Banking 2018: Fintech Analysis 2018

The role of technology within the financial services sector has grown exponentially over the past few years, leading to the expansion of payments and fintech practices in firms across the globe. This year we have added a new chapter to our banking edition, highlighting 54 preeminent practitioners for their expertise in this burgeoning market. The lawyers listed boast a wealth of experience advising start-up companies and traditional financial institutions on a wide range of matters, including regulatory compliance, mobile payments, digital currencies, crowd funding and peer-to-peer lending platforms.

Our research has highlighted practitioners from 10 jurisdictions worldwide, with those based in the UK making up almost 40 per cent of our total listings. Multinational law firm Osborne Clarke features particularly prominently, with four leading practitioners recommended from across Europe and Asia. Singapore-based firm Allen & Gledhill also ranks highly, along with leading international law firm Hogan Lovells which garners nominations in the UK and US.

Europe

Thought Leaders
1. Anthony Day DLA Piper, London
2. Joan Carette Osborne Clarke, Brussels
3. Penny Miller Simmons & Simmons, London
4. Angus McLean Simmons & Simmons LLP, London
 The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
 

LEADING FIRMS

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.
 

OSBORNE CLARKE is a leading international law firm that is widely recognised for its progressive approach in the fintech sector. Our research identifies the firm as the leader in this area, achieving three listings from Belgium and the UK.
Joan Carette at the firm’s Brussels office is renowned for her “excellent knowledge of the fintech space”, drawing widespread acclaim thanks to her “in-depth knowledge, negotiation skills, empathy and professionalism”.
Mark  Taylor is “a leader in the market” who boasts extensive experience advising clients on a range of fintech matters. One source comments,“He has a particularly strong payments practice.”
The “impressive” John Buyers is “extremely knowledgeable” and is well known for his expertise in financial services sector IT and outsourcing transactions.

SIMMONS & SIMMONS has also proved itself to be a leading light in the fintech space, and sees two top-tier practitioners listed.
Angus McLean leads the firm’s international fintech team and receives widespread acclaim for his expansive knowledge of the subject. He is popular with clients who appreciate him for being “finely attuned to their needs and great at delivering results”.
The “outstanding” Penny Miller is a leading figure in the financial regulation space who has an “exceptional understanding of the fintech sector”, according to sources.

SLAUGHTER AND MAY is home to two leading practitioners who have been highlighted for their work in the sector.
Ben Kingsley is a leading regulatory specialist who internationally well regarded for his top-tier work advising fintech start-ups and established institutions on a range of matters, including e-money, payments and mobile banking services.
Rob Sumroy is “doing excellent work in the space” according to impressed sources. His strong background in IT allows him to expertly navigate issues facing clients in the fintech sector.

Renowned Swiss firm BÄR & KARRER also achieves two listings.
Peter Hsu is a top banking and finance specialist who regularly advises fintech companies on a range of matters including regulatory compliance, contractual disputes and financing.
Rashid Bahar draws widespread admiration from peers thanks to his extensive experience advising start-ups and established financial institutions on fintech-related enterprises.

BIRD & BIRD is a prominent player in the technology space and from this has built up a leading fintech practice. Our research has identified two prominent practitioners from the Copenhagen and London offices.
The “exceptional” Martin von Haller Grønbæk enjoys a superb reputation in the market for his expansive technological expertise.
Christian Bartsch regularly advises domestic and international clients on disruptive technologies and has a wealth of experience advising on technology-related issues.

OTHER LEADING INDIVIDUALS 

We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.
 

Belgium

At SIMONT BRAUN, Catherine Houssa’s “strong regulatory background” makes her a go-to practitioner when it comes to advising clients on a range of fintech projects, electronic payments and alternative lending platforms.

Regulatory expert Etienne Dessy at LINKLATERS is a highly reputed practitioner who is widely known as “someone that clients can trust”.

The “exceptional” Pierre Berger at BAKER MCKENZIE boasts a well-established financial services practice and is highly regarded in the market for his impeccable knowledge of financial products.

Denmark

Rasmus Mandøe Jensen at PLESNER ADVOKATPARTNERSELSKAB is one of the leading names in the Danish market when it comes to fintech, regularly advising incumbent players on the development of initiatives in the area. Sources describe him as “very responsive, thorough and knowledgeable”.

Jacob Høeg Madsen at KROMANN REUMERT is “a prominent player in the market” who is widely recognised for his experience advising major clients in the financial sector on fintech mandates.

