Charles Flint QC is a commercial barrister, mediator and arbitrator specialising in banking and financial services. He specialises in advice on all aspects of compliance with financial services regulation, including enforcement cases. He also acts as an arbitrator and mediator in banking and financial services disputes.  

Charles is recognised by Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2015 as one of the top 5 most highly regarded QC mediators, and was included in the 2018 Legal 500 Hall of Fame for excellence in mediation. In May 2018 he mediated the settlement of the claims brought against the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) arising out of the rendition of Abel-Hakim Belhaj to Libya in 2004 On 10 May 2018 the Attorney General made a statement in the House of Commons on the apology given by the Prime Minister to the claimants following the mediation.

Charles is recognised as a leading silk in the latest editions of both the leading legal directories, Chambers UK 2018 and Legal 500 2017, for his expertise in Financial Services. 

Charles is a member of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which determines claims brought against the UK intelligence agencies, a member of the UEFA adjudicatory panel which decides financial fair play cases, a director of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, President of the National Anti-Doping Panel and Chairman of the International Tennis Federation tribunal.

Experience

Shortlist

Financial Services

Charles Flint QC is a leading specialist on the regulation of financial services under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. He has advised and acted for institutions, and the regulators, in regulatory proceedings and investigations and judicial review and has been involved in many of the major regulatory cases which have arisen in the last 20 years. He has been rated by Chambers as a star in financial services for over 10 years. 

Charles advises on compliance, enforcement and transactional issues in all areas of financial services regulation. He also mediates and arbitrates banking and financial services cases.

He has been retained by investment banks, fund managers, hedge funds, stockbrokers, insurers, retail banks and building societies in connection with regulatory investigations and proceedings relating to insider dealing and market abuse, market manipulation, endowment and derivative based product mis-selling, including interest rate swaps, split capital investment trusts and structured capital at risk products. He has advised a number of the major banks on the LIBOR and FOREX investigations.

He has advised on senior management regulatory responsibilities arising out of the banking crisis, and acted on the first major case brought by the FSA in that area.

He has also advised and acted for the regulatory bodies, FCA, PRA, FOS and FSCS.

He advises on all aspects of financial services and markets regulation, including collective investment schemes and the AIFMD, insurance mediation and MIFID. He has also advised and acted for overseas regulators, including the Dubai FSA and the BVI FSC.

He acted for Legal and General in the first major challenge in the Financial Services & Markets Tribunal to the powers of the FSA, the case which resulted in the complete overhaul of the FSA enforcement system. He acted for Philippe Jabre in the first market abuse case brought against a hedge fund, and for Winterfloods in the first market abuse case to reach the Court of Appeal.

He is a member of the Lawyers Consultative Group established by the FCA & PRA to advise on legal issues arising out of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. He was an invited speaker on the future of financial regulation at the City Debate 2002 organised by the Futures and Options Association. He is a contributor to "A Practitioner's Guide to FSA Investigations and Enforcement" (City & Financial Publishing). He is on the board of the Financial Services Lawyers Association.

In 2013 he was appointed a non-executive director of the Dubai Financial Services Authority. He is a member of the disciplinary panel of the London Metal Exchange.

He has also advised and acted in the first two cases in which the Pensions Regulator exercised its powers under the moral hazard provisions of the Pensions Act 2004 to require associated companies to support pension schemes in deficit. He has appeared before the hearings committee of the Takeover Panel.

In 1999 he was retained as leading counsel advising the Singapore Stock Exchange in its dispute with the Malaysian Central Depository over the freezing of the $4 billion CLOB portfolio.

Recent Cases

  • Report for the Isle of Man FSA on the failure of Powerhouse Insurance Limited (June 2017)
  • Opinion on scope of interest rate swap regulation (Treasury Committee – February 2015)
  • HM Treasury Review on Enforcement (December 2014)
  • FOREX Investigation final notices (November 2014)
  • LIBOR Investigation final notices (2012 – 2013)
  • FSA v Peter Cummings (senior management responsibility) (2012)
  • FSA v Hannam (inside information) (2012)
  • FSA v Greenlight Capital, Einhorn and Osborne (market abuse) [2012]
  • British Bankers Association v FSA & FOS (judicial review) [2011]
  • FSA v Winterflood (market abuse) [2010] CA
  • Amro & Creon v FSA (FSA investigatory powers) [2010] CA
  • Re Lehmans (MIFID & client money) [2009] ChD
  • FSA v Vukelic (financial reinsurance) [2009] FSMT
  • FSA v Information Commissioner (FOI Act) [2009] IT
  • Heather Moor & Edgecomb v FOS (Ombudsman powers) [2008] CA
  • FSA v Philippe Jabre (market abuse) [2006] FSMT
  • FSA v Legal & General (enforcement) [2005] FSMT

Between 1988 and 1994 Charles Flint acted as counsel for the Arab Monetary Fund in a major fraud action in the Chancery Division, and on appeals to the Court of Appeal and House of Lords. In 2000 he acted for the defendant in the proceedings brought by the State of Brunei against HRH Prince Jefri Bolkiah claiming the return of assets of $15 billion. In 2008 he appeared in the House of Lords in HMRC v Total Network, a leading case on the law of conspiracy.

In 1991 he was appointed a Junior Counsel to the Crown (Common Law). He acted for Government Departments, particularly the Ministry of Defence, in contractual and public procurement disputes.

He has appeared in the courts of Antigua, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, the Cayman Islands and the West Indies Court of Appeal, and in the court of the Dubai International Financial Centre, and in the Privy Council. 

