Financial services and markets disputes and investigations

Macfarlanes is at the forefront of international financial services and markets dispute resolution and investigations.

We represent financial institutions and individuals, both domestically and transnationally, in: complex, high value disputes involving reputational and risk management issues; internal and regulatory investigations; enforcement or follow-on proceedings; and investigations and defence strategy in financial crime matters.

Our contentious team works closely with our non-contentious specialists in financial services and markets, banking and finance, corporate, investment funds, derivatives and trading and competition enabling us to provide a deep understanding of our clients' financial business and the relevant markets.

The services that our team provides include:

  • Litigation: advice and representation in relation to a wide range of issues and disputes involving wholesale and retail business, asset and fund management, transaction finance, lending and security, trade finance, commodities, on and off-exchange trading, trusts, restructuring and insolvency.
  • Arbitration: we are a leading firm in the field of international arbitration involving financial disputes, with highly skilled senior in-house advocacy capability.
  • Investigations: we regularly advise on investigations which include: reporting to our client alone or to both our client and a UK regulatory or governmental agency on a "voluntary" basis; acting as a Skilled Person including as a FCA panel firm under Section 166 FSMA 2000; or cross-border matters involving overseas regulators and government agencies.
  • Enforcement and disciplinary proceedings: under the FSMA 2000.
  • Financial crime: including fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption, and sanctions.
  • Senior individuals: advising through regulatory investigations or proceeding, and as witnesses in criminal proceedings.

What people are saying


"They were very focused, very to-the-point and delivered good-quality work in a very difficult situation."

Chambers UK 2018

"The 'excellent group' has significant client relationships with many UK and leading overseas retail and investment banks, and has a strong reputation for high-profile investment banking and financial services disputes'."

The UK Legal 500 2017

"The team 'also has expertise in sensitive City-based and cross-border investigations and regulatory matters, and acts in financial crime matters, such as bribery, money laundering and sanctions'."

The UK Legal 500 2017

"[They have] great strength in depth with a huge number of top-level partners for all aspects of contentious financial services, both regulatory cases and litigation. Combined with many of the brightest associates around, the firm really presents the complete package."

Chambers UK 2017

"Macfarlanes LLP ‘has a huge amount of experience’."

The Legal 500 UK 2016

"Clients say: 'They're very good at understanding business concepts and equally good at explaining legal concepts in a clear way' and 'they are commercially aware and have taken time to understand our business. They are very aware of our regulatory obligations'."

Chambers UK 2016