The pace of regulatory change can seem relentless and operating a business in the regulated sector adds an additional layer of complexity over and above the usual business and legal challenges. Businesses that stay ahead of the regulatory curve and adapt quickly to this change are in the best position to seize opportunities and steal a march on their competitors, and need advisers who are aligned with that approach.

We work with regulated businesses across the FS sector providing non-contentious and contentious regulatory and related commercial advice.

Our services

Our deep sector experience extends to working with firms across the regulated sector. Whatever your niche in the market, we can help you.

We work closely with our top-ranked Islamic Finance team and our Islamic clients, advising on regulatory aspects of various structures from retail FS products to bespoke sukuk structures, developing solutions to ensure that our clients in this rapidly evolving sector are operating in accordance with UK regulatory requirements.

We can assist with and advise on the various B2C and B2B contractual arrangements that will commonly be entered into by wealth management firms including platform agreements, introducer and AR agreements, client agreements, fee agreements and terms of business and discretionary fund management agreements (reliance on adviser and agent as client).

Our employment team can advise clients on the specific issues that regulated status can raise in the context of employment and HR relationships. This includes drafting contracts and policies which take account of the regulated environment, particularly under SMCR, and advising on disciplinary issues involving certified and senior manager staff.

We can advise regulated firms on transformational technology projects and material outsourcing in the FS sector, including the specific requirements that apply to regulated firms outsourcing to a non-regulated partner (third party or intra-group). This is an increasing area of focus for the PRA and FCA, creating significant regulatory risk if requirements are not met.

We understand that retailers engaged in limited regulated activities (usually credit broking) need to take a proportionate approach when complying with their regulatory obligations.  Retail is a core focus of the firm, facilitated through our award-winning Retail and Consumer sector. As a result, we have significant experience in working with a number of large retailers in the UK to implement appropriate policies and procedures which ensure compliance but also allow retailers to get on with running the main business.


We can assist firms when the need arises to engage directly with the FCA/PRA on supervisory or enforcement issues. This includes notifications to the FCA and/or PRA, requests for VREQs, helping firms to manage skilled persons processes and assisting both firms and individuals navigate formal investigations or enforcement action. We will always look to work with the firm or individual to identify the appropriate strategy early in the process and then assist in executing that strategy.

Disputes are an unfortunate fact of life for all businesses. Our disputes team are regulatory experts and are used to dealing with the key B2B and B2C disputes that consistently arise for regulated firms, including PI coverage disputes, customer claims and complaints and disputes between regulated firms. This includes current areas of focus in the sector such as APP fraud and claims concerning secret commissions.

Our Restructuring and Insolvency team are market leaders in advising investment firms, credit unions and other FCA regulated businesses which are in financial distress and are placed into either special administration or a standard insolvency process. This work focuses on two key areas. Firstly, advising directors of distressed investment firms on their directors’ duties, working alongside other advisers to ensure firms remain compliant and directors protected from personal liability.

Secondly, advising the appointed officeholders (eg Liquidators/Administrators) on the management  and workout of the insolvency estate. This includes advising on the default provisions within CASS 6, 7 and 11, making applications for waivers or amendments to CASS Rules, working alongside the FCA, FSCS and the Insolvency Service to mimimise the impact for Clients and the drafting and implementation of Custody Assets Distribution Plans, Client Money Pool distributions and a variety of other methods for the return of other Client Assets and the closure of cases.

Why choose Foot Anstey?

Our approach focuses on working seamlessly both internally between our teams at Foot Anstey (to ensure that our clients are always dealing with someone who understands the regulated sector, whether that be from a contractual, tech or other perspective) and externally with our clients, to deliver the expertise that our clients need, efficiently and effectively.

When you work with us, you’ll be partnered with a senior lawyer who understands financial services and the way bodies like the FCA and PRA work. We’ll draw on our experience of giving legal advice to regulated firms to help you to identify problems, risks and opportunities, as well as the strategy to meet them. And we won’t shy away from giving straightforward advice which helps you meet your commercial objectives within the regulatory framework. We can also help if things go wrong and direct engagement with the FCA and/or PRA is required.  We work with you to mitigate issues that arise and, worst case scenario, navigate any FCA/PRA investigation or enforcement proceedings which follow.

Key contacts

What do our clients say?

“Working with Foot Anstey helps us to develop our proposition alongside genuine sector experts who deliver their advice in a responsive and pragmatic way.”

James Priday CEO, P1 Investment Management

“Foot Anstey have added real value as we have developed the RQ platform over the last 18 months, helping us to navigate some complex commercial and regulatory issues with workable commercial solutions. Whichever team you are dealing with the approach is the same – down to earth and accessible, but precise and technical where it needs to be. They really understand the regulated sector.”

Johnny Reid Founder and CEO, RQ Ratings

“Foot Anstey’s teams always work seamlessly together and with us to deliver the advice that we need swiftly and pragmatically.”

Karthica Underwood COO, Timeline

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