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With more than 30 years of experience in UK, European, and Asian financial markets, John Ahern advises banks, multilateral trading facilities, broker-dealers, asset managers, and investment advisors on regulatory challenges. He offers clients deep knowledge of how regulators in different jurisdictions approach compliance and enforcement issues and helps them operate in compliance with financial regulations, while also maximizing opportunities.

Mr. Ahern's practice focuses on the regulation of banks and other financial institutions by the EU and UK prudential and conduct regulators. He regularly advises on various EU regulations that were developed in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, including MiFID II, the Market Abuse Directive II, the Payment Services Directive II, and the EU's EMIR regulation in relation to futures and derivatives. He has a particular focus on prudential regulation of banks and investment firms and frequently advises on the EU Capital Requirements Regulation and related regulatory measures. Mr. Ahern's practice involves advice to asset management and private fund clients on AIFMD, custody arrangements, brokerage, clearing and trading, and payment systems. Mr. Ahern also has experience representing individuals in UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) compliance and enforcement matters.

Mr. Ahern previously served as in-house counsel for a global investment bank, and he draws on this understanding of financial business operations in advising clients.

  • Represented a major Asian bank in the establishment of a private wealth business in the UK.
  • Advised a European proprietary trader on establishing a UK subsidiary and the capital requirements associated with it.
  • Represented an international banking group in the acquisition of certain assets and liabilities from The Royal Bank of Scotland relating to its structured retail investor products and equity derivatives business.  
  • Represented a provider of tenant referencing and insurance products to the UK private rental sector in its sale to an international investment firm.  
  • Represented a UK and Continental European property investment company in its £192 million sale of a UK multi-let predominantly industrial property portfolio to a fund.
  • Represented a privately owned real estate investment company in an investment by a pan-European real estate fund and additional investment by the client's founders, together providing £25 million of equity investment capital.  
  • Advised the board of directors of a global strategic financial platform in the sale of shares representing 60 percent of all the company’s issues shares, together with the grant of put and call options in respect of the remaining shares to the other main shareholder. 
  • Represented an administrator of real estate/property agents in connection with the £635 million sale of more than 7.1 million square feet of UK office and industrial properties to a U.S.-based fund management company and its advised institutional real estate fund.  
  • Advised a UK and Continental European property investment company in the sale of a UK multi-let industrial property portfolio in two transactions for a total of £146.1 million after the deduction of rental top-ups. 
  • Advised a UK real estate portfolio manager with the formation of a €750 million pan-European real estate private equity fund.  
  • Advised a leading UK commercial bank with a corporate governance review project. Provided advice on the bank's compliance with corporate governance obligations under the Companies Act 2006 and as a PRA- and FCA-regulated entity.  
  • Advised a real estate manager in respect of its counterparty status, portfolio reconciliation and dispute resolution obligations imposed by EMIR.  
  • Advised UK commercial banks on the portfolio reconciliation and dispute resolution obligations imposed by EMIR.  
  • Advised a national federal agency for financial market stabilization in connection with the €2.5 billion rights offering of the country's second-largest bank.  
  • Advised the London branch of a corporate and investment bank on the measures necessary to comply with the obligations imposed by EMIR and Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.  
  • Advised a global investment banking firm in connection with the sale of Class A Ordinary Shares in a closed-end private equity investment company that holds a diversified portfolio of private equity fund investments and direct co-investments, diversified across private equity asset class, geography, industry, vintage year and sponsor, by its largest shareholder.  
  • Advised a global asset manager in connection with establishing a trading operation in London.  
  • Advised the London branch of an international financial services organization on the impact of the Financial Services Authority's Retail Distribution Review on its business activities.
  • Advised a significant general insurer in an enforcement matter under the FCA rules on insurance mediation.

Pro Bono

  • Law Society of Ireland Pro Bono Program
  • Chambers UK, Financial Services: Non-contentious Regulatory - UK-wide (2006-2020)
  • IFLR 1000
    • Financial and Corporate Guide
    • Highly Regarded (2018 and 2019)
  • National Law Review, Go-To Thought Leader Article of the Year Award (2019)
  • The Legal 500 UK, Leading Individual (2006-2016, 2019)