All crises — whether arising from a corporate emergency, a catastrophic event or negative publicity— require a coordinated response on an expedited timeline. Sidley has a proven track record helping banking and financial institutions manage crises requiring the quick action, strategic insight, and litigation know-how critical to protecting an institution’s business and reputation. We work closely with our clients in both responding to and handling crises, and provide tailored solutions to address the circumstances of all situations.
Sidley’s Banks and Financial Institutions Crisis Management team draws upon the significant relevant experience of our multidisciplinary group to deploy swift, well-planned responses to minimize the impact of a crisis on an institution. We use an industry-focused approach to quickly assemble and draw upon the significant relevant experience of our lawyers across various practice areas to help craft and provide well-planned responses for banks and financial institutions facing critical, high stakes matters.
Comprehensive, Multidisciplinary Experience
We have decades of experience serving as the front line response team to financial institutions in the face of public crises. Leading financial institutions and their boards seek our counsel in an emergency because we provide thoughtful, seamless advice for multi-faceted crises, including:
- Response to inquiries and enforcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other oversight bodies including the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the CFPB, state bank and securities regulatory agencies, and Attorneys General, as well as the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Prudential Regulation Authority in the U.K.
- Establishing and managing both the initial and long-term legal strategies, and assisting with remediation efforts.
- Cross-border investigations
- Congressional inquiry or subpoena response
- Managing legal, policy, political, or public relations considerations related to an investigation
- Securities disclosure issues
- Internal investigations, including whistleblower complaints
- Advising boards, audit and special committees
- Counseling on compliance, governance, litigation risks, and potential exposure arising from alleged misconduct, investigative findings, and negative publicity
- Cybersecurity incident response and prevention
- Sexual misconduct and other employment-related allegations
We understand the level of trust that is required to handle the challenges that arise during and after a crisis. Our lawyers know how to balance internal and external effects, relationship dynamics and optics. We have decades of experience serving as our clients’ first response team in the face of public crises, establishing and managing both the initial and long-term legal strategy.
Our team spans the United States, Europe, and Asia and includes several former senior U.S. and international enforcement and regulatory officials, many of whom served at high levels within the DOJ, SEC and other key investigative and prosecutorial arms of the government. Several of our lawyers are former Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) officials. Others served in the White House Counsel’s Office, and in other senior positions at government agencies. We have a former prosecutor from the UK Financial Services Authority on our team in London. With firsthand knowledge of how government agencies conduct investigations and prosecutions, we are able to help clients navigate these processes efficiently and effectively.
While no crisis or situation is the same, Sidley’s relevant work includes the following representations:
- Successfully represented one of the world’s leading financial institutions in a high-profile scandal involving civil and criminal investigations, formal inquiries and testimony before the United States Senate Banking Committee and House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, and a US$3 billion global fraud settlement with the DOJ and SEC.
- Representing one of the largest banks in the U.S. in an internal review and multiple parallel investigations concerning fraud in unemployment benefits applications/payments post-COVID through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. This includes dozens of state and federal investigations being conducted by the Department of Labor, the U.S. Secret Service, and over a dozen states’ U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.
- Representing former Danske Bank board member and international executive in connection with one of the largest money laundering cases ever, with US$230 billion laundered. The high profile investigation is being conducted by the DOJ, SEC, and United Kingdom, Danish, and Estonian prosecutors.
- Advised a global financial services and investment corporation and its Board regarding the unexpected and immediate Chairman/CEO resignation and the appointment and responsibilities of new non-executive Chairman, appointment of an interim CEO, CEO succession planning, and SEC disclosures and NYSE notifications.