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  • 📝 The UK’s changing its listing rules — here’s why that matters.

📝 The UK’s changing its listing rules — here’s why that matters.


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If you take just one thing from this email…

The UK is overhauling its stock listing rules to make London a more attractive market for companies going public. This move aims to simplify the process, enhance transparency, and attract more business. You know what more listings taking place in the UK means? More business for corporate law firms!


When I got rejected at application stage for law firms (which happened a lot) I found it frustrating that I couldn’t get any feedback.

I mean, how was I supposed to know what I did wrong!?

I didn’t have a mentor, so I didn’t really know what mistakes to look for.

If you’re in the same position, I’ve made a video on the six most common mistakes in a law firm application firm.

If you’ve been rejected at application stage (+ don’t know why), go through this and compare your application to this video 👇️ 

- Idin

📝 The UK’s changing its listing rules — here’s why that matters.

Twd Changing GIF by The Walking Dead

Credit: Giphy

What's going on here?

In an attempt to make the UK a more attractive place to take your company public, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed new rules to make it easier and more attractive for companies to list their stocks in the UK.

What does this mean?

In recent years, many companies have chosen not to take their companies public (a process called ‘listing’ or referred to as an IPO) in the UK — they see it as a worse option than US.

The biggest example of this came last year — the British chip company ARM chose to list in New York instead of London.

The company said that listing in the US gives them:

  • access to a deeper pool of investors,

  • higher valuations and liquidity, and

  • more favourable market conditions.

This was a bad look for the UK — so the FCA’s changing things to make London more appealing.

What’s going to change exactly?

The FCA is trying to make the UK stock market more attractive and competitive by simplifying the process for companies to list their shares.

Here are a few things it’s changing:

  • 🔑 Simplifying the listing rules: The FCA is proposing a single category for listings. Currently, there are two categories for companies to list their shares on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market (the premium and standard listing segments) — each with its own rules. So the new proposals make things simpler.

  • 💡 Disclosure-based regime: In the current system, there are strict rules about what information companies must share to be remain listed. The proposed disclosure-based changes shift the focus towards ensuring that companies provide all relevant and necessary information to investors. This means that instead of complying with a rigid set of rules, companies just need to make sure they’re transparent and open enough so investors can make informed decisions about investing in them.

  • 🔗 Changes in transaction rules: For transactions involving parties with a close relationship to the company (like major shareholders or executives), there won't be mandatory votes needed like there is now. But, there will be continued oversight by sponsors (sponsors are typically financial advisory firms or investment banks that guide a company through the listing process and ensure they stay compliant with the market’s rules).

  • 🌍 Improving bond and derivative markets: The FCA is working on a new system (called a ‘consolidated tape’ system) for the bond market. This would provide investors with faster, cheaper access to trade and sales data and make the pricing of bonds and derivatives more transparent. By improving access to data, the UK bond market becomes more transparent and efficient, making it more attractive to international investors.

When are the changes being made?

The FCA is seeking feedback on these proposals right now.

But it plans to adopt and implement them in the second half of this year.

Why should law firms care?

When companies list in the UK, it’s a huge source of business for the capital markets teams at corporate law firms.

And right now, there's a downturn in this sort of work — recruiters are even saying there are many lawyers in this sector looking for jobs.

The downturn in listing activity isn't unique to the UK, as Christopher Roe, a partner at Clifford Chance, points out: “It is no secret that IPO activity has been muted lately. But it’s worth noting reflecting that this has also been the case globally, with the exception of the Middle East… It has not been a London only issue.”

But the UK’s rules don’t make it easy for firms to list here. Mark Austin, a partner from Latham & Watkins thinks things should be simpler: “Our listing regime had way too many friction points. This is about going into a level playing field. And I do think these are the right reforms, which will have the impact that is needed to reduce these friction points."

The changes are expected to increase activity in London’s capital markets, which is good news — more listings would lead to more business for law firms.

So, it’s no surprise that lawyers are really supportive of the changes. Jonathan Parry, a partner from White & Case, says “the FCA has come a long way in producing a rule book which will be competitive, and it means the rulebook will no longer be the excuse not to list in London”.


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