THE JUDGEMENT IS IN: MIKE AITKEN AN ‘IMPRESSIVE AND AUTHORITATIVE EXPERT AND HIS EVIDENCE .. WAS ILLUMINATING AND CLEAR.”
In an unprecedented move, the FCA asked the High Court to set and impose penalties for rule market abuse involving order book manipulation, wash-trades and CFD’s, as opposed to doing so itself. Based on Dr Aitken’s expert testimony and analysis and stating that “Dr Aitken provides the clearest possible evidence that the Traders were engaged in a joint enterprise to manipulate the market”, the court imposed penalties on all six defendants totalling 7,160,000 pounds. Justice Snowden was assisted by the technology originally developed by Dr Aitken and colleagues, SMARTS, which Dr Aitken used “to demonstrate the trading in AQP shares on 6 December 2010 on a computer screen. Critically, the analysis offered to (Justice Snowden) was able to show something that would not have been apparent to a market participant at the time, namely the identity of the particular market participant placing the various buy and sell orders. In particular, he was able to identify the orders placed by the Traders.” The judgement is eloquently drafted and sets out in great detail the legal and regulatory components of the market abuse regime in the UK. It provides clarification on the interpretation of the provisions of the European Directive 2003/6/EC and its implementing directives as they apply to market abuse as well as what the Court considers when establishing what constitutes market abuse, in particular order book manipulation, what constitutes the appropriate standard of proof, and how the Court then determines what measures are appropriate. The judgement also includes clarification about the oversight and compliance responsibilities of DMA providers and investment firms.
News Link: FCA Release