Manatt’s industry-focused team has deep experience in a broad array of banking and financial services areas. We’re here to help you ride the tide of new technologies, changing regulations and consumer behavior. Since Manatt’s founding by two banking lawyers in 1965, we have built one of the largest and most comprehensive financial services practices in the United States, including with respect to regulatory and compliance matters, financial transactions, examinations, enforcement and litigation.
Get to know one of the nation’s leading banking and financial services practices
Financial services runs deep at Manatt; it’s been at the heart of the firm for over 50 years and has gained us the strong reputation we are proud to maintain. Capitalizing on the firm’s founding focus on banking and financial services, the Financial Services Group (FSG) focuses on the firm’s representation of the financial industry and providers of financial products and services. FSG is devoted to providing a compelling value proposition to clients by providing an unmatched “go to” practice with a deep understanding of specialized areas of law, including banking, consumer finance, corporate finance, data protection and financial security, regulatory investigations and enforcement, marketplace and online lending structures, litigation, licensing and usury, and specialized purchase and lending structures.
Forward-looking financial services advice
We also go beyond the traditional role of lawyers. With advice and consulting on the full range of banking and lending issues, we can help you gain a competitive advantage.
Our FSG team has not only worked with key financial institutions; many of us have spent time working inside them. We handle all aspects of banking, consumer finance and global payments—from advertising and transactions to litigation and government advocacy.
Manatt also provides connections. Offering legal, regulatory and advisory support from the capitals of California and New York, as well as Washington, D.C., we have built positive relationships and earned valuable credibility with regulators and lawmakers.
Who we work with
We work with just about everyone in finance, from brick-and-mortar banks to fintech startups.
Clients include retail and commercial banks, finance companies, financial advisors, private equity and venture capital firms, family offices, merchants, nonbank lenders (mortgage and short-term lenders, auto finance companies), insurance companies, retailers active in the financial space, and the online credit and lending community, including their respective investors.
Some of our clients are the people bringing new technologies and payment methods into all industries—retail and ecommerce, healthcare, money services, payment processing, credit cards, technology and gaming, advertising, and insurance. Whatever they do, none of our clients are standing still. They include:
- National, state-chartered, community and foreign banks
- Consumer financial service providers such as mortgage lenders, captive auto finance companies, credit card issuers and short-term lenders
- Payment providers, merchants, processors and networks
- Marketplace lenders
- Investment banks
- Specialty finance companies
- Financial technology enterprises
- Trust companies
What we do
FSG oversees five major sub practices, listed below.
Manatt brings a long record of success to this dynamic environment. Our in-depth understanding of the financial services industry goes back five decades, during which time we have participated in many of the seminal transactions that have defined that industry.
We have formed lasting relationships with key players in both the public and private sectors, and our clients include some of the industry’s largest and most influential brick-and-mortar institutions.
Few industries were more affected by governmental reaction to the worldwide economic slowdown than consumer financial services providers. With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, regulation increased dramatically, focusing substantially more on protecting consumers and less on product innovation, safety and soundness. Financial institutions, as well as nonbank providers of consumer financial products and services, now face increased scrutiny, new regulations and laws, and the increased risk of punitive enforcement proceedings.
Digital Finance and Marketplace Lending
In just a few years, the marketplace lending industry has become a multibillion-dollar global alternative lending sector. Loans that are originated are either sold to individual investors or sold as whole loans to institutions—essentially a form of debt crowdfunding. Our FSG digital finance team works with platforms, investors and service providers in this space to provide a comprehensive solution. We tailor legal solutions to align with your specific business objectives and market constraints.
Financial Services Litigation and Enforcement
Our FSG litigators draw on the deep experience of our banking and regulatory lawyers for innovative defense strategies. Over the years, we have handled complex and novel issues arising under the statutes and regulations governing the financial services industry. Our work extends from B2B disputes to complex consumer-driven litigation, including the defense of putative class actions.
Our FSG global payments lawyers are thoroughly engaged in the evolution of the payments business. Our advice is sought by regulatory and enforcement agencies at the federal and state levels. We write about the industry’s most pressing concerns, speak at its most authoritative forums, and testify before commissions and legislative committees seeking to make sense of issues as they emerge.
