The attorneys in our Banking and Financial Services department represent financial institutions in all operational, regulatory, corporate, transactional and employment-related compliance matters. Our clients include banks, credit unions and other institutions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and across the country.
One-Stop, Full-Service Compliance for Banks and Other Financial Institutions
Within the area of financial regulatory and compliance, we represent our clients with respect to:
Financial Institution Operational Compliance
We represent financial institutions in all matters pertaining to operational compliance. This includes providing advice and assisting clients with disclosures and account documentation, subpoenas, restraining notices, powers of attorney, trust agreements, safe deposit box issues and reporting of abandoned property. We have attorneys who are available every business day to speak with branch managers and other personnel who have an immediate need for legal advice.
Credit Union Regulatory and Compliance
We maintain a significant credit union practice and our attorneys serve as general counsel to several large and small credit unions. We regularly advise our credit union clients on consumer compliance issues, National Credit Union Administration requirements, and the rules governing credit union service organizations. We provide our credit union clients with the convenience and efficiency of obtaining comprehensive legal services from a single law firm.
Bank Regulatory and Compliance
We serve as regulatory and compliance counsel to numerous commercial banks and savings institutions. We advise our clients on federal and New York State laws and regulations impacting all areas of bank operations, including lending, deposits and new activities. We regularly prepare and file notices and applications with regulatory agencies, and we frequently interact with these agencies regarding legal issues affecting our banking clients.
Mortgage Banker Regulatory and Compliance
We advise mortgage banking companies on federal and New York State laws and regulations impacting all areas of mortgage lending, including Truth-In-Lending Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act and New York's Part 38 requirements. We draft, review and file mortgage banking license applications, and we also represent mortgage lending companies in mergers and other corporate transactions.
Corporate and Transactional Compliance
We represent financial institutions in a wide variety of corporate and transactional matters, including mergers, stock, and asset acquisitions and sales, the establishment of subsidiaries and affiliates, real property transactions, commercial contracts, and corporate governance matters. Our corporate, regulatory and real estate experience allows us to provide comprehensive and efficient legal services for all sizes and types of financial, commercial and corporate transactions.
Labor and Employment Compliance
We represent our financial institution clients in all aspects of labor and employment relations. This includes developing personnel policies and handbooks, providing advice on wage and hour law issues, assisting in investigations in cases of employee discipline and sexual harassment, and representing clients in employment matters before governmental agencies. We provide advice on complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and SAFE Act in connection with background checks for current and prospective employees, we prepare individual employment agreements for officers and executives, and we assist with compliance under the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act and all other state employment laws.
Real Property Tax Compliance (Tax Certiorari; Challenging Real Estate Tax Assessments)
Our attorneys have comprehensive unique and extensive experience with property valuation challenges and ad valorem tax challenges. We have a well-established reputation for aggressively pursuing assessment reductions for financial institutions, and we have successfully represented an extensive array of institutional clients in assessment challenges before the New York State Office of Real Property Services ("ORPS"), the New York City Tax Commission, local boards of assessment review and the New York and New Jersey courts. These challenges have reduced assessments, resulted in significant tax refunds for clients, and assured that subsequent assessments accurately reflected current market values.
Our valuation practice also includes representing clients in all phases of condemnation proceedings in state and federal courts. Our experience includes prosecuting eminent domain actions to acquire property interests as well as assisting condemnees in obtaining fair compensation.