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Melanie Ryan represents clients in commercial litigation and disputes, corporate and regulatory investigations, and related enforcement proceedings. She advises clients across a range of areas with a particular focus on the banking, financial services, and energy sectors. Melanie is head of the firm's disputes practice group in London.
Melanie has represented clients in commercial disputes and litigation arising from some of the most high-profile issues of recent years in Europe, the United States, Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America. Her recent litigation work includes representing financial institutions in claims arising from investments in various synthetic instruments (including collateralised debt obligations), acting for financial institutions in connection with multimillion pound losses in Switzerland arising from the Madoff fraud, and representing an international financial services provider in High Court and overseas proceedings on complex financial instruments.
Melanie advises corporates, financial institutions, and professionals on a broad range of investigations and regulatory enforcement issues, including financial crime, fraud, and corruption. Her key recent matters include representing clients in multijurisdictional Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations on the alleged manipulation of Forex, advising an energy sector client in significant Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations brought by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) into conduct in West Africa, acting for a large independent stockbroking firm in connection with a multi-million pound fraud perpetrated by one of its brokers, and advising a global financial institution on cross-border investigations in relation to activity in Latin America.
Melanie also has extensive experience in dealing with Section 166 investigations under the UK Financial Services & Markets Act (FSMA), past business reviews, large scale customer redress exercises, remediation programmes and FCA Enforcement proceedings. In addition to her FCA work, Melanie has advised clients in proceedings involving the Serious Fraud Office, Channel Islands regulators, the Treasury Select Committee, the Financial Ombudsman Service, and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. She also represents clients in proceedings involving the DOJ and the SEC. Melanie is also an active member of the firm’s crisis management practice.
Melanie is a fluent French speaker.
Advising a global financial institution in an FCA and SEC investigation arising from a complex oil financing transaction in Latin America.
Representing a financial institution in High Court proceedings arising from film financing investment schemes.
Acting for a foreign financial services provider in connection with $180 million repo dispute before the Commercial Court in London.
Acting for a foreign financial services provider in connection with an $80 million repo dispute in Nigeria.
Advising a UK insurer in connection with a Section 166 Past Business Review required by the FCA.
Representing and advising European financial institutions in claims arising from investments in CDOs linked to the subprime and prime sectors including acting for a large independent French asset manager in connection with a €240 million claim and a €90 million claim arising out of ISDA-governed credit default swaps referencing super-senior tranches of synthetic CDOs.
Acting for the global head of FX of a global investment bank in an internal investigation as well as FCA and SEC investigations into the FX scandal.
Acting for financial institutions in connection with multi-million pound losses in Switzerland arising from the Madoff fraud.
Acting for a leading global provider of offshore drilling services to the energy industry in an FCPA investigation brought by the DoJ into activities in Nigeria, Gabon, and Cameroon.
Acting for a large independent stockbroking firm in connection with a multi-million pound fraud perpetrated by one of its brokers.
Acting for a global financial institution in multi-million dollar proceedings arising from the Icelandic banking crisis including advising on related regulatory issues.
Acting for multinational petroleum and natural gas exploration companies in relation to private law, public law, and EU law issues arising from the unlawful termination of exploration licences by an EU member state.
Acting for an independent wealth manager in professional negligence proceedings brought by high net worth individuals.
Acting for a large UK investment manager in an investigation brought by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) Enforcement Division arising from the Pensions Review including devising and conducting the customer redress exercise.
Acting for London Market reinsurers in connection with various claims in the Far East, including one of the largest civil cases ever brought in Korea ($5 billion).
Acting for an independent wealth manager in an HMRC investigation into tax avoidance schemes.
Acting for a global investment bank in multimillion-dollar proceedings in the Bahamas arising from the collapse of the Oracle Fund.
Acting in cross-jurisdictional group action litigation in the UK involving the alleged misselling of investments in various geared with-profit schemes.
Acting for a senior executive of a foreign bank in an internal and FCA investigation into allegations of market abuse.
Acting for a CEO of an independent financial adviser network in enforcement proceedings brought by the FCA arising from alleged breaches of Statement of Principle 5 (management and control).
Advising in connection with UK and US regulatory investigations into bribery and corruption issues in various countries.
Acting for a large independent stock brokerage firm in defending multiple claims arising from alleged misselling of portfolios of geared second-hand traded endowment policies.
Advising a national firm of independent financial advisers in an investigation brought by the FSA Enforcement Division arising from alleged widespread misselling of life policies.
Acting for a global energy producer and its subsidiaries in a wide range of issues and disputes arising from its downstream operations.
Acting in DIS (German Institution of Arbitration) proceedings seated in Frankfurt arising from a European Commission investigation into breaches of antitrust laws.
Acting for Lloyds of London in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration proceedings seated in Paris brought by a large French bank.
Awards and Affiliations
Ranked, Banking Litigation, London (Firms), Chambers UK (2015–2019)
Recommended, Corporate and Commercial: Financial Services: Contentious, The Legal 500 UK (2020)
Recommended, Risk Advisory: Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime, The Legal 500 UK (2020)
Recommended, Dispute Resolution: Banking Litigation: Investment and Retail, London, The Legal 500 UK (2019, 2020)
Recommended, Dispute Resolution: Commercial Litigation, London, The Legal 500 UK (2019)
Recommended, Insurance: Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation, The Legal 500 UK (2019)
Leading Lawyer, Banking Litigation, Financial Services, Commercial Litigation, Professional Negligence, Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation and Arbitration, Chambers UK and TheLegal 500 UK (2012–2017)