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Able to call upon the expertise of numerous former high-ranking governmental officials, as well as several lawyers who have previously had in-house financial institution experience, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has a longstanding reputation for providing ‘commercially sensitive and nuanced advice’ to many of the highest-profile entities in the industry. The return to the firm of seasoned financial services regulatory lawyers Katherine Mooney Carroll and Jack Murphy, following recent stints with the US government and Promontory Financial Group, respectively, adds further weight and credibility to the team’s competence. The pair have considerable expertise across a raft of hot-button issues including enhanced prudential standards, the Volcker Rule and sanctions issues. Murphy also has considerable financial services M&A expertise and, alongside New York-based Christopher Austin, advised Metlife’s board of directors on the spin-off of its US retail life insurance business, Brighthouse Financial. The firm remains recognized as ‘one of the leaders’ in the foreign banking space and has handled a myriad of compliance counselling and regulatory-informed transactional work, including inter alia compliance with the Intermediate Holding Company Rule and advice to international financial institutions on restructuring investments in private equity and hedge funds to comply with the Volcker Rule and other US regulatory regimes. The firm’s expertise is also underscored by its many high-profile engagements on behalf of leading trade industry bodies including the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), The Clearing House (TCH) , and the Institute of International Bankers (IIB), the latter with which the ‘excellent’ Derek Bush has advised for many years across a range of issues, including representing it in advocacy efforts and comment letters relating to the core US regulatory issues affecting its businesses (including enhanced prudential standards and Basel III implementation). As well as his intimate knowledge of resolution planning issues gained when he was at the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC), Michael Krimminger is also regularly involved in the most significant fintech-related matters handled by the firm, including his work for Paxos Trust Company on securing the relevant regulatory approvals to facilitate it becoming the first US-chartered and regulated virtual currency exchange. On the trading front, Edward Rosen and Colin Lloyd continue to advise many large US banks on how to restructure their swap dealer businesses to comply with Dodd-Frank. Giovanni Prezioso is recommended for broker-dealer work.

One of the clear market leaders’, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP provides ‘excellent advice’ to domestic and global banks, major trade associations, asset managers and broker-dealers across the gamut of regulatory issues faced by their industry. Noted for its thought leadership in the space, the team has generated significant traction and market visibility as a result of its widely read innovative web-based tools, such as its Regulatory Tracker, which keeps clients abreast of changes to the regulatory landscape. One of the most prominent firms in the market in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, it remains at the vanguard of change in the industry and provides expert guidance to clients across the gamut of issues, such as on Volcker Rule concerns, resolution planning and capital adequacy requirements. The team also provides regulatory input on financial services M&A including Randall Guynn’s advice to Santander Financial Services on the sale of its Puerto-Rico based Island Finance business to JC Flowers. Guynn also regularly provides guidance on regulatory change in the industry to leading trade associations including TCH and SIFMA, work which includes authoring comment letters relating to, among other things, the Financial Stability Board’s proposed guidelines on internal total loss-absorbing capacity (TLAC). The ‘superb’ Luigi De Ghengi also handles a wide array of standalone advisory and regulatory work associated with transactions in the sector, including his recent regulatory guidance for the joint book-running managers on Seacoast Banking Corporation's $198.3m stock issuance. Margaret Tahyar is also recommended across traditional bank regulatory work as well as on fintech-related matters. John Douglas provides excellent insight on troubled bank matters gleaned through his many years in private practice, as well as from his tenure at the FDIC during the savings and loan crisis. On the broker-dealer front, Annette Nazareth and Lanny Schwartz are recommended.

