In-house Banking & Financial Services Team of the Year


RSA Insurance Group started 2014 without a CEO, with a significant crisis in its Irish operation and a shortfall in capital to support its business. Challenging regulatory changes and difficulties derived from the overhaul of the regulatory capital regime as part of the overall implementation of Solvency II meant that the legal team was faced with an immense workload. espite the difficulties, the RSA legal team led all aspects of a £773m rights issue and sold a 11 out of its 32 businesses outside the UK and combined all activities under one roof. It also achieved a remarkable 50 per cent saving on legal fees during 2014.

Notwithstanding the time constraints involved in many of the deals that the in-house team completed during the year, the four-strong legal team led by general counsel Derek Walsh took on additional business roles alongside their legal roles and helped the board during a time of crisis.

The team led an investigation into the malpractices in Ireland producing internal and external reports for the board and remedial recommendations. Judges said:“A truly integrated part of the business which delivered on all company strategic priorities, both large and small, during a very challenging year.”

Runner up
  • OneSavings Bank

OneSavings Bank successfully completed its initial public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in June 2014, the first bank to list for more than a decade.

The bank’s in-house legal team, led by group general counsel Zoe Bucknell, was at the forefront of this transformative transaction, working closely with business leaders and other senior stakeholders during the operation. The execution of the IPO included embarking on an extensive due dilifence and verification exercise, and running a complex and nuanced corporate reorganisation, during a period of difficulty for IPOs and bad market conditions when many planned listings were retracted.

Third place
  • The London Metal Exchange

2014 marked the end of a two-year project at the London Metal Exchange (LME), as the group finalised the launch of sister company LME Clear (LMEC), the clearing house for LME contracts currently worth $14.9tr.

LME launched LMEC by developing its own clearing system LMEmercury, a new rulebook and contractual framework, and complying with extensive regulatory requirements to become regulated as a clearing house by the Bank of England and a European College of Regulators. Alongside this, LME continued its transition to new ownership under HKEx, insourced its entire IT and announced reforms of its warehouse infrastructure.

LME general counsel and head of enforcement Tom Hine and LMEC chief legal and compliance officer Anouk Gauthier rapidly built their teams from two lawyer to nine with two support staff to meet the challenge working alongside regular advisors Hogan Lovells and Latham & Watkins for litigation.

  • CME Group
  • SEDCO Holding