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Mayer Brown appoints HM Treasury's lead lawyer on EU financial services strategy

2 July 2012
Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, has appointed Alexandria Carr, the lead legal adviser at HM Treasury on EU financial services strategy, to its Financial Services, Regulatory & Enforcement group in London as Of Counsel.

Alexandria is a barrister who has worked for the UK government for 13 years, the last 5 of which she has spent at the UK’s ministry of finance, HM Treasury, working closely with people across government, the FSA, the Bank of England, ministries of finance across Europe and the institutions of the EU.

Alexandria has acted as the lead legal adviser on EU financial services strategy with a specific focus on the new EU financial services supervisory architecture. She has been the lawyer on the UK team that negotiated the European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS) (that established the new European Supervisory Authorities) and implemented the ESFS in the UK. Since the establishment of the ESFS in January 2011, she has advised HM Treasury on the changes it has made to the regulation and supervision of financial services.

She has also advised HM Treasury on the EU’s response to the financial crisis more generally as the EU seeks to reduce the discretion of individual Member States to legislate domestically and to develop a single EU rulebook for financial services. In addition, Alexandria was the lawyer on the UK teams negotiating Solvency II, the short selling regulation and the proposed market abuse regulation currently being negotiated. She also has advised HM Treasury on the new system for making subordinate EU financial services legislation (what is known as “level 2”) post the Lisbon Treaty. Alexandria also has experience of regulation on a purely domestic level, having, for example, drafted the legislation which regulated Islamic finance and created a protected cell regime for Open Ended Investment Companies.

At the request of HM Treasury, through August, Alexandria will spend much of her time seconded to HM Treasury where she will serve as a legal advisor to a project team considering recent and projected developments in the Eurozone, including proposals for an EU banking union.

Alexandria's appointment follows the long term secondment to the London office in 2010 of Mayer Brown partner Marc Cohen to lead the FSRE team and the appointment in 2011 of partner Mark Compton, BP's senior financial services regulatory lawyer. Alexandria will also work closely with FSRE partner Angela Hayes, a leading FSA investigations expert.

Marc Cohen, head of the Financial Services, Regulatory & Enforcement group in London, said: "We are extremely pleased to have Alex Carr join our London FSRE team at this critical time. Her leading role at HM Treasury on EU financial services strategy gives her invaluable experience that will be hugely important for our clients. She is uniquely placed to advise financial institutions on critical issues concerning the new regulatory and market developments and the challenges and opportunities they create. As excited as we are to have Alex start full-time, we thought it important for all concerned to accommodate HM Treasury’s request to second her to them for this critical project."

Sean Connolly, Mayer Brown's senior partner in London, said: "Alexandria's appointment marks the latest strategic investment to our London FSRE Group, and complements our special mix of contentious and non-contentious cross-border regulatory and enforcement experts."

Alexandria Carr said: "I am delighted to be joining Mayer Brown. I did not take lightly leaving public service and moving to the private sector so it was important that the right opportunity presented itself. I was drawn to Mayer Brown by their integrated FSRE practice – in terms of its global footprint, combination of regulatory and enforcement disciplines, and contentious and non-contentious skill sets - and close functional links to Mayer Brown’s other core strengths in London, Europe, the Americas and Asia. I was also attracted by Mayer Brown’s dynamism, especially as regards their proactive approach to the evolving landscape of financial services regulation."

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