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Leopoldo Gonzalez-Echenique

Leopoldo González-Echenique

Partner, Head of Financial Services Regulatory

Leopoldo heads the Financial Services Regulatory practice in the Madrid office.

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Experience

Leopoldo heads the Madrid office’s Financial Services Regulatory practice as part of the overall mercantile law practice. He joined Herbert Smith Freehills in 2015 with more than two decades of experience in various roles within the public and private sectors, including as state attorney in several government ministries and a board member for a number of companies.

He advises wholesale and retail banking and other financial institutions – including private wealth managers, asset management and insurance companies– on a wide range of regulatory and compliance matters on the financial regulatory issues affecting their businesses in Spain.

Leopoldo's experience includes advising on a wide range of the corporate and commercial aspects involved in the ordinary and extraordinary course of the businesses of large multinationals.

Leopoldo’s experience includes advising:

  • a large credit institution
    • on certain aspects of the Spanish AML legislation and its impact on an online app designed specifically for deposit account clients (financial institutions, non-banking financial institutions and large corporations), and provides a comprehensive electronic platform for managing banking relationships, making payments, receiving funds, investing excess liquidity and viewing account balances in real time
    • on standardised contractual documentation for opening corporate client bank accounts (current accounts), providing multijurisdictional cash pooling facilities as well as checking that documentation and other operational aspects in the light of payment service regulations
  • two large payment service providers on their obligation to identify and check the identity, not only of parent companies transferring funds (in their capacity as payment account holders and treasurers for the group), but also of their subsidiaries identified in the fund transfer notes as a result of the practice of the subsidiaries, which were the parties to contracts signed with third parties, refunding their respective parent companies after the latter had transferred funds to the third parties
  • a large Spanish bank on the distribution of the proceeds obtained by Servired Sociedad Española de Medios de Pago in the context of Visa's acquisition of Visa Europe
  • a leading Spanish credit management services business on certain aspects regarding AML policies and methodologies
  • a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm on legal advice related to anti-money laundering issues, in particular, on the application of the Regulation (EU) 2019/758 developing article 45 of the IV EU AML Directive
  • a Spanish bank's asset management and pension funds management companies on the implementation of the risk management measures incorporated to EMIR II with regards to OTC ( Over The Counter) derivatives
  • a Spanish financial entity on a general advice and overview of its global D&O protection programme from the legal and corporate governance points of view, including the analysis of the cyber risk insurance policies

Publications

In the academic arena, Leopoldo regularly contributes to leading legal publications, and has extensive experience as a speaker at conferences and as a professor at academic institutions. He is also corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation.

Background

Leopoldo’s previous roles include state attorney at departments including the Ministry of Economy and Treasury and the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Security, and Deputy Legal Services Director at the Spanish Stock Exchange Commission (CNMV).

Within the private sector, he has served on the boards of several companies, including Barclays Spain, as general counsel, secretary to the board; NH Hotel Group, as general counsel, deputy secretary to the board; and Sotogrande SA, as secretary to the board. In 2012, he joined RTVE (national Spanish broadcaster) as executive president.