Financial Regulation

Our Financial Regulation Unit provides practical and clear advice to financial institutions on all aspects of regulation and compliance in the financial services sector.

The team brings together lawyers specialising in different areas of the financial services sector.

Our clients include leading banks, investment firms and intermediaries, (re)insurance undertakings, collective investment schemes, fund service providers, regulatory authorities and investors in financial institutions.

Our services include advising on:

  • authorisation requirements and applications for regulated financial services providers and extension of authorisations
  • winding down of business of regulated financial services providers and surrender of authorisations
  • acquisition and disposal of qualifying holdings in regulated financial services providers
  • regulatory issues arising in mergers and acquisitions in the financial services sector
  • regulatory capital requirements
  • regulation of payment services, payment institutions and electronic money institutions
  • fitness and probity regime
  • corporate governance issues for regulated financial services providers
  • compliance with conduct of business requirements including under MiFID and the CPC
  • insider dealing and market abuse
  • transparency and prospectus requirements
  • anti-money laundering compliance
  • investigation and enforcement of regulatory standards including administrative sanctions.

We also provide regulatory and corporate governance health checks and practical advice on the impact of new regulatory developments.


AML CFTOn 6 September 2019, the Central Bank of Ireland published revised 'Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Guidelines for the Financial Sector'. ​Read our full briefing here.









WF Dear CEOThe CBI's recent "Dear CEO Letter" outlines supervisory expectations surrounding regulated financial services providers' compliance with the Fitness and Probity Regime. Read the full briefing here.









FinReg 09.04.19The European Banking Authority ("EBA") have issued revised Guidelines on Outsourcing Arrangements, following a consultation period on a draft version of the Guidelines which ended 24 September 2018. The Guidelines enter into force on 30 September 2019 and contain some transitional periods, for example, to allow for firms to implement a register of all outsourcing arrangements. Read our full briefing here.







FinReg Feb19

On 21 January 2019, the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) (Amendment) Act 2018 ("2018 Act") commenced. The purpose of the 2018 Act is to expand the definition of a 'credit servicing firm' and bring within the existing credit servicing framework, entities that acquire legal title to certain loans (performing and non-performing consumer loans) and associated ownership activities. Entities that fall within the expanded definition of a credit servicing firm must be authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland. Read our full briefing here.





CBI Outsourcing

The CBI publishes a report on outsourcing which has significant implications for firms' boards, senior management and outsourcing arrangements. Read our full briefing here









5 and 6 anti-money laundering directives

The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (MLD5) entered into force on 9 July 2018 and Member States have until 10 January 2020 to transpose the majority of its provisions. Read our full briefing here.









Criminal Justice Act 2018 - Nov 18

On 14 November 2018, legislation was enacted to fully transpose the Fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive (MLD4) into Irish law. Read our full briefing here.  










Strategic Plan 19-21

 The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has published its Strategic Plan for the next three years. Click here to read more.









Central Bank Briefing Doc Aug18

The Central Bank of Ireland proposes greater accountability of senior individuals in banks, insurance firms and MiFID investment firms. Read our full briefing here.









Our recent transactional experience includes advising/acting for:

  • State Street Bank on its acquisition of the Irish Goldman Sachs hedge fund administration business.
  • Fairfax Financial Holdings, WL Ross and Kennedy Wilson, on the acquisition of a 34% stake in Bank of Ireland from the Irish Government.
  • J & E Davy on its acquisition of the private client and fund administration business of Bloxham Stockbrokers.
  • Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. on the sale of its investment management division AIB Asset Management Holdings (Ireland) Limited to Prescient Holdings (PTY) Limited.
  • Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. on the sale of Goodbody Stockbrokers to Fexco.
  • Goldman Sachs as sponsor on the restructuring of Irish Life & Permanent Holdings into bank and life assurance structures in advance of State recapitalisation.
  • WIPRO Group on its Irish establishment and acquisition of the activities of Lloyds TSB Insurance Services.
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the sale of its US, Irish and Jersey fund administration businesses.
  • SunLife Assurance Company of Canada on the sale of the Irish reinsurer Sun Life Reinsurance Ireland to Berkshire Hathaway, including all Central Bank of Ireland and other regulatory liaison.
  • Merrion Capital and the MBO team on its buy-back from Landesbanki.
  • Fidelity Investments on the establishment of its Irish unit-linked life insurance company.
  • Ahli United Bank plc on the redomicilation of its Cayman range of funds to Ireland representing the continued development of Ireland as the preferred domicile for promoters from the Middle East region.
  • Alterra on the High Court merger of its insurance and reinsurance platforms in advance of proposed implementation of Solvency II.
  • Santander on the launch of its Irish pan-European payment protection insurance platform.
  • AXA on the set-up of its AXA Life Europe variable annuity life company and the AXA Cessions insurance-linked securitisation programmes.

