Driving excellence in disruption


FinTech and Disruption have become synonymous. From cross-border currency transactions to peer-to-peer lending, FinTech firms globally are harnessing the sharing economy and growing connectedness of customers.

We, at AG, understand such trends

FinTechs continue to challenge the status-quo in the Financial Services industry to improve accessibility and cost-effectiveness of financial services. We have been working closely with a large number of FinTechs in the UK as well as internationally by virtue of our specialist and market leading practices.

First hand experience

We have the unique experience of working with FinTechs, Technology Companies, Regulators and Financial Institutions and understand the massive opportunities available to all disruptors (old and new) in this space. By combining our client side experience with regulatory experience, it gives us great insight into your concerns and priorities, wherever you are on your journey to be better, more productive and ever more successful.

We act across all spheres of fintech and wider tech innovation including transactions, deals, advisory, fund raising, intellectual property and dispute and reputation managements. We regularly act for all participants in the sector including start-ups, all major high street banks, regulatorys, trade bodies and regularly take part in international development initiatives.

Experience

Recent case highlights include:

  • Advising HSBC Commercial Banking on the beta launch of HSBC Kinetic, a new business banking service with a smart app designed to help businesses manage their finances easier.
  • Advising FNZ on its platform as a service agreement in respect of the provision of regulatory compliant investment transaction and administration outsourcing services to a leading wealth asset manager.
  • We have been supporting PaySafe with its implementation of the open banking requirements under PSD2, which will enable access to third party providers.
  • Acting for one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Asia in a debt recovery case where a professional trader bought coins but refused to pay for them.
  • Advising Tumelo on all aspects of its technology proposition as it starts to integrate its software with investment providers to help them win new clients and increase assets under management by engaging underlying investors with transparency and shareholder voting. This has involved advice around Tumelo's enterprise SAAS contracts, its IP policies in terms of its software development, protection of its brand and corporate matters such as equity investment and staff incentives.
  • Acting for a number of issuers and card schemes in relation to the launch of Apple Pay. Providing regulatory and contractual advice in relation to implementation of the platform and associated digital enablement (tokenisation) services.
  • Advising on international peer to peer payments utilising a mobile payments platform including settlement arrangements through correspondent banking.
  • Advising a major bank on the use of geo-location data in the context of potential mobile wallet solutions.
  • Advising on data protection related aspects of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay by reference to the regulatory obligations of the Merchant, Issuer and Bank.
  • Advising a major international insurance and financial services organisation in respect of a joint venture set up to hold and exploit IP rights in a software product.
  • Advised Business Growth Fund on its investments in payment card manufacturer Thames Card Technology.
  • Advised Lloyds Development Capital on its growth capital investment in engineering from Mini-Cam.
  • Advising a variety of start-up businesses seeking angel, growth or development capital through various funding rounds.
  • Incorporation of a company called 'WeLend" and thereafter assisted with obtaining the first batch of virtue banking licence in Hong Kong. WeLend is one of the first eight financial institutions in Hong Kong which were granted the virtue banking licence and has been named in a KPMG-sponsored report as one of the top 100 FinTech companies in the world – #7 in China and #23 globally and was ranked by Deloitte as the #1 fastest growing tech company by revenue in Hong Kong and #4 in China.
  • Structured a couple of sale and purchase of Bitcoins between Hong Kong and Canada and the USA. We have also advised on the legality of the sale and purchase of cryptocurrency in Hong Kong and the USA.
Market engagement

We are highly active in the wider FinTech community, sitting on boards for accelerators, giving key note addresses and operating our own FinTech accelerator program, AG Elevate, which is now in its fourth year. Few firms have shown the same level of commitment to the sector as Addleshaw Goddard and we are proud proponents of supporting femtech, regtech and cleantech initiatives within our dedicated fintech team.

We are one of a handful of firms who sat on the Open Banking working groups and have been directly involved for the CMA9 on implementing FinTech solutions based on open banking solutions.

Fiona Ghosh is recognised as one of only four leading global figures in Who's Who Legal 2020 Banking for her work in FinTech. She is the only woman in that listing. She is also listed as one of the standout 35 women in the entire Fintech sector for her work in the field by Innovate Finance (Powerlist 2019), one of only a handful of lawyers. She is currently part of the task force for HM Treasury’s Kalifa Review into UK Fintech.

Our multi-discipline FinTech team pulls together commercial, technology, corporate and regulatory legal expertise to provide a unique, fully-integrated team of specialists who understand both the financial services sector and those digital ecosystems, platforms and participants that are (and will continue to be) central to today's financial services evolution.

In addition to our unparalleled legal expertise, we are regularly asked to speak at external seminars and conferences in the FinTech space:

  • We work closely with leading trade associations, for example the UK Finance, UK Cards Association, the Finance and Leasing Association and the Consumer Credit Trade Association. We also sit on a number of industry panels, including the Consumer Affairs Panel of the CBI and attend the Consumer Credit Working Party (a sub-panel of the CBI Consumer Affairs Panel) and the Litigation Panel and the Regulatory Reform Group at the FLA. Our participation in trade associations and industry panels means we have a voice in what is going on and it keeps us as close as possible to new developments, knowledge of which we are then able to share with FinTech firms.
  • We hosted the Africa Technology Business Forum, a one day conference showcasing the most exciting technology opportunities that are unfolding across the African continent. The forum brought together investors, entrepreneurs and professionals in the Banking, Finance, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Impact investment and the Mobile/Telecom sectors and was part of London Tech Week.
  • We have also spoken at the Economist Fintech conference, Money 2020, Global Fintech Forum.
  • Fiona Ghosh is an appointed expert on the editorial board of the journal e-Finance and Payments Law and Policy.
Testimonials

"By delivering what clients want wherever they need it, from high value strategic advice, to the everyday, Addleshaw Goddard prides itself on a service which is high quality, focused, relevant and consistently excellent."

  • "Addleshaw Goddard's Fiona Ghosh is a "leading lawyer in this field" and "incredibly dynamic with an extremely deep understanding of the banking industry".  She is acclaimed for her "very impressive negotiations", her ability to "keep matters simple" and her "phenomenal grasp on how best to negotiate and contract to support agile programmes with fintechclients". Who's Who Legal - Fintech 2020
  • "AG have consistently been an outstanding firm to work with. Their knowledge of our business, plus their work ethic, means that we get timely and accurate advice from them time and time again. On larger projects we will work with the AG team on a daily basis and an excellent relationship has evolved from this". Legal 500 (2020)
  • The firm is producing industry-wide guidance on open banking, as well as UK and EU-level advice regarding a number of complicated issues in relation to retail finance and consumer credit". Chambers & Partners (2020)
  • "Fintech expert Fiona Ghosh is a key name to note." Legal 500 (2019)
  • "Leading ranked Fintech lawyer" Chambers & Partners (2019)
Integrated specialists

Unlike many other firms, we are made up not simply of single product lines (e.g. finreg or IT). Our fintech group consists of integrated, leading specialists from IT, private equity, financial regulation, payments, employment, tax and corporate. We reflect the needs of our clients; never the other way around. Our hugely successful legal mentorship scheme, AG Elevate gives us a unique insight into the needs of smaller tech businesses and we understand how to support them in an efficient, effective and value add manner.

Key contacts

Meet the team
Fiona Ghosh

Fiona Ghosh

Partner, Commercial
London, UK

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David Anderson

David Anderson

Partner, Corporate
Edinburgh, UK

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Elvan Hussein

Elvan Hussein

Partner, Corporate Finance
London

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James Herring

James Herring

Partner, Finance Disputes
London, UK

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