England

The “excellent” Anthony Day at DLA PIPER is a firm client favourite who draws praise his “sensible and pragmatic approach”. One impressed source effuses: “I wholeheartedly endorse him and his abilities and expertise.”

Chris Hill at KEMP LITTLE leads the firm’s fintech practice and “really stands out in the market”. He particularly well regarded for being a leading expert on mobile payments.

Fiona Ghosh at ADDLESHAW GODDARD is “an excellent lawyer” who is highly sought after thanks to her expansive technical knowledge. She is well known in her capacity acting for financial institutions launching novel payment solutions.

John Casanova of SIDLEY AUSTIN is “excellent from a payments perspective” according to peers, who praise his expertise when it comes to advising on regulatory issues.

At HOGAN LOVELLS, the “truly excellent” Rachel Kent “really stands out in the market” thanks to her extensive experience in the financial services sector.


North America

Thought Leaders
1. Charles Morgan McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Montreal
2. Kashif Zaman Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto

 LEADING FIRMS

Top Canadian law firm MCCARTHY TÉTRAULT sees three leading practitioners highlighted for their proficiency in the fintech arena.
Charles Morgan is “a vastly experienced technology lawyer” who is building a stellar reputation in the financial technology space. He is widely recommended for his transactional and regulatory know-how.
Ana Badour leads the firm’s fintech group and impresses market commentators with her prowess advising financial institutions on complex regulatory compliance issues.
Matthew Flynn has more than 15 years’ experience advising national and international clients on complex technology transactions and is described as “a prominent figure in the area”.

OTHER LEADING INDIVIDUALS 

Canada

Kashif Zaman at OSLER HOSKIN & HARCOURT is a key figure in the market who boasts “a wealth of experience handling banking issues relating to fintechs”.

Ross McKee at BLAKE CASSELS & GRAYDON is an expert on complex compliance issues who frequently advises on the regulation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain businesses.

Jeffrey Roode at MILLER THOMSON focuses his market-leading practice on the payments and fintech industries, drawing praise for the pragmatic way he handles multifaceted transactions.

USA

With more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector, HOGAN LOVELLS Richard Schaberg is a truly eminent practitioner in the market.

Brian Hutchings at GUNDERSON DETTMER is a top name, recommended for his role in the “leading fintech team covering Latin America”.

Samuel Kramer at BAKER MCKENZIE enjoys a fantastic reputation thanks to his extensive technological know-how. He is widely regarded for his blossoming practice focusing on emerging technology services.

Behnam Dayanim at PAUL HASTINGS is renowned for his wide-ranging expertise on areas including fintech and payments regulation, virtual currencies and cybersecurity.


Rest of the World 

Thought Leaders
1. Adrian Ang Allen & Gledhill LLP, Singapore
2. Alexander Yap Allen & Gledhill LLP, Singapore

 LEADING FIRMS

ALLEN & GLEDHILL is a full-service commercial law firm based in Singapore that prides itself on its innovative approach. The firm’s well-established fintech practice is home to three leading practitioners who have been highlighted by our research.
Adrian Ang is renowned for his “unparalleled understanding of blockchain technology”. Clients across the board comment that they “have complete confidence in him”, praising his “ability to connect the dots from a both a technological and legal perspective”.
Alexander Yap is a highly endorsed fintech specialist who boasts extensive experience advising on a range of matters including internet banking and online trading. One source effuses: “Alexander not only possesses a sharp intellect but also the ability to convey and communicate legal intricacies in simple terms.”
Tham Kok Leong is a seasoned technology specialist who receives plaudits for his substantial expertise advising on commercial agreements relating to a wide range of matters.

OTHER LEADING INDIVIDUALS 

Brazil

João Fernando Araújo Nascimento at SCHROEDER & VALVERDE ADVOGADOS has more than 15 years’ experience and is widely recognised for his “strong regulatory background” and “expert knowledge of the start-up ecosystem”.

Bruno Sousa of VEIRANO ADVOGADOS is a highly respected corporate lawyer who is commended for his expert knowledge of innovative financial products and alternative payment methods.

Singapore

Luke Grubb of LATHAM & WATKINS is “a prominent name in the market” who boasts expansive experience providing strategic advice on a range of payment and fintech matters.

South Africa

Angela Itzikowitz at ENSAFRICA ranks among the very elite of practitioners in our research thanks to her “great regulatory mind”. She is a client favourite thanks to her ability to “provide practical solutions that are legally sound”.

Kirsten Kern of BOWMANS boasts a “broad knowledge across the full financial regulatory spectrum” and is commended by one source for her “creative approach to find finding adaptive solutions to complex issues”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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