Financial institutions face a wide range of strategic, operational and legal challenges. In particular, shifting regulatory environments and global economic uncertainties challenge the approaches of these institutions in their local markets and internationally, for example we are working with several major global financial institutions around their business strategies for the UK's forthcoming exit from the EU ("Brexit") as well as identifying the opportunities this may create for these institutions and their clients.
We offer comprehensive support for all business matters affecting financial institutions, including regulatory advice, transactions, disputes and investigations as well as legal assistance in day-to-day operations. Our clients include international banking organizations, investment banks, government-owned commercial and development banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, investment funds, private equity and hedge funds, real estate investment funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, outsourcing and other third party service providers, fintech enterprises and other key players in the financial industry sector. We serve the needs of many of the world's leading financial institutions across the US, UK, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. We also have a significant practice advising sponsors and corporate borrowers.
Our clients trust us to help guide them through the most challenging multijurisdictional issues across the spectrum of complex regulatory regimes. With our globally integrated team, we are well-positioned to address regulatory and legislative issues, including restrictions imposed on permissible nonbanking activities, proprietary trading, derivatives and investment fund activities, and regulatory capital, liquidity and other prudential requirements.
Working with our clients, we create sophisticated and innovative solutions to safeguard their assets, protect their reputations, develop new products and allow them to pursue their strategic and fiscal objectives with confidence.
We provide advice and counsel on a diverse range of matters including:
- Forms of business for conducting banking and non-banking operations
- Regulatory compliance, risk management including Antitrust and competition and supervisory matters
- Regulatory capital, liquidity and leverage requirements and other enhanced prudential requirements
- Financial advisory matters across the world, including Volcker Rule, CFIUS and other restrictions on trading and investing activities, Living wills, resolution plans and remedial proceedings involving bank supervisors and AML, OFAC, US PATRIOT Act and economic and other sanctions. (Visit our Financial Institutions Advisory page for more information)
- Lender liability and other commercial dispute resolution
- Corporate crime & investigations, including US and UK bribery statutes and governmental enforcement proceedings and investigations
- Bank mergers, corporate restructurings and principal investments
- All forms of DCM, ECM, structured finance and derivatives transactions
- Extensive debt finance practices across leveraged lending, project, asset and trade finance
- Financial restructurings, work-outs and insolvencies
- Executive compensation, benefits and employment
- Real estate and outsourcing strategies
- Payments processing and systems, including e-payments, cross-border remittances and foreign exchange transactions
- Consumer financial offerings, including prepaid cards, e-wallets and other cyber currencies
- Effective global data, privacy, cybersecurity protection
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DZ BANK and WGZ BANK merger creates third largest credit institution in Germany
Advising DZ BANK on its merger with WGZ BANK. The merged entity has started off as "DZ BANK. Die Initiativbank" on August 1, 2016 and serves as consolidated central bank for more than 1,000 cooperative banks in Germany. In terms of the balance sheet, the merger will result in the third largest credit institution in Germany based on a balance sheet total of around €500 billion.
First mainland China bank acquisition of a US bank
We represented Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited ("ICBC"), the largest bank in the world in terms of total market capitalization, customer deposits and net profit, in the acquisition of an 80% interest in The Bank of East Asia (USA) National Association. The transaction, which marked the first-ever acquisition of a US bank by a mainland China bank, was featured as one of the "Most Innovative M&A Transactions in the United States" by The Financial Times and also received an "M&A Deal of the Year Award" by both The M&A Advisor and Asian-MENA Counsel. It was also named "Outbound M&A Deal of the Year" by China Business Law Journal.
ICBC acquisition of stake in Standard Bank
We represented ICBC on its £462 million (US$765 million) acquisition of a majority stake in Standard Bank Plc. The result of the deal is a joint venture between ICBC and Standard Bank Group, Asia's largest bank and Africa's largest bank, respectively; it was the first transaction of its kind implemented by a mainland China bank in the UK. This was the third major acquisition on which we advised ICBC.
Banco Itaú BBA International, S.A. transfer of wholesale banking operations from Lisbon to London
We represented Banco Itaú BBA International, S.A., a Portuguese credit institution, on the successful transfer of its European wholesale banking operations from Lisbon to London through a "merger by absorption" under the European Companies (Cross-Border Mergers) Regulations 2007. The innovative deal removed previous uncertainty over whether a new company in the UK can be set up and used as a transferee company on a cross-border merger under the Regulations, in order to receive assets and liabilities from a European Economic Area (EEA) transferor company which is then dissolved without being liquidated.
Dodd-Frank Act compliance framework
We advised two large EU banking organizations on identifying activities affected by the Dodd-Frank Act. We developed a compliance framework to respond to the provisions relevant to "systemically-important" non-US banking organizations.
Volcker Rule implementation plan and compliance program
We are advising a global non-US banking organization on the development of a Volcker Rule implementation plan and global compliance program and manual, including identification and ongoing guidance on Volcker Rule application to specific trading desk and fund activities.
We are advising global banks on Basel III total loss absorbing capacity (TLAC), permissible convertible capital and required capital buffers and on the use and application of advanced approaches risk-weightings under Basel II and the revised national regulations implementing Basel III.
Living wills/Bank resolution plans
We are advising several large non-US banks on the preparation and filing of annual resolution plans with US banking authorities and addressing supervisory concerns as to plan adequacy.
Non-US bank expansion/contraction of US banking activities
We advised several large EU and Asian banks on obtaining regulatory approvals to establish or expand their banking presences through the opening of branch or agency offices, acquire a US bank or "debank" in the United States through closure of US offices.
A leading global financial institution investigation
We are advising a leading global financial institution in investigations by the European Commission, the US Department of Justice, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on the setting of LIBOR, EURIBOR and SIBOR. We are also advising this client in relation to the ongoing foreign exchange ("forex") investigation across multiple jurisdictions.
Major European contractual dispute
We advised a leading German bank in a €280 million victory relating to a major corporate/M&A contractual dispute. We achieved a successful outcome for our client before the Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Frankfurt am Main in an action for compensation that involved numerous key figures in German credit institutions as well as the banking supervisor and the National Association of German Banks.
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) investigations
We advised two major non-US banks on investigations into alleged US sanction violations with the successful result of no OFAC enforcement actions being brought. In addition, we are representing a major European-based financial institution in connection with an OFAC investigation and US litigation concerning alleged breach of US sanctions.