Law firm Arnold & Porter hires New York Fed attorney amid banking crisis

The logo of law firm Arnold & Porter is seen in their office in Manhattan, New York City
The logo of law firm Arnold & Porter is seen in their office in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 8, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) - U.S. law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer said Monday it hired a former top lawyer at the New York Federal Reserve as a partner in the firm’s financial services practice.

James Bergin, who will be based in the firm’s New York office, will advise banking and other financial services clients on regulatory issues as the sector grapples with an ongoing crisis, particularly among U.S. regional banks.

Bergin spent about 18 years at the New York Fed, most recently as acting co-general counsel and deputy general counsel, where he advised on monetary policy and helped the regulator respond to market disruptions.

He said he anticipated helping clients navigate both the short and long-term fallout from the recent turmoil touched off by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank earlier this month.

Bergin said the current crisis is likely to lead to additional regulatory mandates for banks in the United States.

“I think it's fair to say that there will probably be increasing compliance and governance challenges for financial institutions,” Bergin said, emphasizing that he was not aware of specific measures being considered.

Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were both taken over by regulators earlier this month following runs on customer deposits, sending shares in other U.S. regional banks plunging. The contagion spread overseas, impacting industry giants like Credit Suisse Group AG.

Washington, D.C.-founded Arnold & Porter, which focuses on regulatory, litigation and transactional work, said Bergin’s experience would help banking clients confronting an evolving regulatory regime.

Bergin said he was drawn by the firm’s regulatory expertise across a range of practice areas.

Prior to joining the New York fed, he was a transactional associate at law firm White & Case.

Reporting by Andrew Goudsward

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