Banking and Regulatory

Brexit and technological change shape the agenda

Nothing has kept bank regulatory experts as occupied over the past few months as Brexit has. Non-European banks with a significant London presence have long been forging alternative plans for their European business. However, it is still not clear precisely how the changes to the individual institutions will look and which locations stand to benefit – for many banks and other financial service providers, Frankfurt is just one of many options.

The sector is changing on another front as well: a number of startups are attempting to revolutionize financial services by means of technology and are beginning to poach the territory of more established market participants. This is especially the case with blockchain – a completely new technology that many experts believe has what it takes to put the work of banks and financial services providers on an entirely different technical foundation.

Undesired boom catches practices on the wrong foot

Given the new regulatory issues, in recent months no players in the financial industry could afford to simply wait and see. Brexit played into the hands of some firms with top-quality teams on both sides of the Channel, such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters. Others were caught on the wrong foot by the undesired boom, among them Allen & Overy, which is in the middle of a major reorganization of its banking practice.

This gap was filled to a certain degree by firms like GSK Stockmann, which scored points with its recent team expansion, and Noerr, which brought in a former White & Case regulatory lawyer when the firm launched in Hamburg. Digital business models had already been a focal point here, and are now playing a growing role in Berlin and Munich. In the capital, it is local firms like Lindenpartners and Lindemann Schwennicke & Partner who are benefiting from the rich local startup scene, while the Munich office of Aderhold sharpened its profile in work for technology providers.


This subchapter covers those firms which provide regulatory advice to banks as well as advice on financial products or transactions in the financial sector. Opening new branches, equity guidelines, solvency issues, disclosure obligations as well as authorization proceedings and their retraction are all dealt with in this chapter. As regulation becomes stricter as a result of the financial crisis, contacts to national and European institutions also play a significant role, so that many banking practices work closely together with the administrative fields. Moreover, this chapter also refers to special litigation practices at several firms in so far as they have developed sector expertise regarding financial institutions. There are therefore overlaps with practice areas including ?state aid law, ?insolvency and restructuring and ?dispute resolution.

  • Teilen