Sushil Kuner is a London-based principal associate who advises on all aspects of financial services regulatory law, having spent eight years working within the Supervision and Enforcement Divisions of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
She has extensive regulatory experience and advises on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious financial services regulatory issues, including anti-money laundering and anti-bribery controls, perimeter issues, conflicts of interest, suitability of investment advice/discretionary investment management decisions, conduct of business, e-commerce and payment services, consumer credit, mortgage regulation, financial promotions, treatment of customers, client asset rules, funds, market misconduct, product governance, corporate governance, personal culpability of senior individuals and conduct risk.
She also advises on the regulatory aspects of corporate transactions including changes in control, FCA authorisations and variations of permission and regularly assists firms with their responses to FCA and PRA led enquiries. Her clients include banks, asset and fund managers, FinTech companies, start-ups, corporates, private equity houses, platforms, intermediaries and major auto manufacturers.
Sushil is a member of the firm's India Desk and has advised clients based in India and other jurisdictions (including Sweden and the US) on UK financial services regulatory aspects of their cross-border business. She has also been on secondment to the firm's Dubai office where she provided expert financial services regulatory assistance to our Dubai-based Tech Team.
During her time within the FCA's Supervision Division, Sushil led on a number of high profile thematic visits which resulted in Enforcement action against some of the UK's largest financial institutions. She was also one of the FCA's 'Skilled Persons Champions', overseeing large scale redress and remediation exercises involving millions of banking customers. In the FCA's Enforcement Division, Sushil was a case lawyer and lead Investigator and project managed several high profile investigations into both firms and individuals. She was formerly a member of the FCA's Relationship Management and Strategy team and was responsible for vetting and selecting suitable cases for Enforcement action.
Clients truly benefit from Sushil's unparalleled insight into the operation, decision-making and strategic priorities of the UK's financial regulator and her ability to help clients navigate sensitive discussions with regulators. She is recognised for providing pragmatic advice in the most complex situations.
With a particular interest in FinTech, Sushil has advised a number of clients on the regulatory approach for ICOs, Blockchain and Cryptoassets since joining the firm. She regularly represents the firm at FinTech and blockchain events, including FinTech Connect, one of the largest annual FinTech conferences in the UK. She has also written a number of FinTech related articles and co-authored the 2019 and 2020 editions of the UK Chapter of Global Legal Insight's FinTech publication. She regularly appears as a commentator in the media, including The FT, The Lawyer magazine, UK Tech News and Lexis Nexis and delivers seminars, training events and webinars on various financial services topics including FinTech, ESG, Conduct Risk and Culture within financial services.
Since returning to private practice in 2018, Sushil has been recognised as a key lawyer for Financial Services Regulation and FinTech in the following legal directories:
- 2022 Legal 500 UK, FinTech, Key Lawyer
- 2022 Legal 500 UK Financial Services, Key Lawyer
- 2021 Legal 500 UK, London TMT (FinTech) Rankings
- 2021 Legal 500 UK, London Financial Services Regulation (Non-Contentious / Regulatory) Rankings
- 2020 Legal 500 UK, London TMT (FinTech) Rankings
"Sushil Kuner is our 'go-to person' at Gowling WLG and not only is she incredibly responsive, but her deep-seated regulatory knowledge and first-hand FCA experience really shine through. She is an expert on the UK's Consumer Credit regime and has helped us navigate the complexities of the regime in the context of our technological advancements. We have great confidence in Sushil's technical and legal nous, as a result of which she is currently working on some of our highest profile workstreams."
Legal 500 2022
- Advising one of the world's highest valued FinTech companies in the e-commerce sector on the UK's Payment Services and Consumer Credit Regimes. This includes regularly advising on regulatory aspects of new product launches in the UK and helping create a Financial Promotions Guide for over 3,500 UK-based retailers, which enables them to navigate the complexities of the Consumer Credit Act in an easy to understand way.
- Advising AIM listed AssetCo Plc on the acquisition of Saracen Fund Managers Limited, a controlling interest in Rize UK Limited and a minority interest in Parmenion Capital Partners LLP. AssetCo is the new high profile business venture of a management team led by Martin Gilbert (ex Co-CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen) and Peter McKellar (ex Executive Chairman and Global Head of Private Markets at Standard Life Aberdeen). Sushil has been leading on the various FCA applications for Change in Control and the Regulatory due diligence.
- Advising some of the world's largest automotive manufacturers on their direct to consumer online sales platforms, including advising on consumer credit related issues and FCA financial promotion rules.
- Advised Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP on its acquisition of Millbrook Healthcare Limited ("Millbrook"), an FCA authorised firm operating in the assisted living sector. This included advising on all aspects of the FCA's Change in Control process and conducting the regulatory due diligence. Post-acquisition, Sushil supported Millbrook by advising on the terms of their regulated consumer hire agreements for medical healthcare equipment.
- Advised Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing commercial real estates firm, on regulatory aspects of its acquisition of GVA, including leading on the FCA Change of Control Application and undertaking regulatory due diligence.
- Advising several early stage FinTech start-ups seeking to launch innovative financial products and services in the UK. Sushil spends time getting to know the business model and advises on the extent to which the company would be undertaking regulated activities in the UK. She then supports these companies throughout the entire FCA authorisations process and, depending on the needs of the client, provides continuing support, including establishing policies and procedures, advising on governance arrangements and ensuring the adequacy of systems and controls.
- Advising Draper Esprit Plc on regulatory aspects of its fund structures and investments into several investments from series seed through to pre-IPO fundraising.
- Advising a global FinTech client, which operates a crowdfunding platform in the UAE and has raised in excess of EUR 63 million for various start-up companies based in the Nordics, UAE and beyond. Sushil supported the company in its discussions with the Dubai Financial Services Authority, which centred around the company's digital investor on-boarding procedures and compliance with local financial promotion and anti-money laundering rules.
- Defending a Senior Director of a company listed on the London Stock Exchange in FCA Enforcement proceedings alleging insider dealing.