Costas joined the firm in 2019 as an Associate having previously worked for 9 years as a lawyer and forensic investigator at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial services regulator. Costas has extensive experience in financial services regulation, forensic investigations and regulatory litigation. He has worked on a number of high profile cross border enforcement investigations across different sectors, has provided advice on numerous non-contentious regulatory matters and is a qualified solicitor of England and Wales. His areas of practice include Investment Services & Funds, Capital Markets, and Banking and Secured Financing. Costas’s expertise lies in advising clients on compliance with financial services regulation in the fields of investment services, payment services, banking and capital markets. Costas is also ideally placed to assist clients in dealing with potential misconduct and advising on regulatory or criminal investigation related matters.
Costas possesses in-depth knowledge of MiFID, MiFIR and the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and advises domestic, EU and third country firms such as investment firms, credit institutions and fund managers on their application and the application of associated domestic legislation, directives and regulation.
Costas can assist clients in ensuring that their policies and procedures in relation to, amongst other areas, best execution, conflicts of interest, client reporting, client suitability assessments, outsourcing, and marketing are compliant with both European and local directives and regulations. Given his extensive experience in market abuse and insider dealing investigations, Costas is also well placed to advise clients on implementing systems and controls to prevent and/or detect market abuse, the handling and release of inside information and on identifying and reporting suspicious transactions to regulators.
Costas has considerable investigatory experience and can conduct investigations on behalf of clients into suspected front-running of client orders, breaches of personal account dealing policies and other potential misuses of client data or of inside information. Costas can also assist clients under investigation by regulatory authorities or law enforcement agencies for alleged breaches of MiFID related requirements or other securities law provisions, or assist in defending allegations of market abuse and market manipulation, Costas can also assist clients with mitigating the effects of misconduct, handling communications with regulators and on remediation work to enhance safeguards against future incidents.
Costas can also advise on matters related to the AIFMD and UCITS Directive and on related local laws, directives and regulations.
Costas advises local, EU and third country credit institutions on regulatory requirements under MiFID II, CRD, CRR as well as local banking laws and regulations. Costas has also previously advised financial technology companies on the aspects of the Payment Services Directive and the Electronic Money Directive.
Costas has extensive experience of investigations into banks and wholesale financial institutions for systems and controls deficiencies and against senior management for failures to exercise due skill, care and diligence. Costas has worked, amongst others, on FCA investigations into JPMorgan Chase Bank for systems and controls failings that led to the $6.2 billion London Whale trading loss, Prudential Plc in relation to its failed takeover bid for AIA, UBS AG for systems and controls failings that led to the $2 billion trading loss caused by a rogue trader (Kweku Adoboli) and into individuals at various banks suspected of involvement in manipulation of the Spot FX market.
Given his extensive experience Costas can conduct investigations on behalf of clients into suspected employee misconduct and can represent clients under investigation by regulatory authorities or law enforcement agencies. Costas can also advise clients on appropriate systems and controls to safeguard against misconduct or with remediation work to enhance safeguards against future incidents.
Costas can advise domestic and international clients on various capital markets and securities law issues deriving from, amongst others, the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR), the Prospectus law, and the Transparency Directive. Costas is well placed to advise on IPOs, rights issues and take-over bids.
Costas has extensive experience in market abuse and insider dealing investigations. He conducted the first market abuse investigation under MAR in the UK, worked on the market abuse case against David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital Plc and on criminal prosecutions in the UK for insider dealing. He can advise issuers on compliance with MAR provisions such as ensuring that policies and procedures are in place to guarantee the correct handling and release of inside information relating to the issuer. Costas can also advise clients on steps they should take in suspected cases of improper disclosure, or abuse, of inside information and can represent clients in investigations conducted by regulatory authorities or law enforcement agencies.