Press Release

Kirkland Represents Semperian in Landmark FSA Enforcement Case

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP recently represented Semperian PPP Investment Partners, Europe's largest specialist PPP investment vehicle, in a landmark case brought by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

In a significant departure from its previous practice, the FSA brought criminal proceedings against a number of Semperian entities, and also prosecuted the firm's then chief executive, William Doughty, for breaches of legislation requiring firms to obtain the FSA's consent in advance of acquiring control of a regulated firm.

Yesterday, the FSA withdrew the charges against Mr. Doughty, and against two Semperian entities, while a third  Semperian entity entered a guilty plea. At yesterday's hearing, Deputy District Judge Richard Barron imposed a fine of only £1,000, and ordered that the defence costs of those entities against whom charges had been dropped should be paid out of central funds. 

Kirkland & Ellis regulatory partner, Lisa Cawley, said: "We are delighted that the judge recognised that our client acted in good faith at all times, and took due account of the fact that in the past the FSA has routinely given retrospective approval to changes of control."

Lisa Cawley led the team representing Semperian, assisted by associate Paul Watt, and supported by corporate partner Mark Mifsud and litigation partner Chris Colbridge.

Lisa Cawley, Regulatory Partner, Kirkland & Ellis:, +44 20 7469 2140

Emilie Godard, Kirkland & Ellis:, +44 20 7469 2027

Tim Maltin, Maltin PR:, +44 20 7887 1357,

Kirkland & Ellis is a 1,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex corporate and tax, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in London, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.

Kirkland's London regulatory practice has extensive experience in financial regulation and corporate matters, with particular expertise in regulatory issues affecting private investment funds.  The team regularly advises on a wide range of regulatory matters including:

  • the establishment of new investment, banking and insurance businesses in the UK, and applications for FSA authorisation;
  • the establishment of compliance processes for investment businesses, and ongoing regulatory advice in relation to matters such as conflicts of interest, personal account trading, financial promotions, approved persons and general compliance with the FSA Rules;
  • advising on regulatory issues arising in connection with fund structuring, particularly in relation to pan-European and global private equity funds;
  • the negotiation of regulatory approval for changes of control in connection with M&A transactions;
  • advising on market abuse and insider dealing issues;
  • providing securities laws advice in relation to the marketing of financial products; and
  • advising on the regulatory consequences of rule breaches, and defending clients against enforcement action taken by the FSA.