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Chris Whittaker

Chris Whittaker

Senior Associate (Australia)

Chris is a Senior Associate in our advisory (non-contentious) Financial Services Regulatory practice.



Chris is a London-based Senior Associate with substantial experience advising a range of financial services clients on UK and EU regulatory regimes including banks, fund managers, FinTechs, brokers and advisers as well as payments and investment firms. 
Chris supports clients with regulatory change and implementation projects. Most recent projects including Brexit contingency planning including the use of the FCA's temporary permissions regime, the introduction of strong customer authentication for payment firms and advising crytpoasset firms on the scope of the FCA's regulatory perimeter.
Chris has substantial knowledge of UK regulatory regimes, including those of the Financial Conduct Authority, Prudential Regulatory Authority, Payment Systems Regulator and the Bank of England. 
He advised firms on the introduction of the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive – including new requirements for algorithmic trading and the unbundling of research and execution services. 
He also advised firms on the introduction of the second Payment Services Directive – including the FCA's enhanced rules introduced in the COVID pandemic on safeguarding client accounts. He continues to advise clients on the development of Open Banking and the UK's New Payment Architecture. 
Chris has been listed as a key lawyer in Legal 500 for three years for financial services regulatory (non-contentious). A 2022 client testimonial in Legal 500 states: ‘Chris Whittaker is one to watch. He handles all of our work and we trust him with all of our regulatory work. We wouldn’t go to any other firm for regulatory work so long as we can work with Chris.’
Chris' experience includes advising:
  • a major UK clearing Bank on implications of the ring-fencing corporate restructure on principal memberships of Payment Systems such as BACS including a recommendation on inter-group solutions to ensure operational continuity*
  • a range of firms on the SWIFT ban of certain Russian entities and related sanctions issues*
  • a major clearing bank (on a secondment in 2016)  on the bank's implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regimes*
  • a major UK and German energy companies on the scope of financial instruments in MiFID II applying to a range of energy products including emission allowances, power purchase agreements and guarantees of origin as well as applicable MiFID II exclusions*
  • a range of non-UK alternative investment fund managers on marketing under the UK's National Private Placement Regime and divergent approaches between the UK and EU following Brexit on regulated marketing*
*Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills


Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills, Chris was at an international business law firm and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Chris has a Masters of Laws from the University of Sydney and first class honours in finance/law from the University of Wollongong. 

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