Financial services regulation in United States

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Supported by a team that includes several former SEC officials, two former FDIC general counsel members and 11 former federal prosecutors, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's 'dedicated' financial services practice is a natural first choice for many large domestic and international financial institutions. Based in New York and leveraging bench strength to handle regulatory matters across Europe, Latin America and Asia, the firm is best known for its comprehensive knowledge of the Dodd-Frank act, strategic M&A and emerging issues in the field of fintech. Derek Bush's practice includes advising major investment banks on the implementation of and compliance with the Volcker Rule and ISDA Resolution Stay Protocols; carrying out restructuring processes for investors and distressed companies; and leading negotiations with the Federal Reserve Board in relation to equity agreements. Katherine Mooney Carroll, who regularly works alongside Bush, also has a wealth of experience advising financial institutions on the regulatory aspects of acquisitions and investments, compliance with AML legislation and cyber-security risks, among other matters. Mooney Carroll is also a go-to partner for early stage and growth companies in the fintech sector facing complex regulatory challenges in relation to their operations in the US. Working together, Bush and Mooney Carroll are currently advising more than 20 major financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, on their obligations under the Volcker Rule. Other key figures include Jack Murphy and junior partner Colin Lloyd, who has particular expertise advising clients on securities and derivatives matters before the SEC, CFTC and FINRA.

Key clients

American Express


BNP Paribas


Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

Standard Chartered

Institute of International


Alliance Data

Work highlights

  • Advise more than 20 major US and non-US banking organizations (including Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and HSBC) on all aspects of implementation of, and compliance with, the Volcker Rule.
  • Advise financial institutions on resolution planning requirements, from the early rule-making process to the preparation of resolution plans since 2012.
  • Advise multiple banking and non-banking organizations, including Goldman Sachs, and multiple FinTech companies on the legal issues in developing blockchain and virtual currency operations.
  • Representing long-standing client BNP Paribas in a novel transaction in relation to Deutsche Bank’s global prime brokerage and electronic equities businesses.
  • Advise Citigroup, Credit Suisse and other banks on the issuance of US impending Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity (TLAC) eligible debt issuances, including the first senior debt offering by a US Global Systemically Important Bank (GSIB) following adoption of the Federal Reserve’s final TLAC standards.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Headquartered in New York, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP represents a diverse range of clients, including domestic and global banks, asset managers and trade associations. The practice group also stands out for its ability to offer clients virtual support through innovative tools such as its Volcker Tracker and Basel III risk-weight calculator. Randall Guynn's broad expertise includes advising trade associations and globally systemically important banks on capital adequacy and TLAC requirements, and acting for banks engaged in capital markets and M&A transactions. Luigi De Ghenghi is particularly active in banking M&A, and also provides standalone advice on capital and liquidity rules. Another key figure is Gabriel Rosenberg, who has expertise in regulatory matters affecting broker-dealers, including the Volcker Rule. Lanny Schwartz left the firm to join the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, and John Douglas left the practice to join the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.

Practice head(s):

Randall Guynn

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's 'very responsive' practice group is jointly led by Satish Kini in Washington DC, who previously served as a senior lawyer at the Federal Reserve, and Gregory Lyons in New York, who was recently appointed as the Chair of the New York City Banking Bar Committee. Acting for Wall Street firms, regional banks, foreign banks and trade groups, the team has wide-ranging expertise in matters pertaining to the Volcker rule, overseas banking legislation, broker-dealer regulatory issues, and anti-money laundering. Lyons in particular is a key contact for national and international banking clients, which he advises on M&A structuring and enforcement proceedings before various regulators. In a recent highlight, Lyons and fellow partner Kevin Schmidt advised Citizens Financial Group on the purchase of all of Franklin American Mortgage Company's assets for $511m. Kini is regarded as one of the industry's brightest legal minds in the field of anti-money laundering, and was recently appointment as outside AML counsel for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Counsel David Sewell, who previously served as a senior regulatory and enforcement attorney at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, specializes in compliance and enforcement in connection with anti-money laundering, sanctions and financial crime.

Practice head(s):

Satish Kini; Gregory Lyons

Other key lawyers:

David Sewell; Kevin Schmidt


‘The team’s strength is their deep technical legal knowledge combined with their excellent practical experience and understanding of the market.’ 

‘I value David’s deep expertise and his practical approach. He anticipates our needs and is able to tag team with the in-house team so that we can manage external expenditures.’

