Natalie has thorough knowledge of the structure and impact of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, and its interrelationship with the Financial Services and Markets Act. She is able to provide comprehensive advice on how to structure transactions and working processes to ensure advantage can be taken of available exemptions. She has advised on the applicability of the Act in situations as diverse as high street lending, deferred payment of insurance premiums, hire of electronic and musical instruments by schools and employee benefits packages.
She is able to provide practical advice to both creditors and consumers on whether agreements are in the proper form, the impact of non – compliance, and the appropriate steps required to raise or address it. She is also able to advise on the merits of unfair relationship claims under section 140A and give guidance at the evidence gathering stage.
She has experience drafting Consumer Credit Act compliant agreements in the context of unusual transactions, including previously settling applications for section 60 (3) dispensation under the OFT regime.
Following the transfer of regulatory responsibility to the Financial Conduct Authority, Natalie has developed an outstanding overview of the scheme of regulation, and, during a four month secondment within the FCA in 2014 – 2015 Natalie acquired insight into the structure and culture of the regulator. She can advise on whether compliance is being achieved and on what structures and processes are required to achieve it. She also has a full understanding of the enforcement tools and approach utilised by the regulator.
In the mortgage context Natalie is a fierce advocate with extensive practical experience which enables her to quickly assess what is achievable in the context of a given hearing, and to react to new points raised at the court door. She is familiar with relevant practice and can promptly identify any technical difficulties ahead of a hearing so that, where possible, they can be overcome.
She has extensive experience advising mortgagees in complex disputes with third parties arising from fraud and undue influence, giving guidance on likely outcomes to facilitate early settlement of genuine claims.
She has acted for mortgagees in multi-track trials and appeals dealing with a wide range of issues including challenges to contractual charges based on regulatory and common law principles, claims arising out of the mortgagee’s exercise of the power of sale and the application of the Human Rights Act.
As a result of work during her secondment at the FCA she has particular expertise in the changes to the scheme of regulation coming into force as a result of the Mortgage Credit Directive, including the scope and content of the novel consumer buy-to-let regulatory scheme.