LONDON (January 17, 2023) – Morrison Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce the arrival of Sam Riley, who joins as a partner in the Transactions Department, enhancing the firm’s financial services and FinTech offering in London. Riley brings sophisticated, cross-practice, and multijurisdictional experience across financial services, banking, digital payments, and securities regulation, with a particular focus on digital assets (including stablecoins/crypto), and emerging technology.
Riley has a broad regulatory and transactional practice, built around financial regulation, FinTech, digital innovation, emerging technology in financial services, as well as derivatives. She joins Morrison Foerster from the Bank of England, where she most recently advised Sir Jon Cunliffe in his role as Chair of the Committee for Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and co-chair of CPMI-International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and related international engagement, including at the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the G20.
Riley’s most recent role also involved developing and coordinating international policy and strategy regarding financial market infrastructure (including clearing, settlement, and payments) and policy and regulatory development with respect to innovation in financial services, such as digital assets (including stablecoins and other digital currencies). She was also involved in international work on the G20 cross-border payments roadmap. While at the Bank of England, Riley also worked on the impact of, and response to, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
“Sam will be a terrific asset for our clients across the technology and financial services sectors who are constantly innovating, looking to launch new products, and grappling with the ever-evolving FinTech, cryptocurrency, and digital asset markets and regulatory landscape surrounding those,” said Paul Friedman, Morrison Foerster’s Managing Partner for Europe. “The combination of her legal experience with her most recent role at the Bank of England, in which she interacted extensively with senior UK and global policymakers and regulators, will prove invaluable to our clients, in particular on their cross-border matters.”
“We work with some of world’s largest and most innovative financial technology companies. At the Bank of England, Sam has been right in the middle of the development of the regulatory response to emerging financial technologies. She is uniquely placed to advise our clients and will play an important role within our leading global FinTech offering,” said Andrew Boyd, Co-Managing Partner of Morrison Foerster’s London office.
Riley’s arrival also highlights the continued growth of Morrison Foerster’s London office and expansion of key practices. It closely follows the addition of a four-strong IP team led by partner Steven James in London in December 2022. In March 2022, the firm’s London office also welcomed Marie-Claire Strawbridge as a partner, expanding its global Competition/Antitrust and UK National Security capabilities. Riley is also the latest addition to the firm’s global financial services and FinTech capabilities, following the arrival in 2021 of Maria Earley in Washington, D.C., and Jeff Silberman in New York.
“I am drawn to Morrison Foerster’s industry-leading reputation in the technology, FinTech, and financial services sectors which make it a great fit for my experience, as well as its fantastic culture,” said Riley. “The regulatory landscape affecting the financial services sector writ-large, from cryptocurrency to cross-border payments, and derivatives to digital innovation, is constantly evolving. I look forward to leveraging my public sector and private practice experience to help the firm’s clients navigate this constantly evolving environment and anticipate challenges as they seek to innovate. I am excited to join the firm’s dynamic London office and work closely with my new colleagues across multiple transactional and regulatory practices both in London and globally as we continue to amplify the firm’s offering across financial services and FinTech.”
Riley obtained her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Birmingham and LPC from the College of Law. She is admitted to practice in England and Wales. Riley previously practiced at an international law firm, where she spent more than eight years advising a variety of clients on banking, securitization, derivatives, regulatory, and structured finance mandates. She later moved into an in-house role as Assistant General Counsel at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, where she chaired several high-profile industry working groups and developed a number of successful regulatory implementation initiatives, before taking on her senior management and advisory role at the Bank of England. Riley was featured in Global Banking Regulation Review’s “45 under 45” list, celebrating the leading next-generation banking regulation specialists from around the world, in 2020–2021.