Financial Institutions REGULATORY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

WilmerHale is at the forefront of the most challenging litigation, enforcement, compliance, regulatory and transactional issues in banking and financial services.


Clients look to our Financial Institutions Group for assistance with complex matters that impact them as banks, card issuers, insurance companies, broker-dealers, mortgage lenders, student loan servicers, database operators, FinTech firms or investors in the financial sector. We have extensive experience in banking controversies, retail financial services and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), prudential and foreign bank regulatory advice, financial technology, and business transactions. 

Many of our attorneys gained valuable insights serving in major roles at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Treasury Department, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the White House before joining the firm. The depth and experience of our practice as a whole and its individual lawyers have been acknowledged by a number of esteemed publications, including Chambers USA, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Legal 500 and IFLR100.

Contacts

Sort By
Brown, Reginald J.

Reginald J. Brown

Chair, Financial Institutions Group

+1 202 663 6430 (t)

reginald.brown@wilmerhale.com

Gutierrez, Franca Harris

Franca Harris Gutierrez

Vice Chair, Financial Institutions Practice Group

+1 202 663 6557 (t)

franca.gutierrez@wilmerhale.com

Adegbile, Debo

Debo P. Adegbile

Partner

+1 212 295 6717 (t)

debo.adegbile@wilmerhale.com

Berkovitz, Dan

Dan M. Berkovitz

Partner

+1 202 663 6352 (t)

dan.berkovitz@wilmerhale.com

Brown, Reginald J.

Reginald J. Brown

Partner

+1 202 663 6430 (t)

reginald.brown@wilmerhale.com

Cohen, David

David S. Cohen

Partner

+1 202 663 6205 (t)

david.cohen@wilmerhale.com

Donovan, David

David Donovan

Partner

+1 202 663 6868 (t)

david.donovan@wilmerhale.com

No Image

Gail Ennis

Partner

+1 202 663 6014 (t)

gail.ennis@wilmerhale.com

Goldblatt, Craig

Craig Goldblatt

Partner

+1 202 663 6483 (t)

craig.goldblatt@wilmerhale.com

Experience

With our help, clients achieve their business objectives efficiently and cost-effectively, prevent or resolve their regulatory issues and investigations, and litigate their highest stakes cases to favorable outcomes. 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 recent years, we have:

  • represented financial institutions in dozens of internal and DOJ investigations, and represented clients in numerous formal and informal enforcement actions brought by or before the CFPB, OCC, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Office of Foreign Assets Control, Federal Housing Finance Agency, FTC, SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and agency inspectors general;
  • assisted domestic and foreign banking entities in all aspects of their relationships with federal and state bank regulators, including charter, license and other applications, reporting requirements, requests for interpretive and exemptive relief, and responses to examination reports and supervisory correspondence. We also frequently counsel foreign banks on issues under the US banking laws;
  • represented many of the world's leading financial firms in investigations by the House Financial Services Committee, Senate Banking Committee, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission;
  • counseled banks on entering into and renegotiating outsourcing and other services agreements. We have represented clients in acquiring and divesting credit card portfolios (bankcard and private label), and in establishing long-term strategic alliances for private label card programs and card association relationships. We have also advised both issuers and merchants on the preparation and negotiation of co-branding agreements, and have assisted financial institutions in raising capital through various complex debt and equity offerings;
  • represented banking institutions and insurance companies in dozens of class action matters and other key litigation at all levels of the federal and state court systems. Before the US Supreme Court, we have represented financial institution parties in recent terms on preemption, jurisdictional and substantive banking matters, and represented financial institution trade groups as amici in additional cases;
  • advised numerous players in FinTech, from early-stage startups to major banks developing new technology-driven platforms and products to leading venture capital firms in the investor community;
  • played a role in nearly all of the largest anti–money laundering investigations to date, either as client counsel or as regulators and prosecutors, including all stages of enforcement actions brought by the DOJ, FDIC, Federal Reserve, FinCEN, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, New York Department of Financial Services, OCC, SEC and others;
  • represented plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation and class actions arising under anti-discrimination and fair lending laws, including defending an investment bank in ongoing litigation brought by a purported class asserting disparate impact and discrimination claims relating to the investment bank's purchase and securitization of mortgage loans. We also represent clients, including large financial institutions, in fair lending inquiries, examinations, investigations and enforcement matters conducted by the CFPB, DOJ, and other federal and state regulators;
  • played a leading or supporting role in nearly every CFPB enforcement action since the bureau's inception. We have also advised numerous clients on compliance with new and revised regulations issued by the CFPB, and have helped banks and nonbanks prepare for and respond to CFPB examinations; and
  • in the area of retail finance, counseled banks, credit card issuers, finance companies, auto lenders, mortgage lenders, originators and servicers, retailers, payment processors, debt collectors, consumer reporting agencies, consumer finance companies, mortgage lenders, and small business lenders on a wide range of issues arising from applicable statutes, rules and regulations.

