Financial Services Industry

Succeeding today in the financial services industry means navigating an ever-changing economic landscape and a sweeping array of regulatory and compliance issues. Our Financial Services team has the experience, knowledge and skills to assist clients in managing these issues, finding solutions and achieving their unique business goals. With more than 100 attorneys practicing in this space from coast to coast, and internationally, several of whom are former regulators, we are well-positioned to advise on litigation and enforcement proceedings, assist with compliance and licensing, counsel on lending and restructuring and help with rapidly evolving privacy and technology issues, including the design and implementation of various credit products.

In a volatile atmosphere, we are thoughtful, informed and focused on our clients’ needs. As appropriate, we draw on the strengths of our more than 940 colleagues in practice areas such as tax, securities, bankruptcy, employment, white collar and more.

What we do

Our multidisciplinary team provides practical advice on a full range of financial services.

Litigation: Our nationally recognized attorneys are well-versed in representing financial institutions in disputes involving consumer and commercial borrowers, class actions, third-party vendors and other financial institutions, as well as in dealings with governmental agencies such as the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other agencies at the state and federal levels.

  • Appeals
  • Arbitration
  • Bank product litigation
  • Class actions
  • Commercial litigation
  • Consumer litigation
  • Data privacy
  • EFTA, FDCPA, FCRA, FIRREA, RESPA, TILA, UCC, and UDAAP matters
  • ERISA litigation
  • Mortgage servicing litigation
  • Trust litigation
More »

Regulatory, compliance and licensing: Our team regularly represents financial institutions in regulatory actions and advises on a variety of compliance and licensing issues. As enforcement efforts grow more aggressive, we provide proactive advice and practical strategies to support our clients’ goals.

  • Affiliate Marketing Rule
  • Bank and credit union regulatory issues
  • Broker-dealer
  • Compliance with OFAC regulations administering U.S. embargoes and sanctions
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforcement and counseling
  • Crowdfunding
  • Data privacy
  • Fair lending
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) audits
  • Internal investigations
  • Investment companies and funds
  • Investment advisers
  • Loan repurchase
  • Monitorships
  • Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) and Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act
  • Payment processing under the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) rules
  • Private investor networks
  • Red Flags Rule
  • Social media compliance
  • State agency and attorney general enforcement and counseling
  • State Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Practices (UDAP) statutes
  • Vendor management

Financing and Capital Markets

Our attorneys represent financial institutions in a wide range of capital markets and commercial financing transactions. We provide securities advice and other regulatory advice and work with credit structure, documentation and collateral issues in all types of equity of debt financings, including senior and subordinated commercial and asset-based facilities, as well as public and private issuances of equity of debt securities.

We represent bank groups and other credit sources in structuring U.S. and international credit facilities – both upside credit restructurings and downside credit management issues.

We deftly handle financing transactions of all sizes and types across a variety of industries, including:

  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Media
  • Private banking
  • Real estate
  • Student loan
  • Tax-exempt
  • Transportation

Restructuring: We understand the unique needs of secured lenders, debtors, creditors’ committees, critical vendors and other stakeholders in insolvency proceedings, litigation and negotiations. In court, we can often prevent the dissipation of assets and help maximize a creditor’s recovery.

  • Complex collections actions and receiverships
    • Commercial foreclosures
    • Article IX sales and other nonjudicial enforcement actions
    • Unique collateral – e.g., aircraft, boats/ships, securities
    • Receiverships
  • Loan restructurings and workouts
    • Forbearance agreements
    • Discounted payoffs
    • Loan sales
    • Loan restructurings
  • Special servicing
  • Loan syndication and intercreditor matters
    • Representation of administrative agents and individual lenders in syndications
    • Intercreditor agreements and disputes
  • Bankruptcy
    • Representation of the FDIC as receiver in bank holding company bankruptcy cases

Financial technology: We provide proactive counsel on the complex regulatory issues that arise from securities trade processing, clearance and settlement, data collection and use, including customer communications, data analytics, emerging payments, cross-border transfers and security incident response preparedness.

