With US outbound investment continuing to drive the European technology M&A market, London has emerged as a natural centre for businesses working at the intersection of finance and technology. As the private practice market wakes up to the potential of this new and expanding sector, competition is fierce for the City’s few established ‘fintech’ partners. This FRS Thought Leadership piece explores the growing London legal fintech landscape, as well as what it takes to establish a practice in this area.
The State of London’s Fintech Legal Market
Fintech is a complex sector, driven by technological innovation and a still-evolving regulatory landscape. Fintech developers seek to redefine the financial services industry by providing services more quickly, more cheaply and more efficiently than current market players. To do this, they rely on their legal advisers for an up-to-date understanding of both the technological and regulatory aspects of the market.
With fintech not yet included as a separate ranking in either the Legal 500 or Chambers & Partners, London’s fintech private practice landscape remains relatively undefined. Firms active in this area have often opted to partner with organisations including the FinTech50 and various fintech accelerators in a bid to raise their profiles in this sector.
As London has emerged as an important hub for fintech, the City’s law firms are finally recognising the opportunities abounding in this sector. In particular, the past twelve months have seen City firms with strong financial services and financial services regulatory practices identifying fintech as a natural area for growth. Fintech is now among the specialisms in which firms most frequently express an interest when it comes to lateral recruitment.
Yet, fintech teams are notably broad, relying on close cooperation between partners covering a range of specialisms from technology to venture capital to regulatory law.
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