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Specialist Business Lawyers and Mediators based in Cardiff and London

Company & Commercial

Commercially driven advice which works for you.

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FSMA compliance & FCA Investigations

Specialist knowledge of FCA  investigations and regulation applied in a pragmatic manner with the benefit of specific industry experience.

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Commercial Business Mediation

The overwhelming majority of commercial disputes are resolved without a final Court hearing. The reasons for this are varied and can range from disproportionally large legal costs to parties considering litigation to be diversionary in nature.

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SIPP/SSAS schemes

Wide experience of member directed pension schemes, acting for a SIPP administrator and trustee to IFA’s and scheme members.

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Latest News

Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR)

Are you ready for 9 December 2019?

Firms will need to identify which SMF's apply to their individuals, assign Prescribed Responsibilities, prepare Statements of Responsibilities, implement the Certification regime, give training in the Conduct Rules and update their reference procedures. 

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Liability for SIPP investments - Adams v Carey Pensions UK LLP

SIPP administrator defends breach of statutory duty claim for storepod investment arising from activities of an unregulated introducer. FCA intervenes in determination of scope of arranging investments and COBS cusotmer best interests duties. Long awaited judgment expected by mid-November 2018.

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In specie contributions - Sippchoice v HMRC. Hearing February 2020

Back to the drawing board for HMRC following its loss in a Tribunal case involving in specie contribution of assets?

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Harcus Sinclair LLP v Your Lawyers Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 335

Court of Appeal allows an appeal challenging the enforceability of a non-disclosure agreement. The court says the agreement is unenforceable as being unreasonable in its restraint of trade, and discharges an injunction granted by the High Court.

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Radia v Jefferies

Claimant succeeds in part of his appeal - the Employment Appeal Tribunal holds that it was wrong to conclude that the failure by the Respondent company to hold an internal appeal did not make the dismissal unfair.

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Case Studies

Indemnity claim under appointed representative agreement

Our client was an appointed representative IFA. His agreement with his principal contained widely drafted indemnity provisions in respect of claims made against that company.

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Defence of regulatory enforcement action

This matter involved an entity regulated by the Financial Services Authority (now Financial Conduct Authority) which had been subject to a monitoring visit by FSA in relation to redress for mis-selling of personal pension policies from defined benefit schemes. 

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Dispute over sale of syndicated SIPP property

A syndicated SIPP member had a 50% interest in a commercial property, the rest being held by two other SIPP members on an equal basis.

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Litigation against investment bank

This was a hybrid case; involving part of the business being run as a partnership at will with the rest comprising limited companies.

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About us

Stuart Brothers, the firm’s principal, is a leading financial services solicitor with vast experience in advisory and contentious work.

Stuart Brothers - Founder

Stuart’s practice areas include:

  • FSMA and FCA Handbook compliance, including COBS and PERG.
  • FCA investigations and enforcement.
  • Financial Services litigation - including complaints handling, FOS claims and High Court actions.
  • Advising SIPP and SSAS trustees - including due diligence processes and in specie asset transfers.
  • Advising on matters relating to transfers of defined benefit pensions.
  • Appointed representative agreements including liability of principals and supervision. 
  • Corporate governance for FCA regulated entities arising from SM&CR.
  • With profits contracts including bonus issues.
  • Financial promotions.
  • Liabilities arising from UCIS products.
  • Shareholders and partnership agreements for FCA regulated entities.
  • Business acquisitions and disposals for FCA regulated entities.
  • Mediation for financial services related disputes.

Stuart started his post-qualification career at Eversheds and later joined the in-house team at Pearl Assurance (then part of the AMP Group). He initially served as in-house counsel dealing with LAUTRO/PIA compliance prior to the formation of the Financial Services Authority. That work included the SIB pensions review into transfers from occupational pensions – a topic which is the subject of much debate over 20 years later, as well as the implementation of the Unfair terms in consumer contracts regulations in 1999.

His interest in regulatory matters resulted in his appointment as managing director of the London Life group of companies which involved him in a review of the bonus policy relating to guaranteed annuitants who did not exercise the open market option. This was followed by a secondment to the group headquarters in Sydney, Australia where he worked on a range of legal matters including corporate governance, senior management apportionment of responsibilities as well as the development of the investments in Virgin Direct and NPI. Upon his return to the UK, Stuart was appointed to a senior management position within NPI.

As Director of the Banking and Finance department of KLegal, the associated legal practice of KPMG, Stuart advised insurers and banks on compliance with the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 including the scoping of the Regulated Activities Order and the Financial Promotion Rules.

Having set up his own firm, Stuart was involved in the setting up and development of a SIPP administrator/trustee as well as acting for a broad range of IFA’s in legal and compliance matters. His intricate knowledge of the FCA Handbook, including COB/COBS rules, resulted in him litigating on issues arising from the sale of interest rate hedging products by investment banks to SME’s in the period leading to the banking crisis. Stuart became a pioneer of interest rate swap mis-selling litigation; his work and cases having been covered in the Financial Times, the Telegraph and the Times. He wrote an article for the Law Society Gazette about the FSA review into the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products in July 2012 and also participated in a round table review of the matter for the Law Society Gazette in July 2013. Stuart also gave a presentation on the subject to an all party parliamentary group formed by Guto Bebb MP.  Stuart has been heavily involved him in two cases of alleged LIBOR manipulation.

Stuart is an accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator and has a particular interest in mediation as a method of resolving financial services related disputes. He is also a member of the Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers, the Financial Services Lawyers Association and the Association of  Pensions Lawyers.

What differentiates Stuart from other lawyers is his involvement in the management of financial services companies and the combination of this senior management experience along with his legal knowledge.

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