She has over a decade of experience in the financial services sector and regularly advises some of the largest investment banks, retail banks, broker-dealers and financial market infrastructure on UK financial services regulation.
Kelesi has advised across a range of regulation and regulatory change in the financial services industry including Digital Assets, Brexit, MiFID II, Recovery and Resolution, Market Infrastructure Regulation and Conduct of Business requirements. Kelesi also often provides regulatory support in corporate transactions.
Recognised as a Rising Star in Legal 500 2022 and 2023, Kelesi was noted for “building a broad, well-respected practice". She was also listed by Law.com as one of 25 female "Rising Stars" across all practice areas in the City in 2022.
Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills, Kelesi's experience includes:
- Digital Assets: Advising on numerous groundbreaking uses of DLT for digital assets including debt securities, tokenised money and custody
- MiFID II: Advising a number of global financial institutions on implementation of MiFID II
- Recovery and Resolution: Advising several global financial institutions on implementation of the BRRD and advising the ISDA CCP R&R working group
- Brexit: Acting as strategic advisor on the Brexit projects of two global banks including on setting up new group structures, intra-group arrangements, booking models and licensing analysis
- SFTR & EMIR: Advising various banks on SFTR and EMIR Refit reporting implementation
- Ring fencing: Advising HSBC on the implementation of the ring-fencing regime under the Banking Reform Act
Kelesi's experience in transactional support prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills includes:
- Advising BNP Paribas on its agreement to transfer the global prime brokerage and electronic equities businesses from Deutsche Bank
- Advising Banco de Sabadell on its GBP1.7bn cross-border public takeover of TSB Banking Group
Kelesi has a First Class Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Kelesi joined Herbert Smith Freehills in November 2022 from a leading international law firm.