Lee Meyerson specializes in mergers and acquisitions and in capital markets transactions for financial institutions. Lee, who is Head of the Firm’s Financial Institutions Practice and former head of its M&A Group, has participated in many of the largest U.S. financial services mergers of the past decade, including representing JPMorgan Chase & Co. in its $58 billion merger with Bank One, Mellon Financial in its $16.8 billion merger with The Bank of New York and The Toronto-Dominion Bank in its acquisitions of Commerce Bancorp ($8.5 billion), Chrysler Financial ($6.3 billion) and Target’s credit card portfolio ($5.9 billion). His transactions over the past several years also include representing KeyCorp in its $4 billion acquisition of First Niagara, JPMorgan Chase in the $3.5 billion sale of its global physical commodities business, private equity investors in their $1 billion investment in Banco Santander’s U.S. auto finance business and its subsequent IPO, The Charles Schwab Corporation in its $1 billion acquisition of optionsXpress, The Carlyle Group in its acquisition of the TCW Group (a $130 billion AUM asset manager) and Blackstone and Carlyle in their majority investment in First Eagle (a $90 billion AUM asset manager). At the height of the financial crisis in October 2008, he represented the U.S. Treasury in connection with developing, structuring and documenting its $250 billion TARP program for purchasing equity in U.S. financial institutions. In addition, during this period he represented a broad variety of bank bidders and investor consortiums in recapitalization transactions and FDIC failed bank auctions.
Lee’s capital markets practice includes IPOs and a broad range of debt and equity offerings for banks, thrifts, insurance companies and other financial services companies. He has been ranked as one of the leading M&A and banking lawyers in the United States in a number of recent surveys, including The American Lawyer, which selected him as a "Dealmaker of the Year" for both 2008 (no. 4) and 2005, Chambers USA 2016 Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Financial Institutions M&A – Band 1; Financial Services Regulation – Band 3), Who’s Who Legal (“Top 10” lawyer in Banking 2015), and The Legal 500 US 2015 (Leading lawyer in Financial Services: Regulatory and M&A: mega-deals).
Lee joined Simpson Thacher in 1981 and became a partner in 1989. He received his A.B., magna cum laude, from Duke University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law, where he was an editor of the New York University Law Review.
William J. Sweet, Jr. is head of Skadden’s Financial Institutions Regulation and Enforcement Group and concentrates in financial institution merger and acquisition, regulatory, and enforcement matters. Before joining the firm, he was a staff attorney with the Federal Reserve Board, where he handled bank holding company regulatory, litigation and enforcement matters.
Mr. Sweet represents U.S., Asian, European and Latin American banking, securities and other financial institutions and their boards of directors on the strategic, policy and regulatory aspects of mergers and acquisitions, negotiated investments, joint ventures, restructuring transactions, bankruptcies and receiverships. He also advises private equity firms and others seeking to invest in regulated financial institutions.
In addition, Mr. Sweet regularly advises financial institutions on compliance and enforcement issues with respect to a broad range of governance, risk management, money laundering compliance, Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions, fair lending, consumer, CRA and other matters, including representation before federal and state regulatory and enforcement agencies.
He represents financial institutions before the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the Federal Reserve Board, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the U.S. Department of the Treasury and other financial regulatory agencies on a wide range of rulings, interpretations and approvals.
Mr. Sweet was recognized as one of the “Most Influential Lawyers” in finance and capital markets by The National Law Journal in 2011. He has been named as a “star individual” in the Financial Services Regulation — Banking Compliance category and ranked in the top tier in the Financial Services Regulation — Financial Institutions M&A area by Chambers USA. Mr. Sweet also has been ranked as a “star individual” for Banking & Finance: Mainly Regulatory in Chambers Global. According to Chambers USA, “he is considered to be one of the world’s leading banking lawyers and has been instrumental in advising a number of the firm’s leading financial services clients in relation to Dodd-Frank, regulatory compliance and transactions.”
He also has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Banking Lawyers, IFLR1000, The Legal 500 U.S. and The International Who’s Who of Banking Lawyers. Mr. Sweet was named Best Lawyers’ 2015 “Washington, D.C. Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year” and he was included in Washingtonian Magazine’s 2013 “Best Lawyers” list. He writes on banking issues and appears frequently at seminars on financial institution mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues and enforcement matters.