Regulatory Offences

Companies operate within regulated spheres and frequently on an international basis. Many industries are heavily regulated and require stringent compliance with legal requirements, failing which the consequences for businesses and individuals running them can be catastrophic. Not only can media coverage of an investigation ruin professional reputations but the financial consequences of a conviction can be devastating. Regulators are becoming increasingly active and the courts are frequently sentencing larger companies to fines measured in £millions, whilst directors potentially face disqualification and personal liability for confiscation orders.

Matrix’s crime team understands the serious and complex non-legal issues that surround regulatory investigations and prosecutions, and are particularly in demand where enforcement cases are commenced on a simultaneous criminal and regulatory basis. Members are very experienced in advising and representing clients facing investigations and enforcement action by a range of domestic regulators including the Financial Conduct Authority and the Regulatory Decisions Committee, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Bank of England’s Enforcement Decision Making Committee, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Food Standards Agency, Trading Standards, the Environment Agency, the Health & Safety Executive, the Marine Management Organisation, the Competition and Markets Authority and the Insolvency Service, as well as a range of overseas regulators including the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Department of Justice, and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

Our barristers combine excellent client care and reputation management skills with first-class trial experience. In addition, one of the unique advantages to the early instruction of Matrix’s crime team is the extensive public law knowledge they bring to a case, meaning that timely advice on public law challenges to the use of a regulator’s powers can be provided before the expiration of time-limits for bringing such proceedings.

Notable cases

  • Members have been recently involved in leading cases on market abuse and specialist areas such as “spoofing”;
  • Matrix members are involved in the prosecution of National Westminster Bank plc regarding alleged offences under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007;
  • Representing a defendant sought by the Thai authorities for operating a business providing securities advice without an SEC licence;
  • Representing a defendant in a large international counterfeit prescription medicines prosecution brought by the MHRA, involving parallel and grey imports to the EU;
  • Representing an ejection seat manufacturer in a prosecution following the death of a Red Arrows pilot;
  • Representing a large corporate client following an investigation into the death of an employee from Covid-19;
  • Representing directors in confiscation proceedings brought by the Environment Agency, where the prosecutor sought to pierce the corporate veil;
  • Acting in cases both for and against the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.