Monthly Highlights

THE METROPOLITAN CORPORATE COUNSEL
March 2015 Highlights

 

Deadlines: Interviews – February 13 • Articles  – February 18 • Ad Materials – February 18 


SPECIAL SECTION: Banking & Finance

The Banking & Finance sector, hand in hand with legal counsel, continues to struggle to find a steady path forward in the post-crisis era. Last year, the industry, adjusting to regulatory pressure, focused on improving compliance infrastructure and risk governance. Some banks settled mortgage-related lawsuits, biting the bullet on harsher fines than anticipated. Sluggish revenue growth prodded banks to streamline operations, closing more than 1,600 branches. Strong bank M&A activity reflected a desire to seek economies of scale and find new sources of growth. That trend is likely to continue.

Looking ahead to 2015, industry analysts say we are going to see a revolution in the payments industry thanks to improvements in security and user experience, sparking convergence between tech and financial services companies. As banks look ahead to new ways to grow, they also have to look over their shoulders at regulators keenly focused on risk management.

Among the many issues banks and their counsel are focused on in 2015 are the following:

  • M&A will continue its upswing as banks go on the offensive in their drive for scale. This raises many issues, including early engagement with regulators as M&A plans unfold and preparing for sharper regulatory scrutiny focused on acceptable risk controls.
  • Enhancing cybersecurity remains top of mind as massive risk forces a more proactive approach and lands the issue firmly in the boardroom.
  • On a related note, as financial institutions integrate data across business lines and functions, better data governance becomes a paramount concern.
  • Banks will continue to seek help strengthening risk and compliance and transforming them into cultural mainstays.
  • The Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) process will command even greater attention as compliance reaches beyond capital adequacy.
  • New liquidity and capital constraints, along with a rising interest rate environment, forces banks to focus hard on their balance sheets.


REGION: Offshore Financial Centers

The key offshore centers are, in some ways, a legal/financial world unto themselves. From the Caymans to the British Virgin Islands to Guernsey to Jersey (and, in some ways, even to “onshore” offshore locales such as Switzerland and Ireland), this world has become increasingly important to all multinational corporations, hedge funds, private equity firms, high-wealth individuals and many others. Navigating the web of laws and regulations requires special knowledge and skill, some of it possessed by U.S. and UK law firms, some of it the domain of the so-called “Offshore Magic Circle” – firms with offices across these non-traditional financial centers.

Our focus on the offshore “region” – perhaps more a state of mind than a geography – includes key area of interest such as:

  • Formation, structuring and regulation of offshore investment funds.
  • Navigating jurisdictions – BVI, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey – to identify those most appropriate for particular transactions.
  • Managing the complexity of offshore regulatory issues, which often span numerous jurisdictions and require coordinated responses.
  • Liquidations, restructurings and other offshore insolvency-related matters that spawn complex webs of cross-border banking, corporate, investment fund, litigation, regulatory and restructuring issues.
  • The impact of data protection, competition, tax and others laws on the operation of offshore entities.


TOPIC: Workouts & Restructurings

The world of workouts, restructurings and insolvencies continues to raise a steady stream of issues and concerns for in-house counsel. Now, with the American Bankruptcy Institute’s early holiday gift – the delivery in December of its reform commission’s 400-page Chapter 11 study – issues, opportunities and concerns fill the air.

As such the year ahead promises to be action-packed with topics such as:

  • Much will be said and written about the impact and fate of the ABI reform commission’s far-reaching recommendations. MCC contributors will focus on the areas of keenest interest to our readers.
  • Where are we headed, in the wake of the Second Circuit’s recent consideration, on the reach of the safe harbor of Section 546 that protects certain transactions from constructive fraudulent avoidance claims?
  • Hedge funds continue to play a major role in corporate restructurings. How is their involvement roiling the restructuring waters?
  • The energy industry is in tumult thanks to fundamental market changes spawned by the vast supply of U.S. oil and gas coupled with stricter environmental regulations and international factors. What are the insolvency implications for the energy sector and its many sub-sectors?
  • Intellectual property makes up a huge chunk of the value of many businesses. How is IP valued in businesses, in litigation and in bankruptcy?


REGULARLY FEATURED DEPARTMENTS

  • Compliance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Cybersecurity/Data Protection
  • Diversity
  • Employment & Labor
  • Information Governance
  • Intellectual Property 
  • Litigation & E-Discovery


LOOKING FORWARD…

April
Special Section: Food & Beverage
Region: Latin America
Topic: Products Liability & Food Safety

May
Special Section: Transportation
Region: Germany
Topic: International Arbitration