A perennial favourite for a vast array of financial services clients on many of their most pressing financial services regulation issues, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP displays an ‘unsurpassed breadth and depth’ of knowledge across standalone issues as well as regulatory-driven M&A activity in the industry. A ‘guru of the financial services regulation market’, Rodgin Cohen ‘shows no signs of slowing down’ and continues to be involved in many of the highest-profile financial services transactions in the market, including his work alongside Mitchell Eitel for First Horizon on its $2.2bn acquisition of Capital Bank Financial. Eitel also recently acted for NorthStar Asset Management Group on its $7bn all stock merger with NorthStar Realty Finance. The firm continues to cover the gamut of compliance and strategic work related to Dodd-Frank and in this regard, Whitney Chatterjee and Camille Orme have particular expertise advising foreign and domestic banks on Volcker Rule issues. The team has also been closely aligned to developments in the fintech sector where its client base includes both emerging entities as well as established banks looking to invest in start-ups in the sector. Recent highlights include advice in relation to the launch of Goldman Sachs Private Bank Select, a digital platform for making securities-based loans. Other recommended practitioners include Michael Wiseman, who is ‘vastly experienced’ across both standalone compliance matters and financial services M&A; Elizabeth Davy, who is noted for her anti-money laundering (AML) and sanctions expertise; Mark Menting, who has an excellent track record for handling financial services M&A and capital raisings; and Jared Fishman. Clients include Bank of China, JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and Barclays Bank.

The ‘pragmatic and practical’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP displays ‘deep knowledge of the financial services regulatory reform agenda’ and handles strategic compliance and transactional work for a broad cross-section of financial services clients ranging from investment and regional banks to insurance companies and funds. Noted for its ‘deep knowledge of the regulatory issues applicable to foreign banking organizations’, the team has handled a significant volume of work for international banks on the requirements associated with establishing Intermediate Holding Companies and on associated issues including stress testing and capital planning. Its growing prominence in the area was also recently recognized by the European Banking Federation (EBF), the principal trade group for European banks, which engages the firm on its Volcker Rule advocacy efforts. The team is able to provide insightful advice that is closely attuned to the regulator’s perspective as a result of housing numerous former high-ranking government officials. For example, David Portilla, who previously served as senior policy advisor to the Treasury Department’s Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) office, is an invaluable resource to clients seeking highly strategic guidance which is cognisant of the ‘mood music’ emanating from the Hill. As well as his work alongside the ‘excellentSatish Kini for the EBF, Portilla also recently partnered with the ‘vastly experiencedGregory Lyons on behalf of Citizens Financial Group on its acquisition of Western Reserve Partners. Although she is better known for her enforcement expertise, the return in March 2017 of Mary Jo White, following her stint as chair of the SEC, adds further gravitas to the team. Clients include Santander, Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Canada and Silicon Valley Bank.

Leveraging its longstanding position as one the country’s premier financial institution transactional practices, the ‘hardworking’ team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP continues to be engaged by many leading domestic banks on M&A deals in the sector. The team provides a highly integrated approach which utilizes the experience of deal makers, including the ‘highly experienced and well-known’ Lee Meyerson, as well as regulatory experts, such as ‘up-and-coming’ counsel Mark Chorazak. Meyerson and Chorazak recently teamed up to advise Toronto-Dominion Bank and TD Ameritrade on the combined $4bn acquisition of Scottrade Financial Services. The team also receives a steady flow of work from its ‘top-notch’ roster of private equity clients on their investments in the financial services sector and, led by Elizabeth Cooper, recently acted for Blackstone on its acquisition of Harvest Fund Advisors. Lesley Peng is another key member of the team and is regularly involved in financial services capital markets transactions; alongside Meyerson she advised the underwriters of TCF Corporation on its $175m offering. The return in January 2018 of Keith Noreika following a stint as Acting Comptroller of the Currency heightens the firm’s credibility in the market and enhances its ability on the transactional front as well as on standalone regulatory matters.

With practitioners based out of Washington DC, Boston and New York, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has close ties with a range of financial services clients, including regional banks, investment banks and asset managers, and is best-known for its ‘absolutely superb financial institutions M&A offering’. Brian Christiansen and Sven Mickisch are representing AloStar Bank of Commerce on its $196m sale to State Bank and Trust Company. The team also continues to act for Citigroup as it sheds non-core elements of its business, including the $685m disposal of its fixed income analytics and index businesses to London Stock Exchange Group, and the sale of its institutional prepaid card services to Wirecard. William Sweet is ‘well-known in the market’ and in addition to his financial services M&A expertise also regularly handles general compliance and enforcement matters. Spearheaded by Joseph Barloon and Anand Raman, the firm is also noted for its ‘excellent’ consumer finance regulatory offering and frequently represents clients in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) matters.

