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Job Title Financial Services (Payments) Associate Director
Closing Date 18-Dec-2023
Department Financial Institutions Group
Job Location London
Role Lawyers

"The team is well balanced and well led. Their technical and commercial expertise is complemented by a culture of approachability, openness and business friendly professionalism." - Chambers & Partners

Due to continued growth of the team we have an exciting opportunity for an Associate Director to join our market leading Payments practice within our Financial Institutions Group. This is an exciting time to join the team with 2 NQs joining the team in September 2023, as well as a second TKL, demonstrating how the team is going from strength to strength following the arrival in January 2022 of Paul Harris (Partner) who specialises in Payments, working alongside Paul Anning (Partner).

Consistently ranked in the top tier by Chambers & Partners, you will join an ambitious team and play a key role in shaping the future of the practice.

The Payments practice


Our highly regarded Financial Institutions Group spans 4 core service lines: Payments, Consumer Finance, Financial Regulation, and Investment Funds. With excellent support from our Commercial and Disputes & Risk teams, the team has a market leading Payments practice and a track record of acting for clients across the whole Payments ecosphere.

We advise clients across the full range of Payments issues, including: regulatory change, new product launches, new technology solutions and platforms, M&A and investments into Payments firms, partnering and distribution arrangements, applications to the FCA for authorisation or registration (including under MLD5), reporting and other regulatory interactions, complex perimeter and structuring analysis, the use of cryptoassets of all kinds, and international surveys.

Our practice is at the forefront of both regulatory developments and product innovation. We have led on numerous digital, online and mobile product launches from new Open Banking products (including the UK's first use of PISP) to innovative card and acquiring offerings, and we advise several global digital platforms, marketplaces and technology service providers on how payments are integrated into their offerings. We also act for infrastructure providers to the payments ecosystem, as well as electronic money issuers and cryptoasset issuers.


We have a fantastic roster of key clients, all of them international, innovative and significant, and we are their trusted (and first choice) adviser on key strategic projects. Long-term clients with which we have key, trusted advisor relationships include Airbnb Payments UK, Block (fka Square), Cashplus (APS), ClearBank, GoCardless, gohenry, JPMorgan, Marqeta, Mastercard/Vocalink, NewDay, Plaid, Revolut, TikTok and Trustly, as well as UK Finance. In the crypto space, we are long-time advisers to a number of well-respected US HQ'd exchanges.

International reach

Osborne Clarke, uniquely, has dedicated Payments specialists in the key European countries - Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden, as well as the UK - and the OC team also extends to India, Singapore and China. Each of these domestic practices is thriving and, in combination, this team gives us an unrivalled international network and, with it, pan-European (and global) Payments insights.

Where we are not present in a country, we work with local best of breed law firms (our largest survey to date has been 172 jurisdictions). This means we can deliver 'one stop shop' international advice, efficiently, effectively and (from a client's perspective) free of administration. Through this we are attracting more and more regional and global mandates.

The team

Our Financial Institutions Group operates from our London and Bristol offices and comprises 8 Partners, 1 Legal Director, 6 Associate Directors, 6 Senior Associates, 9 Associates, 5 Trainee Solicitors and 4 Paralegals. Helen Parsonage (Partner) leads the FIG team and works closely with Paul Anning (Partner) who leads the Payments practice (both domestically and internally).

Paul has been described by Chambers & Partners as an 'industry leader' within Payments and 'unparalleled in terms of his knowledge base'.

Alongside Paul Anning you'll also work closely with Paul Harris (Partner) who we welcomed to Osborne Clarke in January 2022 from a firm with a highly respected Financial Institutions team. Paul is an exciting addition to the team bringing a host of expertise in Payments law.

Currently 10 members of the team spend almost all of their time doing Payments work with several others spending part of their time doing Payments work: the team work very closely with other parts of the firm, including Disputes (both litigation and regulatory investigations), Commercial, Corporate, Competition and Tax.

The work

The following are examples of recent work undertaken by the Payments team:

  • We have supported Airbnb Payments UK (APUK) since its authorisation as an Electronic Money Institution, through all the regulatory changes, enhanced FCA supervision around safeguarding and its Brexit arrangements (via regulated entity in Luxembourg), as well as day-to-day queries on reporting, etc..
  • A new client to OC in 2019, ClearBank is the UK's first clearing bank in over 250 years. Our relationship with ClearBank has developed considerably and we have become a trusted advisor, assisting them with a number of strategic projects, including the provision of embedded finance to Tide and others.
  • JPMorgan is amongst the world's largest financial services companies. OC advises JPMorgan on all manner of payment services regulatory questions (having advised it on PSD and PSD2), new transactional banking products and services, and co-ordinating advice and product roll-out across multiple European jurisdictions (Ireland, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain).
  • Vocalink, and Mastercard more generally, is looking to take advantage of the 'Open Banking' regime introduced under PSD2 and to support this they talked to trusted adviser OC to support the development and launch of its PaybyBankapp (PbBa) and also its Aiia Open Banking products and services (offered out of Denmark).
  • We have supported UK Finance in its work around PSD2. In particular, we have supported their SCA (Strong Customer Authentication) Programme, with both successful advocacy at European level on key requirements, with the FCA on a managed roll-out plan for the introduction of SCA in an e-commerce context, and on the development of industry accepted detailed guidelines.

In addition to these clients, there is a swathe of Osborne Clarke clients to which the Payments team provides critical support, including: Facebook, TikTok and Vodafone, as well as many a Retail client (on their payments processing, gift card programs, co-brand arrangements, etc.), many a Workforce Solutions client (typically organised as a platform), and several in the Mobility space also.

Technical skills and experience

You will have knowledge and experience across Payments matters which will have been gained at a firm with a well-respected practice. You will be organised and methodical as well as a team player who wants to be a part of a dynamic and successful group.

Due to the nature of the work and the structure of the team, we are looking for a lawyer at Associate Director level, although we will consider candidates with more or less experience.

Your career development

Like all our lawyers, you will benefit from our multi-award winning career development programme. At each stage of your career this provides you with:

  • clear expectations of your role and what it takes to progress;
  • high quality clients and work, with early responsibility and client exposure;
  • thorough assessment and individual feedback from a range of experienced colleagues;
  • robust technical training with early skills based development, increasingly tailored to you; and
  • reward for your contribution, progression and potential, rather than PQE or tenure.

Salary and benefits

We offer competitive salaries and generous benefits.

For more information or to apply

At Osborne Clarke we welcome direct applications - if you would like any further information about the role, or the firm, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact, in complete confidence, Rachael Nye in the recruitment team on

Please note we are not currently accepting agency CVs for this position. If you would like to make an application please do so directly.

At Osborne Clarke we value difference and encourage applicants from all social backgrounds, ethnicities, disabilities, gender identities, and sexual or romantic orientations. We want everyone to feel that OC is a place where you can be yourself and where you belong, and our range of interest groups and diversity networks - not to mention our great teams - are a part of making that a reality.

We support working families via a range of family and caring friendly policies and will accommodate flexible working where we can. We value the health and wellbeing of our people: for example, we're signatories to the Mindful Business Charter, have an active network of mental health champions and offer free initiatives and flexible benefits to all our people.

Being an inclusive employer is important to us. We have made a number of external commitments such as the Race Fairness Commitment and Women in Law Pledge, and are working with organisations like Stonewall to become a more inclusive employer.

Osborne Clarke is a Living Wage Employer, so we're committed to paying everybody in our business enough to live on and to enable them to save for the future.

We want you to be able to show us your best during the recruitment process. If you require any adjustments to be made during the application, interview process or when working with us, please let us know.