Shortlist

Mediation

In Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2015 Charles is rated as one of the five most highly regarded QC mediators. He was included in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame 2018 for excellence as a mediator. He has been an accredited mediator since 1999. He brings to this field his knowledge of the financial markets, and he has acted as mediator in a number of substantial financial services and banking disputes, both in the UK and overseas. He has acted as an early neutral evaluator appointed by the Commercial Court.

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Although Charles primarily mediates in financial services and banking cases he has also mediated in employment, fine art, insurance, professional negligence, public procurement and sports law disputes. He has mediated a number of international disputes in Asia and Africa.

In 2018 Charles mediated the settlement of the claims brought Abdul-Hakim Belhaj against the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and others arising out of the rendition of the claimants to Libya in March 2004. On 10 May 2018 the Attorney General made a statement in the House of Commons on the apology given by the Prime Minister to the claimants following the mediation.

His mediation experience includes resolving:

  • FX claims between brokers and banks arising out of the Swiss National Bank’s decision on 15 January 2015 to discontinue the fixed rate between the Swiss franc and the euro
  • disputes between banks and customers over the alleged mis-selling of interest rate hedging swaps
  • disputes between regional governments in Europe and investment banks over a cross currency interest rate swap, including issues over Greek sovereign bonds
  • a complex multi-party financial services dispute in the Court of Appeal, requiring mediation between a number of parties and their respective insurance interests
  • resolving a dispute between investment banks arising out of the disputed interpretation of LMA terms applying to trades on the distressed debt market
  • a claim by investors against a major hedge fund arising from substantial losses in emerging markets
  • a dispute between an investment bank and a commercial customer in India over an interest rate cross currency swaps transaction governed by ISDA terms
  • a claim by investment managers in Europe against an investment bank arising out of a disputed set off following the entry into administration of Lehman Brothers International
  • a dispute between investment managers in France claiming fees for the introduction of investors to a distributor of hedge funds and other alternative investment products
  • a claim by a hedge fund in liquidation against its administrators, custodian and auditors in Hong Kong 
  • a dispute on a liability insurance policy held by a manufacturer of parts for a commercial TV satellite which suffered a malfunction in orbit.

He has also mediated a number of claims by former employees against financial firms for payment of discretionary remuneration.

Charles also makes use of his wide experience as a commercial barrister to mediate professional negligence, insurance, employment and commercial cases, as well as sports and fine art cases in which he has a particular interest. He has mediated a number of disputes between airports and police forces over the level and costs of security measures required at regional airports. He has successfully resolved a number of public procurement disputes between service providers and central Government departments.

In 1999 Charles qualified as an accredited mediator with CEDR in London. He has spoken at a number of mediation events including speaking on “Mediation and the FSA” to the Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers and at the Tony Curtis mediation debate in 2007 against the motion “Barristers are giving mediation a bad name”.  Charles contributed the section on mediating financial services disputes to David Richbell’s book on Mastering Commercial Mediation (2015).

Unsolicited feedback includes:

“ I have availed myself of the services of about 8 mediators, and I think that you dealt with this one more adroitly than any of the others …”

“We would not have reached a settlement without your calm approach, determination and nuanced understanding of both sides’ positions. I appreciated your tireless efforts during the mediation to reach a fair solution that reflected our interests and values.”

It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that it would certainly not have happened without your input, encouragement and persistence.”

“I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for your role in bringing this mediation to a successful conclusion.  Your calming influence and determination to see this through was much appreciated throughout – as was your desire to see ‘fair play’ done and ensure that the investors’ position was not forgotten.”

“You are a very good mediator and even if we had no success this time, it was a thoroughly worthwhile process.  You had the complete confidence of my clients”

His approach to mediation is not to seek to impose his own evaluation of the legal merits of any dispute, but to focus on ensuring that parties have properly assessed the risks of their respective positions, creating consensus and exploring alternative solutions.

Charles is a respected neutral with wide experience of business and commercial disputes. He is a member of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the judicial body responsible for oversight of the intelligence services in the UK. He is a director of the Dubai Financial Services Authority and former deputy chairman of the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited. He is President of the National Anti-Doping Panel, the independent tribunal which adjudicates on anti-doping disputes in sports, a member of the adjudicatory panel of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body, and chairman of the International Tennis Federation tribunal.

He is a member of the following mediation panels:

  •          JAMS International
  •          In Place of Strife
  •          Sports Dispute Resolution Service
  •          LawWorks pro bono mediation panel.

Charles' LinkedIn page can be found here.

Shortlist

Arbitration

Charles acts as an arbitrator in commercial, banking, financial services and sports cases. He is a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the LCIA.

As President of the UK National Anti-Doping Panel and as Chairman of the International Tennis Federation tribunal Charles is responsible for the appointment and supervision of about 50 arbitration panels each year, as well as deciding a number of cases or issues referred to arbitration under the aegis of Sports Resolutions. He has also arbitrated a number of commercial disputes in football, under Rule K of the Football Association rules.

He has arbitrated commercial cases under LCIA and UNCITRAL rules.

Achievements

Education

MA (Cantab), First in Law

Other relevant experience

Charles was joint head of Blackstone Chambers from 1997 – 2005.

  • 2002 - Speaker at the City Debate 2002 on the future of financial regulation.
  • 1999 - CEDR Accredited Mediator
  • 1998 - Observer for the Bar Human Rights Committee at the trial of Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia.
  • 1995 - QC
  • 1991 - 1995 Junior Counsel to the Crown (Common Law) (A List)
  • 1991 - Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Charles is a member of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal which determines claims against the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom. He is a director of the Dubai Financial Services Authority and a member of the disciplinary panel of the London Metal Exchange.

VAT registration number: 245251577

Clerks

Staff