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Norton Rose Fulbright launches global compliance practice

Will compete with Linklaters' new multidisciplinary compliance group

3 February 2014

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Norton Rose Fulbright today launches a global regulation and investigations practice led by Martin Coleman and Lista M. Cannon in London.

The news follows the recent launch of Linklaters' global multidisciplinary practice group, which the firm said was the first to assist clients with risk, regulatory and governance matters.

Norton Rose Fulbright said its new practice was prompted by increasing concern by corporate clients on navigating international regulatory issues.

"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," said Martin Coleman, global co-head of the new group and a Solicitors Regulation Authority board member.

"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."

The new offering, which brings together over 600 lawyers around the world, connects practice areas including antitrust and competition (led by Martin Coleman), financial services regulation (led by Jonathan Herbst), investigations (led by Lista Cannon) and tax (led by Andrius Kontrimas).

"For all other than the most domestically-focused investigations, businesses operating internationally must be aware of the multi-jurisdictional nature of regulation and the new reality of cooperation between international regulators. Issues arising in one country may have a significant impact elsewhere," commented Lista Cannon, who shares the role of global co-head with Coleman.

"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."

She continued: "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."

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