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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Brown, Reginald J.

Reginald J. Brown

Chair, Financial Institutions 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

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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.

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.

July 31, 2017

BTI Industry Power Rankings Feature WilmerHale’s Strong Client Relationships in Key Industries

WilmerHale registers an impressive performance in the BTI Industry Power Rankings 2017, which provides insight into the law firms that are best positioned with the largest, most prestigious clients across 18 industry segments.

July 13, 2017

Hobby Lobby Forfeits Thousands of Ancient Iraqi Artifacts, Pays $3M, and Admits Fault to Settle Civil Forfeiture Action

The US government's settlement with Hobby Lobby on July 5, 2017 is part of its broader effort to combat trafficking in looted antiquities from the war-torn Middle East and to reduce market demand for such objects by punishing participants in the black market. This WilmerHale Client Alert was republished on NYU Law's Compliance & Enforcement blog.

July 12, 2017

CFPB Releases Final Rule Banning Certain Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements

On July 10, the CFPB announced its long-anticipated final rule to prohibit the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements to block consumer class actions in contracts for consumer financial products and services.

June 21, 2017

Treasury Report Proposes Revamping Post-Crash Financial Regulation

On June 12, 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department released a 150-page report that recommends revamping many of the rules for banks and other financial services firms put in place after the 2008 financial crisis through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

June 20, 2017

The Brexit Negotiations (1): What is the EU's Opening Position?

The Brexit negotiations started yesterday. After months of speculation as to what will be their focus, it may be useful to recall the European Union's opening position and the United Kingdom's opening position.

June 20, 2017

President Trump Announces New Cuba Restrictions

Although US policy since 2014 has been to normalize US-Cuba relations and liberalize trade with Cuba, President Trump signaled a partial reversal of US policy in a speech in Miami and the issuance of a National Security Presidential Memorandum, focusing on new restrictions on individual travel to Cuba and on dealings with Cuban military-related entities.

June 19, 2017

Implications of the Supreme Court's Kokesh Decision

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Kokesh v. SEC that a claim for disgorgement arising from the violation of federal securities law constitutes a “penalty” for purposes of the general statute of limitations provision in 28 U.S.C. § 2462. This WilmerHale Client Alert was republished in the Wall Street Lawyer.

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.  
  • WilmerHale was recognized for its strong client relationships in the financial services industry in the BTI Industry Power Rankings 2017.
  • 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.