Brian D. Christiansen



Financial Institutions Regulation and Enforcement

Washington, D.C.

T: +1.202.371.7852

F: 1.202.661.9154


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Brian Christiansen counsels banks, thrifts, investors and other financial services firms in connection with transactions and regulatory matters. He has helped clients obtain charters, raise capital, develop new products, structure and execute corporate transactions, implement compliance programs, conduct internal investigations and address enforcement actions. Mr. Christiansen is active in advising financial institutions on the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform legislation and related rulemaking. He represents clients before all of the major financial services regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, Department of the Treasury and state banking departments.

Mr. Christiansen is a member of Skadden’s integrated team that handles complex and often groundbreaking matters in the financial services industry. In its 2012 edition, Chambers USA named him “one of the brightest up-and-coming talents in the sector.”


  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • IFLR1000 Leading Lawyer for Financial Services Regulation
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Law360 Rising Star Under 40
  • National Law Journal DC’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars
  • Bisnow DC Top Lawyers Under 40
  • Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Hot List

Representative Matters

  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in its nearly $1 billion investment in The Bank of East Asia, Ltd.;
  • a publicly traded banking organization in an internal investigation related to transactions with affiliates;
  • Citigroup Inc. in multiple matters, including the initial public offering of its subsidiary Primerica, Inc.; the acquisition of Banco Cuscatlan; the sale of Citigroup Global Services Limited; and the internal reorganization of 11 interstate bank, thrift, trust company and industrial loan company charters;
  • a director of a troubled bank in the successful resolution of a federal regulatory enforcement action;
  • Harbor Community Bank on regulatory matters related to its acquisitions of Bank of St. Augustine, nine Florida branches of Banco Popular North America, Highlands Independent Bank and First America Bank;
  • Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc. in its first-of-its-kind restructuring and $175 million recapitalization through a prepackaged bankruptcy process and subsequent initial public offering;
  • a specialty lender with respect to compliance with and removal of a regulatory consent order;
  • WL Ross & Co. LLC as lead investor in multiple banking organizations, including Cascade Bancorp, Sun Bancorp, Talmer Bancorp, Amalgamated Bank, and the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland;
  • SKBHC Holdings LLC in its organization, capital raising, first-of-its kind acquisition of AmericanWest Bank through a section 363 bankruptcy process and follow-on acquisitions of multiple community banks;
  • Wilmington Trust Corporation in its acquisition by M&T Bank Corporation;
  • a community bank with respect to anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act matters;
  • BankUnited, Inc. on numerous matters, including the formation of its bank subsidiary, acquisition and loss sharing agreement with the FDIC as receiver, initial public offering, acquisition of Herald National Bank and conversion from a thrift organization to a bank holding company;
  • a global bank based in Europe with respect to U.S. bank regulatory compliance and enforcement matters;
  • a consortium of four private equity firms in the capitalization of AloStar Bank of Commerce to acquire the assets and deposit liabilities of Nexity Bank from the FDIC as receiver;
  • Fortress Investment Group LLC in its 80 percent acquisition of Springleaf Holdings Inc., a large consumer lending company;
  • Starwood Capital Management LLC and Fortress Investment Group LLC as lead investors in the $460 million recapitalization of Opus Bank;
  • Oriental Financial Group Inc., a bank holding company based in Puerto Rico, in its capital raising and acquisition of Eurobank from the FDIC as receiver; and
  • The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. in its acquisition by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


J.D., The George Washington University, 2002 (with honors; Member, The George Washington Law Review)

B.S., University of Virginia, 1999 (McIntire School of Commerce, Finance)


Chairman, Mergers and Acquisitions Subcommittee, Banking Law Committee, American Bar Association (2011-Present)