Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Group brings together attorneys from offices and practices worldwide to assist financial services firms of all types and sizes, as well as their holding companies, and investors and vendors to those firms. We provide guidance on national and global regulatory, supervisory, enforcement, litigation, legislative and policy, licensing, compliance, corporate, and governance matters.
With offices in Washington, D.C. and important state capitals, we consult regularly with staff from the: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve Board (FRB), U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as state financial services regulators, securities agencies, and attorneys general offices. With our global reach, we additionally consult regularly with European, Latin American, and Asian financial regulators. We provide our clients with practical strategies to meet their legal and regulatory needs efficiently.
Our Financial Services Blog
Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Services Observer monitors and reports on news, legal developments, litigation, and legislative actions affecting the financial services industry. Written by members of Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Group, this blog is designed to help in-house counsel and industry executives stay abreast of major developments affecting their industry.
Investment Companies, Private Funds, and Investment Advisers
We serve as counsel to investment companies, directors of investment companies, and advisers and other service providers of investment companies. We advise on the formation of investment companies, board supervision, filings, inspections, mergers and acquisitions of registrants, and suitable compliance programs.
We represent private funds exempt from registration, providing advice on domestic and offshore formation, offering of securities in the United States, structuring and operation of compliance programs, expanding supervision and inspections by regulators, and filings mandated for advisers to private funds. We advise clients regarding the legal aspects of the increasing interest of the SEC in unregistered private funds and new SEC regulatory initiatives such as Form CRS and continuing issues regarding valuation of assets and fee calculations.
We represent investment advisers, including both those that act as advisers to funds and advisory firms engaged in the management of individual accounts of their customers. We advise on the fiduciary duties of advisers, identify industry best practices, address SEC compliance issues affecting advisers, counsel clients on operational procedures and practices, assist with mock audits, and help clients respond effectively to regulatory examinations. While we counsel advisers who are subject to SEC regulation, we also guide firms in dealing with expanded state regulation of advisers.
We also advise entities that seek guidance concerning how to operate their non-fund businesses without registration or supervision as regulated entities based on exclusions or exemptions from such registration and regulation. This is an area that can be critical to the success of a non-investment company business and requires a careful analysis of sensitive regulatory concerns.
Broker-Dealer Regulation and Compliance
Greenberg Traurig counsels broker-dealers, transfer agents, securities exchanges, alternative trading systems, municipal securities dealers, and municipal advisors in a wide range of regulatory and compliance matters, including Dodd-Frank and JOBS Act issues, Exchange Act issues, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) matters, and pay-to-play business restrictions, among others. We also conduct internal investigations and full-scale compliance reviews. We work closely with our clients to develop and update their compliance programs, as well as their anti-money laundering and internal control policies and procedures, as well as implementation of new Regulation BI and Form CRS.
Greenberg Traurig advises clients throughout the lifecycle of a securities industry participant, from creation through an SRO new membership application to sale or disposal of assets. We help our clients avoid unwarranted regulatory scrutiny and enforcement, and defend when investigations or actions are brought by the SEC, DOJ, states’ Attorneys General, CFTC, FINRA, the New York Stock Exchange, and other regulators and litigants involving:
- Advertising regulation
- New lines of business
- Regulatory capital deficiencies
- 15a-6 arrangements
- Insider trading
- Individual enforcement actions
- Anti-money laundering
- Market making and proprietary trading
- Criminal proceedings
Bank Regulation and Compliance
Our global team of attorneys provides clients with strategic planning, analysis, and interpretation of legislation, amendments, and administrative rules governing the financial services industry. Attorneys within the practice, who are ranked in Chambers and Partners’ Chambers USA Guide, counsel regulated financial institutions (and their officers and directors) in connection with licensing and chartering, mergers and acquisitions, new products, critical examination reports, and enforcement actions relating to capital, asset quality, management, compliance, and other issues.
We regularly advise clients in connection with federal and state banking laws and regulations, such as:
- The Dodd-Frank Act and related regulations
- Bank Holding Company Act and Regulation Y
- Bank Secrecy Act, including USA PATRIOT Act amendments
- Bank Control Act and Bank Merger Act
- National Bank Act
- Federal Reserve Act, including Sections 23A and 23B and Regulation O
- Federal Deposit Insurance Act (including Financial Institutions Reform, Recover, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) and FDIC Improvement Act (FDICIA))
- International Banking Act, Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act, and Regulation K
- Gramm Leach Bliley Act
- Community Reinvestment Act
Our global Fintech practice is multidisciplinary, allowing us to draw on, among other areas, our market-leading regulatory, policy, Intellectual Property (IP), banking and finance, technology, corporate, and litigation capabilities. Our team has decades of experience serving the Fintech industry that enables us to provide Fintech clients with targeted and creative legal strategies and advice. Our attorneys help Fintech clients design innovative products and services and obtain any necessary regulatory approvals to launch them. We also advise Fintech clients on complex financial services regulatory, compliance, enforcement, litigation, corporate, and commercial matters. In addition, we advise our clients on corporate structures, governance matters, capital market and financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and the myriad commercial issues that impact Fintechs. We serve many clients in this sector, from early-stage disruptors to large financial institutions and tech companies. We represent Fintech companies engaged in a wide-range of activities, including, but not limited to, consumer and commercial credit, payments, digital wallets, point-of-sale technologies, personal finance and wealth management, digital banking and blockchain, digital assets, and cryptocurrencies. Greenberg Traurig’s Fintech practice is ranked in Chambers and Partners’ 2021 FinTech Guide in the U.S., Japan, Mexico, and Poland, as well as the Legal 500’s Fintech United States 2020 Guide.