Key clients

American Express

Bank of New York Mellon


Credit Suisse

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

Royal Bank of Canada


Société Générale

Fifth Third Bancorp

Work highlights

  • Advised Citizens Financial Group on the purchase of the assets of Franklin American Mortgage Company, a Franklin, Tennessee-based, highly regarded national mortgage servicing and origination firm with a leading position among private, non-bank mortgage companies.
  • Advise the Financial Services Forum on various advocacy matters.
  • Advised Citizens Financial Group on regulatory structuring, regulatory approval and deal matters, with respect to its agreement to purchase certain assets of Bowstring Advisors, an Atlanta-based merger and acquisition advisory firm that delivers a range of financial services to commercial and industrial clients nationwide.
  • Advised KeyBank National Association in its Acquisition of Laurel Road’s Digital Lending Business.
  • Advised American Express on its acquisition of Resy, a leading digital restaurant reservation booking and management platform.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has been recognized for its firm-wide strengths in every segment of the financial services industry. Jointly led by Mitchell Eitel and Michael Wiseman, the team advises on a wide range of topics including wholesale bank regulatory matters, broker-dealer regulation, financial services M&A, and matters relating to fintech and payments.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Fielding a team that includes several former high-ranking SEC officials, Latham & Watkins LLP focuses on advising major domestic and foreign banks, broker-dealers, PE funds and many others on issues relating to the Dodd-Frank Act, Basel III and general resolution planning. The firm also has a strong presence in the fintech space, where it acts for large financial institutions in projects to develop new technology, and also assists early-stage and growth companies with issues ranging from incorporation to ICOs. Moreover, the firm is well placed to advise on the regulatory aspects of IPOs, through its dedicated broker-dealer team and a strong capital markets group. Alan Avery is often retained by clients to advise on state and federal banking regulations and the impact of those regulations on global operations; he is also a popular choice for financial institutions facing anti-money laundering issues and other investigatory matters. Stephen Wink is one of the firm's go-to lawyers for issues relating to the regulation of broker-dealers, and is also a name to note in the fintech space. John Sikora, who served for 16 years as an assistant director in the Chicago Regional Office and in the Asset Manangement Unit of the SEC's Enforcement Division, predominantly advises companies and D&Os facing SEC and FINRA examinations and enforcement actions. Also recommended is Joseph Serino, who has expertise in a range of fraud and regulatory matters. Mitchell Rabinowitz and Jenny Cieplak joined the firm from Crowell & Moring LLP in June 2019, bringing to the group additional expertise in joint ventures and consortia projects, predominantly in the fintech sector.

Practice head(s):

Alan Avery; Stephen Wink


‘Latham & Watkin’s financial services practice is excellent. They are known as industry thought leaders and provide essential guidance in multiple areas that are relevant to my firm’s practice.’

‘Dana Fleischman is at the top of my list for who to call on issues relating to FINRA rules and regulations, research and many other securities law issues that my clients and I face.’

Key clients

National Bank of Canada


National Community Investment Fund



Pawson Capital



Raymond James



Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)



The Carlyle Group


Wells Fargo

Winterflood Securities


Work highlights

  • Advised Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as financial advisers on the direct listing of Slack Technologies.
  • Advising the National Bank of Canada on multiple matters, including on US bank regulatory issues in connection with acquisitions of US companies; regulatory issues related to an acquisition from JP Morgan of a 10% equity interest in EquiLend; and treatment under Canada’s new bail-in regulations of the notes issued by the bank in the US.
  • Represented Charles River Development in its $2.6bn sale to State Street Corporation.
  • Acted for SIFMA and its members (including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Wells Fargo among many others) in relation to FINRA’s proposal to substantially amend Rule 5110, the Corporate Finance Rule, which applies to nearly all public securities offerings in the US.
  • Represented a16z, a subsidiary fund of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, in several investments in fintech companies that implicate financial services and payments regulatory issues.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's New York-based financial services team advises commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, mortgage brokers and others on a wide range of transactional and regulatory matters. On the pure regulatory front, the firm is well equipped to represent clients in negotiations and discussions with regulators, particularly in relation to legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Act and Basel III. The team is equally well known for its involvement in mergers between US banks. Lee Meyerson is the firm's go-to financial services M&A lawyer, with a highlight reel that includes advising JPMorgan Chase on its $58bn merger with Bank One Corporation and representing Mellon Financial in its $16.8bn merger with The Bank of New York. Keith Noreika's expertise lies at the intersection of financial services regulation and corporate transactions, spanning M&A, minority investments, capital issuances and structuring and compliance activities. Corporate partner Elizabeth Cooper also handles significant M&A in the financial services industry, having recently acted for Blackstone in its $20bn partnership with Thomson Reuters.

