Nick is a versatile business lawyer, with a practice focused on three principal areas: commercial contracts ; legal risk and crisis management strategies; governance and compliance frameworks. He also acts as in-house counsel to companies that need additional support.
Nick acquired a unique blend of skills from his time as senior counsel at the specialist global risk and security consultancy, Control Risks. He has built on this, advising on a wide range of issues since he joined Keystone. He helps his clients take smart, risk-based decisions quickly and effectively. He has helped to respond to and resolve numerous business and legal issues in jurisdictions as diverse as the US, Colombia, the EU, Russia, Iraq, Iran and across Africa.
Prior to working in-house, Nick spent a decade at a major US law firm and a leading City of London firm where he specialised in capital markets, M&A and joint venture/shareholder transactions.
Nick understands that businesses need to take sensible, risk-based decisions. He looks to add value by providing legal advice that is focussed on achieving the best outcome for the client. He is always responsive and diligent in his approach to problem-solving.
Nick Allan, Group CEO
Nick is an exceptional lawyer. He combines a depth of experience and knowledge with a level of pragmatism that is rare in commercial law, often helping us think through issues that go beyond purely legal boundaries. He adds a huge amount of value to our team, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.
Gabe Winn, CEO and Founder
Nick’s advice is clearly considered, practical and deliverable. As we launched our new business venture, Nick went beyond his role as a lawyer to provide broader strategic business advice.
Flic Beasley and Tor Ayres, Founders
Nick is accessible, positive and resolute, always seeking to achieve the best outcome for his client. Nick explains complex legal issues clearly and succinctly and is a pleasure to work with.
Nick is agile, responsive and attuned to our business. He focuses on practical solutions, which he combines with a deft legal touch. It is refreshing to work with a lawyer who can navigate legal matters and communicate them in plain English.
Amy Lashinsky and Ambrose Carey,
Founders of Alaco
Nick's governance and compliance recommendations were business-friendly and readily digestible, giving us a clear action plan. His experience means he knows exactly how in-house teams operate; it was an enjoyable process not a chore!
Caroline Coates, VP Legal,
- Commercial contracts and corporate advisory
- Risk management and security: risk maturity/risk assessment, risk reviews, legal and operational risk mitigation procedures and programmes, business and organisational resilience
- Crisis management: preparedness, response and recovery
- Compliance, governance, ethics and reputation: policies, procedures and standards including Russian sanctions, data protection/GDPR, anti-bribery and anti-corruption (ABC/ABAC), suppliers and subcontractors, ethical standards, defamation, and conflicts of interest
- Produced MSAs and framework contracts for a broad range of professional consulting/security/risk management services and covering multi-year service periods
- Produced rawdown contracts such as statements of work (SoWs), task orders (TOs), call off agreements
- Produced standard terms and conditions of business
- Provided playbook for standard terms and conditions/commercial contract negotiations; contractual/operational gap and risk analysis (risk and flex)
- Provided supplier/subcontractor agreements and arrangements
- Provided preliminary agreements, including: confidentiality agreements/NDAs/CDAs; memoranda of understanding/heads of terms/heads of agreement (MoUs/HoTs)
- Produced specialist contracts relating to the provision of maritime security services (both armed and unarmed); mobile and static security (armed and unarmed); relationships with sovereign military and police security forces
- Responded to RFIs/RFPs/ITTs and tenders for tasks and projects ranging in value from £5k to £25m; preparing written submissions, explanations of services, and summaries of policies, procedures and SOPs; marking up client/customer contracts and negotiating changes
- Advised on commercial partnerships, collaborations and referral/commission arrangements with a variety of businesses spanning the public relations, insurance, medical, information security (InfoSec), financial analysis, logistics and litigation sectors
- Acted on corporate policy matters covering areas such as sanctions compliance, data protection, DRAD (data retention and deletion), subcontractor and supplier vetting and management, conflicts of interest
- Drafted memoranda/delivering briefings to group and regional executive committees, group risk committee and full board regarding high-risk contracts, proposed new lease terms, insurance corporate structures, local ownership requirements, licensing/regulatory obligations
- Provided corporate growth and strategies
- Acted on legal issues/operational risks: triage and prioritisation
Risk Management and Security
- Internal risk management: supervised and/or discharged responsibilities for satisfying a duty of care towards personnel operating overseas and in hostile environments; supervision and negotiation of insurance programmes and portfolios; advising on business expansion, including opening new offices, expanding into new jurisdictions across Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and MENA, creation of new service lines, making new hires; drafting standard operating procedures (SOPs) for new/modified business operations
- Broad experience of risk mitigation in the security sector, including advice on RUF (rules on use of force), PIPs (post-incident procedures), MOUs with sovereign military forces and/or police authorities
- Deep insight acquired while advising on compliance, procedures, and risk-based approaches within the business intelligence, investigations and due diligence sector
- Implemented risk assessments and risk management frameworks for operations in MENA and sub-Saharan Africa
- Acted on on-site business risk reviews (legal, operational, compliance, finance, ethics, etc.) in Europe, Russia, and Africa
- Advised on due diligence into business partners, contractors, suppliers and associates
- Supervised external counsel on a variety of matters from IP disputes to licence infringements, restrictive covenants, personal injury claims, local law obligations for establishment of new business (corporate, licensing, real estate, employment, etc.)
- Supported businesses and individuals in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, RTIs (road traffic incidents) and other operational situations where fatalities or serious injuries were sustained or business continuity was threatened
- Supervised interviews (including protecting the interests of the business and advising affected personnel) conducted by outside counsel concerning terrorist or kidnap incidents
- Responded to statutory notices, demands and subpoenas issued by the SFO, the DoJ, the US courts, German police or other authorities
- A speaker and writer on crisis management from a lawyer’s perspective (the Association of Corporate Counsel annual conference; Practical Law Practice Note and articles; interviews)
- Acted on the development of new content (including guidance and checklists) for Practical Law relating to business continuity and stress testing of business continuity plans
Compliance and Governance
- Advised on governance frameworks and the interaction between various policies, procedures and controls, such as board composition, non-executive/independent directors, nomination/remuneration/audit committees, risk committee, and the effective utilisation of general counsel, internal risk management roles, internal audit function etc.
- Developed a new chapter relating to private company corporate governance for Practical Commercial Precedents (covering (1) legal, ethical and compliance matters, and (2) operational checks and balances for the directors and senior executives)
- Analysed and advised on of corporate exposure and compliance positions relating to Russian sanctions
- Particular focus on Russian sanctions issues relating to asset freezes; prohibitions on distributions to/for the benefit of designated persons; ownership and control; prohibitions covering specified services and persons “connected with” Russia; prohibitions on dealings in transferable securities etc.; reporting obligations
Ethics and Reputation
- Created and advised on the adoption of codes of ethics/codes and standards of conduct, ethical risk and standards of integrity
- Created and advised on in relation to safeguarding policies
Data Protection Training and Compliance
- Advised on data processing agreements, data transfer agreements, fair processing notices
- Acted on he registration under the EU:US Privacy Shield framework
- Prepared of data protection notices for external (e.g. websites) and internal (e.g. company policy/employees) use
- Responded to data subject access requests (SARs/DSARs)
- Prepared and delivery of business briefings on practical implications of GDPR
- Prepared and delivery of compliance training modules on information security (InfoSec) and data protection
Anti-bribery and Anti-corruption (ABC/ABAC)
- Created and advised on anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies
- Created and advised on supplier and subcontractor policies and on the associated identification, vetting selection and management procedures
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Nick qualified as a solicitor in 2003. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2019, he worked at the following firms:
- Control Risks
- Berwin Leighton Paisner