Skilled Persons' from the FCA's conduct review panel, ex-regulators and the former in-house counsel of a UK wealth manager.
Managed: we use flexible resourcing from a variety of locations to deliver cost and efficiency benefits on process-driven, high volume work, be this regulatory change management, assurance reviews or redress and remediation tasks. This service is also structured for deployment as a cost-effective, outsourced legal function for your business.
Connected: Connected Services is our division of separate businesses that work alongside our lawyers to help clients better manage risk, reputation, cost, time and resources. These include: DWF Advantage - online learning and training; DWF Claims - claims and complaints handling; DWF Forensic - forensic accountants and investigators; DWF Fraud – anti-financial crime services; and, DWF 360 - software solutions, support and implementation.
Who we act for
We work with all types of clients across the wealth management sector, including:
- Traditional wealth managers, DFMs, IFAs, networks, national advisers, consolidators and platforms
- Wealth management and distribution divisions at banks, life insurers, asset managers and SIPP providers
- Robo-advisers, Online Discretionary Investment Managers (ODIMs) and FinTech start-ups
- Unregulated businesses outside the FCA's perimeter, seeking authorisation or relying on exemptions
- Regulated individuals, approved or certificated persons and senior managers, often with the benefit of D&O insurance
- International clients setting up a regulated entity in the UK or firms doing investment business overseas (including post-Brexit)
Key areas of expertise
Our Financial Services Regulatory (FSR) consultants specialise in:
- Regulatory & Compliance Advisory: product governance, regulatory structures and compliance, regulatory change and risk management, MiFID II, market abuse, AML/MLR, SM&CR, financial crime, bribery, FinProms, COBS, PROD, SUP, SYSC, DISP and the rest of the FCA Handbook
- Distribution Models: new propositions and distribution arrangements, adviser / DFM partnering (e.g. JVs, vertical integration, trading styles, 'agent as client' and 'reliance on others' or outsourcing), including inducement rules and adviser charging
- Conduct Risk: Former FCA skilled persons advise on conduct risk frameworks, compliance and mitigation for firms and their approved or certificated persons and senior managers, including the Principles for Businesses, Threshold Conditions, clients' best interests, TCF, suitability and conflicts
- Governance Reviews: review of governance arrangements, policies and procedures, Board effectiveness or implementing SM&CR
- Financial Ombudsman Service & Systemic Risks: Dealing with mis-selling, root cause analysis, remediation programmes, notifications to the FCA under SUP 15 or PRIN 11, individual or systemic FOS complaints under DISP, Court claims and Judicial Review of the FOS. Acting jointly for PI insurers or supporting uninsured firms through wind down, administration and the FSCS
- Investigations & (Shadow) Skilled Person Reports: internal investigations into specific or general concerns, privileged legal advice on findings and skilled persons' 'review and recommend' reports on remedial actions; project management and delivering regulatory change programmes
- Pensions: Reviewing and advising on regulatory requirements for pension transfers and SIPP due diligence, dealing with Berkeley Burke related complaints, DB transfers thematic review and FCA enforcement, systemic liability issues (such as 'insistent clients') and file reviews.
- Enforcement or 'Close Supervision' by the FCA: Advising on interactions with the FCA, from responding to informal or formal information requests, dealing with VREQs or OIVOPs, to defending firms or individuals from Enforcement action, including before the RDC or Tribunal
- Past Business Reviews & Redress Schemes: Whether mandated by the FCA or carried out voluntarily in line with conduct risk appetites or to comply with FCA rules, customer contact letters and 'review and redress' schemes, in conjunction with PI insurers
- Legal Drafting: Consumer Rights Act advice and drafting terms of business and intermediary agreements, including, client terms, introducer and other intermediary and distribution terms
- Authorisation & Exemptions:We advise firms and Appointed Representatives on obtaining or varying Part IV permissions or exemptions, often with the firm's retained compliance consultants