Following a spate of proposed regulatory reforms coming off the back of the financial crisis, Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Clayton Utz have formed specialised, multi-disciplinary, market regulation teams.
Both firm's teams pool the skills of partners from different practice groups. Mallesons' team comprises 20 core partners from the banking and finance, taxation, competition and M&A teams, while Clayton Utz's team is made up of six partners from competition, corporate, litigation, and tax.
The influx of reforms being proposed present a unique challenge for law firms, as they are not neatly contained to just one legal specialist, but span a spectrum of practice areas.
Mallesons' finance partner Scott Farrell explained: "Part of the new reality is that regulation of the financial markets is going to change globally, and ... it's not linked only to one particular discipline or specialty of law. We worked out that this is not a job that any one specialist could do, so the team was established."
Clayton Utz competition partner Joanne Daniels added that clients were not only seeking advice about the black letter law of the reforms, but also the policy, and likely response of the relevant regulators. As a result, she said the partners in the team were selected specifically on the basis on their long standing relationship with the relevant regulator in their field of specialty.
"We noticed that clients were after not just advice on what the law says, but advice on actually how to deal with the regulator, and that includes their culture, their likely approach to something, their prosecutorial discretion - all those things you can only get from longstanding relationships with the regulators," she said.
- Zoe Lyon
See the In-house supplement in this week's Lawyers Weekly for a full report on law firms' response to proposed regulatory reforms.