Sushil is a London-based Principal Associate who advises on all aspects of financial services regulatory law, having spent eight years working in a range of senior roles within the Supervision and Enforcement Divisions of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). She is Head of Gowling WLG's FinTech Accelerator Group and is named as a 'Rising Star' for Financial Services Regulation in the 2023 edition of the Legal 500 UK, and as a Key Lawyer for FinTech. She is also a key member of our Financial Services, Tech, Auto and Retail Sector teams.
Sushil is a member of the firm's US and India Desks and has advised clients based in the USA, India and other jurisdictions (including Sweden) 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.
Clients truly benefit from Sushil's unparalleled insight into the operation, decision-making and strategic priorities of the FCA and her ability to help clients navigate sensitive discussions with regulators. She is recognised for providing pragmatic advice in the most complex situations and advises on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious financial services regulatory issues, including the FCA's new Consumer Duty, the use of blockchain in the Metaverse, cryptoassets, consumer credit, climate related financial disclosure rules, E-Money, Payment Services, financial promotions, SMCR, conduct risk and regulatory aspects of corporate transactions including changes in control, FCA authorisations and variations of permission.
During her time in 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 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. With her significant and direct experience at the Regulator, she has a broad range of clients including leading household names, asset managers, FinTech unicorns, AIM and FTSE listed companies, Venture Capitalists, blockchain based businesses and auto manufacturers.
Sushil offers clients a holistic approach to regulatory compliance and the ability to spot risks before they crystallise. She has a particular interest in FinTech, the Metaverse and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, and is passionate about the FCA's Diversity and Inclusion agenda, delivering a number of speeches and talks on these issues at various briefings which have been well attended by the Financial Services Industry. She regularly appears as a commentator in the media, including The FT, The Guardian, The Lawyer magazine, UK Tech News and Lexis Nexis and delivers seminars, training events and webinars on various financial services topics including on blockchain, SMCR, Enforcement Investigations, ESG, Conduct Risk and Culture within financial services. She has also co-authored the UK Chapter of 'FinTech Laws and Regulations', a leading FinTech publication by Global Legal Insights, for the past three consecutive years.
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:
- 2023 Legal 500 UK, London Financial Services Regulation (Non-contentious / Regulatory), Rising Star
- 2023 Legal 500 UK, FinTech, Key Lawyer
- 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
Recent experience includes advising:
- a global FinTech unicorn operating in the Buy Now Pay Later and consumer credit sectors on various aspects of the UK's payment services, consumer credit and financial promotion regimes;
- on regulatory perimeter issues to a large-scale US blockchain-based software provider, allowing consumers to create and issue Security Tokens, and seeking to launch its products and services in the UK;
- art-based NFT issuers and platforms on FCA authorisation / registration requirements and assisting on the authorisation / registration applications and processes;
- cryptoasset firms on the UK Money Laundering Regulations, including reviewing and updating AML policies;
- international lawyers on a range of legal matters associated with the Metaverse, including in respect of the use of blockchain technology to effect payments and depict ownership in the virtual world;
- AIM listed AssetCo Plc on financial services regulatory aspects of several high profile acquisitions of Scottish-based asset management firms as part of its buy and build strategy in the asset management sector. 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);
- 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;
- household names (including large FCA authorised retailers and auto manufacturers / captive finance houses) on the implementation of the FCA's new incoming Consumer Duty;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- Molten Ventures Plc (formerly Draper Esprit Plc) on regulatory aspects of its fund structures and investments into several investments from series seed through to pre-IPO fundraising;
- 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; and
- a Senior Director of a company listed on the London Stock Exchange in FCA Enforcement proceedings alleging insider dealing which ultimately led to the case being closed by the FCA within three months of notification of the investigation.