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Securities & Financial Services

Our skilled economists and financial professionals use powerful analytical tools to examine the impact of financial market issues at both the highest market level and the most detailed company level.


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The credit crisis and following global financial crisis resulted in many legal disputes, some of which are still unfolding in courts and arbitrations. Continuing uncertainty in financial markets, particularly stemming from the Eurozone, suggests that securities and financial markets disputes will continue to arise in the future.

Securities and financial services disputes involve a wide range of technical and sector specific knowledge. We have dealt with securitisation disputes, unwinding of repo transactions, market abuse allegations and debt restructuring that have involved the analysis of equities, bonds, collateralised debt obligations, asset backed securities and debt markets.

Our experts have provided evidence on the value of liquid and illiquid investments involving a wide range of financial assets in a number of contexts.

Market analysis

  • We researched and analysed the value of investors’ portfolios under alternative scenarios in UK, US and Russian markets. For example, we examined the expected value of a Russian oil company under a number of scenarios by reference to market movements in similar companies.
  • Provided analysis and advice on an SEC investigation on the structuring and asset selection of a failed CDO.
  • We examined the valuation issues surrounding the unwinding of a repo transaction backed by bonds and CDOs.
  • We developed new potential fund design rules and supporting evidence to a UK fund manager. Used a Monte Carlo analysis (with boot strapping) to estimate the risk of a chosen investment strategy.
  • We undertook the revaluation of a large securitised debt offering, where the original valuation had been tainted by modelling errors. We assessed the impact on the value of the senior debt of the original modelling errors and used a Monte Carlo analysis to estimate the riskiness of the senior debt relative to other tranches.
  • In the course of an international arbitration we assessed the ability to raise finance for a property investment during the financial crisis.

Market manipulation and abuse

  • We provided preliminary assessment of large highly leveraged derivative investments over an Irish bank that was later nationalised. Provided counsel with advice on claims of market manipulation.
  • We assessed of the impact of alleged false accounting on the market value of a UK listed company.
  • We advised a California energy firm on allegations about market manipulation in the natural gas market.
  • We analysed the economic impact on the stock market of false and delayed earnings announcements by directors of London-listed software company, AIT Group.

Competition and State Aid

  • At the height of the financial crisis we advised the UK Government and the European Commission on the reasons for the failure of the UK banks Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, the competition implications of their rescue and restructuring, and the valuation of the State Aid provided.
  • We gave advice and co-authored reports for the UK Government, the Irish Government and European Commission on the seriousness of the banking crisis in the UK and Ireland and the need for the measures to resolve the crisis using the exceptional provisions of the European Treaty (Article 107(3)(b)).
  • We examined the impact of discriminatory subsidies on competition in the Czech banking market.
  • We assisted the European Commission’s independent trustee in the monitoring of a major European banking group following the bailout by several European governments.
  • Evaluated the impact on competition of state guarantees over the pension liabilities of a formerly government-owned telecoms operator.
  • Advised the European Commission on the State Aid aspects of the pension liabilities of a privatised telecoms operator undergoing restructuring.
  • We evaluated the State Aid given to a publicly owned European broadcaster.
  • We assessed the financial position of a company facing a large fine from European Commission. Provided advice on the scale of any potential fine the company could absorb and remain competitive.

Potential price regulation

  • Analysed the profitability of current accounts for a major UK bank in the context of accusations of excessive pricing
  • We analysed the profitability of credit card charges for a major UK bank
  • We analysed the profitability of services to SME customers for two major UK banks