LEONARD NG is co-head of the UK/EU Financial Services Regulatory group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Based in the London office, Leonard advises a wide range of global financial institutions on complex UK and EU financial services regulatory issues. He has particular experience in advising clients on operating under the regulatory framework established after the last financial crisis, and more recently on Brexit planning, sustainable finance/ESG and cryptoasset regulation. Leonard is a past member of the Board of the Managed Funds Association (MFA), the global trade association for hedge funds, and he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.
Recent representative matters include:
- Advising financial institutions on their Brexit plans and the implications of Brexit from a wider strategic perspective.
- Advising a broad range of clients on the new European framework for sustainable finance / environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.
- Advising financial institutions on the UK and EU regulatory framework, including MiFID II, the AIFMD, UCITS Directive, Market Abuse Regulation, Short Selling Regulation, ESG Disclosure and Taxonomy Regulations, Investment Firm Regulation and Directive, Securitisation Regulation, EMIR, SFTR and REMIT.
- Advising clients on the developing UK and EU regulatory framework for cryptoassets.
- Primary counsel to a global investment fund trade association and its members on all aspects of UK/EU financial services policy and regulation.
- Establishing investment managers and securities firms/broker-dealers in the UK under the UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
- Advising clients in complex compliance matters, in particular on market abuse and other trading issues.
- Advising on regulatory change in control issues arising out of M&A and restructuring transactions.
- Advising credit funds and CLO managers on the risk retention and other rules under the EU Securitisation Regulation.
In addition to UK and EU regulatory matters, Leonard has extensive experience in advising clients on the international regulatory capital framework, as well as assisting EU-based clients assess the implications of U.S. legislation such as the Dodd Frank Act, in conjunction with colleagues in Sidley’s U.S. offices.
Leonard has received acknowledgement from numerous industry ranking guides:
- Chambers UK 2020 – Ranked as a Leading Individual for Financial Services: Non-contentious Regulatory. Commentators note his “astounding ability both to be pragmatic and to understand the nuances of the law.”
- IFLR1000 2020 – Recognized as a Market Leader.
- Best Lawyers 2021 – Named in the area of Financial Services and Investment Funds.
- The Legal 500 UK 2017 – Recognized in Financial Services where clients say he is “‘As bright as they come’ and a ‘leader in his field.’” Sources also describe Leonard as “‘exceptionally practical in his views on FCA and EU regulation’ and a ‘go-to lawyer.’”
- Who’s Who Legal 2017 – Leonard was named “Private Funds – Regulatory Lawyer of the Year” at the 2017 Who’s Who Legal Awards. Most recently, he has been recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Banking 2020 and as a Global Elite Thought Leader in Who’s Who Legal: Private Funds 2020, where he is described as “a great regulatory lawyer” and “at the top of the market.”
In February 2019, Leonard was honored with the “Outstanding Contribution Award” which was presented at The Hedge Fund Journal Awards.
Leonard has also been interviewed widely for his thought leadership, including in such national publications as the Financial Times, Reuters, Wall Street Journal and New York Times’ Dealbook. He has also been featured in numerous industry outlets, including Bloomberg Briefs, HFMWeek, Financial News, Risk, Private Equity News, Asian Investor, Law360, Institutional Investor Magazine and Global Risk Regulator.
Admissions & Certifications
- England and Wales (Solicitor)
- The University of Chicago Law School, LL.M., 1997
- National University of Singapore, LL.B., 1994 (with honors)