Greenberg Traurig’s integrated global team of attorneys have many years of personal experience serving the internet and payment services industry. Based on this experience, we understand the challenges that companies face in this ever-changing industry, allowing us to provide our clients with high quality advice and guidance. Our team can assist any business (retail, bank, or technology – customer or supplier) that is engaged in digital payments at any level and at any point in the value chain. We have advised banks, merchant acquirers, card issuers, retailers, online betting and gaming providers, mobile network operators, and many other entities on structuring and implementing various elements of their payment strategy.
Consumer Financial Regulation, Compliance and Enforcement
Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Regulatory & Compliance Practice includes a multi-office team with deep expertise in consumer finance, specialty finance, Fintech credit, and retail banking. We represent retail banks, non-bank consumer, and specialty finance companies as well as their vendors on federal and state regulatory, legislative, supervision, examination, licensing, compliance, enforcement, and litigation matters. Our team consists of veteran consumer finance attorneys with decades of combined experience navigating federal and state regulatory regimes. Our team includes former in-house and government lawyers as well as leaders of the private consumer finance bar. We have extensive experience on regulatory, supervisory, investigations, enforcement, and litigation matters involving the CFPB, FTC, federal banking agencies, HUD, DOJ, state regulators and enforcement authorities. Our team also routinely advises clients on product and service development, compliance with federal and state consumer credit laws and regulations, important rulemaking and legislative initiatives, corporate and capital markets transactions, and pro-active mitigation of emerging supervisory and enforcement risks. We leverage our counterparts in related practices and across our domestic footprint to optimize consumer finance service offerings to clients of all sizes and industries.
Our consumer finance team has wide-ranging experience representing financial service providers on complex matters, including:
- Federal and state regulation of consumer credit and other financial services
- The scope of prohibition against unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices
- CFPB supervisory examinations, including responding to PSA and PARR letters
- Responding to CFPB civil investigative demands, agency interviews, investigational hearings, NORA letters, and enforcement and litigation proceedings
- Defense of investigations, enforcement and litigation involving the FTC, HUD, federal banking agencies, DOJ and state enforcement authorities
- Defense of consumer class action and individual litigation
- Compliance management system development, enhancement, reviews and audits
- Online and marketplace lending issues
- Interpretation and application of Title X of the Dodd- Frank Act and federal consumer financial laws
- Participation in CFPB rulemakings
- Privacy and information security
- Product development, implementation, and maintenance
- Military lending
- Payment system issues
Our clients in the consumer finance sector include:
- Banks and their affiliates
- Small-dollar/short-term lenders
- Mortgage lenders and servicers
- Electronic payment and money services businesses
- Credit, debit, and prepaid card issuers and processors
- Direct and indirect consumer lenders, including online and marketplace lenders
- Private student lenders and servicers
- Timeshare financing companies
- Credit reporting agencies
- Technology companies offering consumer financial products and services
- Debt collectors
- Alternative financial services companies
- Private equity and venture capital firms investing in consumer finance businesses
- Vendors that act as “service providers” to covered entities offering consumer financial products or services
- Industry trade associations
Financial Services Litigation
Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Services Litigation Practice assists clients in a variety of matters affecting the financial services industry. We regularly advise and defend global, national, regional, and local banks; venture capital and private equity firms; mortgage lenders; credit card companies; consumer finance companies; and other financial institutions. First and foremost, we are trial lawyers, and have a great breadth of experience litigating on behalf of our clients in disputes in U.S. state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration and before governmental agencies. We collaborate closely with the firm’s interdisciplinary team of corporate and regulatory lawyers, including former in-house bank counsels, bankers, and government attorneys, who have domestic and international experience advising all types of financial institutions on financing, corporate, transactional, regulatory, and workout matters.
Mortgage Lending and Servicing Regulation
We work with mortgage lenders and servicers to help ensure compliance with the relevant federal and state laws, regulation and guidance impacting residential and commercial mortgage origination, securitization, and servicing companies. We advise clients in the mortgage industry on regulation, compliance, supervision, and enforcement matters regarding various federal and state laws.
Blockchain & Digital Assets
Greenberg Traurig's global Blockchain & Digital Assets Group comprises more than 80 attorneys across multiple legal disciplines in key financial hubs around the world, providing a centralized approach to blockchain and digital asset matters. We leverage our diverse experience to advise clients on matters ranging from token structuring, fund formation, investment strategies, financial regulation and registration, international tax planning and structuring, stable coins and asset-backed digital assets, tokenized property interests, infrastructure applications, technology licensing and development, securities compliance, cryptocurrency exchanges and trading, and blockchain-as-a-service.
