One word – experience – sums up why some of the biggest financial institutions in the United States turn to Holland & Knight's Financial Services Regulatory Team. Our deep experience with the laws and regulations that govern financial institutions and financial services companies helps us keep our clients out of trouble. When problems do arise, we have the contacts and deep experience – including litigating all the way through hearings or trials, if necessary – to protect our clients' interests.
Our team includes lawyers throughout the country, including New York, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Florida, Texas, California, Colorado, Illinois and the mid-Atlantic states.
The team is distinguished by the scope of services it provides as well as its geographic reach. Financial services increasingly stretch not only across state lines but also national boundaries. Our attorneys have guided clients through the regulatory regimes of more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide, including the European Union and nearly every nation in Latin America. Our Cuba Action Team closely monitors developments in that nation and is poised to guide clients in offering financial services in that market if those opportunities become available.
The team regularly interacts with various state and federal regulators, including the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), as well as many state banking and financial services regulators and attorneys general.
Holland & Knight's Financial Services Regulatory Team provides advice and counsel to financial services clients in a multitude of ways, including:
In addition, we have:
Attorneys on our team pride themselves on working with our financial services clients on developing innovative products and services to enable our clients to maintain their competitive advantages in highly competitive industries. We draw upon a multidisciplinary team across our firm to work alongside C-level executives, boards of directors and other third-party advisors in examining strategic business opportunities, innovative capital structures, protection of intellectual property, and human capital, customer development and retention matters, among other areas. We understand our clients' business models and proactively partner with our clients to effectively navigate and balance both the regulatory and competitive commercial environments in which they operate, producing effective results for our clients and their stakeholders.
Attorneys on our team have resolved matters before all federal and state financial enforcement agencies, including the CFPB. Although the CFPB has been in flux as it undergoes changes under the Trump Administration, it continues to pose formidable regulatory hurdles, and our attorneys frequently assist clients with compliance issues. Like all regulatory agencies, the CFPB sees priorities change with each new administration, and our lawyers are the eyes and ears at these agencies for our clients, alerting them to opportunities and challenges that develop as regulatory policies shift.
Our lawyers represent national and multinational financial services companies in complex, bet-the-company and putative class action lawsuits, as well as in individual lawsuits initiated by consumers and administrative or court enforcement proceedings brought by government agencies, such as the CFPB, SEC, FINRA, FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Our team works closely with more than 70 attorneys on Holland & Knight's Financial Services Litigation Team, which includes former federal and state prosecutors and counsel in financial services regulatory agencies. While we do not shy away from aggressively representing clients in litigation, our focus is always on finding the most efficient way for our clients to achieve their business objectives and manage risks.
For example, we:
We guide financial services companies through investigations by the CFPB, FTC, Treasury Department, SEC, DOJ and related state agencies with the goals of fast resolution and minimal penalties. Members of our team have experience as in-house counsel to financial services regulatory agencies, and that familiarity lends us insight into the investigation and enforcement process. One of our attorneys has successfully defended companies and individuals in more than 50 government investigations, with many of those matters closed.
The practice frequently negotiates outcomes and may mitigate penalties through such compromise protocols as memorandums of understanding. Our attorneys help clients maneuver successfully through investigations focusing on allegations of financial crimes such as money laundering, bribery, violations of rules on the promotion of financial products, insider trading, corporate governance and individual conduct of malfeasance. We also supervise and coordinate due diligence, including look-back and forensic reviews.
The following are representative of the hundreds of investigation matters our attorneys handle for clients every year:
Our team has significant experience advising financial institutions with the complex rules and regulations of the OFAC, as well as laws such as the Money Laundering Control Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Bank Secrecy Act. Companies have asked us to advise them on establishing AML compliance programs, customer identification protocols and other customer due diligence requirements, as well as to offer legal opinions and compliance assessments.
Our attorneys are well-versed in AML, include several who frequently speak at the Florida International Bankers Association's annual Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Conference, the ABA/ABA Money Laundering Enforcement Conference in Washington, D.C., and the AML & Financial Crime Conference – Asia Pacific in Singapore. A number of our attorneys are respected internationally for their knowledge of blockchain technology, and have advised financial services and other companies on compliance in this relatively uncharted area of currency innovation where states and the federal government sometimes have conflicting regulatory requirements.
We provide advice to directors and officers regarding their responsibilities and liability exposure under the Bank Secrecy Act, OFAC and the Money Laundering Control Act. We also conduct AML assessments. Reports generated by these investigations may be shielded by attorney-client privilege and sometimes can be used to self-report, enabling a company to avoid potentially harsher penalties from regulatory authorities.
A differentiator for Holland & Knight's Financial Services Regulatory Team is the length and scope of our lawyers' experience. Chambers ranks the co-chair of our team as a "senior statesperson." Our other co-chair has significant experience with matters involving BSA/AML/OFAC, represents FIBA on the U.S. Treasury Department's Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group (BSAAG) and is based in our Miami office. One of our attorneys is the former deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking, the former editor of Pratt's Mortgage Compliance Letter and, along with a second member of our team, has been inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Consumer Financial Lawyers. Another key member of the team is a former senior enforcement attorney with the OCC and co-editor of the ABA's Banking Law Committee Journal.
Our roster also includes:
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