Practice head(s):

Lee Meyerson

Other key lawyers:

Keith Noreika; Elizabeth Cooper

Key clients

AXIS Capital Holdings


CNO Financial Group

Corsair Capital

Fifth Third Bancorp

First Hawaiian Bank

Goldman Sachs

IBERIABANK Corporation

Institutional Shareholder Services

JPMorgan Chase


KGS-Alpha Capital Markets

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

Lightyear Capital

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

Mizuho Financial Group

Morgan Stanley

Oak Hill Capital

Oaktree Capital Management

People’s United Financial

Riverstone Holdings

Sumitomo Life Insurance Company

Synovus Financial

TCF Financial

TD Bank Group

The Carlyle Group

The Charles Schwab Corporation

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

The Travelers Companies

Work highlights

  • Representation of Refinitiv in its definitive agreement to be acquired by London Stock Exchange Group in an all-share transaction for a total enterprise value of approximately $27bn.
  • Representation of First Data Corporation in its merger with Fiserv, under which Fiserv acquired First Data in an all-stock transaction.
  • Representation of Fifth Third Bancorp in connection with its merger agreement under which MB Financial merged with Fifth Third Bancorp in a transaction valued at $4.7bn.
  • Representation of IBERIABANK Corporation in connection with its agreement to combine with First Horizon National Corporation in an all-stock merger of equals transaction valued at $3.9bn.
  • Representation of TCF Financial Corporation in connection with its merger with Chemical Financial Corporation in an all-stock merger-of-equals transaction, creating one of the premier Midwestern banks with $45bn in assets.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP‘s financial services team specializes in advising large foreign and domestic financial institutions on compliance procedures, investigations and court cases in relation to antitrust laws, securities laws, economic sanctions, and alleged manipulation of benchmark rates. New York-based practice head Jamie Boucher is known for advising large financial institutions on cross-border compliance and enforcement matters. Her recent work highlights include representing an international full-service banking group and its investment banking subsidiary in connection with a long-running investigation by US authorities into the investment bank’s historical compliance with economic sanctions laws. William Sweet, a former Federal Reserve Board staff attorney, assists financial institutions and their D&Os in the US, Asia, Europe and Latin America with all aspects of M&A, investments, joint ventures, restructuring transactions and more. In a recent matter, he acted alongside Boucher to advise a global banking and financial services company based in Germany on its obligations following a settlement reached, concerning allegations advanced by US federal and state authorities.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Boucher

Work highlights

  • Representation of a multinational investment bank and financial services corporation and its related affiliates in now-dismissed consolidated putative class actions alleging manipulation of the benchmark Volatility Index and associated products in violation of the Sherman Act, the Commodity Exchange Act and the Securities Exchange Act.
  • Representation of a global markets company and its subsidiary in an antitrust suit, now on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, involving allegations of anti-competitive conduct to exclude a competitor from the treasury futures market.
  • Advised an international full service banking group and its investment banking entity on a seven-year investigation by various US authorities into the investment banking entity’s historical compliance with US economic sanctions laws.

Arnold & Porter

Based in Washington DC, Arnold & Porter is particularly well-known for its expertise in M&A in the financial services industry, which is complemented by the firm's wider regulatory counseling practice. Practice head David Freeman advises investment managers, broker-dealers and financial institutions on M&A, banking and securities regulatory issues, private investment funds and much more. Robert Azarow is also active in bank M&A, and has further expertise in restructuring and refinancing mandates involving financial institutions and capital markets transactions. In a standout matter, Azarow advised Piermont Bank and its sponsor entity on the formation and initial capitalization of Piermont Bank as a New York State-chartered, FDIC-insured, commercial bank. Brian McCormally utilizes his wealth of experience at the OCC and the OTS to provide well-rounded regulatory advice to financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

David Freeman

Key clients

Associated Bank

Bessemer Trust

Charles Schwab Corporation

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation

F.N.B. Corporation

Federated Investors

First Citizens Bank & Trust Company

First Republic Bank

Fulton Financial Corporation

JPMorgan Chase

M&T Bank Corporation

Piermont Bank

Sterling National Bank

Stifel Financial Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented First Republic Bank in its 2010 reestablishment as an independent institution, and act on an ongoing basis for the bank and its subsidiary broker-dealer, investment adviser and insurance agency in a broad range of regulatory and compliance issues associated with new products and product extensions, the Volcker Rule and other elements of the Dodd-Frank Act
  • Advising Bessemer Trust on general banking law compliance, Bank Holding Company Act, OCC, and FDIC rules.
  • Represented Sterling National Bank in the bulk sale to a single buyer of a 1-4 family residential mortgage loan portfolio with an aggregate principal balance of $1.4bn loans sold.
  • Advised Piermont Bank and its sponsor entity, Ivy Financial Development, on the formation and initial capitalization of Piermont Bank as a New York State-chartered, FDIC-insured, commercial bank.
  • Advised Flushing Financial Corporation in connection with its entry into a definitive agreement to acquire Empire Bancorp, in a transaction valued at an estimated $111.6m.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP has a very strong and highly active broker-dealer and swap-dealer practice, noted for advising SIFMA and various large financial institutions on matters relating to regulatory changes and proposals that stand to have a major impact on its clients' financial prospects. The firm is also well-known for guiding large financial institutions through the Dodd-Frank act. In addition to these core areas of expertise, the team is also well-placed to handle the regulatory aspects of transactions, such as M&A and PE investments, and to provide ongoing advice to large financial institutions on global AML requirements and antitrust laws. Steven Lofchie is the firm's go to broker-dealer specialist, and Scott Cammarn advises international banks on anti-money laundering, anti-corruption and various Volcker issues. In addition, Cammarn has an active presence in the fintech space, and also works alongside Lofchie in broker-dealer matters. Mark Chorazak is often sought by financial services companies to advise on compliance under the Bank Holding Company Act and Dodd-Frank; however he is perhaps best known for his expertise acting for clients in large M&A. Special counsel Nihal Patel is engaged by clients on a regular basis to provide advice on trading, structuring and internal compliance relating to derivatives. Senior counsel Richard Schetman co-chairs the financial services group.

