The importance of having legal and regulatory compliance specialists cannot be over-emphasised for FinTech business whether this business is licensed or not. At PSP Lab we provide FinTech legal services as well as regulatory compliance audit, licensing services (including UK Crypto License, UK Electronic Money Institution License, UK Payment Institution License services). The knowledge of a wider commercial field and specifics of financial sector allows us to resolve whichever issues faced by our clients. Our goal is to save our clients’ money by helping them to avoid potential regulatory or legal problems.
PSP Lab offers fully integrated solutions posed to provide strategic and efficient legal support representative of the FinTech sector. Differently from many other firms providing legal advice to the FinTech sector, we know in practice what is necessary for the sound functioning of the FinTech business. Furthermore, the strongly globalised world in which we live and interconnectedness of the financial services requires to have legal experts that can see further than the border of their jurisdiction. PSP Lab is specialised in the matters of international commercial law and has deep knowledge of supranational legal order. While the UK is the primary national jurisdiction for us (specifically, the laws of England and Wales), PSP Lab has specialists that are working in other countries within the European Economic Area and hence we may provide you with the coverage of the whole of the EEA.
Which legal services PSP Lab provides to FinTech business?
All companies must structure their businesses appropriately in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. It must be done simultaneously with the protection and retention of their vital assets, including intellectual property, know-how, employees, and goodwill. Furthermore, the arranged contractual matters with investors, employees, business partners, suppliers, and customers have to be legally valid, subsisting, and enforceable, while safeguarding the commercial interests.
Of due concern are other matters which, unfortunately, are quite often overlooked by the firms engaged in provision of regulated services. There is a wide range of legal obligations that are not taken into account as not being of primary importance, such as those relating to data protection, intellectual property, consumer protection and product regulation, cybersecurity, and employment laws. PSP Lab offers a variety of legal services, including:
- Preparation of legal documents (contract drafting, legal opinions, review and analysis of documents, etc.);
- Assistance and legal support during the negotiation process;
- Educating on the applicable regulatory regime and legal obligations (primary obligations as a regulated institution/obliged entity, AML/CTF regulations and guidelines, data protection, securities laws, consumer protection laws, etc.);
- Advising on rights and obligations in the event of regulatory investigations as well as actual or potential contractual and regulatory breaches;
- General legal advice related to areas that we cover;
- Legal and regulatory compliance audit.
Areas that PSP Lab covers as a part of FinTech legal services
Legal support for the FinTech sector must account for a variety of laws and regulations from different fields. In order for your business to properly function, you must have access to professionals who are competent in a variety of areas of law and know the current trends as well as legislative and regulatory developments. Moreover, it is beneficial if legal professionals have a good knowledge of business in order to communicate effectively with the client. Thankfully, you are in the right place as PSP Lab provides specifically this type of FinTech legal support. Below is a brief summary of the fields in which we are specialised. As well, if you are interested in mergers and acquisitions, we have a more detailed discussion of this service on another page.
Drafting contracts for firms providing financial services is a discrete service that requires deep knowledge of the subject covered. PSP Lab experts know how to properly structure the rights and obligations of parties in the establishment of business relations. Be it business to business (B2B) transaction, general terms of service with customers (B2C), or legal notices that outline obligations of FinTech business towards clientele, PSP Lab has all required knowledge to properly structure agreements and create a solid lawful framework governing your dealings. Our experts are acquainted with the rules of card networks (e.g. Visa, Mastercard) and even know how to deal with smart legal contracts (contracts when a party(ies) perform its obligation with the help of distributed ledger and smart contract technology). We worked with various projects in the financial sector and can offer you a proficient FinTech legal support.
Our contract drafting expertise closely relates to our experience in commercial law, specifically contract law. When we draft contracts for our clients we ensure that they are enforceable and non-severable. While for business contracts there is the principle of caveat emptor and generally most clauses and contracts are enforceable, B2C contracts require special attention and comprehensive knowledge of statutory and case law.
Commercial law/business law and corporate law
Commercial law (also called business law) focuses on the sale and distribution of goods and services, as well as financing of certain transactions. It involves issues that arise in the course of running a business at any stage of the commercial cycle. FinTech business falls within a sector of service and in order to run it successfully, you must assemble your dealings in a proper manner (e.g. whilst accounting for consumer protection laws). PSP Lab can help you with that by providing a qualified FinTech legal support on the matters of commercial law.
