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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May 2, 2016

WilmerHale Expands West Coast Corporate Practice With Two Partner Hires

WilmerHale is pleased to welcome Partners Christopher Rose and Eric Hwang to the firm's Los Angeles and Palo Alto offices, respectively.

April 11, 2016

Federal Regulators Clarify Bank CIP Obligations for Prepaid Cardholders

Banks and credit unions that issue reloadable, general purpose prepaid cards must apply Customer Identification Program procedures to those cardholders, according to guidance issued by the federal banking regulators and FinCEN on March 21, 2016.  

April 8, 2016

DOJ Launches FCPA Pilot Program to Encourage Corporate Voluntary Disclosure and Cooperation

On April 5, 2016, the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division issued an enforcement plan and guidance laying out three steps it is taking to intensify Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement.

April 5, 2016

Life and Annuity Series: Cost-of-Insurance Charge Litigation

Plaintiffs' lawyers have been challenging cost-of-insurance (COI) charges for years, with mixed results. The following outline reviews the most recent flurry of cases.

March 23, 2016

Busy Q1 Yields Several Significant FCPA Resolutions

Recent actions announced by the DOJ and SEC during the first quarter of 2016 suggest that this year may be a significant one for FCPA enforcement.

March 14, 2016

OCC Revises CMP Policy

For the first time in over twenty years, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has formally changed its policy governing civil money penalties against national banks, federal savings associations, federal branches of foreign banks, and their service providers and institution affiliated parties.

March 8, 2016

Viewpoint: Ensuring a Level Playing Field for Federal Virtual Currency Regulation

An article by Elijah Alper and Katrina Carroll, published by Paybefore. FinCEN's March 2013 interpretive guidance on bitcoin and other virtual currency remains the key statement of federal regulatory policy on the topic.

March 4, 2016

German Cum/Ex-Trades: Enhanced Risks and Industry-Wide Challenges

The German and international financial industries and their advisors have come under new pressure to investigate so-called 'cum/ex' trades conducted between 2000 and 2012.

February 29, 2016

Ensuring A Level Playing Field For Federal Virtual Currency Regulation

An article by Elijah Alper and Katrina Carroll, published in FinTech Law Report (January/February 2016, Vol. 1, Issue 1), discusses FinCEN's regulation of Bitcoin and other virtual currency.

February 11, 2016

Selected 2016 M&A Transactions

In 2015, we advised clients throughout the United States and Europe on more than 75 M&A transactions providing guidance in areas including corporate, securities, antitrust and tax. Since 2004, we have participated in more than 1,200 mergers and acquisitions with a total value in excess of $500 billion, ranging from sales of VC-backed companies to multibillion-dollar global mergers.

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.