Personal Profile

Adam is a Partner in the Finance & Banking Group.

He leads the Firm's highly regarded practice defending clients against the financial services regulatory bodies. For some 25 years, he has defended some of the biggest enforcement cases to emerge, ranging from the enforcement proceedings brought in relation to Barings in the 1990's to acting in the LIBOR and Forex investigations over recent years, and others not yet public. He knows the FCA prosecution well and has practical hands on experience in front of the decision makers. He also has extensive experience in cross jurisdictional matters that involve, for example, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ). In addition to defending contested actions, his work often takes place in the pre investigation and pre enforcement stages, helping clients protect themselves against future possible regulatory action. Adam's practice also includes a great deal of experience representing clients in front of a wide variety of other business regulators and enforcement authorities. He represents both individuals and institutions.

Adam also leads the firm's Professional Discipline practice, advising professionals such as accountants, lawyers, insolvency practitioners and pension trustees who are facing challenge or investigation by regulatory or enforcement bodies.

He is also experienced in Court and arbitral proceedings, having acted in disputes involving substantial sums of money across arenas as diverse as funds, finance, private banking, spread betting, foreign exchange, structured products, pensions, insurance and capital markets. He combines 25 years' experience of litigating with an in-depth knowledge of the industry and the relevant rules.

Adam is widely recognised as a leading individual in the area of Financial Services. The Contentious Regulatory practice that he heads is ranked in Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners and Adam himself has been consistently rated over the years by both legal directories. Legal 500 praises the group's "high-quality and commercially savvy advice" and states that "the ‘very experienced and wily’ Adam Epstein is the undoubted standout". Chambers cites Adam as "extremely good and knowledgeable in this area" and applauds his "extremely focused, very client-friendly" approach stating that he is "exactly the person you would want on your side".

Legal 500 2016 states that "he provides 'calm, sensible and sound advice' and is 'revered by his opponents as an expert in his field.'".

Key Experience

Whilst many of Adam's cases have been the subject of comment and speculation in the national press, much of his work is confidential. For this reason, we are only able to provide limited details of some of the cases Adam has been involved in recent years.

Financial Services

Adam has acted successfully over the years in very many disciplinary cases against the FSA and FCA, both for individuals and institutions. A representative list of matters includes:

  • Defending FCA proceedings on behalf of one of the highest profile Board members of a substantial international bank.
  • Acting for a senior Board member of a substantial bank defending a large joint FCA and PRA investigation.
  • Acting in a variety of LIBOR and forex cases for submitters and traders.
  • Representing an international insurer subject to FCA investigation.
  • Acting in novel regulatory proceedings to prevent the collapse of a retail firm following administrative action by the regulator that had the same impact as an injunction in Court would do, and successfully overturning the regulatory actions.
  • Acting in the first reported disciplinary case of proceedings by the regulator concerning high frequency trading.
  • Taking the case of Andrew Wilkins to the Upper Tribunal, where he successfully overturned the decision of the RDC.

Professional discipline

  • Representing an accountant in relation to an ongoing high-profile investigation by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)
  • Advising the FRC in a publicly announced investigation
  • Acting for an accountant in relation to a complaint by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW)
  • Acting for an insolvency practitioner in a contested licencing application to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Advising a corporate in relation to information requirements from the Pensions Regulator.

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Qualified, Fox Williams
Trainee, Seifert Sedley Williams
College of Law
Cambridge University (Honorary Senior Exhibitioner)