Companies law (also called corporate law) is the body of laws, rules, regulations, and practices that govern the establishment and operation of legal entities. No FinTech business may be run properly without accounting for the legislation governing the conduct of companies. At PSP Lab we can help you with the whole lifecycle of a company, first by helping to establish a legal entity within the European Economic Area and lastly by setting up proper operational controls within the company. Additionally, we can help in case you need an expert in reorganisations of FinTech companies. Finally, we provide a separate M&A service.
Data protection for FinTech
Data is essential to innovation and is specifically important for the financial sector. It underpins the very infrastructure and processes that allow FinTech to thrive. The relationship between financial services and data goes back centuries and traces the evolution from the date of the earliest surviving handwritten cheque in the UK in 1659 to the numerous digital methods available today. Good practice in data protection is vital to ensure public trust in, engagement with and support for innovative uses of data in the FinTech sector. PSP Lab is well accustomed to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its national implementation Data Protection Act 2018. We can provide your business with strategic FinTech legal support that will ascertain that you act within your legal obligations in terms of data protection.
The knowledge of the regulatory obligations of firms in the financial sector is the essence of FinTech business. Our FinTech legal services also include audit and advice related to rules regulating FinTech companies. PSP Lab is well-accustomed with the provision of legal support to the FinTech sector. We know in practice the twists and turns that must be taken into account by companies working in the financial sector. Starting with the guidance that is issued at a supranational level and further down to the directions enshrined at the national level, we got you covered in all areas related to the regulatory obligations that financial institutions have. FinTech legal support provided by PSP Lab will ensure that you do not fall foul with the competent national authorities (e.g. FCA, LB, KNF).
For example, PSP Lab clients utilising our retention service were among the first companies to change their practises and policies after the FCA’s announcement that Chapter 2 (marketing rules) of the Banking: Conduct of Business sourcebook BCOBS and Principles for Business (PRIN) will apply to Payment Institutions, E-money Institutions and Account Information Service Providers.
Intellectual property law
IP rights are at the core of FinTech business and proper measures ensuring their protection are vital for a thriving business. However, protecting inventions can be difficult, due to restrictions on patents for mathematical methods and discoveries, and methods of doing business. Therefore, it is essential to consult with the experts to ensure that all of your legal rights are safeguarded to the fullest extent possible. PSP Lab can advise you on how to safeguard your IP rights while preventing third parties from inventions being copied and ensuring that you do not give up the protection too soon. Furthermore, we may help you to safeguard your brand by registering your trademark with EUIPO, or a national trademark office.
HR and employment law is another factor that should not be forgotten whenever establishing your FinTech business. The strong team is what makes every business success as they are primary drivers that underline your company. PSP Lab can assist you in properly establishing operational lines and rewarding structure that will attract and retain key employees.
Taxation is one of the most difficult fields of legal practice and is especially tricky in the financial sector as some of the exclusions may apply (e.g. financial services are VAT exempt in most of the EU member states). In order to follow up properly with your tax obligations, it is always advisable to seek qualified advice from a legal professional. PSP Lab can help you with ensuring that you are properly following up with your obligations related to taxes.
What do most FinTech companies do? They provide certain services or all services that a regular bank provides. Usually, FinTech companies provide services better than a bank that cannot adopt technological development so quickly. As FinTech companies provide services that banks provide, the are some statutory rules, and case law that applies to them. Rules that were associated only with banks (e.g., banks’ of duty of confidentiality, BCOBS, consumer protection of banking customers, etc.) apply to some FinTech companies without a banking license. Therefore, it is impossible to provide FinTech legal services without knowing banking law. At PSP Lab we have experts that participated in establishing new banks and advising already existing banks. We carefully monitor all developments and applicability of banking laws to FinTech companies.
How PSP Lab can help you to follow up with all of the laws?
PSP Lab is comprised of professionals who held senior positions related to legal compliance and risk management in financial institutions and know in practice how the business is run. We pride ourselves for knowing ins and outs of the regulatory and legal framework and can assist your business to flourish whilst accounting for all of the obligations. Reach out to us if you wish to access a transnational multidisciplinary FinTech legal services and support in one place.