Financial Services INDUSTRIES

WilmerHale has played a leading role in shaping the rules that govern the financial services industry in the United States. We have extensive experience across all sectors of the industry, including banks, thrifts and other financial institutions. In each sector, our thorough understanding of the industry and its regulatory environment helps our clients achieve their objectives in all four major areas of our practice: regulatory, litigation, transactions and securities.

Highlights

  • In the United States Supreme Court we won two cases for financial institution clients: Beneficial National Bank and Beneficial Tax Masters Inc. v. Anderson, (establishing "complete preemption" basis to remove cases challenging interest charges by national banks); and Pfennig v. Household Credit Services, Inc (holding that over-limit fees are not "finance charges" under the Truth in Lending Act).
  • Represented Bank One in its acquisition of Circuit City's credit card portfolio and the related infrastructure for $1.8 billion.
  • Assisted a major card issuer in the negotiation of a core dedication agreement with one of the major bankcard systems.
  • Helped to shape anti-money laundering regulations and drafted anti-money laundering compliance programs for numerous banks, broker-dealers, and several other types of financial institutions.
  • Represented clients on sensitive compliance and internal investigation matters, and in formal and informal enforcement actions brought by or before several agencies, including the Federal Reserve Board, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, and the Federal Trade Commission, and in areas such as accounting matters and anti-money laundering.

WilmerHale has played a leading role in shaping the rules that govern the financial services industry in the United States. We have extensive experience across all sectors of the industry, including banks, thrifts and other financial institutions. In each sector, our thorough understanding of the industry and its regulatory environment helps our clients achieve their objectives in all four major areas of our practice: regulatory, litigation, transactions and securities.

Highlights

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Bruemmer, Russell J.

Russell J. Bruemmer

Chair, Financial Institutions Practice Group

+1 202 663 6804 (t)

russell.bruemmer@wilmerhale.com

Experience

We help our clients achieve their business objectives efficiently and cost-effectively. Over the past 30 years, we have built a practice of extensive breadth and depth in regulatory, transactional, litigation and enforcement matters for banks and other financial institutions. In the past two years, we have:

  • Represented banking institutions and insurance companies in dozens of class action matters and other key litigations at all levels of the federal and state court systems. In the last two terms of the U.S. Supreme Court, we won two cases involving retail banking activities for financial institution clients: Beneficial National Bank and Beneficial Tax Masters Inc. v. Anderson; and Pfennig v. Household Credit Services, Inc.
  • Handled two of the largest recent credit card portfolio transactions: (1) we represented Bank One in its acquisition of Circuit City's credit card portfolio and the related infrastructure for $1.8 billion, and (2) we represented another major issuer in the sale of a $1.5 billion tranche of a portfolio co-branded with a major electronics retailer
  • Assisted a major card issuer in the negotiation of a core dedication agreement with one of the major bankcard systems
  • Advised Citigroup in negotiating for acceptance of its Diners Club cards within the MasterCard system
  • Helped lead industry efforts that successfully shaped proposed amendments to the principal federal consumer lending regulations
  • Counseled financial institutions on sensitive compliance and internal investigation matters, on related dealings with regulators, and on the development of corporate compliance programs
  • Helped to shape anti-money laundering regulations and drafted anti-money laundering compliance programs for numerous banks, broker-dealers, and myriad other types of financial institutions
  • Represented clients in formal and informal enforcement actions brought by or before several agencies, including the Federal Reserve Board, the Comptroller of the Currency, the SEC, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight and the Federal Trade Commission and assisted clients with anti-money laundering investigations.

Publications & News

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November 21, 2014

CFPB Calls for Changes to Mortgage Servicing with Proposed Rule

On November 20, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed changes to the rules governing mortgage servicing and foreclosures—Regulation X, which implements the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and Regulation Z, the implementing regulation for the Truth in Lending Act.