With a strong presence on both coasts, as well as internationally out of Frankfurt and London, Arnold & Porter is well placed to advise a wide roster of banks, investment managers and broker-dealers across the panoply of regulatory compliance, transactional and legislative issues impacting their businesses, both from a purely domestic perspective as well as internationally. Team head David Freeman has significant federal and state banking and securities law expertise and continues to advise First Republic Bank across a range of ongoing regulatory compliance issues associated with Dodd-Frank, as well as on the regulatory implications surrounding new products and product extensions. Robert Azarow regularly handles financial services M&A matters and recently acted for Astoria Financial Corporation on its $2.2bn merger with Sterling Bancorp. With assistance from senior counsel Patrick Doyle, Azarow also continues to represent TIAA, one of the country’s largest diversified financial services firms, across a myriad regulatory issues associated with the expansion of its banking operations. Noted for his consumer finance expertise, Michael Mierzewski regularly advises clients on their dealings with the CFPB. Other recommended practitioners include Brian McCormally, Richard Alexander, Michael Mancusi and Christopher Allen. Clients include Charles Schwab, JPMorgan Chase and First Citizens Bank & Trust Company.

Aided by a significant offering in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Latham & Watkins LLP’s US-based financial services regulation team is well-placed to advise banks, funds and securities firms on domestic matters, as well as on regulatory matters in a global context. Working closely with colleagues in the UK and Europe, the US team has developed a market leading reputation for advising on the global convergence of regulatory standards for leveraged lending (particularly the key differences between the US and ECB guidance). Alan Avery has been central to much of this work and as well as other standalone regulatory matters, including Volcker Rule guidance and advice on cryptocurrencies, also regularly provides the regulatory overlay to major M&A and capital markets mandates handled in the sector. Vivian Maese is noted for her ‘excellent advice’ on compliance matters and strategic fintech transactions; alongside Avery, Maese is acting for Cottonwood Vending, a Bitcoin ATM operator, on its application to the New York State Department of Financial Services to obtain a license to conduct virtual business activity in New York. Stephen Wink and Dana Fleischman both have excellent reputations on broker-dealer matters; Wink recently acted for Dynasty on the establishment of a novel real estate trading platform that allows for purchasing and selling investment real estate. Courtenay Myers Lima and former SEC international corporate finance chief Paul Dudek also handle capital markets-related regulatory work. The team was recently significantly strengthened on the payments front by the arrival in December 2017 of Todd Beauchamp from Paul Hastings LLP.

Co-headed from Washington DC by the ‘brilliant’ Rick Fischer and Obrea Poindexter, Morrison & Foerster LLP is best-known for its ‘first-class’ payments expertise which includes advice to many leading credit card issuers and mobile payments providers on ongoing compliance issues associated with this fast-changing area of law, in addition to legislative matters and regulatory advice pursuant to transactions in the sector. Recent highlights include representing Bass Pro Group on its $5.5bn acquisition of hunting and fishing store Cabela’s. A complex transaction which involved significant regulatory scrutiny, the mandate involved the purchase and sale agreement of Cabela’s World’s Foremost Bank’s credit card accounts and deposits, as well as the negotiation of a program agreement for a new Cabela’s cobrand credit card to be offered by Capital One. On the bank regulatory front, Jiang Liu regularly advises Chinese banks with operations in the US and, alongside Barbara Mendelson, is a key member of the team that is well regarded for its overarching expertise for foreign banks on their obligations under Dodd-Frank. On the West coast, senior counsel Henry Fields has significant financial services M&A expertise and, alongside of counsel Ben Chung, is representing Beneficial State Bank on its pending merger with Albina Community Bank. Despite the departure in March 2017 of Leonard Chanin to Fifth Third Bank, the team maintains a strong presence in the consumer finance sector where the ‘very strong’ Oliver Ireland and Donald Lampe are key contacts. Joan Warrington also benefits from a wealth of consumer finance expertise garnered through her years in private practice and in-house, and also has particular expertise on structuring strategic partnerships between financial institutions and non-financial institutions.