  • Contract negotiations
  • Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-SIGN) Act
  • Litigation
  • Payment card products
  • Proactive regulatory compliance consulting
  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Security incident response
Who we work with
  • Financial institutions and lenders
    • Superregional and regional banks
    • Thrifts and S&Ls
    • Mortgage lenders
    • Auto lenders
    • Credit card issuers
    • Student lenders
  • Investment banks
    • Underwriters
    • Placement agents
    • Broker-dealers
    • Crowdfunding portals
  • Nonbank and niche lenders
    • Debt funds
    • Insurance companies
    • Healthcare financers
    • Payday lenders
  • Funds
    • Investment companies
    • Hedge funds
    • Private equity funds
    • Investment advisers
    • Exchange-traded funds
  • Service providers
    • Loan servicers
    • Payment card systems
    • Payment processors
    • Custodians
    • Trustees
    • Depositories

Select Experience

Litigation

  • Defeated a class certification in a putative nationwide class action brought by an individual borrower alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The plaintiff alleged that the bank and its subsidiary, an affiliated real estate settlement service provider, engaged in kickbacks and fee splitting.
  • Appointed by the U.S. government five times to manage federal monitorships, including critical monitorships for Merrill Lynch and The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

Lending

  • Regularly represent a large regional bank in commercial real estate transactions, including a recent matter in connection with a $15.5 million construction loan for a project that involved property previously used in the operations of large global oil companies. Using attorneys from the firm’s various practice areas and offices, we provided counsel regarding numerous sensitive issues and brought the matter to a successful close.
  • Represented a large regional bank in connection with commercial lines of credit, including a $100 million multipurpose facility designed to accommodate the borrower’s mortgage loan warehousing, bridge loan construction loan and working capital needs.

Regulatory

  • Advise domestic and foreign broker-dealers on registration obligations at available exemptions.
  • Defended a national specialty finance company and successfully defended the client in consumer-initiated class actions involving state and federal consumer statutes.
  • Counseled a publicly traded financial services client through to resolution of a CFPB investigation.
  • Created a recognized CFPB compliance management system to assist mortgage lenders with the various revised .

Bankruptcy and restructuring

  • Represented a major regional bank in the resolution of a portfolio of nearly $6 million in distressed loans to a residential real estate developer. Pursued the owner-guarantor, who had engaged in extensive estate planning under Florida law to “protect” his assets. After discovery of a flaw in the guarantor’s scheme, used post-judgment enforcement proceedings against allegedly exempt assets to obtain a loan sale on terms favorable to the bank.
  • Advised in the workout of loan facilities for distressed middle-market oil producers operating in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and other states; currently advising in connection with distressed syndicated loans to an oil field services company in Colorado.
More »

Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Gary M. Alletag Partner Houston
Anna E. Altizer Associate Atlanta
Stanley C. Ball Associate Chicago
Alexis C. Beachdell Partner Cleveland
Melonia A. Bennett Associate Columbus
Jeffrey P. Berg Partner Los Angeles
Marissa L. Black Associate Cleveland
Jason A. Brady Partner Orlando
David K. Brown Partner Atlanta
David M. Brown Associate Philadelphia
Brian A. Bulson Partner Cleveland
Phillip M. Callesen Partner Cleveland
Sam Camardo Associate Cleveland
John J. Carney Partner New York
Eben P. Clark Counsel Denver
Clayton W. Coley Partner Atlanta
Casie D. Collignon Partner Denver
Mark A. Cymrot Partner Washington, D.C.
William R. Daugherty Counsel Houston
Michael T. Delaney Associate Los Angeles
Steven M. Dettelbach Partner Cleveland
Breaden M. Douthett Counsel Cleveland
Brian P. Durdle Senior Advisor Cleveland
W. John English Jr. Partner Houston
Joseph M. Esmont Associate Cleveland
Guenther Karl Fanter Partner Cleveland
Fahim Farivar Associate Los Angeles
Gerald J. Ferguson Partner New York
Adam L. Fletcher Associate Cleveland
Lars H. Fuller Counsel Denver
Jessie M. Gabriel Partner New York
Randal L. Gainer Partner Seattle
Lisa M. Ghannoum Partner Cleveland
Christopher J. Giaimo Partner Washington, D.C.
Eric R. Goodman Partner Cleveland
Joel D. Gottesman Staff Attorney Cleveland
Elizabeth A. Green Partner Orlando
Kurt P. Gruber Partner Orlando
Patrick H. Haggerty Partner Cincinnati
John J. Harrington Partner Cleveland
Ruth E. Hartman Partner Cleveland
Laura M. Haskins Associate Atlanta
William H. Hawkins II Counsel Cincinnati
Lauren M. Hilsheimer Associate Columbus
Curt Roy Hineline Partner Seattle
Craig A. Hoffman Partner Cincinnati
Scott C. Holbrook Partner Cleveland
Michael Iannuzzi Associate New York
Christian B. Jones Senior Advisor Washington, D.C.
Paul G. Karlsgodt Partner Denver
Elyssa S. Kates Associate New York
Amy E. Kellogg Partner Cleveland
Theodore J. Kobus III Partner New York
Melissa A. Leonard Partner Cleveland
Patrick T. Lewis Partner Cleveland
Jessica Parker Malchow Partner Orlando
Gina M. Mavica Partner New York
Erin H. McBride Associate Cleveland
Rand L. McClellan Partner Columbus
Ashley M. McDow Partner Los Angeles
Melinda L. McLellan Partner New York
John Melicharek Jr. Partner Orlando
Nicholas P. Melillo Partner New York
Kathryn C. Mellinger Associate Philadelphia
Michael Dominic Meuti Partner Cleveland
Henry P. Montgomery Partner Columbus
James R. Morrison Associate Seattle
Robert F. Morwood Partner Cincinnati
Michael E. Mumford Partner Cleveland
Robert S. Niemi Senior Advisor Columbus
M. Mitchell Oates Associate Philadelphia
Michael J. Pappert Partner Houston
John D. Parker Partner Cleveland
Peggy A. Peterson Senior Advisor Washington, D.C.
Robert T. Razzano Partner Cincinnati
Andrew W. Reich Counsel New York
Lauren J. Resnick Partner New York
James H. Rollinson Partner Cleveland
Jorian L. Rose Partner New York
Dennis W. Russo Partner New York
Douglas L. Shively Associate Cleveland
John Siegal Partner New York
Julie Singer Brady Partner Orlando
George R. Skupski Associate Cleveland
James A. Slater Partner Cleveland
Brian W. Song Partner New York
Erica Svoboda Associate Atlanta
Christopher J. Swift Partner Cleveland
Matthew A. Tenerowicz Partner Cleveland
Carol R. Van Cleef Partner Washington, D.C.
Walter Van Dorn Partner New York
Peter W. Van Euwen III Partner Cleveland
Michael A. VanNiel Partner Cleveland
Ernest E. Vargo Partner Cleveland
Michael S. Vitale Partner Orlando
Douglas A. Vonderhaar Associate Columbus
Brett A. Wall Partner Cleveland
Nathan F. Ware Partner Cleveland
Keesha N. Warmsby Associate Columbus
Daniel R. Warren Partner Cleveland
Thomas D. Warren Partner Cleveland
Robert A. Weible Partner Cleveland
Craig M. White Partner Chicago
Cody S. Wigington Associate Atlanta
Andrew A. Wood Associate Costa Mesa
Donald A. Workman Partner Washington, D.C.
Martin T. Wymer Partner Cleveland

Experience

Litigation

  • Defeated a class certification in a putative nationwide class action brought by an individual borrower alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The plaintiff alleged that the bank and its subsidiary, an affiliated real estate settlement service provider, engaged in kickbacks and fee splitting.
  • Appointed by the U.S. government five times to manage federal monitorships, including critical monitorships for Merrill Lynch and The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.
  • Represented a bank in a commercial class action alleging speculative, excess and overstated loan interest charges. On behalf of the financial institution, we obtained complete dismissal of putative nationwide and state class actions involving allegedly improper commercial billing practices. Other banks had previously settled parallel claims for eight figures.
  • Member of a team representing a federally insured bank in a matter involving a novel banking product being offered to consumers. We represent the bank in five parallel putative nationwide class action lawsuits initially filed in federal courts, now consolidated in a single action. The lawsuit is the first of its kind and raises complicated issues of first impression in a highly regulated area of law overseen by a number of agencies and regulations, including usury, TILA, and EFTA.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a statewide consumer class action seeking to hold the client, a large regional bank, liable under the Uniform Commercial Code and Ohio common law in connection with a Ponzi scheme involving unregistered securities orchestrated by a third party.
  • Represented the only defendant bank to obtain a summary judgment in a multiparty lawsuit. The litigation was brought by a software company’s former CEO and largest shareholder, who made allegations against the bank that it engaged in collusion and conspiracy to loot the company in its role as a senior lender in a multilayer financing structure. The win eradicated a claim for $20 million in compensatory damages and unspecified amounts in punitive damages sought by the plaintiff.

Lending

  • Regularly represent a large regional bank in commercial real estate transactions, including a recent matter in connection with a $15.5 million construction loan for a project that involved property previously used in the operations of large global oil companies. Using attorneys from the firm’s various practice areas and offices, we provided counsel regarding numerous sensitive issues and brought the matter to a successful close.
  • Represented a large regional bank in connection with commercial lines of credit, including a $100 million multipurpose facility designed to accommodate the borrower’s mortgage loan warehousing, bridge loan, construction loan and working capital needs.
  • Represented other lenders in many mortgage loan warehousing transactions, lines of credit, bridge loans and construction loans in a range of sizes and complexity.
  • Represented a large lender as participant and administrative agent in several syndicated club transactions with financial institutions.

