A City lawyer accused by the financial services watchdog of insider dealing was today acquitted by Southwark Crown Court. Michael McFall, a former partner at US firm McDermott Will & Emery, was acquitted of eight counts of insider dealing by the Financial Services Authority (pictured). Finance director Andrew King was also acquitted of the same charges. Andrew Rimmington, former partner at US firm Dorsey & Whitney, had also been on trial on the same charges. However, Judge Testar discharged the jury from considering the case against him midway through proceedings for personal reasons. The FSA offered no evidence against Rimmington and not guilty verdicts were entered on his behalf. Both Rimmington and McFall previously worked in the London offices of their firms. The charges related to the takeover of UK pharmaceutical company NeuTec Pharma by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis in 2006. FSA director of enforcement and financial crime Margaret Cole said today: ‘Insider dealing cases are challenging to prove, but these were serious charges and we considered that the evidence provided a proper basis to put the case before a jury for them to decide. ‘We remain 100% committed to the strategy of achieving credible deterrence. Bringing criminal prosecutions sends a message, loud and clear, that insider dealing is a serious crime and we are not afraid to pursue cases through the criminal courts.’ The FSA secured its first insider dealing convictions in March. Christopher McQuoid, former general counsel at TTP Communications, was jailed for eight months. His father-in-law, James Melbourne, was given an eight-month suspended sentence. McQuoid’s appeal against his sentence was dismissed in September. The FSA is currently prosecuting a number of other insider dealing cases involving lawyers.