Brian D. Christiansen

Brian D. Christiansen

Partner, Financial Institutions
Brian Christiansen counsels U.S. and international banking organizations, nonbank financial services firms, and their investors and counterparties in connection with transactions and financial regulatory matters.


Mr. Christiansen has helped clients structure and execute acquisitions, investments and corporate transactions; obtain charters; raise capital; develop new products; implement compliance programs; conduct internal investigations; and resolve enforcement actions. He has an active practice assisting innovative and nontraditional financial services and technology firms navigate federal and state regulatory regimes. Mr. Christiansen represents clients before all of the major financial services regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC and state banking departments. He is a member of Skadden’s integrated team that handles complex and often groundbreaking matters in the financial services industry.


Mr. Christiansen has been named a "market leader" in the area of financial services regulation by IFLR1000, was named to Global Banking Regulation Review’s 45 Under 45 and is recognized as a leading practitioner by The Best Lawyers in America. He also is recognized in multiple nationwide categories of Chambers USA, in which clients have said he is "very talented," "able to take something very complex and put it into layman’s terms" and "looks to get to a commercial conclusion while providing thoughtful and protective advice."

Representative Matters

Banking Transactions

  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in the sale of its institutional retirement and trust business to an affiliate of Principal Financial Group, Inc.
  • OceanFirst Financial Corporation, a bank holding company based in New Jersey, in its separate acquisitions of seven publicly traded and privately held community bank and thrift organizations
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, a global banking organization based in Japan, in multiple transactions, including its investment in The Bank of East Asia, Ltd., its acquisition of American Railcar Leasing and its investment in Ares Management Corporation
  • Flagstar Bank, FSB in its purchase and assumption of more than 50 branches from Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • Stone Point Capital in multiple transactions, including as lead investor in the recapitalization of Standard Bancshares, Inc. and its subsequent sale to First Midwest Bancorp, Inc., and in its investments in Atlantic Capital Bancshares and TriState Capital Holdings, Inc.
  • Green Bancorp, Inc. in its initial public offering, multiple acquisitions and subsequent merger with Veritex Holdings
  • Dogwood State Bank, a community bank based in North Carolina, in its formation through the recapitalization of Sound Bank, installation of a new board and management team, and implementation of new strategic plan
  • American Express, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo in their formation of TruSight, a company that conducts third-party risk assessments across the financial services industry
  • Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc. in its first-of-its-kind restructuring and recapitalization through a prepackaged bankruptcy process, subsequent initial public offering and later acquisition by Old National Bancorp
  • Viking Global Investors, as special counsel, in its controlling investment in Rockefeller Capital Management, a wealth management firm operating a national trust bank

Fintech Transactions

  • LendingClub Corporation in regulatory matters in connection with its acquisition of a national bank and transition to become a bank holding company
  • Social Capital Hedosophia V, a special purpose acquisition company, in its merger with Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi)
  • Zip Co Limited in its $400 million acquisition of QuadPay Inc., which provides technology-enabled buy-now-pay-later services
  • Worldpay, Inc., a global ecommerce and payments processing company, in its merger with FIS, which valued Worldpay at $43 billion
  • Live Oak Bancshares, Inc. as founding investor in Finxact, LLC, a company that develops and provides core banking technology
  • Deutsche Bank AG in its acquisition of an equity stake in ModoPayments, LLC, a payments technology startup
  • PayPal Holdings, Inc. in its acquisitions of iZettle AB, a leading small business commerce platform in Europe and Latin America, and Hyperwallet, a global payout platform
  • TPG Capital, as special counsel, in its investments in GreenSky, a technology-driven consumer and business lending platform, and Varo Money, a de novo online retail bank

Regulatory Counseling and Enforcement

  • a specialty lender in connection with a regulatory consent order related to safety and soundness
  • a European online bank on regulatory matters related to its entry into the United States
  • a publicly traded banking organization in an internal investigation related to transactions with affiliates
  • a global bank holding company on compliance with the activity and investment limitations of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956
  • a nonbank payments company in its successful response to a licensing inquiry by a state banking agency
  • a regional banking organization in connection with its resolution of a public enforcement action related to its anti-money laundering program
  • a director of a troubled bank in the successful resolution of a federal regulatory enforcement action
  • an industrial loan company in its negotiation of regulatory operating conditions



  • 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)


  • District of Columbia


  • Chairman, Mergers and Acquisitions Subcommittee, Banking Law Committee, American Bar Association (2011-2015)

Brian D. Christiansen