Practice head(s):

Scott Cammarn; Richard Schetman

Key clients


Ally Financial

Angelo, Gordon & Co.

Assured Guaranty

Banco Santander

Bank of America

Merrill Lynch

Bank of Ireland

Bank of Montreal

Bank of New York

Bank of Nova Scotia

Barclays Bank



BNP Paribas

Canadian Imperial

Bank of Commerce

Castle Creek Capital

CITIC Securities / CLSA



Community Bank System

Credit Agricole

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank


ED&F Man Capital Markets


Work highlights

  • Advising Wells Fargo, TD Bank and Cantor Fitzgerald on the development of their prime brokerage business.
  • Advised a number of market participants on the impact of derivatives margin requirements across the globe.
  • Advising multiple global financial institutions on conducting cross-border securities transactions with US customers in reliance on SEC rule 15a-6 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
  • Advising SIFMA and various of its member firms on proposals from the CFTC and SEC that would impose capital and liquidity requirements on CFTC-registered swap dealers, and capital, margin and segregation requirements on SEC-registered security-based swap dealers.

Morrison & Foerster

'Knowledgeable, supportive and creative', Morrison & Foerster LLP has core strengths in handling the regulatory aspects of corporate transactions, and advising foreign financial services companies seeking to expand their US footprint. Moreover, the firm has substantial expertise in the consumer finance space, where it handles a range of supervisory and enforcement matters before the CFPB, including issues relating to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Barbara Mendelson, who previously worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is best known for advising financial institutions on the acquisitions and sales of banking and non-banking firms; she also has experience of AML compliance and enforcement matters. Rick Fischer is one of the firm's main experts in regulatory matters involving privacy, data security, and e-commerce. In addition to traditional banking regulation, the team is also active in the area of fintech. Obrea Poindexter is particularly standout in the payments space, having built up a track record of advising on regulatory issues relating to credit, debit and prepaid cards. In a recent highlight, Poindexter assisted a large technology company with the launch of a new peer-to-peer lending platform. Another key figure is senior counsel Henry Fields, who has a wealth of experience in bank M&A and private equity transactions. The team also represents clients in investigations relating to economic sanctions and the Bank Secrecy Act.

Practice head(s):

Rick Fischer; Obrea Poindexter

Other key lawyers:

Barbara Mendelson; Henry Fields


‘The team are experts in the field of financial services regulation. They have comprehensive and thorough knowledge of this area and are able to provide accurate advice quickly.’

‘They are flexible and willing to go the extra mile to help us resolve our issues expeditiously.’

Work highlights

  • Assisting a global systematically important bank with the development of a global custody program.
  • Advising a large US national bank on supervisory matters and enforcement proceedings.
  • Advising CITIC Metal Co. on US bank regulatory matters in connection with CITIC Metal’s June 2018 $560m investment in Ivanhoe Mines.
  • Representing a large multinational bank in negotiations for a partnership with a fintech company to provide consumer financing for home improvement purchases.
  • Assisted clients with the consolidation and modernization of various existing services agreements into a single master commercial treasury management agreement.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Based in New York, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is rated for its expertise in broker-dealer enforcement and regulatory work, its involvement in M&A and private equity investments in the financial services sector, and its experience advising growth companies and major tech companies on fintech products and investments. Donald Mosher focuses on the regulation, acquisition and sale of payment companies and the licensing and registration of money services businesses, including B2B providers and cryptocurrency exchanges. 'Consistently superb' partner Joseph Vitale routinely advises private equity funds and hedge funds on investments in the banking sector, and former SEC enforcement attorney Craig Warkol advises on securities trading and represents clients in enforcement and investigation proceedings brought by the SEC, DOJ, FINRA and other regulators. Julian Rainero is the firm's go-to broker dealer expert, serving as regular counsel to clients in connection with compliance matters before the SEC and the Fed. Vitale is currently one of several partners advising major banks, including Credit Suisse and UBS Group, on compliance with the Bank Holding Company Act and the Volcker Rule.


‘They are the foremost experts in all areas dealing with the asset management industry for all clients, including hedge funds and private equity firms.’

