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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Ellen Lake

Ellen Lake

Senior Associate

Senior Associate
Ellen Lake

Ellen specialises in investigations, crisis management and risk advisory - advising in particular on financial crime, white collar crime, compliance failings, internal investigations, contentious regulatory issues, ESG and cyber security.

Her work covers internal risk management, crisis management and enforcement defence across multiple sectors. Over the last 15 years she has worked on a broad range of actions brought by UK authorities, as well as on complex cross-border investigations, particularly criminal and regulatory investigations, and enforcement actions in multiple jurisdictions.

Ellen works with a broad range of financial services and corporate clients. She spent ten months seconded to a major bank, where she ran the legal team providing the bank's response to an FCA s.166 skilled person investigation into financial crime failings. She has also been seconded to the dispute resolution team of another global bank where she worked on a broad range of financial services litigation and investigations. Ellen is currently on secondment to The Takeover Panel as Assistant Secretary (Investigations & Enforcement).

Ellen is a member of Clifford Chance's Tech Group (regularly advising clients on risk in respect of virtual assets, blockchain and cyber security) and ESG Investigations group. She is an L&DR lead for the Global Cyber Security Team.

Regulatory Investigations and Financial Crime Insights

The latest global trends, risks and developments in regulatory investigations and financial crime

  • Advising a global bank on misconduct by its chairman and ensuing action.
  • Advising an industry-leading corporate with crisis management of a cyber attack and ensuing litigation risk in respect of third parties involved.
  • Advising a multinational corporate on a ransomware attack.
  • Conducting an internal investigation into allegations of bribery and potential money laundering exposure for an energy client.
  • Advising a multinational corporate on an investigation into allegations of bribery by directors.
  • Conducting an internal investigation for a listed entity following criminal allegations made by a whistle blower, and advising in relation to subsequent actions.
  • Conducting an internal investigation into criminal misconduct in real estate funds for the real estate arm of a major financial institution.
  • Advising private equity investors on an investigation into criminal conduct in a group of portfolio companies.
  • Conducting an internal investigation for a multinational client into allegations of human rights abuses.
  • Advising a financial investor client in relation to an investigation involving potential breaches of confidentiality and cyber security.
  • Advising a financial institution on a PRA Enforcement investigation into liquidity reporting.
  • Advising a financial institution on civil and criminal FCA Enforcement investigations into historic breaches of money laundering regulations.
  • Advising a major international bank on concurrent investigations by criminal and regulatory authorities in multiple jurisdictions in relation to tax-related matters.
  • Advising a major bank on concurrent investigations by criminal and regulatory authorities in relation to financial crime matters.
  • Advising a major insurer on an investigation by Hong Kong regulators in relation to potential mis-selling.
  • Advising (separately) a private bank and the private banking arm of a major bank in relation to FSA/FCA Enforcement actions relating to financial crime.
  • Advising a major financial institution in relation to an internal investigation and FCA Enforcement action into FX rate-setting activity.
  • Advising a major bank on investigations by UK, US and multiple foreign regulators and law enforcement authorities into the setting of benchmark rates, together with associated subsequent litigation in the UK and US.
  • Acting as a skilled person on a large and complex s.166 skilled person review involving a number of financial institutions.
  • Advising on a large, regulator-prompted, internal investigation for a major financial institution into potential customer detriment.

News and client work

View all news and client work featuring Ellen Lake

Contact details

Career and qualifications

  • University of Bristol (BSc) 2006
  • University of Law (LLB) 2008
  • Joined Clifford Chance 2008
  • Admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales 2010

Professional bodies

  • Member of the Operating Committee of the International Law Book Facility
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • London Solicitors Litigation Association
  • Women's White Collar Defense Association
  • The Fraud Lawyers Association