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

Read More
Brown, Reginald J.

Reginald J. Brown

Chair, Financial Institutions Practice Group

+1 202 663 6430 (t)

reginald.brown@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 US 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

View

December 21, 2015

SEC Proposes New Framework for Regulating Funds’ Use of Derivatives and Leverage

On December 11, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) proposed a rule that, if adopted, would rescind nearly 30 years of Commission and staff guidance that is currently relied upon by most mutual funds, closed-end funds and business development companies or “BDCs” (collectively, funds) when entering into derivatives, short sales or other transactions that create conditional or unconditional future payment obligations on a fund. [Also published by Law360].

December 4, 2015

NYDFS Proposes to Require Chief Compliance Officers to Certify Effectiveness of AML and Sanctions Programs

The New York Department of Financial Services has issued a proposed regulation that sets forth minimum requirements for anti-money laundering transaction monitoring systems and watch list filtering systems. The proposed regulation would also require chief compliance officers of banks and money transmitters to annually certify that their monitoring and filtering programs are in compliance.

November 24, 2015

Four Things Companies Should Know About the SEC’s 2015 Whistleblower Report

The SEC recently published data showing significant increases in tips received under its Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. Released on November 16, the 2015 annual report also provided important guidance to companies on the SEC’s whistleblower-related priorities through fiscal year 2016.

October 30, 2015

Chambers UK 2016 Recognizes WilmerHale for Outstanding Work and Reputation

Chambers UK: A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2016 ranked five WilmerHale lawyers and two practices for outstanding work and reputation.

September 18, 2015

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP Named a Top-Tier Firm by The Legal 500 UK

In the 2015 edition of The Legal 500 UK, WilmerHale is named a top-tier firm for dispute resolution - international arbitration and crime, fraud and licensing - fraud: white-collar crime, and is recommended in six other practice areas.

July 1, 2015

WilmerHale Named a Leading National Firm in the United States by The Legal 500

The Legal 500 United States has released its annual rankings, selecting WilmerHale as one of the preeminent law firms in the country.

May 6, 2015

In Warning to Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency Businesses, FinCEN Issues First Enforcement Action for Virtual Currency Activity

The US government took its strongest step yet in its oversight of other virtual currency yesterday, fining prominent "Bitcoin alternative" company Ripple Labs Inc. $700,000 for what the government called a willful violation of the anti-money laundering laws.

April 13, 2015

Report Highlights Bank Vendor Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

On April 9, the New York State Department of Financial Services released a report on bank vendor cybersecurity that highlights the risk that hackers will use third-party service providers to gain access to bank data.

January 27, 2015

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2014 Developments and Predictions for 2015

The year 2014 witnessed several notable developments in the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2014 Developments and Predictions for 2015, WilmerHale attorneys discuss notable trends and developments in 2014, and look ahead to possible trends in 2015.

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.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business hailed our financial institutions group with a nationwide ranking in 2014. Clients say, "they are the smartest, best people out there on financial services regulation matters," and laude them as "very smart, very knowledgeable and very client service-oriented. A pleasure to deal with." Partner Franca Harris Gutierrez was recognized individually as a leader in her respective practice area.  
  • Partner Franca Harris Gutierrez was selected to the 2013 list of The Best Lawyers in America for her work in banking law.
  • In 2013, IFLR100: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms,  recognized WilmerHale as a top firm in their financial services regulatory category.
  • The Wall Street Journal lauds the "quiet, behind-the-scenes approach" of our group, which includes Chair Reginald 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.