Clare advises fintechs, platforms, private equity firms and other regulated and unregulated businesses on UK financial services regulatory matters. She specialises in regulatory change in control advice and payments and e-money perimeter advice.
Financial services regulation impacts on an ever-widening range of the services and products that we all use. Clare is committed to demystifying regulation for her clients, particularly FinTechs and those first entering the regulated space.
With a background in acquisitions and banking, Clare leads a team advising on FCA, PRA, SRA and ICAEW change in control applications, and on the contractual protections needed where regulated businesses are being bought or sold. Clare has successfully guided a range of clients through the process, including major investment firms, private equity houses, international retailers, family offices, consumer finance providers, and several technology businesses.
Increasingly, FinTechs, platform businesses and retailers are looking to integrate payment functionality into their models and websites. Clare regularly helps clients who are outside the regulated sector to devise and launch products and services which comply with UK payments and e-money regulations. For those who want to take the next step, Clare advises on the process and consequences of becoming FCA authorised. She also regularly advises retailers on their agreements with merchant acquirers to facilitate the acceptance of card payments.
Helping you succeed in tomorrow's world
On the face of it, financial services regulation can seem daunting, dull, or both. Acronyms like PSD2, 2EMD and FSMA abound and terms like Commercial Agent Exemption, Merchant Acquiring and Form 178 do not raise the pulse.
However, regulation does not exist in a vacuum, and it is the intersection between regulation and real life that I find fascinating.
In change in control applications, I enjoy working with clients to understand the shareholding structures and the drivers for the share purchase, disposal or restructuring. This helps me to present information to the regulators with clarity and get the best results for my clients.
Often there is a tension between payments legislation and other regulations; the advice I give is tailored to my client's business model and environment. For example, the card acceptance agreement I negotiated for a rail ticketing services provider reflected UK rail industry rules and was quite different to the equivalent agreement for a restaurant chain. Similarly, I work closely with OC's workforce solutions specialists when advising platform businesses in the flexible workforce sector to ensure that their payroll offerings also comply with recruitment regulations and employment tax rules.
This holistic, collaborative approach to helping clients is what I enjoy most about being a financial services lawyer!