Banking / Financial Institutions

In the ever-changing world of financial institutions, it is vital to have the expertise of a knowledgeable legal professional by your side. Attorneys in the Banking / Financial Institutions Practice group of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP are just such professionals. We have considerable experience in representing all types of financial institutions: bank holding companies, national and state-chartered commercial banks, federal and state-chartered thrift institutions and federally chartered credit unions. We represent our financial institution clients in all aspects of their business, including general corporate matters, regulatory compliance, interstate expansion, mergers and acquisitions, mutual-to-stock ownership conversions, capital formation including our 30 trust preferred securities issuance transactions, defense of regulatory enforcement actions and lending transactions. Our financial institution clients are located primarily in the southeast region and eastern seaboard, with headquarters in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama.

During the preceding ten years, our banking group assisted with the organization of over 40 new banks. This area of our practice has been receiving renewed attention and includes not only bank regulatory compliance but also securities compliance with respect to obtaining capital for the new institution. We have been most active in this area of practice in Georgia and Florida, but we have also assisted new institutions in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

With assistance from our commercial litigation department, the banking group has been active in representing banks, or their officers and directors, in the defense of regulatory enforcement proceedings brought by state and federal bank regulatory agencies. We also have significant experience in representing directors of troubled financial institutions.

Our mergers and acquisitions experience has included both negotiated purchases of financial institutions and hostile takeovers. We have substantial experience in representing both buyers and sellers. The consolidation of the banking industry which has occurred over the past several years has provided the firm with an opportunity to participate in 48 financial institution merger/acquisition transactions. Twenty-nine of these transactions involved representing acquirers and 19 transactions involved representing sellers. Our clients in these transactions were located primarily in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina. These merger/acquisition transactions have involved an equal number of transactions where the acquirer’s interest in the target was unsolicited along with transactions where the target bank either on its own or through the use of a financial advisor solicited the transaction. We have also represented financial holding companies in the acquisition of non-banking companies, principally insurance agencies, and investment advisory firms.

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