‘Time and time again, their advice has proven to be, not only accurate, but also highly practical. We rely on them to constantly stay on top of things and we haven’t been let down yet. We also really value their real world perspective and business oriented legal advice.’

‘We have used Joseph Vitale and his team as our legal counsel on all aspects of our financial institution deals, including all regulatory and legal due diligence, obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals and negotiating of transactions. He also acts as regulatory counsel post-transaction, advising on general compliance issues as well as specific issues stemming from regulatory actions involving our portfolio banks. He has been consistently superb on both transactional and compliance maters.’

Key clients

Cerberus Capital Management

UBS Group


De Lage Landen

Credit Suisse

ICBC Financial Services

Omni Financial Group

Banco Santander International

Maltese Capital Management

H&R Block


Virtu Financial


E*TRADE Financial

Jane Street Capital

Nomura Securities

ConvergEx Group

Interactive Brokers Group

Jun Ying (former CIO of Equifax)

Société Générale Group

Work highlights

  • Advised WEX Payments, formally known as Noventis, on its sale to WEX, a leading international provider of corporate payments solutions operating in more than ten countries and 20 currencies.
  • Advising Transfast and GCP Capital Partners, a private equity firm backing Transfast, on the sale of Transfast to Mastercard.
  • Advised Securus Technologies on regulatory diligence and application in connection with potential acquisition of JPay.
  • Representations of leading private investment funds in bank regulatory matters, including obtaining charters and licenses to engage in banking activities, as well as obtaining regulatory approval for investments in banking institutions.
  • Advising Cerberus Capital Management on all its bank regulatory matters, including related to its acquisition of, or investments in, banking institutions.

Buckley LLP

Buckley LLP is particularly well known for its 'deep expertise in consumer finance', a skill set that encompasses mortgages, credit cards, auto lending, student lending, short-term credit, payments, digital currency, mobile finance and deposit products. Last year, the firm represented a wide range of clients in numerous significant CFPB examinations, investigations and enforcement actions, including an investigation that resulted in the first three enforcement actions announced in January 2019 under recently appointed director of the CFPB, Kathleen Kraninger. The team is also well positioned to advise clients on fair lending matters before various agencies, including the CFPB, DOJ and HUD, and in cases brought by municipalities. Benjamin Klubes has built a strong reputation for representing financial services companies in white-collar enforcement matters and agency investigations brought by the CFPB, DOJ, the FTC and other regulators. Klubes is particularly strong in investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Jonice Gray Tucker, one of the firm's founding partners, has recently been involved in numerous significant CFPB investigations, and continues to be a popular choice for clients embroiled in investigations and enforcement actions before the DOJ, FTC, OCC and state regulators. Another name to note is Michelle Rogers, who is active in enforcement and examination proceedings before all of the main agencies, and in cases under the False Claims Act and Dodd-Frank's unfair, deceptive or abuse acts or practices statues.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Klubes


‘The Buckley legal team is incredibly knowledgeable and has advised its clients on virtually every regulatory issue impacting consumer loan origination and servicing. They can provide in-depth opinion letters as well as quick and practical memos addressing regulatory issues that are extremely helpful to in-house counsel and their clients in addressing risk and ensuring compliance.’

‘Buckley’s competitive advantage is the sheer volume of consumer finance matters that they engage in with clients throughout the industry. This allows the firm to have knowledge that goes beyond pure regulation. That knowledge includes informal insights from the regulators and the ability to calibrate our actions with whether we are in step or out of step with general industry practices.’

‘Jonice Gray-Tucker invests in me as a client. She provides special insights that she has gained through her role as a thought leader and nationally trusted adviser.’ 

Key clients

USAA Federal Savings Bank

Sterling Jewelers

Enova International


BSI Financial Services CID

BMW Financial Services

American Honda Finance Corporation & Fifth Third Bank

Work highlights

  • Assisted USAA Federal Savings Bank with a consent order from the CFPB concerning Regulation E.
  • Represented Sterling Jewelers in a CFPB investigation that resulted in one of the first enforcement actions announced in January 2019 under recently appointed Director of the CFPB Kathleen Kraninger.
  • Represented Enova in a multi-year CFPB investigation regarding payday and installment lending practices.
  • Represented Avant in an FTC investigation that spanned more than two years that focused primarily on Avant’s marketing and servicing practices.
  • Assisted BSI Financial Services with settling a major enforcement matter initiated by the CFPB.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's financial services team advises large domestic and international banks and financial services companies on regulatory compliance with legislation such as the Bank Holding Company Act and the Volcker Rule under Dodd-Frank. On the transactional front, the group advises clients on investments and acquisitions, and on the development of new global platforms requiring regulatory approval. Thomas Delaney, who previously served as an attorney with the US Treasury Department Office of Thrift Supervision, counsels clients on anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance, and defends financial institutions subject to enforcement proceedings and Congressional investigations. Jeffrey Taft assists clients with compliance and enforcement matters in relation to consumer financial services, cyber-security, payment systems and bank regulation. Marc Cohen has experience working with all of the major financial services regulators in the US, and also has extensive experience in cross-border litigation. Marlon Paz joined the firm in 2019 from Seward & Kissel LLP as the head of its new broker-dealer regulation and compliance practice. Paz brings to the team substantial experience in securities regulation, examinations, internal investigations, SEC and FINRA enforcement and compliance. Steven Kaplan co-heads the firm's financial services regulatory and enforcement practice.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Delaney; Steven Kaplan

