Direct link Share on

Blackstone Chambers has extensive and wide-ranging expertise in the areas of financial and competition regulation.

Our members routinely provide advice to overseas regulators or those dealing with them, as well as appearing in related representations in the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East. This includes offering advice on institution-building and decision-making structures and training in matters of public law to newly formed regulatory bodies. They also advise on issues pertaining to English financial services and regulatory rules where these arise in civil litigation in foreign jurisdictions.

Blackstone has a sizeable environmental law practice, particularly in the public international law and regulatory arenas. Specific areas covered include energy and climate change, competition law and environmental service provision, human rights and the environment, state aid and sustainable communities. Chamber’s regulatory work also encompasses the fields of media, free speech and privacy. Both include the provision of advice and representation in high profile claims brought by prominent advocacy groups.

Projects:

Financial and competition

Secondment to the Financial Conduct Authority, General Counsel’s Division

In 2013 Jason Pobjoy was seconded to the Financial Conduct Authority for three months, where he worked in the General Counsel’s Division, providing advice on a variety of financial services matters including the FCA’s regulatory duties and conduct of business rules, and the domestic implementation of the Mortgage Credit Directive and Payment Services Directive. Since returning to practice he has assisted the FCA in drafting various amendments to its Handbook and, most recently, advised an overseas financial regulator on the scope and application of its equivalent rules. (Jason Pobjoy)

Provision of advice to overseas regulator 

Provided in the context of a high-profile investigation into a company and its directors following a failure to disclose price-sensitive information to the market. (Javan Herberg QC and Jason Pobjoy)

Research into legal barriers to women’s economic participation

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development-commissioned study into the legal provisions limiting women’s participation in the labour force in the Kyrgz Republic, including fieldwork with beneficiaries, banks and lawyers. (Naina Patel in role as Principal Associate Consultant at the Law & Development Partnership)

Cases:

Financial and competition

Dubai Financial Services Authority v Deutsche Bank (2013)

A case before the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) concerning the enforcement of the DFSA’s powers to compel the production of information (raising issues of Swiss banking law). (Tom Cleaver)

Dubai Financial Services Authority v Arqaam Capital Ltd, Ernst & Young (2012)

The first ever case before the Dubai Financial Markets Tribunal, as well as the first appeal from that Tribunal to the DIFC Court. (Tom Cleaver)

Environmental

Bodo Community v SPDC [2014] EWHC 1973 (TCC)

Acting for claimants in High Court proceedings. Following a three year High Court battle, Shell has agreed a £55 million package to compensate thousands of Nigerian fishermen and their community in respect of oil spills in 2008 and 2009 that devastated the region. The deal has been widely reported, involving one of the largest ever compensation payments to a community following environmental damage. (Andrew Scott)

Media, free speech and privacy

 Big Brother Watch and ors. v United Kingdom (App. No. 58170/13) (ongoing) (European Court of Human Rights)

Application to the European Court of Human Rights by three of the UK’s leading privacy groups (Big Brother Watch, Open Rights Group, and English PEN) and a prominent German internet campaigner (Constanze Kurz) challenging the UK’s legislation governing the surveillance of communications, following the disclosures by Edward Snowden. (Ravi Mehta and Tom Hickman)

 Privacy International v Security Services (IPT) (listed for hearing July 2016)

Challenge to the Security Services powers to gather and operate Bulk Personal Datasets and to obtain Bulk Communications Data using obscure powers under the Telecommunications Act rather than RIPA.  The case raises key issues under Article 8 ECHR/7 CFREU. (Tom de la Mare QC and Ben Jaffey)

Clerks

Staff