Who we are

The Financial Markets Law Committee ("the FMLC" or the "Committee") is an educational charity based in the heart of the City of London, dedicated to the sound administration of financial law.

We work with participants in the wholesale financial markets to identify issues of legal uncertainty/misunderstanding in the framework of the markets that might give rise to material risks, research and produce reports on the best way to solve these issues, and then advocate for those solutions to the organisations best able to effect change.

We are also committed to advancing public interest and understanding of financial markets law.

 

What we do

The FMLC has a tripartite mission:

  • to identify relevant issues (the radar function);
  • to consider such issues (the research function); and
  • to address such issues (the public education function).

The FMLC engages with these functions in a variety of ways:

 

Structure of the FMLC

"Radar"

Before areas of legal uncertainty can be assessed they must first be identified.  As part of its “radar” function, the FMLC works with participants in the wholesale financial markets to identify legal uncertainties.  The FMLC engages with organisations based in the U.K, Europe and internationally including:

  • Banks, securities firms and insurers
  • Funds and fund managers
  • Market infrastructure bodies
  • Trade and professional associations
  • Accountants and auditors
  • Barristers and solicitors
  • Judges
  • Public authorities
  • Academics
  • Legal and financial journalists
  • NGOs
  • Executive government departments and agencies

The radar programme guarantees that the FMLC concentrates on issues that are relevant and may have appreciable impact across the public and private sector.

If the FMLC considers that it is well-placed to analyse an issue of legal uncertainty, that issue will be adopted by the Committee, which will then consider how best it might be addressed.

 

Scoping Forums

Scoping forums allow the FMLC to engage with focus groups on legal issues affecting specific segments of the financial markets.  The forums are also spaces for discussions of broader issues of legal uncertainty. Members formulate and discuss issues of concern and propose them to the FMLC for further study.

 

Working Groups

When the Committee adopts a new issue, it may establish a Working Group to examine it in more detail and to discuss potential solutions. Working Groups comprise experts in financial law/markets with relevant legal know-how, technical expertise and/or practical experience in the relevant field.  Such experts might include participants from law firms, barristers’ chambers, banks, international and governmental bodies, regulators, and members of academia.

 

Roundtable discussions and conferences

The FMLC hosts a number of roundtable discussions with stakeholders and policymakers. These events provide an opportunity for market participants, officials and regulators to exchange views, and they allow policymakers to conduct informal impact assessments on proposed legislation and regulation, with the FMLC playing the neutral role of “honest broker”.

 

Responding to consultations

The Committee is frequently asked to participate in both open-access and restricted-access consultations by public authorities (domestic, European and international). These typically regard proposals for the creation of new legislation or the amendment of existing law, where such changes could affect the financial markets.  The FMLC offers an important voice for stakeholders who are unable to engage in the consultation process themselves.

 

Bridge to the judiciary

The FMLC also acts as a “bridge to the judiciary”, providing a link between commercial judges—who do not always have deep experience of the financial markets—and those with relevant financial expertise. It does so primarily by organising seminars on aspects of wholesale financial markets practice.  Speakers at these events are usually figures who have played a leading role in the historical development of the industry or market in question.

 

Presentations about the FMLC

The FMLC Secretariat begins every quarterly Scoping Forum with a brief presentation about an aspect of the FMLC's structure, work and positioning within the wholesale financial markets. The presentations can be viewed here.