Other key lawyers:

Marc Cohen; Marlon Paz; Jeffrey Taft

Key clients


Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Desjardins Group

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Ally Financial

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Based in New York, Shearman & Sterling LLP's practice focuses predominantly on banking regulation and broker-deal regulatory matters. On the banking side, 'very well-rounded' partner Reena Agrawal Sahni routinely handles Volcker Rule compliance, M&A and incorporation of new entities in the US.  In addition, Agrawal Sahni has advised clients facing investigations and regulatory enforcement actions arising from issues such as anti-money laundering. Counsel Jennifer Morton is another contact in the broker-dealer practice. Russell Sacks joined King & Spalding LLP in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Reena Agrawal Sahni

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Morton

Ballard Spahr LLP

With a team spread across Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, Ballard Spahr LLP is often sought by clients to advise on consumer financial services issues and products. In addition, the practice group is also active in regulatory matters relating to privacy, cyber security, data aggregation, marketplace lending and fintech. Philadelphia-based practice head Alan Kaplinsky is frequently engaged by the CFPB to comment on complex regulatory matters; he has also served as a witness to the bureau in three separate hearings. Of particular note, Kaplinsky is well known for playing a central role in repealing the final arbitration rule, which prohibited the use of class action waivers in arbitration agreements thereby conferring considerable financial benefits on the industry by avoiding a potential floodgate of class action claims. Also in Philadelphia, TCPA group head Mark Furletti advises numerous consumer finance, alternative lending and fintech clients on all aspects of their businesses, and John Culhane is noted for his work in the student lending industry, where he acts for five of the six biggest lenders or holders of private student loans in the US. Richard Andreano in Washington DC specializes in federal mortgage regulation, having advised clients on matters that run the full gamut of legislation in this area. Jeremy Rosenblum co-chairs the firm's consumer financial services group in the Philadelphia office.

Practice head(s):

Alan Kaplinsky; Jeremy Rosenblum

Key clients

Discover Financial Services

Goldman Sachs

Accenture Credit Services

Lending Club

Social Financial

Comenity Bank

Toyota Financial Services

American Bankers Association

Consumer Bankers Association

Work highlights

  • Advised dozens of clients on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) investigations and examinations involving every sector of the consumer finance industry, including mortgage lending, student loans (lending and servicing), auto finance, financial technology, debt collection, credit reporting, small dollar lending, auto title lending, and credit cards.
  • Helped a major investment bank make its initial foray into marketplace lending.
  • Advising the Mortgage Bankers Association, Real Estate Services Providers Council and many other clients on matters, including the TRID rule and certain amendments and revisions to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule.
  • Advising various fintech and marketplace lending clients, including Bancorp Bank and CommonBond,  on all aspects of their investments in fintech companies.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Based in Washington DC, Hogan Lovells US LLP's financial services team is best known for its work for regional and community banks engaged in M&A. In addition to handling a steady stream of M&A, practice head Richard Schaberg is also well-known for his knowledge of securities law compliance and his experience in the fintech sector, where he advises on matters ranging from ICOs to traditional corporate transactions, such as joint ventures and M&A. Counsel Sara Lenet advises financial institutions on compliance with critical legislation such as Dodd-Frank, and also on various issues raised by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the OCC, among other industry regulators. Also of note is senior associate Ashley Hutto-Schultz, who has strong experience in the consumer finance sector.


The team at WilmerHale focuses predominantly on the consumer financial services sector, where it provides comprehensive regulatory advice to financial institutions and trade groups, and represents those clients in court proceedings nationwide, including at the Supreme Court. Franca Harris Gutierrez represents clients in investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by the CFPB, federal banking agencies, and federal and state enforcement bodies. Over the last couple of years, Harris Gutierrez has been engaged by several banks involved in anti-money laundering and sanctions investigations. Reginald Brown is best known for representing clients, such as corporate executives, in congressional hearings and investigations brought by the DOJ, the CFPB and state attorneys general. David Cohen (former deputy director of the CIA) advises financial services companies on anti-money laundering, national security concerns and various other regulatory compliance and enforcement matters. Sharon Cohen Levin left the firm in 2019 for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

Other key lawyers:

David Cohen

Key clients

Navient Corporation

Credit One Bank

Chase Bank USA

Work highlights

  • Serving as lead counsel to Navient Corporation in litigation brought by the CFPB.
  • Acting for a former FOREX trader in connection with an OCC administrative action.
  • Representing Chase Bank USA in a putative class action concerning the imposition of cash-advance fees and interest to cryptocurrency purchases made using Chase credit cards.