Publications & News

View

November 29, 2017

US Department of the Treasury: A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities—Capital Markets

In October 2017, the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) published a report titled “A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities” (Treasury Report). Treasury, under the direction of Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, prepared the Treasury Report in response to Executive Order 13772 (Executive Order). The Executive Order established a set of Core Principles consistent with which the financial markets should be regulated.

November 16, 2017

CFPB Examinations and Investigations: Defense Strategies and Best Practices

An article by Franca Harris Gutierrez, Bradford Hardin, Jr. and Thomas Kost, published in Practical Law, examines the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's examination and investigation processes, including its scope of authority, enforcement methods and recent enforcement activity across different industries.

November 16, 2017

The US Revises Commercial and Travel Sanctions Against Cuba

The US Departments of the Treasury and Commerce implemented President Trump's June 2017 National Security Presidential Memorandum that was designed to tighten restrictions on individual travel to Cuba and on dealings with Cuban military-related entities.

November 15, 2017

David Cohen Named to Advisory Board of National Security Institute, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

The NSI describes itself as “a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development” related to the security threats facing the US and its allies.

October 27, 2017

Jamie Gorelick and David Ogden Recognized by Ethisphere as 2017 Attorneys Who Matter

Partners Jamie Gorelick and David Ogden were recognized by Ethisphere Inc., an organization that promotes business ethics and compliance, as 2017 Attorneys Who Matter.

September 26, 2017

Trump Administration Imposes Broad New Sanctions Against North Korea

Over the past several years, as North Korea has increased the capability of its nuclear and ballistic missile program, there has been a steady increase in sanctions pressure against North Korea by the United States and the broader international community. In response to the latest provocations from North Korea, late last week President Trump declared that it was time to “maximize pressure” on North Korea and signed a new Executive Order.

September 18, 2017

EU to Establish a Framework for Screening Foreign Direct Investment

On September 13, 2017, the European Commission issued a proposal for a Regulation establishing a framework for screening foreign direct investment in the European Union.

August 28, 2017

New Sanctions Prohibit US Firms From Wide Range of Dealings With Venezuelan Government and PdVSA

On August 24, the Trump Administration significantly expanded sanctions against the Government of Venezuela, including state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.

August 16, 2017

Michael Leotta Named National Vice Chair of ABA’s White Collar Crime Committee

Partner Michael Leotta was named a national vice chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) White Collar Crime Committee.

July 31, 2017

President Expected to Sign New Sanctions Bill to Constrain Presidential Authority While Expanding "Sanctions Toolkit" for Russia, Iran, and North Korea

On July 27, the US Senate passed the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a comprehensive sanctions bill that expands US sanctions against three countries: Russia, Iran and North Korea.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business: Consistently recognized on a national level in the Financial Services Regulation: Banking (Compliance) and Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance (Compliance & Litigation) categories. In recent editions, sources stated: “It's a treat to work with them on anything; they're outstanding. One of the top financial services practices in the country,” and “They are by far the most knowledgeable when it comes to the regulatory requirements for regulated firms.”
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms: Recognized as a top firm in the financial services regulatory category every year since 2013.
  • The Legal 500 United States: Recommended as a top-tier firm for financial services litigation in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions.
  • U.S. News - Best Lawyers®: Recognized as a leader in banking and finance law, both nationally and in the Washington DC area, in the 2012-2017 "Best Law Firms" lists.
  • The BTI Industry Power Rankings 2017 recognized WilmerHale for its strong client relationships in the banking industry.
  • The Wall Street Journal: Applauded the “quiet, behind-the-scenes approach” of our group, which includes Chair Reg Brown, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and White House Counsel liaison to the Treasury Department and independent financial services agencies, and Vice Chair Franca Harris Gutierrez, former attorney at the OCC.
  • Financial Institutions Group Co-Chair Franca Harris Gutierrez has been recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2012-2016), Who's Who Legal: Banking – Finance (2016), Washington DC Super Lawyers (2013-2016), and Best Lawyers in America (2012-2016) for her work in banking law.