November 17, 2014

CFPB Releases Long-Awaited Proposal on Prepaid Account Products

On November 13, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a proposed rule to extend certain federal consumer protections to the prepaid market.

October 3, 2014

The Legal 500 UK Honors WilmerHale with Top Rankings in 2014 Edition

The Legal 500, the United Kingdom's guide to outstanding lawyers, has again selected WilmerHale as a top-tier law firm in dispute resolution - international arbitration, and highly recommends the firm in nine other categories. The guide also names three lawyers to its "leading individuals" list, and recognizes a total of eight of the firm’s London-based lawyers

October 1, 2014

Sentencing of Corporate Offenders in the UK: A Practical Guide

On 1 October 2014, the Sentencing Council's Definitive Guideline for Fraud, Bribery and Money Laundering Offences came into force, providing for the first time a framework for the sentencing of corporate offenders in the UK.

July 31, 2014

FinCEN Releases Long-Awaited Proposal on Customer Due Diligence (CCD) and Beneficial Ownership

On July 30, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued proposed regulations that would formalize certain financial institutions’ Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements and expand the degree to which those institutions must look beyond the nominal account holder to identify the natural persons who own or control certain legal entity customers.

July 2, 2014

DC Circuit Issues Major Ruling Affirming Broad Applicability of Attorney-Client Privilege to Corporate Internal Investigations

On June 27, 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a major decision clarifying the scope of the attorney-client privilege as applied to corporate internal investigations.

June 9, 2014

US Supreme Court Resolves Executive Benefits on Narrow Grounds, Leaving Unresolved Many Important Questions About Bankruptcy Court Authority

The US Supreme Court earlier today issued its much anticipated decision in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison, No. 12-1200 (June 9, 2014), a follow-on case to the Court's landmark decision in Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), regarding the scope of bankruptcy courts' authority under Article III of the Constitution.

May 22, 2014

Eleventh Circuit Adopts Broad Definition of Government "Instrumentality" Under FCPA

On May 16, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit, in the first appellate decision on the issue, affirmed a broad definition of “instrumentality” of a foreign government within the meaning of the FCPA, providing important guidance in determining who should be considered a "foreign official" under the statute.

April 8, 2014

WilmerHale Shortlisted for Chambers USA Award for Excellence in IP, Securities and Financial Services Regulation

WilmerHale's Intellectual Property and Securities Departments, and its IP Litigation, Securities Litigation and Enforcement, Broker-Dealer and Financial Institutions Groups have received special recognition by Chambers USA as part of this year's Awards for Excellence program.

March 13, 2014

Supreme Court Issues Decision Analyzing Whether Misrepresentation is “in Connection with” Purchase or Sale of Covered Security

On February 26, 2014, in Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice et al.,1 the Supreme Court narrowed the definition of “in connection with” as that term is used in the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA).

Recognition

Our Financial Institutions practice group benefits from our strong corporate capabilities. In describing our Corporate practice, Chambers noted that "[t]he group engages in the full range of M&A, corporate finance and private equity work. Clients identified a 'collegial' group of lawyers as 'practical and focused, they are good at coalition building.'"

The Wall Street Journal lauds the "quiet, behind-the-scenes approach" of our Financial Institutions practice, which is led by Russell J. Bruemmer, former Chief Counsel-Congressional Affairs for the FBI, Special Assistant to the Director of the FBI, Special Counsel to the Director of Central Intelligence, and Central Intelligence Agency's General Counsel. The group includes Eric J. Mogilnicki and Franca Harris Gutierrez.

Chambers recognized the group and reported that our "strong regulatory and securities law Departments ensure that the team, which features Russell J. Bruemmer, can supply a breadth of expertise."

Russell J. Bruemmer was named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in banking and is listed in the International Who's Who of Banking Law.

David Medine also was named one of the 50 most influential people in credit by Credit Today Magazine and recognized in B to B Magazine's "100 Who's Who in Business to Business."