Led out of New York on the banking regulation front by the ‘excellent’ Reena Sahni and for broker-dealer matters by Russell Sacks (‘the gold-standard for broker-dealer legal support’), Shearman & Sterling LLP’s standalone financial services regulatory offering is ‘increasingly visible in the market’ on behalf of domestic and international institutions. Sahni has ‘substantial knowledge’ of the core regulatory issues impacting both domestic and foreign banks including advice on Volcker Rule compliance, resolution planning and enhanced prudential standards. She also provides the regulatory overlay on banking M&A including her recent work for Safra National Bank of New York on the acquisition of the private banking assets and deposit liabilities of the New York and Miami branch offices of Israel’s Bank Hapoalim. As part of his expansive broker-dealer expertise, Sacks has particular specialism advising investment banking boutiques including his ongoing work for PJT Partners. Jennifer Morton and Timothy Byrne are also recommended for broker-dealer and bank regulatory work, respectively. Clients include Banco do Brasil, Blackstone, Citibank and Quintus Partners.

Benefiting from ‘unparalleled industry expertise’, Buckley Sandler LLP remains a ‘powerhouse within the consumer finance sector’ and has also begun to diversify and deepen the range of work it handles to include mainstream regulatory work for mid-sized banks. The arrival in October 2016 of Heather Russell from Fifth Third Bank is testament to the firm’s growth on the bank regulatory side, and bolsters a team that also includes newly promoted partner Marshall Bell, and Walt er Zalenski, whose work encompasses financial services M&A. Fintech-related work is another area of significant growth for the firm and, given the location of many of its clients, the opening in January 2018 of a San Francisco office demonstrates a commitment to this area of practice. Pure consumer finance work, however, remains the lifeblood of the firm’s work where it is able to combine ‘very effective’ counselling with real-world experience for clients facing scrutiny from the CFPB. Jeffrey Naimon has vast non-contentious and contentious expertise and recently provided consumer regulatory advice to Walter Investment Management on the sale of its principal mortgage subsidiary’s insurance agency to a lender-placed insurance provider. Andrea Mitchell has a focus on fair and responsible financial services and, alongside the ‘practical and strategic’ Michelle Rogers, has been been advising multiple clients on internal self-assessments of sales practices in the light of the highly publicized scrutiny of Wells Fargo. Benjamin Olson is also recommended for his ‘in-depth knowedge of regulation and the ability to provide practical guidance’. Andrew Sandler retired in March 2018.

At Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, ‘fantastic’ broker-dealer regulatory partner Steven Lofchie is ‘very innovative’ at solving thorny issues for a raft of trading participants, and is the founder and manager of the Cadwalader Cabinet - an online resource relating to US securities and commodities regulation whose subscribers include government regulators, as well as major buy and sell-side firms. Lofchie also continues to represent industry trade body SIFMA, as well as individual financial institutions, on the regulatory changes ushered in by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) relating to margin requirements for to-be-announced (TBAs) transactions and other mortgage-backed securities. On the bank regulatory front, Charlotte-based partner Scott Cammarn benefits from significant in-house and private practice expertise, ensuring that he is able to provide strategic and commercial standalone regulatory advice across an array of issues. A recent example involves advising a major global financial institution on securing Volcker Rule extension relief relating to its employees’ investments in illiquid funds. Cammarn provided the necessary regulatory input for Community Bank System on its acquisition of fellow regional bank Merchants Bancshares. Jeffrey Robbins is also recommended for broker-dealer regulation.

Led out of Washington DC by Richard Schaberg, Hogan Lovells US LLP’s five-partner team’s two-pronged regulatory offering focuses on regulatory compliance and regulatory-driven transactional work for regional and community banking entities, as well as advice to international financial institutions on their US operations. With banking share prices on the rise and with community banks looking to consolidate, M&A activity in the sector continues to pick up apace and the team has handled numerous mandates including Schaberg’s work for Sussex Bancorp on its $45.4m merger with Community Bank of Bergen County and for Bangor Bancorp MHC on its $45m acquisition of First Colebrook Bancorp and Granite Bank. In light of the low interest rate environment, the team has also been active advising entities as they seek to diversify product lines to gain greater profitability. In this regard, Schaberg has been advising Radius Bancorp on the regulatory issues associated with the development of new technology products and partnership agreements, and also acted for it on the acquisition of NewStar Financial’s equipment finance business. Leveraging the firm’s vast international network, the team regularly advises international financial services entities on their US-related activity. For example, it has been acting for Spanish banking group Santander on acquisitions it has made through its recently launched fintech fund, including its recent investment in Digital Asset Holdings. Stuart Stein and Gregory Parisi are also recommended.

