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David Wakeling

Partner, Head of MIG


Image of David Wakeling
David Wakeling

Partner, Head of MIG


David heads A&O's Markets Innovation Group (MIG), a group of lawyers and developers who are focused on the creation of innovative solutions for clients to meet large-scale legal and regulatory challenges.

David was shortlisted as one of the most Innovative Lawyers in Europe by the Financial Times. He was picked as a "Rising Star" of up-and-coming executives under 40 in finance by Financial News, a Dow Jones publication. David has also been named in The Lawyer Hot 100.

David has created and chaired industry initiatives and working groups relating to various large-scale challenges, most recently with respect to the transition away from LIBOR and other interest rates.

David is leading A&O in development of its artificial intelligence strategy and chairs the firm’s AI SteerCo. David recently devised:

  • ContractMatrix- an end-to-end system involving 3 pillars: (1) AI-powered contract review; (2) document automation with a digitalised playbook; and (3) legal operations and risk management involving an operating model for the client’s legal and compliance department. ContractMatrix has been deployed by clients across various industry sectors including banking, asset management, private equity and insurance.
  • IBOR Matrix- a system designed to facilitate the transition away from LIBOR and other interest rates, involving a cutting edge approach to the use of artificial intelligence.
  • Brexit Matrix- a system designed to implement a large financial institution’s Brexit strategy, covering core areas of the business, including lending, derivatives, stock lending, clearing and repos.
  • Master Matrix- a system which codifies trading terms for derivatives, repo and stock lending transactions, allowing data to be integrated at a systems level by buy-side clients.

Previously, David also created Margin Matrix™, an online regulatory compliance tool, and spearheaded a joint venture with Deloitte to help several global banks with the negotiation of thousands of contracts which have been auto generated by the system. Margin Matrix was ranked "Standout" in the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards.

He also created Default Management, an online tool which helps manage major counterparty defaults, and OpinionNet, an on-line tool for the delivery of netting opinions. These were ranked "highly commended" and "commended" (respectively) in the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards.

David specialises in derivatives and structured finance transactions linked to credit, equity, rates, currencies and commodities, including with sovereign counterparties. He has advised leading financial institutions on major counterparty defaults, on the integration or disposal of derivatives businesses and the clearing of derivatives. David is a member of various ISDA working group committees. He has advised leading financial institutions on their Eurozone crisis contingency planning and on banking crises in Greece, Portugal and Cyprus. Most recently, David has advised financial institutions at an industry and individual level on issues relating to LIBOR, including as an advisor on the UK FCA Tough Legacy Task Force.

David co-chairs A&O’s Race and Ethnicity Committee.

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Experience highlights



One Bishops Square
E1 6AD

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Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 2003


BA (Hons), Law, University of Southampton, 1999


Pro-bono experience

  • David is a founder and trustee of Alice’s Arc, a children’s cancer charity and has advised on its incorporation, its governance and on certain areas of EU law relating to drug trials.