Helen Lee | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice

Helen Lee

Counsel, Washington, DC

“Recipient of 2014 Rising Star Award by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Area.”

Overview

Helen is a counsel in the Financial Institutions Advisory (FIA) Practice Group of White & Case LLP based in the Firm's Washington, D.C. office. She advises U.S. as well as non-U.S. banking organizations and other financial service providers on regulatory and transactional matters arising under the U.S. banking laws.

Helen's practice involves advising clients on all regulatory aspects of banking operations—from assisting with the establishment of bank offices and addressing chartering or licensing issues, to advising on permissible activities and structure considerations, as well as addressing enforcement and other supervisory matters.

In addition to advising on emerging issues that include cybersecurity and regulatory risks arising from the development of innovative uses of financial technology (fintech), Helen regularly advises on transactional issues arising under the Dodd-Frank Act, Bank Holding Company Act, International Banking Act, National Bank Act, Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and various other federal and state banking laws on issues including: Permissible activities of banks and bank holding companies; Cross-border applicability of U.S. banking laws to the U.S. operations of foreign banks; Applicability of federal and state banking and consumer protection laws to nonbank entities providing services to banks; Applicability of Volcker Rule restrictions on foreign fund activities of U.S. banking entities; Investment thresholds for control and non-control; Tying considerations for jointly marketed bank and affiliate securities products; Anti-money laundering / counter terrorist financing obligations of financial institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act, and compliance with OFAC and FinCEN guidance; Implementation of enhanced supervision standards including resolution planning for large BHCs; restrictions on transactions with insiders and affiliates; and Supervisory enforcement matters including avoiding receivership.

Helen assists clients with their management of communications with regulators to achieve effective and desired outcomes in line with the client's strategic goals. Such regulatory communications include requests for formal or informal opinions, submission of comment letters regarding proposed rulemakings, negotiation of enforcement orders, and activity applications pending before federal and state regulators including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve Board (Washington, D.C. and Reserve Banks), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Washington, D.C. and Regional Offices), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, California Department of Business Oversight, and New York State Department of Financial Services.

Beginning in Fall 2016, Helen will become an Adjunct Professor at her alma mater, The George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC, where she has previously on occasion served as a Guest Lecturer of Banking Law.  Helen will teach a class on the topic of bank regulation, entitled "The Practice of Banking Law," that aims to provide students with substantive knowledge of banking law as well as practical know-how regarding the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges faced by legal advisors to banking institutions.

Bars and Courts

  • New York State Bar
  • New Jersey State Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar

Education

  • JD, The George Washington University Law School
  • BA in Politics with a minor in Computer Applications, New York University

Languages

  • English
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese

Experience

Representation of U.S. and non-U.S. banking organizations with respect to ongoing advisory matters arising under the Dodd-Frank Act, Bank Holding Company Act, International Banking Act, National Bank Act, Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and various other federal and state banking laws.

Representation of U.S. and non-U.S. banks, foreign funds and private equity firms on provisions and applicability of the Volcker Rule and related issues under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Representation of nonbank marketplace lenders in drafting and negotiating program agreements with sponsor banks.

Representation of banking organizations and other financial services companies on the application of US Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering laws and compliance with requirements of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Representation of financial conglomerates on anti-tying restrictions and requirements applicable to inter-affiliate marking arrangements.

Representation of regional bank clients on chartering, licensing, and restructuring considerations.

Representation of nonbank service providers to banks and application of the Bank Service Company Act.

Representation of various regional bank clients in merger transactions involving negotiation, contract drafting, and coordination of due diligence.

Speaking Engagements

Professorial Lecturer in Law, "The Practice of Banking Law", Fall 2016: The George Washington University Law School

"Emergence of Fintech: Regulatory Issues Arising From the Convergence of Financial Services and Technology", June 6-8, 2016: live presentation at the annual American Bar Association Banking Law Fundamentals Program,
Boston, Massachusetts

"Who and What is Protected ... The Intersection of the Attorney-Client Privilege and Bank Examination Privilege in Bank Examinations and Supervision", April 6, 2016: live client presentation,
San Francisco, California

Publications

  • Additional Expert Q&A on Applicability of the EU Bail-In Rules in the US, Practical Law Finance, June 2016
  • Accountability on the Rise for Bank Officers – Implications of the NYDFS AML Personal Liability Proposal, The Banking Law Journal, March 2016
  • Expert Q&A on Applicability of the EU Bail-In Rules in the US, Practical Law Finance , November 2015
  • Is Federal Preemption Poised Again for High Court Review?, The Banking Law Journal , Sept./Oct. 2015
  • Living Wills, Bloomberg BNA Banking Practice Portfolio Series, April 2014
  • U.S. Regulation of Foreign Banking Organizations, Bloomberg BNA Banking Practice Portfolio Series, publication forthcoming

Awards & Recognition

Recipient of 2014 Rising Star Award, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Area