Having completed a two-year training contract at the firm’s London office, Summreen Mahween is an associate in the Corporate Practice Group.

She works on a range of transactional and commercial matters, predominantly advising public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, commercial advisory work, and general corporate governance. Her practice also focuses on capital markets transactions. Whilst her clients are wide-ranging, Summreen has a particular focus on the life sciences and technology industries.

She also has significant experience in financial services and regularly writes about, and advises on, ESG-related developments in the banking sector. Her pro bono work principally consists of advising non-profit organisations on various Business and Human Rights matters.

On 20 April 2022, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published its Policy Statement PS 22/3 on disclosures regarding diversity and inclusion targets for the boards and executive committees of UK-listed companies. These measures reflect the growing importance of  Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) considerations, and have gained particular traction in the financial services sector,

The UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s January 2021 report—entitled “Preventing Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking: An Agenda for Action across the Financial Services Sector” (the “report”)—has concluded that there is a significant lack of awareness of modern slavery risks within the financial services sector (the “sector”).

The Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, notes that “modern slavery has been estimated to generate $150 billion in profits annually” constituting “one of the top three international crimes alongside drug trafficking and trade in counterfeit goods.”  The report accordingly calls on the sector to “detect and disrupt this serious organised criminality” and to take proactive steps to mitigate the various risks associated with modern slavery, including financial, regulatory, legal, governance and reputational risks.

Continue Reading The UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s January 2021 Report: Mitigating Modern Slavery in Financial Services

A heightened focus on green finance and green investments has renewed legislative impetus, culminating in a series of regulatory developments across the European Union and more recently, the UK.  Some of these notable developments encompass green efforts by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures; the European Non-Financial Reporting Directive 2014/95/EU; and the European Commission’s ongoing Sustainable Finance Action Plan.

At the end of December 2019, as part of a package of legislative reforms published by the European Commission (the “Commission”) in March 2018, the EU Regulation on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector (Regulation (EU) 2019/2088) (the “Disclosure Regulation”) came into force, with most of its provisions due to take legal effect by March 2021.
Continue Reading Sustainability in Financial Services: The EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and the Taxonomy Regulation