Brussels for Breakfast (139)

Held on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

With support from PwC


  • Graham Bishop

  • Bob Penn (Cleary Gottlieb)



As I keep saying, there is a lot going on in Brussels beyond ‘Brexit’ – and much of it is going to affect the UK whichever way the euro-cookie crumbles. There’s the debate over internal risk models; there’s the future of CRAs; there’s the ESRB’s concern over Bitcoin and cryptos. Plus PRIIPs, the GDPR, Open Banking and the MiFID review…

Even on the political side, it’s not just ‘Brexit’. Even assuming Ms Merkel manages to cobble another Grand Coalition together, there’s the March 4 election in Italy, the row over Poland, the issues surrounding the Novartis case in Greece, Latvia’s banking problems… Plus staffing issues at the ECB now that De Guindos is on board.

In other words, as Brussels-watchers, you have to run just to keep up. Fortunately, we can offer some help in the familiar shape of the europhiles’ last, best hope – Graham Bishop, eponymous proprietor of, who has been digging up nuggets of euro-wisdom since the days before Lord Cockfield and Leon Brittan.

This month, his wingman is the equally distinguished Bob Penn, partner and head of (non-contentious) financial services regulation at Cleary Gottlieb. We are delighted to welcome Bob back. He joined Cleary Gottlieb in 2016, from Allen & Overy, where he led on UK and European financial services reform. He is a member of the IIF’s Special Committee on Effective Regulation, and of UK Finance's High Level Group on Financial Stability, and was described by Chambers UK as “absolutely fantastic”.

Let’s hope so. Anyway, thanks to the generosity of PwC, there will be plenty of coffee, tea and buns to sustain us as we plough our way through Europe’s bright, Elysian fields. If you would like to join us (and share your own thoughts/concerns), please let us know by emailing or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056.

Many thanks,

Andrew Hilton