About John Ahern

John Ahern brings more than 30 years of experience in UK, European and Asian financial markets to his work solving regulatory challenges faced by banks and other clients. Having previously served as in-house counsel for a global investment bank, he understands his clients' business operations at a depth that allows him to find practical, pragmatic solutions. John's clients include banks, multilateral trading facilities, broker-dealers, asset managers and investment advisors.

Advice informed by cross-border experience

John helps clients across the UK, Europe and Asia structure and operate their businesses in compliance with financial regulations, while also maximizing opportunity. He offers clients deep knowledge of how regulators in different jurisdictions approach compliance and enforcement issues. This broad experience can be crucial in reaching favorable resolutions.

John appreciates that many regulatory issues are closely tied to operational factors. His banking background allows him to understand the mechanics of his clients' businesses, which often opens the door to legal solutions.

The regulation of capital has been a longtime focus for John, who searches for solutions that allow his clients to maximize their capital efficiency. He takes pride in results that allow his clients to undertake or preserve valuable product lines. His work helping a broker-dealer comply with inducement regulations by restructuring its commission model, for instance, exemplifies his practical and effective approach to regulatory counsel.

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Practice Focus

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Trading, clearing and settlement
  • Client money and custody of securities
  • Regulatory capital and the requirements of the prudential regime
  • Regulation of alternative funds in Europe
  • Documentation of customer relationships, including client agreements, inter-group arrangements and trading platform rulebooks

Representative Experience

  • Represented international banking group in the acquisition of certain assets and liabilities from RBS relating to its structured retail investor products and equity derivatives business.  *
  • Represented a provider of tenant referencing and insurance products to the UK private rental sector in its sale to an international investment firm.  *
  • Represented a UK and Continental European property investment company in its £192 million sale of a UK multi-let predominantly industrial property portfolio to a fund.  *
  • Represented a privately owned real estate investment company in an investment by a pan-European real estate fund and additional investment by the client's founders, together providing £25 million of equity investment capital.  *
  • Advised the board of directors of a global strategic financial platform in the sale of shares representing 60 percent of all the company’s issues shares, together with the grant of put and call options in respect of the remaining shares to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited. *
  • Represented an administrator of real estate/property agents in connection with the £635 million sale of more than 7.1 million square feet of UK office and industrial properties to a US-based fund management company and its advised institutional real estate fund.  *
  • Advised a UK and Continental European property investment company in the sale of a UK multi-let industrial property portfolio in two transactions for a total of £146.1 million after the deduction of rental top-ups. *
  • Advised a UK real estate portfolio manager with the formation of a €750 million pan-European real estate private equity fund.  *
  • Advised a leading UK commercial bank with a corporate governance review project. Provided advice on the bank's compliance with corporate governance obligations under the Companies Act 2006 and as a PRA- and FCA-regulated entity.  *
  • Advised a real estate manager in respect of its counterparty status, portfolio reconciliation and dispute resolution obligations imposed by EMIR.  *
  • Advised UK commercial bank on the portfolio reconciliation and dispute resolution obligations imposed by EMIR.  *
  • Advised a national federal agency for financial market stabilization in connection with the €2.5 billion rights offering of the country's second-largest bank.  *
  • Advised the London branch of a corporate and investment bank on the measures necessary to comply with the obligations imposed by EMIR and Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.  *
  • Advised a global investment banking firm in connection with the sale of Class A Ordinary Shares in a closed-end private equity investment company that holds a diversified portfolio of private equity fund investments and direct co-investments, diversified across private equity asset class, geography, industry, vintage year and sponsor, by its largest shareholder.  *
  • Advised a global asset manager in connection with establishing a trading operation in London.  *
  • Advised the London branch of an international financial services organization on the impact of the Financial Services Authority's Retail Distribution Review on its business activities.  *
* Experience prior to Katten

Presentations and Events

  • Presenter
    June 27, 2019
  • Presenter
    May 15, 2019
  • Blockchain Forum – Singapore
    Presenter
    September 15, 2016
  • Brexit: UK Votes to Leave the EU: What Happens Next?
    Presenter
    June 29, 2016
  • European Developments in Clearing and Financial Regulations: EMIR and MiFID
    Presenter
    October 15, 2014
  • European Banking – On the Road to Union and Harmonization?
    Presenter
    February 14, 2013