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 29, 2016

Brexit and Data Protection: The Impact on GDPR Compliance

As we wait for the UK to decide what arrangement it will seek with the European Union when it leaves, it may be useful to focus on what Brexit may mean for data protection.

September 19, 2016

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

In the 2016 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 four other practice areas. The guide also names four partners to its "Leading lawyers" list, and recognizes a total of nine of the firm's London-based lawyers.

September 14, 2016

LMG Life Sciences Recognizes WilmerHale in Multiple Categories on 2016 Award Shortlist

In its annual recognition of the top law firms, lawyers and in-house counsel in the life sciences industry, LMG Life Sciences named WilmerHale to its 2016 award shortlist. 

September 9, 2016

Scope of the Jury Trial in Civil FIRREA Actions

In this article published by Law360, Matthew Martens, Sharon Cohen Levin and Reginald Brown detail the scope of the jury trial right in civil Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act actions.

August 10, 2016

Civil Penalties Set to Increase Significantly, Many Present Retroactivity Concerns

Over the past several months, many federal agencies have adopted rules significantly increasing the maximum civil monetary penalties (CMPs) they can potentially impose. The increased penalty amounts were adopted in response to recent legislation from Congress requiring that federal agencies make adjustments to “catch up” with inflation.

July 21, 2016

NYDFS Issues Final Rule Requiring Certification of Compliance With AML Transaction Monitoring and Filtering Program Requirements 

The New York Department of Financial Services recently finalized a regulation that mandates detailed elements of the anti-money laundering transaction monitoring and sanctions filtering programs of covered institutions. The rule, published on June 30, 2016, also requires directors or senior officers to certify their institutions' compliance with these new standards.

July 15, 2016

Life and Annuity Series: Class Certified in an ERISA “Unreasonable Compensation” Case

The Colorado federal court concluded last summer, in Teets v. Great-West Life & Ann. Ins. Co., that an insurer could be subject to ERISA liability for receiving unreasonable compensation in connection with a stable value fund, and that the fund was not exempt from ERISA as a “guaranteed benefit policy.”

July 13, 2016

Civil Fines Jump Across Agencies Under Inflation Adjustment Act

Civil fines across federal agencies have recently been increased dramatically under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Act) (Sec. 701 of Public Law 114-74), with some more than doubling. Companies violating the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Improvements Act, the Securities and Exchange Act, or the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), among others, could soon face civil monetary penalties that are up to 150% higher than the existing levels. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the 2015 Act would increase the federal government's revenue by $1.3 billion over the next ten years.

June 13, 2016

The Global Implications of the EU's New Civil Market Abuse Regime

On 3 July 2016 the EU Market Abuse Regulations will come into force, replacing the previous civil market abuse regime as set out in the Market Abuse Directive. Given its extra-territorial effect, the changes brought in by MAR are likely to have implications for market participants located outside the EU. [Also published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.]

June 3, 2016

CFIUS Actions Highlight Focus on Critical Technologies and Infrastructure

In its latest report to Congress, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the US government's interagency body that vets foreign investment with national security implications, reported that it reviewed a record 147 notices in 2014, a 52% increase from 2013.

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.