“A very smart advocate … she packs a punch”
Chambers & Partners
Saima has a commercial regulatory practice and is recommended in the directories as a leading junior in three areas including Financial Services. She read Law at Oxford, where she was President of the Law Society. She is an experienced advocate, described by Chambers & Partners as “thorough, intelligent… someone with incredible analysis” and by Legal 500 as “extremely user-friendly, fast, efficient and extremely bright”.
She is s recognised leading junior in financial services (“she has great knowledge of the FS industry”, “a high profile in the field”, Chambers & Partners) and has represented clients at all stages, from the RDC through to the Court of Appeal. High profile matters she has acted in include the Forex scandal, Libor manipulation and representing the former CEO of Keydata in a ground-breaking victory against the FCA (“one of the most headline-grabbing cases of its kind for many years”, Chambers & Partners). She is currently sole counsel in two large FCA investigations and is instructed in a banking regulatory investigation in Singapore, emanating from the 1MDB scandal. She regularly advises across a range of technical matters; recent examples include MiFID II, the application of the listing rules of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and the interpretation of the RAO.
She has a specific expertise in claimant judicial reviews of FS decisions and represented the claimants in Ford v FSA  (“one of the few successful JRs of the FCA”, Chambers & Partners) and Chancery v FOS  (JR of a FOS jurisdiction decision). She has also advised on a number of potential challenges (e.g. a skilled person appointment under s166 FSMA, several FOS jurisdictional decisions and a decision of the Property Ombudsman).
She is similarly experienced in public law challenges to HMRC decisions, and has acted in a number of matters including APNs, Conduct Notices under the Finance Act 2014 and the application of ESCs,
She appears regularly in the Upper Tribunal (e.g. the widely-reported Roberts v FCA  where she acted for the former CEO of Catalyst, Amir Khan v FCA, Karan v FSA & UBS) and has extensive cross-border experience, acting for clients in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai (Al-Ansari v DFSA, 2015, X v DFSA, 2017), the Isle of Man and Guernsey, where she has represented the Guernsey FS regulator.
Her previous experience includes secondments at Clifford Chance (FS department), the FCA (General Counsel’s Department and Enforcement) and the Bank of England’s Financial Markets Law Committee (FMLC).
She is a member of the FMLC’s Advisory Group on Brexit and has delivered lectures and articles on the topic (“she is recognised for her understanding of Brexit-related finance issues,” Chambers & Partners). Her publications include Disciplinary & Regulatory Proceedings (co-editor), the Atkins volume on Financial Services and Phipson on Evidence.
She is authorised for direct access.
“Her advice is detailed, thorough, commercially focused and client-friendly. She has great knowledge of the FS industry and is very approachable and responsive.” Chambers & Partners 2014
Saima is a Recommended Junior in Financial Services (see below) and has published widely in this area (see below.) She acted for Mr Roberts (the former CEO of Catalyst) in the Upper Tribunal and was led by Hodge Malek QC. Previously she acted for Mr Ford (the former CEO of Keydata) in the high-profile FSA investigation. Notable cases include the extensively-publicised Upper Tribunal decision in Karan v FSA and UBS , the landmark High Court judgment in Ford v FSA  and Khan v FCA  (Upper Tribunal). She is a former member of the EU Law Committee of the Bar Council, which considered the impact of EU law on the UK financial services regime, and a current member of the FMLC’s Advisory Group which has been convened to consider and address the legal uncertainties which may ultimately result from the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
She has advised on the full range of issues arising under FSMA 2000, including the new consumer credit rules, the operation of collective investment schemes, and liabilities arising from misleading statements in public offer documents. A bond issuance programme on which she advised was described by The Lawyer magazine as ‘ground-breaking’.
Matters in which she has been involved recently include:
Saima is particularly experienced in FCA enforcement investigations and has appeared before the RDC, the Upper Tribunal and the DFSA in Dubai. She has also attended compelled interviews for individuals/firms under investigations in addition to drafting a response to the Preliminary Investigation Report. Her work is cross-border, covering a number of jurisdictions including the Isle of Man, Guernsey and the Middle East.
Her experience has been enhanced by secondments to the Financial Services department of Clifford Chance, the Bank of England and both the Enforcement Division and General Counsel’s Division of the FCA. At Clifford Chance, she worked on matters including the collapse of Northern Rock and drafted the law of partnership for Qatar. At the Bank of England, she was the Legal Assistant to the Financial Markets Law Committee and assisted with the drafting of 8 papers on esoteric legal issues in financial markets (see http://www.fmlc.org/), including the problems created by the s235 FSMA definition of a collective investment scheme and the problems of jurisdiction under the Brussels Convention. She also has extensive experience of regulatory compliance issues, including money laundering and anti-bribery matters.
She has lectured widely in this area and is a contributor to PLC financial services column.
