European Financial Services
Sidley’s active European practice, with financial services lawyers based in London, draws on the knowledge of our lawyers around the world in advising banks and other financial institutions on applicable European laws. For example, the lawyers in our London office advise on the regulatory aspects of banking and financial services under EU and UK banking and financial services laws and regulations. We also provide counseling concerning issues arising under such laws, including with respect to the use of EU financial services "passports," establishing branch and subsidiary offices of U.S. financial institutions and groups, SEPA and payment services laws and regulations, Basel II and its implementation in the EU, asset sales and joint ventures, EU anti-money laundering requirements and structured financings and securitizations. We also represent clients in the context of investigative assignments and enforcement proceedings.
Examples of our European matters include:
- Advising a UK credit card bank on a £800 million portfolio acquisition;
- Setting up a new UK bank for a major investment bank;
- Advising a global leasing company on its data protection and anti-money laundering compliance program throughout Europe; and
- Representing a financial services outsourcer on joint ventures with banks in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Sweden.
Japanese Financial Services
The Tokyo office advises financial institutions on a variety of complex Japanese regulatory issues. Our lawyers advise clients with respect to interpreting Japanese law in connection with existing operations in Japan, establishing new operations in Japan or in the development of new products. When necessary, our Japanese lawyers can provide legislative services with the Japanese Diet or the relevant regulatory agency to assist the client in meeting its objectives.
The following are examples of experience in Japan:
- Lawyers in our Japanese office have been instrumental in the development of the Japanese No Action Letter system, an initiative which has been invaluable to increasing the transparency of the Japanese regulatory process. In fact, a team of lawyers in our Tokyo office posted the first No Action Letter in Japan for a global insurance company.
- Lawyers in our Tokyo office assisted a Japanese mega-bank’s management of distressed assets and worked with the appropriate agency to determine whether the plan would be recognized as a proper and reasonable transaction under the Japanese system and fit into the appropriate category under the BIS standard in calculation of its capital adequacy ratio.
- Lawyers in our Tokyo office assisted one of the world’s largest insurance companies with negotiations with the Financial Services Agency in connection with an insurance business license issue.
- Our lawyers advised a global insurance company on their strategy with respect to a bill which, if adopted, would have reduced life insurance premiums and prepared the counter proposal to be submitted to the Diet.
Latin American Financial Services
Sidley has a substantial Latin American practice which includes advising banks from various Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Central America, on their activities in the United States. This advice involves assisting in the acquisition and sale by Latin American banks of their banking operations in the United States, establishing and closing branches, agencies and representative offices, and advising such banks with respect to compliance matters, such as anti-money laundering measures. A number of the lawyers who advise on such issues are fluent in Spanish and/or Portuguese and are familiar with the banking laws and regulations of various Latin American countries.