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Regulating the future report

Written by the Economist Intelligence Unit

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Helping big business navigate the rules.

In a world of ever-more complex and interlocking regulatory requirements, compliance is a growing burden, with enforcement action and penalties becoming more severe.

Our regulatory lawyers are market leaders in identifying risk arising from regulatory change and helping multinational businesses to minimise it.

We have wide cross-border experience, working on strategic advisory, transactional, investigative and enforcement issues.

We are especially well known for advising financial institutions on financial services regulatory matters. Our history dates back to the early 18th century when Freshfields first advised the Bank of England. Now we operate in the major financial jurisdictions for most of the largest financial institutions including banks, funds, asset and wealth managers, insurers and market infrastructure providers.

We have more than 50 partners worldwide with significant contentious and non-contentious financial services regulatory expertise, and a global network of experts advising on the full spectrum of regulatory issues, covering prudential, conduct and enforcement.

We also have a great deal of expertise advising clients in regulated industries across the world, including telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and energy. We advise on the effect on fast-developing regulation, build compliance programmes, and help our clients manage regulatory enforcement risk, often involving multiple regulators across jurisdictions.


We advised the Bank of England on the structure and terms of the Term Funding and Corporate Bond Schemes put in place as part of the Bank of England’s actions in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum on 23 June 2016.

  • This was a high profile mandate under significant time pressure
  • The schemes were an important part of managing risks to the market posed by the aftermath of the Referendum

  • The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive is the EU legislation that regulates firms who provide services to clients linked to ‘financial instruments’
  • We advise on regulatory implementation and compliance

Advising numerous multinational companies – including several of the world’s leading investment banks – on the impact of Brexit on their UK and European business

  • Several of these mandates have moved from initial advice to the proposed implementation of Brexit plans

Acting for one of the world’s leading investment banks on the multijurisdictional investigation into alleged manipulation of Libor, the benchmark interbank lending rate.

This was the biggest investigation post the financial crisis, involving more than 25 regulators in more than 10 countries.