European Law Firm of the Year — Regulatory: Clifford Chance
For its work in helping clients across Europe navigate a raft of regulations — from Brexit to Ibor transition and initial margin reporting — Clifford Chance is GlobalCapital’s European Law Firm of the Year for regulatory work.
The firm has a strong derivatives and structured finance practice across all major financial centres, covering over-the-counter, exchange-traded and derivatives-based securities.
The firm has been involved in all the recent developments in the derivatives market, including mandatory clearing, mandatory margin and changes that have affected credit, FX, equity and energy and commodity derivatives.
That included acting as European regulatory counsel for ISDA. In Europe, Clifford Chance stands out for the breadth of its regulatory effort, with 30 partners in its 100-strong regulatory practice, split across 17 countries.
“We take a lot of pride in our geographical spread and that is a very significant competitive advantage in providing a holistic view in all of the key markets, including some of the smaller markets where some of our competitors would have to work with local firms or associations in order to provide a full-service offering to their clients,” says Caroline Meinertz, a partner in the financial regulatory group at Clifford Chance in London.
In 2019 and 2020, the firm has deployed its full service offering to deliver on the general regulatory reform agenda. That included specific work on derivatives, including advising banks and asset managers on compliance with the initial margin requirements for uncleared derivatives ahead of the final stage of the phased-in implementation, which had been scheduled for September. It has also delivered on a number of Ibor transition projects for clients.
Clifford chance sets great store by the close interplay between its regulatory team and specialist transaction expertise within its derivatives practice, enabling its partners to provide an advisory one-stop shop when it comes to areas such as liquidity and regulatory capital.
Meanwhile, its strong presence in Europe has made it a go-to adviser for banks on Brexit-related issues. Over the past 12 months, it has advised one of the UK’s biggest banks in moving its derivatives and securities lending repo businesses to Ireland.
Clifford Chance also stood out for its specialist advisory work for financial institutions on the application of the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation in relation to reporting specific derivatives products such as commodities and securities lending repo.