Polly James

Partner, Financial Services Investigations

“Polly James is 'one to watch' and ‘fights tenaciously for her clients’” Legal 500, 2016
Worked as an FCA enforcement lawyer – Has a deep understanding of how the regulator works in practise.
Photo of Polly James


  • Specialises in advising financial institutions and their senior management on complex regulatory issues
  • Previous experience working as an enforcement lawyer for the Financial Services Authority
  • Defends financial institutions and their senior managers on FCA and PRA regulatory enforcement actions spanning a range of sectors
  • Particular expertise in conducting sensitive internal investigations (particularly those involving whistleblowers), advising alongside employment law colleagues to deliver joined-up advice taking account of both regulatory and employment law risks
  • Specialist in the detailed technical provisions and practical implementation challenges of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR)
  • Proven track record in successfully preparing senior managers for their regulatory approval interviews (especially those without previous experience of UK law and regulation)
  • Skilled at advising on pre-contentious regulatory situations, such as handling s166 Skilled Person Reviews and dealing with other supervisory interventions by the PRA and FCA
  • Regularly advises wealth management firms on their most significant customer complaints, including handling FOS matters
  • Currently advising a range of clients on the implications of Brexit
  • Pro Bono Partner for the firm’s Commercial Disputes Group
  • Contributor to ‘A Practitioner’s Guide to Financial Services Enforcement and Investigations’ (Thomson Reuters, 2014)
  • Frequent speaker at conferences on regulatory enforcement, SMCR and financial services implications of Brexit
  • Member of the Financial Services Lawyers Association and the London Women’s Forum

Contributing author to the Financial Regulation: Emerging Themes in 2018 publication – a practical review of financial services regulation this year. Essential reading for legal, risk and compliance professionals working for UK-based firms.