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Alison Mchaffie


CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English

Alison McHaffie is a partner in the Financial Services and Products Team specialising in all types of contentious regulatory matters.

She qualified at CMS in 1995 and has over 20 years of experience of advising financial institutions on these issues.

Alison has an in-depth understanding of how the regulators approach investigations and in successfully helping clients manage significant regulatory issues and remediation projects without regulatory intervention.

Her experience covers a wide range of issues including retail mis-selling, governance, senior management responsibility, conflicts of interest, market abuse, client money, complaints handling, lending, and financial crime controls.

Alison acts for banks, insurers, fund managers, financial advisers, mortgage lenders and consumer credit firms. She advises firms on dealing with regulatory notifications, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions brought by the FCA, PRA and their predecessors, past business reviews, s.166 Skilled Person appointments, complaints before the Financial Ombudsman Service and handling FCA/PRA supervisory and thematic visits. In 1998 she was seconded to the Enforcement Division of the FSA.

She regularly contributes articles to financial services publications and speaks at seminars.

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"Key contentious partner Alison McHaffie receives praise for her experience in the defence and avoidance of regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings. She is noted in particular for being 'very protective of her clients in terms of the difficult situations they have with the regulator'."

Chambers, 2015

"Alison and her team have helped us with a very big regulatory project and I think they have done an absolutely superb job"

Client feedback

"The ‘able and knowledgeable’ Alison McHaffie excels at representing clients in their dealings with the FCA"

Legal 500, 2015

Relevant experience

  • A mortgage lender on an FCA enforcement investigation into its compliance with MCOB and its handling of customers in arrears.
  • A large firm of financial advisers on an FCA investigation into failings regarding the sale of Keydata products which arose out of the collapse of the structured product provider.
  • A review of a bank’s approach to lending to its SME customers and assisting it in responding to a s166 skilled person report.
  • Two fund managers under investigation by the FCA for alleged breaches of client money rules.
  • A leading adviser and wealth manager in respect of significant regulatory issues raised by the FCA over its investment advice and its discretionary managed investment product and advising on the conduct of a wide ranging past business review and the handling a s166 skilled person appointment.
  • An insurer providing advice on significant and material regulatory issues arising in its business and sales processes and helping the client manage remediation activity without regulatory action or a s166 skilled person requirement.
  • Two banks in connection with the review of their sales of interest rate hedging products and acting as a s166 skilled person in connection with this review.
  • A fund manager in defending a professional negligence action arising out of the floatation and subsequent management of an investment trust. The case involved important issues regarding the disclosure of regulatory investigation documents to civil claimants that were considered by the Court of Appeal.
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  • 1993 - Law Society Finals (First Class), College of Law, Guildford
  • 1992 – LLB with French, University of Birmingham Law, Birmingham
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