Banking Controversy

Bank Regulation and Enforcement

Key Contacts


  • Department of Justice and US Attorney's Office Investigations and Litigation

    We regularly represent clients before the DOJ and US Attorney's Offices. Our experience includes:

    • Representing clients in dozens of internal and DOJ investigations, and obtaining several declinations of prosecution from the enforcement authorities for our clients;
    • Representing major financial institutions and securities market firms in financial crimes, anti–money laundering (AML) and economic sanctions investigations by the DOJ and other regulators;
    • Representing major financial institutions in False Claims Act investigations and litigation, including two recent cases in which district courts dismissed all claims against our clients; and
    • Representing several financial institutions in connection with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations concerning financial institutions with sovereign wealth funds.
  • Regulatory Enforcement and Investigations

    We have represented clients in dozens of formal and informal enforcement actions brought by or before several agencies, including the CFPB, OCC, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, FDIC, FinCEN, OFAC, FHFA, FTC, SEC, CFTC and agency inspectors general. In recent years, our team has:

    • Defended groundbreaking regulatory actions involving auction rate securities, initial public offering allocation practices, research analyst independence, mutual fund market timing, revenue sharing and broker-dealer markups, among many others;
    • Been involved in some capacity in nearly every enforcement action the CFPB has taken against large national banks since its inception, including in the areas of credit cards and add-on products, mortgage lending, student lending, debt collection, fair lending, and others; and
    • Assisted financial and other institutions with their responses to nearly all of the major congressional inquiries regarding AML issues over the last two decades.
  • Congressional Investigations

    Financial institutions and other clients regularly look to us for counsel when facing high-stakes congressional inquiries. Our experience includes:

    • Representing numerous institutions and senior executives in connection with Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission inquiries;
    • Representing a global financial institution in connection with congressional inquiries into a large and high-profile trading loss;
    • Representing a global financial institution in US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations inquiry regarding money laundering, drugs and terrorist financing.
  • State Attorney General Investigations and State Regulatory Entities

    WilmerHale has represented bank and nonbank financial institutions in some of the most consequential and high-profile state attorney general investigations in recent years. This experience includes:

    • Representing a top mortgage servicer in the National Mortgage Settlement involving 49 state attorneys general;
    • Representing a large nonbank financial services company in a joint investigation by the CFPB and several state attorneys general;
    • Representing a worldwide financial services company in state attorney general investigations into foreign exchange practices and other administrative charges; and
    • Representing a global financial services company in an investigation into net asset value practices by the Massachusetts Securities Division.
  • Financial Services Litigation and Class Actions

    Our team has guided financial companies through a variety of litigation and class actions. In recent years, we have:

    • Obtained a complete defense verdict as lead trial counsel in a federal class action jury trial in the Central District of California in a case brought against a financial services company seeking $180 million in damages on behalf of 46,000 class members;
    • Represented financial institutions in the US Supreme Court on preemption, jurisdictional and substantive banking matters in cases and represented financial institution trade groups as amici in multiple additional cases;
    • Represented a major bank in a series of class actions consolidated in the Southern District of Florida pursuant to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) process, challenging item posting order, overdraft fees and related practices;
    • Represented a major payment card issuer in a series of class actions consolidated in the Eastern District of New York pursuant to the MDL process, challenging on antitrust grounds the credit card interchange fees paid by merchants acquiring banks; and
    • Represented a major national lender in an appeal of a class action verdict imposing significant compensatory and punitive damages on the institution as assignee of second mortgage loans, based on allegedly improper fees charged by the originating lender, and in other similar litigation concerning assignee liability concerning such fees.
  • Intellectual Property Litigation

    WilmerHale regularly litigates intellectual property disputes, having served as lead litigation counsel in more than 300 major patent and trademark litigation cases. We have represented clients from a broad range of industries, including several preeminent financial institutions in patent infringement matters before the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, US District Courts, US Court of Federal Claims, and the US International Trade Commission.
  • Cybersecurity Issues

    Our attorneys are at the forefront of current cybersecurity issues. Our experience includes:

    • Regularly helping companies comply with data-breach reporting obligations across the states as well as under sector-specific federal regimes, such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act; and
    • Representing an international bank in seeking removal of information stolen by a hacker and uploaded to a file-sharing site in the United States.

Banking Controversy