Though primarily based out of the firm’s Washington DC office, the team at Mayer Brown is able to leverage the expertise of its lawyers based in the global financial centres of New York, London and Hong Kong to provide a comprehensive regulatory offering to domestic and international banks, broker-dealers, as well as the full array of consumer finance participants. David Beam has significant payments expertise and was the lead regulatory partner in the firm’s restructuring of American Express’ prepaid business. Beam also provides ongoing regulatory compliance advice to numerous fintech companies offering payment services. Steven Kaplan handles standalone consumer finance advisory work, as well as transactional-driven regulatory work; he is acting for Goldman Sachs on the regulatory aspects associated with its acquisition of Genesis Capital. Phillip Schulman’s broad-ranging consumer finance compliance practice includes particular expertise within the real estate finance and mortgage banking sectors. Other recommended partners include Ori Lev, for CFPB-related work; Jerome Roche, for broker-dealer matters; and Thomas Delaney, whose work encompasses compliance and agency enforcement/investigations work across the panoply of financial services matters, including OFAC-related issues.

One of the top firms for consumer finance’, Ballard Spahr LLP provides an ‘excellent service’ across the gamut of issues affecting clients in the sector, including those impacting mortgage banking entities and non-bank finance companies, as well as cutting-edge issues relating to cyber security and new technology. With numerous former alumni in its ranks, the firm is well-versed at handling matters before the CFPB from a regulatory, supervisory and enforcement perspectives. Recognized as a thought leader in the field, Alan Kaplinsky pioneered the use of arbitration clauses in consumer finance contracts as a means of avoiding costly litigation and is regularly engaged by industry bodies including the American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) to provide comment letters on behalf of their members to the CFPB. At the vanguard of developments in the consumer finance space, the team is a leader for the developing area of marketplace lending and advises institutional investors on debt and equity investments in the space and counsels banks and marketplace lenders on loan program structures and regulatory compliance issues. The ‘responsive, smart and creative’ Mark Furletti has a burgeoning reputation for handling payments-related matters and is ‘very strong on issues relating to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’. Washington DC-based Richard Andreano is recommended for his mortgage banking expertise.

Noted for its ‘excellent technical knowledge and relationships with the regulators’, Dechert LLP provides ‘thorough and accurate’ advice across a range of regulatory matters for clients including Melrose Credit Union, Interactive Brokers Group and Independent Community Bankers of America. The team is perhaps best-known for its work on behalf of asset management clients, both on discrete regulatory issues as well as regulatory driven transactional activity. The excellentThomas Vartanian has vast knowledge of the Dodd-Frank Act and is noted for his expertise at guiding clients through the intricacies of the Volcker Rule, both in terms of ensuring that existing activities and operations are compliant with it, as well as its impact on hedge and private equity funds on investments in and acquisitions of financial institutions and bank holding companies. Boston-based Thomas Friedmann has niche expertise advising on the regulatory issues impacting on business development companies; he was recently involved in the firm’s work for CION Investment Corporation on its $277m acquisition of Credit Suisse’s business development company. Senior counsel David Ansell is regularly involved in financial services M&A and, alongside counsel Robert Ledig, recently provided regulatory input for ECN Capital on the $1.25bn sale of its US commercial and vendor finance business to PNC Bank. David Harris is also recommended.

