Embedded in our global network and with close connections to regulators across the world, our fintech group helps our clients stay ahead of constantly evolving technologies, regulations and market developments.
As emerging technologies, changing consumer habits and innovative business models continue to transform financial services, clients regularly turn to Freshfields for advice on regulatory and compliance issues. This encompasses a range of matters including licensing and applications, holding structures, trading and market regulation, anti-money laundering, foreign investment controls, taxation and consumer protection laws.
We advise on all phases of the investment life cycle, from debt and/or equity funding rounds to IPO readiness and exits through either public or private markets. We also regularly guide our clients through corporate transactions, including carve-outs, private and public M&A, and reorganisation and structuring matters.
Where the need for external or internal investigations arise, our clients count on us for sound advice. We also have extensive experience advising on the IP and IT issues that arise from the evolution of disruptive technologies including the commercialisation, contracting, acquisition and enforcement of IP/IT assets.
To supplement our more ‘traditional’ legal advice, we develop tech-enabled solutions using agile working methods from the Freshfields Lab. The Lab is a vital part of our response to the rapidly advancing digital landscape.
Our clients include new market entrants (such as neobanks and neobrokers, funding platforms, deposit platforms, payment service providers, digital asset companies and robo-advisers), incumbent financial market participants (such as banks, asset managers, funds, card issuers and card schemes), tech and industrial companies, and financial sponsors.
Recent client successes
Advising State Street on the launch of new division dedicated to digital finance.
Advising on the legal and regulatory queries arising in the context of State Street’s cryptoasset offering. The work involves advising on the legal characterisation and regulatory treatment of cryptoassets in the context of custody and depositary services in several jurisdictions across the world.
Advising Sotheby’s on the financial services regulatory implications of auctioning non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
NFTs are one of the most high-profile uses of cryptoassets and Sotheby’s has been at the cutting edge of this new market, including setting up a replica of Sotheby’s in the Decentraland metaverse through which users can curate and sell NFTs.
Advising J.P. Morgan on its first fintech acquisition in the UK, the purchase of Nutmeg.
Advising J.P. Morgan on the purchase of online investment manager and platform, Nutmeg. Nutmeg is an online provider of investment products for retail consumers, including pensions, JISAs, LISAs and stocks and shares ISAs, and is headquartered in the UK. Freshfields advised JPM on all aspects of the transaction, including on corporate, regulatory, employment, IP, ABC/AML, ACT and Tax laws.
Advising Allfunds on its acquisition of Iccrea Banca’s local paying agent business
Allfunds is one of the world’s leading B2B WealthTech platforms for the fund industry offering fully integrated solutions for both fund houses and distributors, and Iccrea Banca is the parent company of Gruppo BCC Iccrea, the largest Italian cooperative banking group. With this transaction, Allfunds will build upon its position in the local paying agent business in Italy and strengthen its partnership with an important financial institution in Italy.
Advising N26 GmbH, on its Series E funding round, which raised more than $900m from investors.
Investors included New York-based Third Point Ventures and Coatue Management. Additionally, Dragoneer Investment Group and existing investors participated.