Matthew L. Biben is a litigation partner, co-leader of the firm’s Banking Industry Group, and member of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group. His practice is focused on the expert negotiations and litigation of complex and diverse regulatory and enforcement matters on behalf of both individuals and organizations, with a concentration on matters related to financial institutions and complex situations involving the government.
Mr. Biben has garnered extensive experience advising boards and senior management through extensive enforcement and advisory work.
He routinely acts as counsel in internal investigations of both domestic and international matters involving the DOJ, SEC, FRB, OCC, CFPR, NYDFS, State Attorneys General and foreign regulators. He is recommended by The Legal 500 US (2016) where he is described as a “tenacious but balanced litigator.”
Due to the sensitive nature of Mr. Biben’s work while at Debevoise, much of it is not public. Some of his most notable nonconfidential work includes:
- Representing the CFO of an insurance company in an investigation before the NYDFS;
- Representing Habib Bank in litigation and a negotiated settlement with the NYDFS relating to AML/BSA compliance and assisting Habib in winding down the business of their NY branch;
- Representing a senior executive at an international bank in a DOJ investigation of RMBS and a separate OCC investigation;
- Advising a foreign bank in responding to the DOJ investigation of Mossack Fonseca & and the “Panama Papers”;
- Representation of Toyota Financial Services in a DOJ and CFPB investigation and settlement relating to fair lending practices;
- Representing financial institutions and individuals in SEC investigations, including the Chairman of a Fortune 100 company;
- Representing Admirals Bank, as it restructures operations in the face of significant regulatory scrutiny and helping guide Admirals through complex bank regulatory, bank capital, and enforcement defense issues;
- Providing the Board of Directors of multiple financial institutions with advice on their annual self-evaluation as well as broader governance issues including expectations and guidance as applied to bank boards;
Prior to joining Debevoise in January 2015, Mr. Biben served for three and a half years at JPMorgan Chase, where he was Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Chase Consumer & Community Banking, which included JPMorgan Chase’s Private Wealth Management, Card and Merchant Services, Auto Finance, Student Loan, Consumer Banking, Business Banking and Mortgage Banking businesses. Mr. Biben supervised a team of approximately 600 attorneys and professionals and served on the Executive Committee of Chase Consumer & Community Banking. Some of Mr. Biben’s most notable work while at JPMorgan Chase includes the following:
- Helping to negotiate JPMC’s share of the industry’s $25 billion foreclosure settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses with the federal government;
- Spearheading the negotiation of the $9 billion Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) and the Federal Reserve;
- Leading the defense, investigation, and $613 million settlement with the DOJ, the department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Administration of a False Claims Act and The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act qui tam case brought by the SDNY related to a mortgage-related government insurance program; and
- Supervising the investigation and negotiation of the $389 million Consent Order settlement with the OCC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of JPMorgan Chase’s billing practices relating to add-on products including the identity-theft protection product.
Prior to his tenure at JPMorgan Chase, Mr. Biben served as Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation for almost seven years, becoming the second youngest person in BNY’s history to be promoted to Executive Vice President. Mr. Biben also served as BNY Mellon’s Chief Litigation Counsel and supervised various corporate functions that included the Office of the Corporate Secretary. During his time with BNY, Mr. Biben oversaw a number of high-profile cases. A sample of his varied responsibilities included:
- Spearheading all litigation, securities and bank regulatory investigations presenting franchise risk and negotiating favorable public and nonpublic resolutions with bank and securities regulators and federal prosecutors, including a Non-Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for Southern and Eastern Districts of New York relating to AML/ BSA compliance and governance issues;
- Negotiating settlements with the SEC and other regulators relating to investigations of Auction Rate Securities, Mutual Fund Market Timing, the failure of Lehman Brothers and the Madoff Ponzi scheme, among others;
- Assisting in the negotiation and execution of the merger between BNY and Mellon Financial Corporation in a $16.5 billion all-stock deal that, at the time, created the world’s largest securities servicing company and one of the biggest asset managers; and
Mr. Biben spent the first 12 years of his career in government, serving in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division and received the Attorney General’s Director Award for superior performance. Previously, he was an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. He argued numerous appeals in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and was lead counsel in more than 25 federal and state trials.
Mr. Biben’s commitment to both his community and his profession is evidenced not only by the recognition he has received but by positions he has donated his time to on a daily basis. My Biben’s accolades and positions include:
- The New York Law award for Outstanding Legal Department for Diversity in 2014;
- The New York Legal Assistance Group’s Corporate Leadership award in 2014 and as an Honoree for The Nazareth Housing Community Leadership Award in 2012;
- Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he has served for more than 24 years, teaching seminars in legal philosophy, federal crime, and corporate law and governance;
- Board member of the Board of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and the Board of the New York Legal Assistance Group (“NYLAG”) from which he received the 2014 Community Leadership Award;
- Commissioner on the NYS Judicial Commission;
- Director of Emigrant Bank and The New York Private Bank and Trust, the nation’s largest privately held bank, where he serves on the Risk Committee and Chairs the Governance Committee;
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1992, J.D.
- Cornell University, 1989, B.S.
- New York
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