Ropes & Gray’s banking practice provides comprehensive advice, regulatory guidance and litigation support to financial services firms and those investing or operating in the banking and financial institutions industry.


Representing commercial banks, bank holding companies, thrifts and other financial services firms globally, Ropes & Gray banking attorneys navigate clients through the complex array of unique regulatory and other legal requirements impacting their industry.

Working closely with attorneys from our many practice groups, we offer comprehensive, seamless service to financial institutions and those operating or investing in this highly regulated sector, including private equity funds, hedge funds and investment management firms.

From operations, management, investment and transaction-related issues through regulatory compliance, data protection, taxation advice and dispute resolution, we resolve the many and varied issues our clients face. Taking a proactive approach, we help our clients avoid problems and address issues in a timely and efficient manner. Advising on and litigating a wide variety of banking industry matters, we regularly assist clients with:

  • Banking entity investments 
  • Bank regulatory compliance 
  • Intellectual property matters involving financial institutions 
  • Investment funds 
  • Litigation 
  • Mergers & acquisitions 
  • Privacy & data security 
  • Tax 
  • Volcker Rule compliance

We have also advised clients regarding the effect of banking laws and regulations on financial institutions in bankruptcy, and our preeminent investment funds practice, which is among the largest and most diversified of any U.S. law firm, has been twice recognized as the leading investment funds practice at the Chambers USA Awards of Excellence.

At a Glance

Attorneys in our banking practice work with other firm practice groups to provide a wide range of legal services to companies that operate within the regulated financial institution industry. Our services include:

Bank Regulatory Advice

We provide a broad range of advice to a number of leading financial institutions, including banks, bank holding companies and investment banks. Recent projects have involved structuring investments in financial institutions to comply with state and federal laws, and regulations pertaining to the acquisition of control. We have also advised clients with respect to the effect of banking laws and regulations on financial institutions in bankruptcy, and have provided advice with respect to bank secrecy laws and regulations and matters relating to data breaches.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Our banking practice regularly works with our mergers & acquisitions and private equity practice groups to advise on banking regulatory concerns that arise during the course of M&A transactions that involve financial institutions. 

Intellectual Property

The intellectual property group also provides advice to financial institutions, to ensure that their intellectual property is provided the same security and protection as all of their other institutional assets. For these clients, we prosecute and enforce advanced business method patents, coordinate worldwide trademark and copyright protection, assist in avoiding conflicts over the intellectual property rights of others, and defend against claims of infringement of intellectual property rights when such claims arise.

Our experienced team of attorneys has in-depth knowledge of all intellectual property areas applicable to the financial industry, including innovative financial products, electronic and Internet-based trading systems, Internet payment and fund transfer technologies, and proprietary financial modeling. The intellectual property group is also a leader in the creation of innovative portfolio development and licensing programs that allow clients to leverage the value of their intellectual property and protect against infringement worldwide.

Investment Funds

Ropes & Gray is recognized twice as the preeminent investment funds practice in the United States with the Chambers USA Award of Excellence in investment Funds. This award reflects the combined strengths of our top-ranked national leading practices in mutual funds, private equity funds and hedge funds. Our investment funds practice is among the largest and most diversified of any U.S. law firm.

We have represented mutual funds, independent directors and investment advisors in complex litigation and in regulatory proceedings, including successfully advising State Street Corporation and its affiliate, State Street Global Advisors, in multiple lawsuits arising from the subprime lending market crisis.

Privacy & Data Security

Ropes & Gray is a national leader in the areas of privacy and data security, and has represented organizations involved in unauthorized or unintentional data security breaches involving credit card and payment card fraud. In connection with such representation, our attorneys organize comprehensive plans to address the multitude of issues arising from a data breach and to contain the problems that may result from such a breach. Our attorneys are also leaders in the field of data privacy compliance and counseling, and work with our clients to create data protection compliance programs, revise existing data privacy processes and counsel on the contours of data protection and privacy requirements.


Our tax attorneys help clients navigate a range of domestic and international tax rules for banks and other financial institutions. We have in-depth knowledge of the special tax rules for banks, including (i) the scope and application of the mark-to-market rules, (ii) the hedging rules, (iii) the common trust fund rules, and (iv) the withholding and reporting rules for custodian banks and for foreign financial institutions. We regularly negotiate swap contracts, securities lending transactions, repo transactions and other derivative transactions for our clients.