Allen & Overy LLP

Leveraging firm-wide strengths across a global network of offices spanning Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, Allen & Overy LLP focuses on advising clients, predominantly broker-dealers, on various regulatory matters, including federal securities laws and investigations brought by the SEC. Barbara Stettner advises clients on their obligations under the Securities Exchange Act, Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Bank Secrecy Act and in relation to the rules of self-regulatory organizations (SROs). Stettner also has an active fintech practice, where she advises companies issuing ICOs, and also counsels investors throughout their engagements with start-ups and growth stage companies. Chris Salter's practice includes advising broker-dealers, investment advisers, and private equity funds on compliance with securities laws and the rules of SROs; he also acts for broker-dealers in transactional matters. Senior counsel members Hilary Sunghee Seo and Wallace DeWitt joined the firm in 2019 from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and the SEC, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Stettner; Chris Salter


‘Chris Salter has provided invaluable support to our company for many years. He has unmatched FINRA and SEC regulatory knowledge and expertise and always provides insightful, practical advice tailored to our unique business model.’

Key clients

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)

Equity Dealers of America

Cetera Financial Group

GCA Savvian

Work highlights

  • Advise many US and foreign banks on various rules surrounding US persons, including inbound cross-border restrictions for non-US licensed offices of global wealth management and personal and corporate banking divisions.
  • Advising multiple financial services firms on an ongoing basis on their overseas sales/marketing activities.
  • Advising a digital currency exchange on a wide range of regulatory issues surrounding its US operations and global expansion initiatives.
  • Advising a registered US broker-dealer and investment adviser, on compliance with the federal securities laws and regulations and applicable SRO rules, including in relation to an enforcement action brought by the SEC about whether adequate disclosure was provided to customers about fees associated with different mutual fund share classes.
  • Assisting a high-tech commercial bank in the US with respect to registering a new broker-dealer with the SEC and FINRA.

Dechert LLP

Based in Washington DC, the team at Dechert LLP has acted for bank holding companies and investment funds, in issues relating to compliance with the Volcker Rule. The firm also has a strong focus on the fintech sector. David Harris and William Bielefeld are key figures in the team. Former practice co-head David Ansell retired, and senior partners Thomas Vartanian and Robert Ledig left the practice for positions at a US law school.


Dentons' has an expansive consumer finance practice, with a range of clients including Fortune 50 companies and major financial institutions. Leveraging its strong relationships with all of the mortgage regulators in the US, the firm is well known for its expertise in the regulation of residential mortgage loans. The practice group also regularly represents clients before federal and state agencies, including the CFPB. In addition to his expertise in the consumer finance industry, John Holahan has notable experience in the fintech sector, where he has advised clients on the regulatory aspects of blockchain technology and ICOs. Matthew Yoon is the firm's go-to consumer credit specialist, acting for a broad range of clients including Wall Street firms, hedge funds, and domestic and foreign financial institutions. Also recommended is Joshua Jordon, who has a wealth of experience advising clients on federal, state and local consumer credit laws. Giorgio Bovenzi  left the firm in February 2019 to join Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Yoon; John Holahan

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Jordon

Key clients



Deutsche Bank

BNP Paribas

Figure Technologies

Peer Street

Carrington Capital Management

First American Financial Corporation

Lone Star Funds

Los Angeles Rams

Wells Fargo

Symantec Corporation/LifeLock

Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

Nomura Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Barclays’s mortgage trading and underwriting desks on Wall Street, in connection with the management of financing lines and residential mortgage assets.
  • Assisting BNP Paribas with its return to investment in the US mortgage markets.
  • Acting for Nomura’s whole loan trading, financing and securitization businesses in the United States in relation to activities in the non-qualified mortgage and investor mortgage loan markets, among other areas.
  • Advising JPMorgan’s whole loan trading and securitization business in relation to its participation in the mortgage market, either as an underwriter or issuer.

Eversheds Sutherland

With offices in Washington DC and New York, Eversheds Sutherland's financial services practice focuses on broker-dealer regulatory issues, and on advising clients with funds regulated by the Investment Company Act of 1940 (ICA) on all aspects of their operations, including structuring and fund registration. Key figures in the team include Holly Smith, who has previous practicing experience at the SEC, and Brian Rubin, who has been a key advisor to broker-dealers on matters relating to the SEC's Regulation Best Interest. Steven Boehm is well known for his expertise advising investment funds structured as business development companies on regulatory matters before the SEC, particularly in relation to the ICA. New York partner Cynthia Shoss is the firm's go-to lawyer for insurance company M&A, restructurings and pension risk transfers, and  Stephen Roth advises life insurance companies on the development and distribution of annuity products. All named partners are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Roth; Steven Boehm

Key clients

Ares Capital Corporation

Fidus Investment Corporation

GuideStone Funds

GSV Capital Corp.

