Ellen Lake specialises in investigations and risk advisory - advising in particular on financial crime, white collar crime, compliance failings, internal investigations, contentious regulatory matters and cyber security.
Her work covers crisis management, internal risk management and enforcement defence in multiple sectors. She has worked on a broad range of actions brought by UK authorities, as well as on complex cross-border investigations in multiple jurisdictions, particularly criminal and regulatory investigations and enforcement actions.
Ellen works with a broad range of corporate and financial services clients and spent ten months on secondment to a major bank, where she ran a legal team providing the bank's response to a 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 litigation.
Ellen is a member of Clifford Chance's Tech Group, and regularly advises clients on risk in respect of virtual assets, blockchain and cyber security. She is an L&DR lead associate for the Global Cyber Security Team.
- 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
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
- 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