V. Gerard (Jerry) Comizio is the chair of the Global Banking practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. He is a leading authority on financial services matters. He has extensive experience in representing a wide range of both domestic and foreign banks, thrifts, mortgage companies, industrial loan banks, trust and fiduciary, consumer, specialty lenders, private equity companies, and other financial services companies. He regularly counsels his clients on a wide range of regulatory, merger and acquisition, enforcement proceedings, complex regulatory and strategic planning issues. Mr. Comizio is currently advising some of the nation’s largest financial institutions on the implications of the Dodd-Frank Act.
Mr. Comizio has been featured in the American Banker’s annual “Washington Insider’s Survey of the 25 Most Influential People Involved in Financial Services Regulatory Issues”, and recognized in Washingtonian Magazine’s “Top Lawyer” edition as one of the best banking lawyers in the United States. He also has regularly appeared on television, internet media and radio discussing current banking and regulatory issues, including Fox Business News, Bloomberg TV, Wall Street Journal Online, Dow Jones Online, C-SPAN, The Deal Online, The Street, Reuters Insider, Canada’s BNN TV Squeezeplay program, CBS radio and NPR Radio's Marketplace, and is a regular speaker at financial services industry conferences and seminars.
He has been recognized by both Chambers and the Legal 500, with Legal 500 noting that the banking group “spearheaded by (V. Gerard) Comizio, the team has handled some of the largest private sector mergers in recent years” and “established itself as a significant player in the market.”
Prior to joining Paul Hastings, he was for many years the deputy general counsel and acting general counsel of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Thrift Supervision (and its predecessor, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board), and director of its Corporate and Securities Division during the savings and loan crisis, and a former senior attorney in The Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1993, Mr. Comizio led a U.S. Treasury Department task force related to Senate and House hearings on perceived abuses in the bank mutual to stock conversion i.p.o. market. This task force was widely acknowledged for drafting comprehensive regulatory reform of this area at the federal and state level.
Mr. Comizio is a member of the Governing Committee of the U.S. Conference on Consumer Finance Law, the Board of Advisors of the University of North Carolina Law School Center for Banking and Finance, the Advisory Board of the George Washington Law School Center for Law Economics and Finance, the board of editors of Privacy & Data Security Law Journal, and the Law Partner Advisory Board of Thomson Reuters. He is also the former chairman of the Trusts and Investments Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Banking Law Committee.
Mr. Comizio has written numerous articles analyzing current issues in financial services regulation, and is contributing author of three books on financial services matters. Mr. Comizio has been an adjunct professor of banking law since 1992 at the Washington College of Law, American University, teaching courses on banking law, international banking law and regulation of financial institutions.
- Represented People’s United Financial, Inc. in its $8 billion acquisition of Chittenden Corporation
- Represented Fannie Mae in enforcement proceedings with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise and Oversight
- Represented Harleysville National Corporation in its $20 billion acquisition by First Niagara Financial Corporation
- Represented Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company in its formation of NML Trust Company
- Represented Banco Santander Central Hispano, S.A. on USA PATRIOT Act and OFAC compliance issues regarding letters of credit and receivables
- Represented Guardian Life Insurance Company in its dissolution of Guardian Trust Company
- Represented People’s United Financial, Inc. in its $3.4 billion global stock offering
- Represented PHH Corporation in its qualification for the FDIC’s Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program
- Represented Wachovia Bank, N.A. on mortgage loan purchase and sale regulatory issues
- Represented Société Générale on Pattern Energy LLP private equity investment
- Represented MetLife Bank, NA on acquisition, bank regulatory and charter conversion issues
- Represented American Stock Transfer and Trust Company in its acquisition of Security Trust Company, NA
- Represented CUNA Mutual Life Insurance Company and Suncoast Federal Credit Union in the acquisition of Members Trust Company
- Represented RBC Bank USA in its sale of Waterfield Mortgage Company
Accolades and Recognitions
- Featured in the American Banker’s annual “Washington Insider’s Survey of the 25 Most Influential People Involved in Financial Services Regulatory Issues”
- Recognized in Washingtonian Magazine’s “Top Lawyer” edition as one of the top banking lawyers in Washington, D.C.
- Received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the 2012 MLK Drum Major for Service Award, for his service on the board of directors of Gifts for the Homeless
Speaking Engagements and Publications
- Co-authored an article for the Banking & Finance Services Policy Report in March 2013 entitled "Brave New World for Savings and Loan Holding Companies: Final Phase-In of the Federal Reserve Board's Bank Holding Company Reporting Requirements and Consolidated Supervisory Framework for Holding Company Regulation"
- Co-authored an article for Bloomberg BNA Banking Daily in March 2013 entitled "Fed Introduces Dodd-Frank Enhanced Prudential Supervision, Early Remediation Rules for Foreign Banking Organizations"
- Authored an article for The University of North Carolina Law School Banking Institute Journal in March 2013 entitled “After The Dodd-Frank Industrial Loan Company Moratorium: What’s Next?”
- Guest speaker on a panel at the George Washington Law School's Center for Law, Economics and Finance's Fourth Annual Financial Services Symposium in October 2012, "The Dodd Frank Act: Are We Avoiding Another Financial Crisis"
- Co-authored an article for the ABA Banking Law Committee Journal in March 2012 entitled “Cordray’s Recess Appointment: Future Constitutional Legal Challenges”
- Co-authored an article for the New York Law Journal in February 2012 regarding the Federal Reserve Board’s new control rules entitled “Modified Control Rules for Savings and Loan Holding Company Investors”
- Co-authored an article for the Bloomberg’s Banking & Finance Law Reports in January 2012 entitled “Federal Reserve Unveils Proposal on Dodd-Frank Enhanced Prudential Standards and Early Remediation Requirements”
- Guest speaker at New York Bankers Association’s Financial Services Forum in November 2011, “Preparing for a New Environment for Compliance and Enforcement”
- Co-authored an article for the Bloomberg Law Reports in August 2011 entitled “Cooperation, Competition or Confusion—Federal and State Regulators Seek to Enforce the Dodd-Frank Act and State Consumer Banking Laws in Close Alliance”
- Co-authored an article for the Banking Law Journal in August 2011 regarding post-Dodd-Frank Act consolidated supervision by the Federal Reserve Board entitled “Fed Consolidated Regulation Poses New Challenges for Savings and Loan Holding Companies”
- Guest speaker at ABA Community Bankers Conference in March 2011, “The Resurgence of Activist Shareholders”
- Guest speaker at the George Washington University School of Law Second Annual Financial Regulatory Reform Symposium, October 2010
- Co-authored an article for the Business Law Brief Journal, Washington College of Law, American University in September 2010 regarding federal preemption issues facing banks under the Dodd-Frank Act entitled “Understanding the Federal Preemption Debate and a Potential Uniformity Solution”
- Authored an article for Forbes in January 2010 regarding the federal preemption debate entitled “A Case for Uniformity: Why the U.S. Needs Consistent Banking and Consumer Laws”
- Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., 1983
- Pace University School of Law, J.D., 1980 (Pace Law Review, board of editors)
- Fordham University, B.A., 1977