Medley Capital Corporation

New Mountain Finance Corporation

Newtek Business Services Corp

OFS Capital

Owl Rock Capital Corporation

Priority Income Fund

Prospect Capital Corporation

Saratoga Investment Corporation

Stellus Capital Investment Corporation

TCW Direct Lending

The Committee of Annuity Insurers

The Financial Services Institute

Zurich Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advising a coalition of approximately 70 broker-dealers, which is affiliated with the members of the Committee of Annuity Insurers.
  • Advising multiple broker-dealers on the potential impact of the SEC’s “Regulation Best Interest” as well as proposed fiduciary duty regulations that have been published by several states.
  • Advising the Financial Services Institute, as policy counsel, on a number of significant initiatives throughout the year, including the SEC’s proposed “Regulation Best Interest”.


Katten has a reputation for work in the derivatives market, evidenced by the sheer volume of clients that seek the firm's advice in relation to the regulatory aspects of exchange-traded and OTC derivatives across all asset classes. New York-based Wendy Cohen has more than three decades of experience advising asset managers on regulations governing private investment funds. Lance Zinman in Chicago has acted for proprietary trading firms and asset managers.

Venable LLP

Fielding a team that includes former members of the CFPB's Office of Enforcement and Office of Regulations, Venable LLP is well equipped to advise clients on regulatory matters across the consumer finance industry, including consumer protection, advertising and marketing, and privacy and data security issues. Leveraging his experience as senior counsel in the CFPB's Office of Regulations, Andrew Arculin provides comprehensive support on compliance and enforcement matters, focusing primarily on consumer lending, fintech and mortgage banking. Civil litigator Allyson Baker represents consumer finance companies and individuals in private investigations brought by the CFPB, state attorneys general and the DOJ, and Jonathan Pompan advises investors and lenders in relation to regulatory compliance, product development and many other matters before the CFPB and the FTC.

Practice head(s):

Allyson Baker; Jonathan Pompan

Other key lawyers:

Laura Biddle; Andrew Arculin

Key clients

Clarion Capital Partners

Transworld Systems

DR Bank (formerly Laurel Road Bank)


JP Morgan Chase

Altisource Solutions

Citadel Servicing Corporation

GreenDot Bank and Unirush d/b/a RushCard

Republic Bank and Trust Co.

ClearPath Lending

Continental Finance Company

Midland Credit Management/Encore Capital Group

Cavalry Portfolio Services

Warburg Pincus


HIG Capital


Lend Street

Fairway Independent Mortgage Lending USA

Leap Theory


DBA Carta


Work highlights

  • Advising a mortgage lender, ClearPath Lending, on regulatory and litigation matters involving state and federal consumer protection laws.
  • Advising LendingUSA, bank partner of Cross River Bank, on consumer financial services law, regulatory compliance, product development, state licensing, advertising and marketing, and receivables management strategy, including enforceability analysis of loans and banking relationships, risk retention, and related matters.
  • Assisting with state and federal regulation of its lending verticals and on advertising and marketing law compliance.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP's Chicago-based financial services team specializes in advising investment funds and regional banks, often in relation to M&A, private equity transactions and consumer finance matters. The firm also has experience advising clients, including trade associations, thrift institutions and foreign investment advisers, on compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act, and its effect on their operations in the US. 'Regulatory expertJerry Loeser, who previously served as chief regulatory and compliance counsel for Wells Fargo, has experience advising clients on bank M&A, Basel III issues, lending limits and various other matters before regulators such as the CFPB and the Fed. Chair of the bank regulatory practice Christine Edwards focuses on securities, banking and insurance regulations; she also assists clients with corporate governance and policy issues.

Practice head(s):

Christine Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Jerry Loeser


‘Talented team with diverse experience in the financial services regulatory environment.’

Key clients

Discover Financial Services

Comerica Bank

PNC Bank

Continental Investors

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Bank of Hawaii

Brighthouse Financial

Work highlights

  • Advised a prominent online marketplace lender on consumer credit compliance risks and possible solutions in transactions in which the bank agreed to purchase loans from banks originating such loans.
  • Advised a private equity firm acquiring an independent sales organization that recruits merchants for payment card acceptance.
  • Advised a venture capital firm on avoiding “bank holding company” status under the federal Bank Holding Company Act as a portfolio company proposed to acquire a bank.
  • Advised a regional bank holding company on its possible merger into its subsidiary bank.
  • Advised a firm holding a master account at a Federal Reserve Bank on efforts to persuade the Reserve Bank not to close that account.