Carl A. Fornaris

Carl A. Fornaris


Carl A. Fornaris is Co-Chair of the firm's Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. With 24 years of legal experience, Carl advises banks and their holding companies, investment advisers, securities broker dealers, gaming firms, money services businesses and other financial institutions on all aspects of their business. These include  licensing, capital-raising transactions, acquisitions and divestitures, USA PATRIOT Act/BSA/AML compliance and OFAC sanctions programs (including permissible financial activities in Cuba), critical examination reports and enforcement proceedings, Dodd-Frank Act compliance (including Volcker Rule implementation), new products and FATCA. Throughout his career, Carl has counseled clients in their dealings with the Federal Reserve, OCC, FDIC, FinCEN, SEC, FINRA, Florida Office of Financial Regulation, New York Department of Financial Services and other state supervisory authorities.

Carl is also active representing lenders and credit parties in financing transactions, particularly credits to non-U.S. loan parties, asset-based credits, acquisition financing and stand-by letters of credit.

Carl is a past General Counsel of the Florida International Bankers Association and sits on its Board of Directors. Previously, he served as Head of Legal and Compliance for the Latin America region of Barclays Bank PLC, with responsibility for managing legal and compliance matters throughout the region. Carl is an adjunct professor in the Business Law Department of the University of Miami. He began his legal career in Washington, D.C. with an international law firm.


  • Banking and financial services law, regulation and compliance
  • Commercial lending, including credit facilities in Latin America
  • Anti-money laundering and OFAC compliance
  • Cuba Task Force
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  • Representation of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., an investment banking firm, as underwriter’s counsel in the initial public offering of 1,975,000 shares of common stock of First Western Financial, Inc.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law; Corporate Law; Financial Services Regulation Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law; Securities Regulation, 2008-2019
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Securities Regulation, Miami, 2014
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2005-2018
  • Listed, South Florida Legal Guide, "Top Lawyer," 2011-2018
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, 2007-2015
  • Team Member, "Corporate/M&A – Law Firm of the Year," Chambers Latin America Awards, 2014
  • Team Member, Corporate Board Member magazine and FTI Consulting Inc., one of "America’s Best Corporate Law Firms," 13th Annual Legal Industry Study, 2013
  • Team Member, "Corporate & Finance - International Counsel in Latin America (Florida-Based)," Chambers Latin America Awards, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016
  • Member, team ranked as a top corporate law firm in Miami as selected by corporate directors, in the annual "Legal Industry Research Study," Corporate Board Member magazine and FTI Consulting Inc. (10th year), 2002-2009, 2011-2012
  • Listed, Chambers Global, 2009-2011
  • Listed, Chambers Latin America, Corporate M&A, 2009
  • Team Member, "Focus on Latin America - Law Firm of the Year (Florida-Based)," Chambers Latin America Inaugural Awards for Excellence, 2009
  • Listed, Who's Who Legal Florida, 2008
  • Listed, Florida Trend magazine, "Legal Elite," 2006-2008
  • Recipient, "Pro Bono Service Award," Dade County Bar Association, 2005


  • J.D., The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 1993
  • B.S., University of Miami, 1990
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia