Kevin Toomey is a specialist advocate who works in all areas of crime including the full range of fraud, money laundering, dishonesty and drugs offences.
Kevin has particular experience in cases resulting from the current investigations into the FX and LIBOR markets. He is regularly instructed as leading or junior counsel in complex and substantial cases and is recognised for his meticulous attention to detail and client friendly approach.
He also undertakes confiscation and asset forfeiture work and is a member of Chamber’s regulatory team, with particular experience in medical regulatory work.
Kevin is accredited to undertake work suitable for public access.
Kevin has been instructed to represent or advise a number of clients who have been charged in relation to frauds and offences under the Merchant Shipping Act arising out of their activities as marine archaeologists and divers of shipwrecks.
In recent years, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have brought prosecutions alleging that divers have taken items from wrecks and not complied with their obligations to report those finds to Her Majesty’s Receiver of Wreck.
As well as representing defendants in such cases, Kevin regularly gives advice to individuals and to diving clubs as to their responsibilities in this complex area of law which is being increasingly prosecuted.
Kevin has been instructed to represent a number of clients in relation to FX fixing investigations and LIBOR rigging allegations.
His acknowledged expertise comes from a successful career in banking before joining 2 Bedford Row. For over 15 years he worked in dealing rooms as an FX trader and in senior managerial positions in several investment banks including Bank of America and The Bank of New York.
That highly specialised experience has led to him being recognised by professional and lay clients as often the first counsel of choice in this area of law.
Kevin lectures and conducts training courses on the financial markets, insider trading and regulation and he advises a number of city institutions on their regulatory and money laundering responsibilities and compliance procedures. His articles are regularly published in various legal journals.
The Foreign Exchange Fix, The Reality
This article was first published by Butterworths Journal of International Banking & Financial Law (JIBFL).
The coverage of the foreign exchange ‘fixing’ scandal has been rather predictable so far. Predictable media condemnation of bankers, predictable speculation about potential profits and bonuses amassed and a predictable failure to accurately portray exactly how the fixing system works and what really happens in it.
This article focusses on the practicalities and realities of the fixing process, how traders approach it, and who, if anyone, are the winners and losers.
Official ‘fixing’ of benchmark rates for particular currency pairs allows institutions to allocate a daily rate to any business it wishes to transact or to value. It also gives certainty for certain legal issues, for example if a transaction is being negotiated it can be contractually agreed to use the 4pm fixing rate for a chosen day.
Simply put, the rate is fixed with reference to the actual rates trading at around 4pm and then the ‘mid-rate’ of the bid/offer spread at that time becomes the fixed rate. So, to use the most commonly traded currency pair, the Euro against the Dollar as an example, if the spread at 4pm is 1.3848 to 1.3852, the mid-rate will be 1.3850 and that will be the fixed rate.
Clients leave orders with their banks to buy or sell at the fixed rate, sometimes the banks know about the orders days in advance and sometimes only minutes. Often they will have ‘two-way’ interest from a combination of their clients. For example, 15 individual and completely separate clients may want to buy a total of “200 million at the fix and 10 others, equally unconnected, may wish to sell a total of “180 million at the same time. All the orders will be filled at the same rate, and because they net off, the trader’s balance is a mere “20 million. In FX terms, this is a miniscule amount. Of course these amounts of hundreds of millions are simply illustrative and of a size only relevant to a very few market participants.