Law360 Profiles McGuireWoods and Banking Practice Group of the Year

December 16, 2020

Law360 featured McGuireWoods as a top firm for banking and finance law and litigation in a Dec. 10, 2020, article highlighting the firm’s Banking Practice Group of the Year honor. The story cited the firm’s work helping clients address challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

McGuireWoods helped banking clients with issues ranging from complying with new legislation and regulations to closing transactions remotely. Partners Don Ensing and Susan Rodriguez, co-leaders of the firm’s financial institutions industry team, told Law360 that the team’s size, experience and collaborative spirit enabled lawyers to help clients achieve their goals in a challenging year.

“We really coordinate across our practice groups and make a point to actively cross-talk between litigators, transactional lawyers and regulatory attorneys to make sure that we’re up to speed on all the developments and regulatory issues facing our financial institutions clients,” Ensing said. “The events of this year really proved the value of that model.”

Law360 noted the firm’s representation of Bank of America in its issuance of a $1 billion corporate social bond to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic — the first such offering by a U.S. commercial bank. The proceeds from the offering will be allocated to healthcare industry lending from Bank of America’s Global Commercial Bank, specifically not-for-profit hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, manufacturers of healthcare equipment and supplies.

“We’re just really proud of that because we were able to help our client give back to the community,” Rodriguez said.

Law360 also cited the firm’s success in securing dismissal of a class action against Truist Bank that claimed agents for Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan recipients were entitled to a portion of the processing fees. The court ruled that the federal law creating the PPP did not provide for the payment of processing fees without an agreement between the parties.

“The PPP is really important because in the midst of a pandemic, everyone’s worried about the economy and how that impacts our financial institution clients and small businesses,” Rodriguez said. “That became a real focus for us, helping our clients make sure they could get through the pandemic.”

Looking ahead to 2021, Ensing said the firm has a dedicated, cross-disciplinary group of banking lawyers focused on helping clients through the transition from the benchmark London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Firm lawyers also will monitor potential cybersecurity issues related to remote working and prepare for increased scrutiny of fintech lending partnerships, Rodriguez added

“This year was really about innovation,” Rodriguez said. “In the midst of a pandemic, we were able to deliver some really great results for our clients.”