Spearheaded on the bank regulatory front by Joseph Vitale, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is particularly accomplished at handling regulatory work at the intersection of the funds and banking industries. Noted for his Volcker Rule expertise, Vitale ‘combines an outstanding depth of knowledge with a keen ability to deliver business-ready solutions’, and has provided the regulatory input to private equity sponsor Cerberus on numerous investments it has made into regulated financial institutions, including its recent acquisition of GE Money Bank from General Electric Corp. Vitale also regularly advises international banks on regulatory issues impacting their US activities, as well as on the application of US regulatory law to non-US activities. Julian Rainero has ‘deep expertise at handling detailed trading issues’ and co-heads the firm’s broker-dealer practice alongside Craig Warkol. Donald Mosher is recommended for his payments-related regulatory work, both from a standalone advisory perspective as well as in relation to M&A activity, as demonstrated by his recent advice for Cambridge Mercantile on its $690m acquisition by FleetCor Technologies. Betty Santangelo has a focus on AML-related matters.

With a preponderance of former agency alumni in its ranks, WilmerHale’s Washington DC-based team provides a compelling blend of government experience and industry expertise across a range of regulatory issues affecting banks, card issuers, broker-dealers and mortgage lenders. ‘An expert within the financial services realm’, Franca Harris Gutierrez ‘understands the regulations and regulators’. One of many within the team with significant consumer finance regulatory expertise, in addition to representing clients in CFPB-led enforcement actions, Gutierrez has also played an active role assisting large banks adapt to the bureau since its inception. Alongside Reginald Brown, Daniel Chaudoin and counsel Bradford Hardin, Gutierrez was also recently involved in providing counselling to numerous clients facing regulatory inquiries regarding their sales practices and incentive compensation. The team is also recognized as a leading authority on AML and sanctions-related advice, and is afforded significant credibility in this field as a result of the ‘excellent’ Sharon Cohen Levin, who served for 19 years as chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit in the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

Leveraging its sizeable international network, Allen & Overy LLP’s Washington DC-based team excels on cross-border matters and is equally adept at advising foreign financial institutions on navigating the US regulatory landscape as it is acting for US clients on matters which involve global regulatory implications. Head of the broker-dealer practice, Barbara Stettner provides wide-ranging expertise across the gamut of trading issues; she is representing a fintech start-up on the establishment of a platform for wholesale market participants to provide and secure access to short-term liquidity without bank intermediation through use of unsecured short-term bilateral loan agreements. Bill Satchell was also involved in the aforementioned matter and, leading out of the US alongside lawyers in London, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, was pivotal to the development and launch of MarginMatrix, a proprietary compliance system aimed at assisting major banks deal with the new regulatory requirements underpinning the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market.

Led by UK-qualified Nick O’Neill in New York, Clifford Chance’s financial services regulatory team regularly works alongside practitioners from across its global network and excels at work for global banks seeking cohesive and integrated advice from a global perspective. Co-ordinating with lawyers out of the firm’s UK, Asian and European offices, O’Neill is representing UBS on its regulatory-driven global restructuring. Steven Gatti has wide-ranging regulatory expertise, both from a compliance and enforcement perspective; he is advising DVB Bank on Volcker Rule compliance matters relating to the German bank’s representative New York office. David Felsenthal is well-versed in the regulatory framework underpinning the derivatives market and provides advocacy work for the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) on rules requiring collateral for swaps.

Aided by an extensive global network, Dentons’ ‘extremely intelligent’ Giorgio Bovenzi leads the firm’s offering for handling global credit risk management for major financial institutions. Bovenzi has a ‘comprehensive understanding of both the industry and the related legal issues’ and is ‘able to reconcile common law legal concepts and continental law legal concepts in a practical manner’. The other discrete part of the firm’s financial services regulatory offering is the consumer finance practice which is co-headed by Matthew Yoon and John Holahan. Both Yoon and Holahan are particularly well-versed at handling regulation relating to the primary and secondary residential mortgage markets and provide ongoing regulatory work to Citibank’s mortgage trading and underwriting desks on Wall Street in connection with the management of billions of dollars of financing line and residential mortgage assets. Other consumer finance regulatory clients include Barclays, Nomura and JPMorgan Chase.