Post-Crisis Regulation Continues With Revised Recommendations To Limit Leverage Build-Up In SFTs

Funds remain in-scope of FSB framework for haircuts on non-centrally cleared SFTs.

First Concrete Steps Taken To Implement EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan

On 9 December 2019, the first of the legislative measures in the EU's Sustainable Finance Action Plan were published.

A New Regime For The Protection Of Whistleblowers

EU Whistleblowing Directive, effective 16 December 2019, introduces obligations to facilitate and support whistleblowing.

Central Bank Makes an Example of Director Found in Breach of Fitness & Probity Standards

In this briefing we review the recent prohibition by the Central Bank of a director of a regulated firm for breaches of the Fitness & Probity Standards.

New AML/CFT Guidelines and the Emphasis on Effective Training

In this briefing we consider the impact of the Central Bank's AML/CFT Guidelines 2019 on investment funds and, in particular, the emphasis on effective training which should now include an assessment or examination.

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  • A very happy customer say "we have used Shane Kelleher and his team in relation to an application to the CBI for regulatory authorisation. Shane knows the regulator well and knows how to deal with them. The William Fry team has been diligent, responsive and available while also trying to ensure we work together in the most cost efficient and productive manner". Another client says "William Fry has been exemplary in its work. It has assigned experts to what has been a very technically demanding assignment. A very responsive and professional approach has been adopted consistently ....Comprehensive understanding of market regulatory requirements, concise and up-to-date regulatory advice, broad knowledge base and practical business understanding when providing advice" IFLR 1000 2019 
  • "William Fry give responsive, comprehensive and thorough advice. William Fry are available with advice on tight deadlines when required". IFLR 1000 2019
  • A client states "very professional firm with a good team in place. Their strength is their people and breadth of experience on various projects" IFLR 1000 2019
  • One client says "they are extremely capable, pragmatic, practical and very responsive". Another happy client says "William Fry has a very wide-reaching level of expertise and in-depth knowledge, and another strength is the consistently high quality of the staff". Chambers Europe 2019
  • One happy client says: "Their legal expertise, service levels and business-friendly approach sets them apart. I have recommended the team to other parties and continue to do so." Another source notes: "The firm is committed to its clients and develops strong relationships with them." Chambers Europe 2018
  • "They were very commercial on complex deals, extracted the important parts, were very proactive and made sure that nothing slipped away." Clients also point out that "they have a nice house style: professional, friendly and courteous."Chambers Europe, 2017 
  •  "The lawyers took a personal interest in the work and the overall objective was always in their minds. There was a big team offering a lot of strength throughout." 
    "This firm had the size and skills to handle a particularly complex transaction, and the commitment to throw the necessary resources at the job." 
    Chambers Europe 2016
  • William Fry is an "excellent practice". Legal 500 EMEA 2016
  • "The team provides a good-quality service and gets the project done."  Chambers Europe 2015
  • William Fry provides ‘proactive service’ and ‘sensible advice that gets to the heart of the commercial issues’ through its ‘highly knowledgeable partners’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  •  "The lawyers have real strength in managing and driving the process and can see the wood for the trees and negotiate the key clauses very hard."   "The team does the really complex work with both speed and efficiency." Chambers Europe 2014
  • "The team provides complete asset finance solutions in an effective and timely manner."  Chambers Europe, 2013 

    Key Contacts

    Shane Kelleher Partner

    Lisa Carty Partner

    Patricia Taylor Partner

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