Saima is listed in the directories as leading junior in professional disciplinary work, and is an editor of the leading text in this area, Disciplinary and Regulatory Proceedings (2015 ed). She has appeared in some of the leading cases and currently acts for Mr Roberts’, the former CEO of bond-distribution company Catalyst, in his appeal to the Upper Tribunal. Prior to this she acted for Mr Ford, the former CEO of Catalyst. She has appeared before a range of regulatory bodies such as the RDC, the SDT and the BSB, as well as appearing in the Upper Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal. Her regulatory expertise encompasses financial services, legal and healthcare regulation. Within healthcare, her clients encompass both individuals (e.g. pharmacists, doctors and dentists) and public bodies such as NHS Commissioning Boards (formerly PCTs) and the NHS Litigation Authority. Case of note include:
Saima has significant experience in general commercial litigation, including cross-border litigation. She has a specific expertise in commercial matters that have a financial services or regulatory element.
Examples of recent matters in which she has been instructed include:
She is also frequently instructed in respect of interlocutory matters such as security for cost applications, interim injunctions and freezing orders. She has appeared in the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division and the Technology and Construction Court.
She is also published in this area and has contributed to Atkins Court Forms on Contract and Agency.
Saima has a strong Public Law practice, with particular expertise in licensing and regulatory law. She has represented individuals and public bodies at all levels up to the Court of Appeal.
Regulatory: She has acted in multiple Judicial Reviews and has developed an expertise in judicial review challenges relating to financial services matters:
Her practice also includes healthcare regulation and commercial matters such as consumer credit and public procurement. Within healthcare, her clients encompass both individuals (e.g. pharmacists, doctors and dentists) and public bodies such as NHS Commissioning Boards (formerly PCTs) and the NHS Litigation Authority. Her consumer credit practice covers both lenders and borrowers. She appears across the range of regulatory tribunals and courts. Case of note include:
Licensing: Saima is a Recommended Junior (Legal 500 and Legal Experts) in this area. Her work covers entertainment and alcohol licensing, taxi licensing and gaming. She has experience in the entire licensing process, right through to the Court of Appeal. She is regularly instructed by applicants (some as public access clients), interested parties and councils. Cases of note include:
Saima advises and represents corporate clients (including FCA-regulated entities), individuals and public bodies in respect of data protection and freedom of information matters. She has advised on range of matters from information relating to PFI contracts, to protecting material produced for a private adjudication process. She appears in both the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal and has a particular expertise in electronic information and the internet. Cases of note include: acting for the successful appellant in Chichester District Council v ICO  UKUT 491 AAC, and successfully appearing for the respondent in Farrand v ICO  UKUT 0310 (AAC).
Saima is recommended in the areas of Financial Services and Professional Discipline by Chambers UK.
Legal 500 and Legal Experts recommend Saima in the area of Licensing law.
Recommended as a leading Junior by Chambers & Partners since 2013:
“Incredibly thorough, intelligent, quick to respond and someone with incredible analysis.”
“She’s obviously extremely intelligent but also very good with clients as she’s not intimidating to them.”
“Her advice is detailed, thorough, commercially focused and client-friendly. She has great knowledge of the FS industry and is very approachable and responsive.”
“She’s very user-friendly and very switched on to the issues at hand. She looks at instructions from the viewpoint of the client and gives a tailored work product.”
“[Saima Hanif] was a “vital junior” in the Ford v FSA judicial review.”
[Saima acted for the successful claimant in] “one of the most headline-grabbing cases of its kind for many years.”
“She’s very hard-working, and pays great attention to detail.”
“extremely user-friendly, fast, efficient and extremely bright”
Recommended as a leading Junior by Chambers & Partners since 2013:
“A pleasure to work with, she is a very smart advocate who really understands how FCA enforcement investigations work.” “She packs a punch as an advocate given her polite yet assertive manner. She’s ultra-professional and conscientious in her conduct.”
“She offers very clear guidance on the law and isn’t scared to give her opinion and points clients in the right direction. She exudes confidence.”
“Saima Hanif is “the hardest working junior I have ever seen” comments one impressed solicitor… “she shifts so much work it’s unbelievable.”
“She is a good up-and-coming junior. She handles clients very well and has a lovely manner.”
“Hanif was recently led by Hodge Malek QC in one of the few successful judicial reviews of a decision by the FSA.”
and Legal 500
“A trusted junior.”
Recommended as a leading Junior by Legal 500 since 2011.
“Able to grasp concepts and creatively argue against accepted legal principles.” Legal
“Saima Hanif is extremely user friendly, fast, efficient and extremely bright.”
“Saima Hanif recently acted in the high-profile Court of Appeal case Albert Hall v Westminster CC and another.”
Cited as a leading Junior by Legal Experts.