Regulatory

  • Advise domestic and foreign broker-dealers on registration obligations at available exemptions.
  • Defended a national specialty finance company and successfully defended the client in consumer-initiated class actions involving state and federal consumer statutes.
  • Counseled a publicly traded financial services client through to resolution of a CFPB investigation.
  • Created a recognized CFPB compliance management system to assist mortgage lenders with the various revised lending laws resulting from the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • Assisted a nationally recognized lender with large-scale licensing and compliance matters involving state regulators.
  • Advised a financial institution on structuring novel consumer bank products.
  • Advised a financial institution on compliance issues in connection with third-party vendor contracts.
  • Established OFAC compliance policies and programs and proved related training for a number of financial institutions.
  • Prepared OFAC voluntary self-disclosure for industry clients.
  • Assisted with responses to SEC enquiries regarding dealings with embargoed countries/sanctioned persons.
  • Advised investment advisers on newly revised SEC registration requirements and on-going compliance obligations under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
  • Advised funds and special purpose vehicles (SPVs) on available exceptions from the Investment Company Act of 1940.

Bankruptcy and restructuring

  • Represented a major regional bank in the resolution of a portfolio of nearly $6 million in distressed loans to a residential real estate developer. Pursued the owner-guarantor, who had engaged in extensive estate planning under Florida law to “protect” his assets. After discovery of a flaw in the guarantor’s scheme, used post-judgment enforcement proceedings against allegedly exempt assets to obtain a loan sale on terms favorable to the bank.
  • Advised in the workout of loan facilities for distressed middle-market oil producers operating in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and other states; currently advising in connection with distressed syndicated loans to an oil field services company in Colorado.
  • Represents the FDIC as receiver of failed financial institutions in bank holding company bankruptcy cases.
  • Represented a regional bank in complex individual Chapter 11 proceedings seeking to recover more than $12 million in defaulted commercial loans. Successfully defended the bank’s lien positions and claims and through negotiation of favorable plan and cash collateral treatment and the prosecution of related-party state court foreclosure proceedings in two states, achieved nearly a 100 percent recovery for the bank.
  • Assisted nationally rated special servicers with the disposition of more than $8 million in distressed hospitality loans throughout Ohio; managed receivership processes and used creative approaches to liquidate the assets to maximize recovery for investors.
  • Represented a bank in litigation before the Ohio Supreme Court defending against guarantors’ attempt to bar enforcement of guarantees based on an alleged oral forbearance agreement; secured a unanimous ruling that such oral agreements are invalid.

Recognition

  • BTI Client Service 30: BakerHostetler advanced 19 positions to #9 (2016)

News

Press Releases

Alerts

Articles

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Financial Services Blog
D.C. Circuit Agrees to Hear Controversial PHH Case En Banc
By Ruth E. Hartman
February 24, 2017
On Feb. 16, 2017, the D.C. Circuit granted the CFPB’s petition to rehear en banc the court’s landmark October 2016 decision finding that the structure of the CFPB was unconstitutional. We covered the panel decision here. In its Feb. 16...
Read More ->
Financial Services Blog
CFPB Fines Lender and Real Estate Brokers for Improper Kickback Scheme
February 2, 2017
On Jan. 31, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed consent orders against one of the largest independent residential mortgage lenders, two real estate brokers and a mortgage servicer for their roles in an improper...
Read More ->
Financial Services Blog
OCC Announces Creation of New Office to Foster the Development of Fintech in Banks
November 2, 2016
Fintech is at the forefront of the financial industry. A recent announcement by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) shows that this trend will only continue to grow and cements fintech as an important piece to the financial...
Read More ->
Financial Services Blog
CFPB Warns Mortgage Lenders and Brokers of Possible HMDA Violations
By Damon C. Barhorst, Robert S. Niemi
October 31, 2016
On Oct. 27, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warned 44 unnamed mortgage lenders and brokers that they may be in violation of data reporting requirements of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Enacted in 1975, HMDA...
Read More ->
Financial Services Blog
Federal Appellate Court Deems CFPB ‘Unconstitutionally Structured’ and Overturns PHH Penalty
By Douglas A. Vonderhaar
October 12, 2016
On Oct. 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit deemed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) “unconstitutionally structured” and overturned its enforcement action, including a $109 million penalty, against PHH Corp., a...
Read More ->