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

Helen Lee

Counsel, Washington, DC

Described by clients as having a “keen legal mind” and being “a tireless worker,” Helen is a recipient of the Rising Star Award from the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Area.

Overview

Helen is counsel in the Financial Institutions Advisory (FIA) Practice Group of White & Case LLP based in the Firm's Washington, D.C. office. She advises domestic and foreign financial institutions on regulatory and transactional matters arising under the U.S. financial services laws. A key focus of Helen’s work is to advise on the legal and compliance risks and challenges associated with the development of innovative uses of financial technology (fintech) and digital channels for delivery of financial services, including mobile banking, peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) payments.

Helen advises banks and nonbank financial firms on regulatory and emerging issues involving anti-money laundering, data privacy and cybersecurity compliance. She 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; 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; restrictions on transactions with insiders and affiliates; and supervisory enforcement matters.

Helen counsels nonbank financial services providers including payments companies and marketplace lenders on the patchwork of applicable federal and state regulation. Working closely with fintech companies, Helen also advises on negotiations with bank partners and applicability of banking laws to bank service providers.

Helen assists clients with effective management of communications with regulators to achieve desired outcomes in line with the client's strategic goals. 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, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, California Department of Business Oversight, and New York State Department of Financial Services.

Helen is an Adjunct Professor at her alma mater, The George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC. She teaches a class on banking law that covers the topic of bank regulation and aims to provide students with substantive knowledge of banking law as well as practical know-how regarding the day-to-day activities and responsibilities of, as well as 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 a global technology company in managing compliance needs and regulatory communication strategy for global payments product.

Representation of a global technology company in the transactional review and negotiation of numerous agreements with partners involving fintech products offered in the mobile financial services space, including peer-to-peer payments, mobile top-up, and bill payments.

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, "Banking Law", Fall Semester: The George Washington University Law School

"US Regulation of Fintech", June 2017: live presentation at the annual Banking Law Fundamentals Program associated with the American Bar Association Banking Law Committee,
Boston, Massachusetts

"Emergence of Fintech: Regulatory Issues Arising From the Convergence of Financial Services and Technology", June 2016: live presentation at the annual Banking Law Fundamentals Program associated with the American Bar Association Banking Law Committee,
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

  • Fintech Companies and Bank Charters: Options and Considerations for 2018, White & Case Client Alert, January 2018
  • 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