Our regulatory and compliance services
- Regulatory advice and compliance
- Examination preparation and counseling
Our litigation and enforcement services
- Class action defense
- B2B disputes
- Creditors’ rights
- Patent, copyright and trademark prosecution and enforcement
- Consumer protection and compliance
- Defense of enforcement actions
- Internal corporate investigations
- Litigation—civil, commercial and white collar
Financial Services Litigation and Enforcement
CP III Rincon Towers, Inc., purchaser of a secured loan from the Maiden Lane Commercial Backed Securities Trust 2008-1, in an action in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, to recover $50 million under a guaranty. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a unanimous opinion recently reversed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment to defendant guarantor and remanded for trial.
One of the largest banks in the United States in a suit seeking repurchase damages and indemnification arising out of the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgage loans packaged into residential mortgage-backed securitizations.
One of the largest telecommunications companies, in connection with consumer financial service laws that apply to certain of its services, including using consumer reports, selling mobile devices in installments, providing for automatic payments from bank accounts and debt collection.
Merchant Cash and Capital, a fintech lender, in connection with successfully obtaining dismissal of claims seeking $60 million in compensatory damages and $90 million in punitive damages, brought in New York Commercial Division by a competitor for tortious interference with contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Mount Olympus Mortgage Company in a jury trial finding rival mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate Inc. and its employee Benjamin Anderson liable for unlawfully transferring thousands of private and confidential consumer files and loan data from Mount Olympus’ computer systems to Guaranteed Rate. After an eight-week jury trial, Mount Olympus was awarded approximately $10 million in compensatory damages against both defendants. After making findings of malice, the jury awarded $12.5 million in punitive damages against Guaranteed Rate Inc. and $500,000 against Benjamin Anderson.
In a matter that has garnered extensive national attention, Manatt served as lead counsel representing one of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers in an enforcement action brought by, and a consent order entered into with, the Department of Business Oversight (California’s financial services regulator).
For a Native American tribe that engages in consumer lending, ongoing counseling and guidance with respect to federal consumer financial services rules that the tribe has determined to follow in connection with its lending activities.
One of the largest banks in the United States, in the defense of mortgage-related class actions across the United States arising out of alleged systemic defects in foreclosure sales, and which seek to invalidate foreclosure sales on a mass scale.
The defense of dozens of financial institutions, retailers and manufacturers in putative class actions alleging violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee of Maiden Lane Commercial Backed Securities Trust 2008-1, in a successful verdict after trial to set aside a nonjudicial foreclosure sale of a multifamily residential complex initially valued at $143 million.
Financial Services Transactions
Bluevine Capital Inc., an online lending platform providing lines of capital and other financing to owners of small to midsize businesses, in securing a credit line for up to $75 million in debt financing from Fortress Credit Corp. and/or funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC.
Bond Street in a $400 million loan purchase agreement and securitization with Jefferies Group, a securitization and institutional capital leader, and Stone Ridge Capital, a marketplace lending closed-end fund. Manatt also has been engaged to provide platform regulatory and borrower transaction support. The agreement expanded the size of Bond Street’s loan purchases up to as much as $400 million, facilitating its growth and helping thousands of small businesses across the country access fair and affordable financing.
Cross River Bank, as outside counsel on all regulatory compliance issues—including state licensing and CFPB, FDIC and other regulatory agency compliance—in connection with its online lending platforms.
CU Bancorp in its sale to PacWest Bancorp, a bank holding company with more than 70 offices throughout California. The deal is valued at approximately $705 million.
Heritage Oaks Bancorp, the holding company for Heritage Oaks Bank that provides banking services to consumers and small and midsize businesses in California, in its $482 million sale to Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc.
LiftForward in securing two $100 million warehouse debt facilities, including $100 million with Direct Lending Investments and $100 million with Monroe Capital LLC, a leading online small business finance originator. By completing these two critical supply loans, Manatt bolstered our client’s lending capacity.
MoneyLion, a personal lender that uses data-driven algorithms to help customers receive fast approvals and funding, in the closing of a warehouse debt facility with leading global bank Macquarie Group and the formation of Invest in America Fund. The debt facility was structured to finance up to $600 million of consumer loans over time, contingent on milestones.
Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., an investment banking firm, as underwriter’s counsel in the initial public offering of Esquire Financial Holdings Inc. The IPO grossed over $33 million for the New York-based bank holding company and various selling stockholders.
For numerous Silicon Valley startups that are involved in providing financial services to consumers, advice regarding legacy rules that apply to these new enterprises, including licensing and other regulation of mobile payments and loans extended online.
Varo Money, a fintech startup that is developing a fully mobile banking platform, on general corporate work and in connection with regulatory issues related to mobile and online banking.