Our practice focuses on the financial market. Clients are solely comprised of financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, investment firms, investment companies, listed companies, pension administrators and trust companies.
We advise on a wide range of topics. Our focus is on European financial law, the duty of care, regulatory legislation and compliance.
Our litigation practice focuses in particular on disputes that financial companies have with customers. This also includes class actions. We also represent financial companies. This includes complaints that are submitted to the Financial Services Complaints Tribunal (KiFiD) for review.
We assist financial companies facing enforcement measures from their supervisory authorities (DNB and AFM (The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets)). These include both formal enforcement measures (such as instructions, a cease and desist order, or penalty decisions) and informal enforcement measures (such as warnings or breach of standards letters). We draw up opinions, act as legal representative and submit the decision of the financial authority to the administrative courts.
Where appropriate, we represent financial companies in inquiry proceedings at the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.
The duty of care and the customers’ best interests determine to a large extent the business model of financial companies. Our office specialises in this field. Topics such as product governance, know-your-client, aftercare and understandable language are music to our ears.
In addition to an attorney’s usual work, our experience enables us to manage projects that aim to permanently safeguard the duty of care and positively change the working methods of employees.
A good example of this are recovery processes - whether or not as a result of an investigation by a supervisory authority - that aim to improve the service and compensate customers when necessary.
We advise financial companies on a wide range of issues in the area of regulatory legislation, in particular the Financial Supervision Act (Wft).
Examples of our extensive experience include:
We often advise compliance officers about various matters and, in particular, ensure controlled and ethical business operations.
We also advise on the way the compliance function should or could be structured and how this function relates to other key functions such as risk management and internal audit.
We advise on various aspects of market abuse, in particular the applicability of European legislation in this area.
Hart advocaten has extensive experience with issues relating to investment recommendations, conflicts of interest, the duty of disclosure of suspicious transactions and private investment transactions (including establishing internal codes of conduct).
Financial companies must comply with various regulations for the prevention of money laundering and reputational damage. The core of these requirements is included in the Financial Supervision Act (Wft), the Anti Money Laundering and Anti Terrorist Financing Act (Wwft) and sanction regulations.
We advise on the applicability of this legislation, draft policy documents and also advise on how to best comply with this legislation in practice.
An increasing proportion of the regulations to which companies must comply originated in European legislation. An increasing number of European regulations are also directly applicable, so without implementation in Dutch law.
Examples of this include MIFID II (investment services), MCD (mortgages), IDD (insurance) and PSD2 (payment services). We often advise on the applicability of European legislation, including relevant Q&As and European supervisory authority guidelines.
Financial companies are increasingly required to comply with European sustainability legislation such as the SFDR and the Taxonomy Regulation. We closely monitor developments in this area and advise financial companies on the applicability of these legislations to their practice.