While it is less focused on core banking regulatory matters than many of the firms in the rankings, Eversheds Sutherland provides an ‘excellent service’ to other key financial services clients including those in the insurance and asset management industries. Team head Stephen Roth excels at handling matters related to the regulation of registered insurance products and continues to assist the Committee of Annuity Insurers in its advocacy efforts to affect the direction and details of various agency proposals and initiatives impacting regulated insurance products. Roth has also been particularly active assisting numerous leading life insurers on securing the necessary SEC approvals pursuant to restructuring efforts in the registered funds space. ‘One of the pre-eminent collective investment trust lawyers in the country’, Clifford Kirsch is ‘very plugged into what is happening on both the business and regulatory fronts’. Steven Boehm provides ‘responsible and clear guidance’ on the regulatory issues impacting business development companies. Leveraging their expertise developed both in private practice as well as during tenures at the SEC, the ‘excellent’ John Walsh and Holly Smith are also recommended across a range of compliance and regulatory issues, while Brian Rubin, who also spent time at the commission, excels at defending clients in SEC and FINRA enforcement actions.

Despite a number of departures, including most recently that of Todd Beauchamp to Latham & Watkins LLP, Paul Hastings LLP maintains a strong reputation in the market for handling payments and fintech-related work. Atlanta-based Chris Daniels is ‘exceptionally knowledgeable’ about a wide-range of matters in the payments space including regulatory issues impacting on peer-to-peer lending and cryptocurrencies. In addition to standalone regulatory advice work, Daniels also regularly provides the regulatory overlay on transactions in the sector; he recently advised private equity sponsor GTCR on its $260m acquisition of Sage Payment Solutions from the Sage Group. Washington DC-based Behnam Dayanim excels at advising clients on matters at the intersection of gaming, privacy and financial services regulation and recently worked alongside Daniels for Samsung across a range of issues associated with the launch of Samsung Pay. Other clients include Coinbase, GoCardless, Paysafe Group and MoneyGram.

With numerous former high-ranking CFPB officials within its ranks, including Allyson Baker and Andy Arculin, Washington DC-based firm Venable LLP has excellent credibility before the agency and handles compliance, advisory, enforcement and supervision examination work for a wide range of clients including banks and non-banks, third party service providers and debt collectors. Arculin is particularly noted for his expertise within the mortgage space and regularly advises mortgage broker and mortgage bank clients about mortgage lending laws, including the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID), which he helped to draft while at the CFPB. Jonathan Pompan handles a broad cross-section of contentious and non-contentious consumer finance regulatory work; he recently provided regulatory due diligence to Warburg Pincus on a proposed equity investment in a company engaged in consumer lending. John Beaty and Michael Bresnick are also recommended.

With ‘depth and breadth across investment management and banking’, Chicago-based Winston & Strawn LLP provides a ‘practical, cost and time efficient service’ to clients including Brighthouse Financial, Discover Financial Services and Nuveen Investments across a range of regulatory, governance and legislative matters. Christine Edwards heads the bank regulatory practice and has tremendous insight into the regulatory and strategic drivers of banking clients as a result of her experience in both private practice and as general counsel to a large domestic bank. Praised for her ‘understanding of banks from a variety of perspectives’, Edwards’ practical application of the law means she regularly advises on public policy issues, regulatory-informed transactional work and sensitive internal investigations. New York-based broker-dealer expert Glen Barrentine recently provided regulatory input on GTCR’s acquisition of Optimal Blue Holdings. Basil Godellas handles regulatory work within the asset management industry and recently provided the regulatory advice to KBI Global Investors related to its acquisition by leading European asset manager Amundi. Of counsel Julius Loeser is also a key resource on the bank regulatory front in light of his vast experience in both private practice and in-house with numerous major banks including Wells Fargo.

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    Recently there were a lot of publications within the European Union expressing concerns about the allegedly very high number of Cypriot passports being given to foreign investors the last few years. The Council of Ministers has decided on 9th January 2018 with the decision with number 84.069, to impose a stricter supervision of all the parties involved in the Scheme for the naturalisation of non-Cypriot investors in Cyprus by exception.
  • 19% VAT on Plots

    In order to harmonize the  Acquis Communautaire on the Taxation of untapped and undeveloped plots of land, the Cyprus Government enacted, on 03/11/2017, relevant legislation for the imposition of 19% Value Added Tax (VAT) on these properties, with a date of enforcement being 02/01/2018. The relevant legislation refers to plots/pieces of land offered and/or provided for construction for economic purposes.

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