About Neil Robson

Neil Robson decodes complex UK and EU regulations to provide practical regulatory and compliance advice to financial services firms. He represents a range of financial market participants — hedge and private equity fund managers, investment advisors, broker-dealers and proprietary traders — that are based or doing business in the UK or the EU. Neil's extensive working knowledge of this complicated sector allows his clients to both meet their business objectives and satisfy regulatory requirements.

Proactive compliance counsel that keeps financial services firms thriving, nimble

Neil's ultimate goal for each one of his clients is for them to confidently run their firms and thrive within the complex regulatory environment in which they operate. That means ensuring everything they do -- from day-to-day business functions and cross-border interactions to launching products and new funds – stands up to the closest regulatory scrutiny.

A significant part of Neil's work involves helping his clients stay nimble in the face of changing laws and regulations or uncertain circumstances. He assisted an international multibillion AUM fund management group, for example, with a restructuring to ensure uninterrupted operations in the event of a "no deal" Brexit. This included forming new entities across Europe and restructuring client relationships across the EU, the UK and United States and working through complicated regulatory, personnel and tax issues. Whatever the scope of an engagement, Neil provides responsive and agile advice aimed at satisfying his client's commercial objectives.

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Practice Focus

  • EU Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorization and compliance issues
  • Regulatory capital requirements
  • Reporting and disclosure obligations
  • Formations and buyouts
  • Structuring and marketing of investment funds and other products
  • Data privacy and GDPR compliance
  • Financial crime prevention (market abuse, anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and international financial sanctions compliance)

Representative Experience

  • Represent UK and other fund managers in relation to impact of AIFM Directive on their ongoing operations including authorization/registration, delegation, restructuring, marketing, disclosure and remuneration issues.
  • Advise activist fund manager in connection with its UK acquisitions, including reporting issues under UK takeover rules, concert party issues and negotiations with UK Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.
  • Represent of US proprietary trading firms in establishing UK subsidiaries, obtaining FCA-authorized status in the United Kingdom and passporting cross-border within European Union.
  • Advise numerous start-up managers in connection with structuring, establishment and FCA authorization of their UK operations
  • Represent significant UK-based commodity trading adviser in restructuring its management operations to limit (1) FCA regulatory capital requirements and (2) impact of AIFM Directive, with establishment of non-EEA AIFM entity and appropriate levels of overseas substance to meet minimum regulatory requirements.
  • Advise institutional investment manager in connection with impact of EU and international sanctions on its business.
  • Advise on structure of new UK crowd-funding business, including the FCA regulatory regimes.
  • Advise clients on financial crime, bribery and corruption prevention, including staff training and implementing protective measures in the form of adequate procedures, due diligence and contractual protections.

Publications