Our multidisciplinary approach enables our team to readily anticipate, recognize, and address the legal challenges that our clients may face with respect to blockchain and digital asset development or utilization. Our dedicated response team consists of experienced attorneys with diverse backgrounds in securities, commodities and broker-dealer regulations, entity and fund formation, financing, exchange formation, federal and state financial services regulation, technology and intellectual property licensing, privacy concerns, cybersecurity issues, and taxation. We also utilize resources from our robust Government, Law & Policy Practice, which regularly advises governments and municipalities on evolving or model regulatory standards and other pertinent matters relating to blockchain and digital assets.
Advising on Blockchain and Smart Contract Technology Implementations
As blockchain applications and smart contracts introduce automation to entirely new functions, our attorneys advise clients on appropriate standards and protocols for the deployment of blockchain applications and smart contract coding to ensure that clients can meet the demands of regulators, law enforcement, and any trier of fact or law. As blockchain technology continues to grow and evolve, so do uncertainties about obligations surrounding the potential scope of and protocols for (i) regulator and auditor access to blockchain and smart contracts data, (ii) the reporting, authentication, and certification of controls, and (iii) retention, production, and authentication of records relating to disputes. We are actively engaged in assessing and considering emerging data privacy and security obligations relating to client data and end user data on the blockchain, and in assisting client legal and regulatory preparations and negotiations relating to these matters.
Cryptocurrency and Digital Assets
As cryptocurrencies and other digital assets have gained market acceptance in recent years as a fundraising vehicle for our clients or a critical part of a blockchain platform, our team carefully evaluates each opportunity in terms of the business and financing requirements of the client, as well as the emergent risks and costs associated with securities and other regulatory compliance obligations, market volatility, and other factors. The market for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets is in constant evolution; our team is committed to assisting clients with maximizing their opportunities in any environment and helping to develop legally-compliant structures. Our team stays abreast of existing laws, recent enforcement action and decisions, rulings, and orders, and keeps track of legal trends, upcoming legislation, and technical developments, helping clients to anticipate and prepare for potential compliance requirements and legal and regulatory changes.
Anti-Money Laundering Compliance and Enforcement Task Force
Greenberg Traurig’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance and Enforcement Task Force provides advisory, compliance, and enforcement counseling to financial institutions and other businesses on all aspects of anti-money laundering rules and regulations, including the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act. We help our clients develop risk-based AML policies and procedures, address AML issues that arise in regulatory examinations, and navigate regulatory enforcement proceedings and criminal investigations into money laundering violations. Our task force has experience in AML regulatory examinations, compliance and enforcements, developing policies and procedures for financial intuitions, advising non-financial firms on best practices, counseling financial institutions and businesses on reporting suspicious activities, acting as forfeiture counsel and defense, advising international exporters on minimizing exposure, and representing both targets and unwitting actors in U.S. federal and state money laundering investigations.
Futures and Derivatives Regulatory and Compliance
Our team assists our futures and derivatives clients in navigating the complex statutory and regulatory web that governs their businesses. We represent futures commission merchants, foreign exchange firms, proprietary trading firms, and exchanges, introducing brokers in connection with virtually all aspects of their businesses, from formation and offering, to ongoing regulatory and compliance advice, to assistance with regulatory investigations, enforcement actions, and litigation.
Greenberg Traurig’s Unclaimed Property and Escheat Group offers clients a multidisciplinary approach to unclaimed property/escheat matters. We regularly advise banks, broker-dealers, funds, and other companies in the financial services industry with regulatory inquiries or audits concerning unclaimed or abandoned property. We have also assisted clients in refining their processes, procedures, and reporting requirements relative to unclaimed property; in negotiating settlements; and in recovering unclaimed property that belongs to the financial institution.
Due to Greenberg Traurig’s international presence, our attorneys are experienced in consulting with various regulators across the globe including:
EUROPE & UK
- Greenberg Traurig advises clients on European Union directives and policies and their implementation in member states.
- The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)
- Poland’s Financial Supervisory Commission (Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego)
- Austria’s Financial Market Authority (FMA)
- Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
- Luxembourg’s Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF)
- Italy’s Financial Supervisory Authority (Bank of Italy)
- Japan’s Financial Services Agency (JFSA)
- Japan’s The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC)
- Japan’s Kanto Local Finance Bureau (KLFB)
- Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC)
- Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS)
- China’s Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC)
- The Central Bank of Mexico (Banco de Mexico or BANXICO)
- The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico or SHCP)
- The National Banking and Securities Commission (Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores or CNBV)
- The National Insurance and Bonds Commission (Comision Nacional de Seguros y Fianzas or CNSF)
- The National Pension System Commission (Comision Nacional del Sistema de Ahorro para el Retiro or CONSAR)
- The Financial Consumer Protection Bureau (Comision Nacional para la Proteccion y Defensa de los Usuarios de Servicios Financieros or CONDUSEF)