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Financial Services Disputes

Advice and representation in a complex and uncertain world


The banking and wider financial services sectors increasingly dominate the global disputes landscape in terms of frequency, complexity and size. Courts and other legal bodies around the world continue to be inundated with large and complicated claims against financial institutions by shareholders, investors, customers, joint venture partners and a range of other stakeholders. 

It is imperative that institutions continue to prioritise how to prevent, mitigate and resolve these actions successfully.

We’ve worked with many of the largest financial firms on some of the largest, highest profile and ground-breaking cases involving litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution for banks, fund and asset managers as well as other financial services firms.

As well as advice on optimising the management and result of upcoming and existing proceedings, our fully integrated disputes practice advises on disputes strategy and risk management to enhance decision making and reduce future exposure.


Our many years of dedicated sector focus have given us broad experience and deep knowledge of the most complex and sophisticated financial products across retail and wholesale markets. Our international reach means that we are often instructed to adopt the role of coordinator for complex, cross-jurisdictional matters.

See our related expertise in BanksFunds and wealth (asset) managementRestructuring, turnaround and insolvency and Tax investigation and dispute resolution.

Recent Experience


Advising two superannuation trustees within the NAB Group in the first ASIC civil penalty proceedings in relation to the industry-wide “fees for no service” issue which was the subject of investigation by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.


Acting in a test case about the ASX’s exercise of power in suspending shares from quotation. The outcome will create important law around how market regulators can exercise powers, and will extend to all market regulators (e.g. Chi-X and the National Stock Exchange) and all listed companies in Australia.

Goldman Sachs and Société Générale

Advising in two separate, high-profile claims in excess of US$1 billion brought by the Libyan Investment Authority (the LIA), both of which concluded on successful terms for our clients, also acting for three other financial institutions advising on separate equivalent claims potentially being brought by the LIA.

A leading investment manager

Advising in relation to two arbitrations and Commercial Court proceedings arising out of the departure of a founding partner and his team.


Successfully defended the first ever insider trading charges brought by ASIC in what was considered an international test case raising novel issues including the ‘Chinese Wall’ defence and the procedures used by investment banks for handling potential conflicts of interest.

Banco Santander

On recurrent litigation related to the mis-selling of Interest Rate Swaps (IRS).

Insights and updates

23rd July 2021
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP have published an article in the New Law Journal on recent...
25th October 2021
Since the start of the pandemic many listed companies have sought to strengthen their balance...
19th October 2021
The Autumn 2021 edition of our biannual Banking Litigation Update highlights a number of the...
25th October 2021
SPACs scorched the US stock markets last year, with the UK left out in the...

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01 November 2021

Herbert Smith Freehills Expands New York Offering with Addition of Two Leading Financial Services Litigators