Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright launches global regulation and investigations practice
Last Updated: 7 February 2014
  • Regulation is No.1 worldwide challenge for businesses, finds new independent data from Acritas
  • Global practice will assist businesses in navigating the global regulatory landscape

Norton Rose Fulbright today launches its global regulation and investigations practice to assist businesses around the world in navigating regulatory issues, cited by global companies as their number one business challenge in 2013, according to new survey data from Acritas*.

Norton Rose Fulbright's global regulation and investigations practice, led by Martin Coleman and Lista M. Cannon, brings together over 600 lawyers around the world. The practice connects practice areas across the globe including antitrust and competition, led by Martin Coleman; financial services regulation, led by Jonathan Herbst; investigations (including anti-bribery and corruption, and international trade and sanctions) led by Lista Cannon; and tax, led by Andrius Kontrimas.

As part of the launch, experienced lawyers will engage with businesses globally throughout 2014 to debate key issues in the identification and management of regulatory risk and related enforcement. A programme of events, including seminars with key decision makers, client meetings, and internal briefings to share knowledge on regulation and investigation issues, will take place in key financial centres across the world in Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the United States.

Martin Coleman, global co-head of regulation and investigations commented:

"The global financial crisis led to a fundamental readjustment in the relationship between governments and businesses around the world. On the one hand, the crisis legitimised unprecedented levels of intervention. On the other hand, budgetary pressures have led to increased public-private engagement, particularly in areas such as infrastructure and public service delivery.

"The overall impact is that there is simply much greater government interest in business activity and higher risk of intervention. It is therefore crucial for businesses to have a structured and well considered approach."

Lista Cannon, global co-head of regulation and investigations commented:

"For all other than the most domestically-focussed investigations, businesses operating internationally must be aware of the multi-jurisdictional nature of regulation and the new reality of co-operation between international regulators. Issues arising in one country may have a significant impact elsewhere.

"In particular, the reach of the United States' regulators looms large. Potential US regulatory and criminal proceedings, including the risk for senior executives of extradition, together with associated risks of class actions, add to the pervasive concern for businesses, even where the centre of gravity of an investigation may not lie in the US. In addition, the development of new regulatory frameworks and enhanced enforcement efforts in developing markets, such as in China, lead to significant regional challenges for businesses operating globally."

*Acritas, the legal market research specialist, found that regulation is the number one business challenge for the world's global elite businesses through its annual Sharplegal survey. Acritas' Sharplegal survey comprises data from 1337 interviews with General Counsel or their equivalent in organisations in Africa, the US, UK, Middle East, mainland Europe, Latin America, Canada and the Asia Pacific region with over $1bn in revenue. The data was compiled from January – November 2013.

The Acritas findings confirm several years of data from Norton Rose Fulbright's own annual Litigation Trends Survey showing that year on year since 2008, companies have been increasingly requiring external counsel for assistance on regulatory investigations and that regulatory disputes have consistently been a major concern.

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