Skadden recruits SoFi GC, Shearman fintech co-chair to lead financial institutions regulatory group

Adam Cohen and Mark Chorazak join in New York and Washington DC respectively amid increasing US bank regulation

Adam Cohen (l) and Mark Chorazak Image courtesy of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Skadden has hired SoFi’s general counsel and the former co-leader of Shearman & Sterling’s fintech initiative to co-head its financial institutions regulatory group.  

Adam Cohen has joined the top 5 US firm in Washington DC after nearly two years as SoFi’s top lawyer, while Mark Chorazak, who led Shearman’s US bank regulatory practice, works out of New York.  

Chorazak’s move follows Shearman’s mega merger with UK firm Allen & Overy going live at the start of this month, which created a firm with nearly 4,000 lawyers and revenue in the region of $3.5bn.

“We are thrilled Adam and Mark have joined us,” said Jeremy London, Skadden’s executive partner. “They share a vision for our financial institutions regulatory practice that reflects their substantial experience and knowledge of the financial services space. Their leadership will ensure that our financial institutions clients are well positioned to respond to the evolving regulatory landscape and global economy.”

Cohen provided regulatory advice on M&A and other corporate transactions as a partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett before joining SoFi in 2022, where he helped to manage its transition from a fintech company to a federally regulated banking organisation. Earlier he held positions in the federal government, including at the Federal Reserve Board, where he was a primary author of the regulation governing private equity investments in banking organisations and investments by banks in nonbank companies.  

Meantime Chorazak advises on transactional, regulatory and governance matters and regularly counsels clients before the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as well as state banking regulators. He joined Shearman in 2020 from the partnership of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, having earlier practised as a counsel at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

At Skadden the duo are expected to advise US and international banks, nonbank financial institutions and fintech companies on bank regulatory matters, legislative developments, corporate governance, enforcement and compliance issues and banking-as-a-service arrangements. They will also counsel clients on mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, equity and debt offerings and other transactions.

Their arrival increases Skadden’s financial institutions regulatory practice to nine partners according to the firm’s website, all of whom work out of New York and Washington DC apart from London-based Ryan Junck. Sebastian Barling, who focuses on UK and EU financial regulatory advice, is also set to join the team in London from Linklaters, with Skadden saying the incoming trio would strengthen its ability to counsel clients from a transatlantic persepctive. 

“Adam and Mark will meaningfully enhance our capabilities in an increasingly complex financial institutions regulatory space,” said Jessica Hough, global head of Skadden’s regulatory practices. “Guiding financial institutions to successful outcomes often hinges on the ability to navigate the financial regulatory regime with a sophisticated understanding of how international, federal and state rules historically have been applied and where changes are anticipated.”

Other US firms have been seeking to strengthen their regulatory capabilities recently as more stringent federal oversight looms. Last November Paul Weiss hired bank regulatory lawyer Jarryd Anderson from O’Melveny & Myers in New York and Washington DC to co-chair its financial services group.  

And earlier in the year K&L Gates tapped the co-chairs of Baker McKenzie’s North American financial regulation and enforcement practice, Jennifer Klass and Amy Greer, in New York.  

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