Our services to clients

In this section, "you" refers to clients to whom we provide our professional services.

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If you would like to know about Complaints, please visit our Complaints legal notice.

If you wish to discuss a complaint submitted to Shearman & Sterling prior to 1 May 2024, please contact GlobalOGC@aoshearman.com.

SRA Price Transparency Statement

We primarily act for employers defending claims, which may involve discrimination, whistleblowing and other regulatory or multi-jurisdictional aspects. Read our Transparency Statement.

Professional indemnity insurance

A&O Shearman has in place professional indemnity insurance led by Travelers Insurance DAC and other insurance companies and Lloyd’s syndicates all as more fully described in the policies (Policy No. APPUK2401835). Our professional indemnity insurance covers A&O Shearman entities worldwide and extends to acts or omissions wherever in the world they occur. Further details may be obtained from A&O Shearman’s General Counsel.

Financial services regulation

The provision of our legal services in the United Kingdom may relate to investments (including insurance contracts). We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). Instead, we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA). The Law Society of England and Wales is a designated professional body (DPB) for the purposes of FSMA. The SRA is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society of England and Wales. FSMA allows firms to carry out certain regulated financial services activities if they are authorised and regulated by a DPB. We can provide investment-related services (including insurance distribution activities) if they are limited in scope and incidental to our legal services or may reasonably be regarded as a necessary part of our legal services or which we are otherwise permitted to provide under FSMA. We are included on the register maintained by the FCA so that we can carry on insurance distribution activities, which are broadly, the advising on, proposing, selling or administration of contracts of insurance. The FCA’s register is available on their website at https://register.fca.org.uk/s/. If we provide a service which includes the carrying on of an insurance distribution activity, we are permitted by the FCA to do so as an ancillary insurance intermediary.

If a client’s matter relating to investment-related activities (including insurance distribution activities) is still not resolved at the conclusion of our complaints process, those clients may be entitled to ask the Legal Ombudsman of England and Wales and the SRA to consider the complaint. Please see the section above titled ‘Complaints’ for additional guidance. 

The basis for carrying out these services:

  • We will act as legal advisers, and where applicable, we will provide tax advice to our clients. We are not authorised under FSMA. Therefore, it is not part of our function to advise on the merits of investment transactions, to act as a broker or arranger of investment transactions, or to communicate invitations or inducements to engage in investment activity. We may have to refer you to someone who is authorised to provide the necessary advice.
  • Nothing we say or do should be construed as advice on the investment merits of acquiring or disposing of particular investments nor an invitation, recommendation or inducement to engage in investment activity, including contracts of insurance.
  • We assume that any decision by you to discuss or negotiate any transaction on which we act, and any decision actually to enter into any transaction, has been or will be made by you on the basis of your own assessment of the business, financial and policy aspects of the particular transaction.

In the course of any transaction on which we act and in order to complete it, it is expected that we will communicate with you, your other advisers and the other parties to the transaction (and their advisers) in a number of ways, including, by telephone, email, fax, letter and in meetings. Amongst other things, we would expect to circulate various hard copy or electronic documents for your review and to arrange and participate in meetings and telephone calls to discuss, negotiate, agree and sign the relevant documents. We will treat your participation in such meetings, telephone calls or other forms of communication with us as a request to receive such communications.


Allen Overy Shearman Sterling LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA) and its English practice is, therefore, subject to the SRA Principles and the SRA Code of Conduct for Firms and, in relation to relevant individual lawyers, the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, Registered European Lawyers and Registered Foreign Lawyers. This includes arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong. The SRA Overseas and Cross-border Practice Rules apply similar principles to A&O Shearman’s offices outside England, in addition to the application of local laws and professional regulations, and Allen Overy Shearman Sterling LLP is required to ensure that its overseas practices comply with such principles. For more information about the SRA, please visit their website at: www.sra.org.uk.  

Our right to retain documents

In some jurisdictions there are circumstances in which we will have the right to keep documents that belong to you even if you ask us to return or destroy them. In particular, this may occur if you have not paid all of our invoices.

Data protection

We are likely to collect, create, store and share personal information in the course of our work for you. We will also process personal data (a) to meet our legal and regulatory obligations, (b) in pursuing our legal rights, and (c) for administrative, financial, risk management and client relationship purposes. Further information on the personal data that we process in the course of or in connection with the provision of legal services is provided in our privacy policy which can be found on our website here

Anti-money laundering laws

Under anti-money laundering laws, we may need formal evidence of your identity before we can act and may also conduct checks using external electronic databases for this purpose. We must also report suspicions of money laundering activity to our Money Laundering Reporting Officer or to the relevant external authorities, or both. We may have to stop work on a matter and may not be allowed to tell you if we make such a report. We will not be liable to you for the consequences of any such report made in good faith.

Anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws

We have in place robust anti-fraud and anti-corruption policies and procedures and we have zero tolerance of bribery or corruption by, or on behalf of, any part of the firm around the world. These policies apply to all A&O Shearman partners and members of staff worldwide, and to third parties providing services to A&O Shearman or on our behalf.

We require all partners and members of staff, at all times, to act honestly and with integrity, and to safeguard the resources for which they are responsible. Fraud or corruption by partners or members of staff could violate applicable laws, present a threat to A&O Shearman and will not be tolerated in any circumstances.

For more detailed information about our anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies and procedures, please contact us.

Attorney advertising

Some of the material on this website may constitute attorney advertising within the meaning of sections 1200.1 and 1200.6-8 of Title 22 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulatory Attorney Advertising Regulations and the laws and regulations of California, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Texas and the District of Columbia. The following statement is made on this website in accordance with those rules:


Interest policy

It is our policy to account to our clients for a sum in lieu of interest on a fair and reasonable basis. In particular:

  • Client monies will be deposited in a general client account (in which amounts for different clients are pooled) unless otherwise instructed.
  • Client monies will be held in an instant access account in order to facilitate transactions. Interest will normally be calculated at a rate equivalent to that available to A&O Shearman at the time the client monies are held had the client monies been deposited in a separate instant access account.
  • If the total amount of interest calculated over the course of the transaction is less than £250 no payment in lieu of interest will be paid, unless in the Firm’s sole discretion it chooses to do so, for example where the beneficiary of such accrued interest is a Charity.  
  • It is unlikely that a client will receive as much interest as might have been obtained had the funds been invested by the client itself.