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Covington Adds Financial Services Regulatory Partner in London

June 1, 2020

LONDON John Ahern has joined Covington’s Financial Services Industry Group in London as a partner.

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

“Having previously served as in-house counsel for Merrill Lynch, John understands his clients' business operations at a depth that allows him to find practical, pragmatic solutions,” said Bruce Bennett, the co-chair of Covington’s Financial Services Group. “Through his combination of in-house and outside counsel experience, he appreciates that many regulatory issues are closely tied to operational factors, and by understanding the mechanics of his clients' businesses, he opens the door to creative legal solutions.”

Mr. Ahern’s practice focuses on the regulation of 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 and the Payment Services Directive, and the EU’s regulation of futures and derivatives. In addition, Mr. Ahern’s practice involves advice to asset management and private fund clients on AIFMD, custody arrangements, brokerage, clearing and trading, and payment systems.

“The addition of strong EU and UK regulatory capability in London will meaningfully enhance our offering to clients and will support our efforts to expand our presence throughout the EMEA region,” said Louise Nash, London partner and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. “John has a sophisticated knowledge and experience base with financial institutions, and few London lawyers can match his prudential regulatory experience. We are thrilled to welcome him to our European financial services team, which benefits from the diverse experience of our senior lawyers and advisers in London, Brussels, and Frankfurt, bridging issues as diverse as public policy, litigation and compliance, competition and state aid, fintech, and data privacy. We know our clients in Europe and beyond will benefit from John’s experience and deep knowledge of the sector.”

Mr. Ahern added: “This year’s pandemic combined with impending Brexit, and their economic ramifications have heightened the need for robust regulatory compliance, and at the same time, have increased the complexity of the overlapping global regimes. Covington’s regulatory expertise around the world combined with the firm’s collaborative culture make it an ideal platform to continue building my practice.”

Mr. Ahern is a graduate of the National University of Ireland and is admitted to practice in England and Wales.

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