Matthew L. Biben is a litigation partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, where he is Co-Chair of the firm’s Financial Institutions Group and a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations 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 enforcement and advisory work. A former large bank general counsel and federal prosecutor, he routinely acts as counsel in disputes and internal investigations of both domestic and international matters involving, among others the Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Reserve Board (FRB), Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), state attorneys general and foreign regulators. He is a Benchmark Litigation “Star” who is recommended by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US, where he has been described as a “tenacious but balanced litigator” and is “known to be an expert.”
Prior to joining Gibson Dunn in August 2019, Mr. Biben was a litigation partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he was co-leader of the Banking Industry Group, and member of the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group. 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 Societe Generale before the FRB and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and separately before the NYDFS in negotiating a successful settlement regarding the bank’s BSA/AML compliance and risk management programs;
- Successfully defending Habib Bank against a $630 million lawsuit by the NYDFS and negotiating a $225 million settlement relating to long-running AML/BSA compliance issues and assisting Habib in winding down the business of their NY branch;
- Representing a senior executive of one of the largest global banks in a DOJ investigation of RMBS and a separate OCC investigation persuading both agencies after years of investigation to close their investigations without action;
- Advising a large foreign bank in responding to the DOJ investigation of Mossack Fonseca & and the “Panama Papers”;
- Leading an extensive internal investigation and representing a large foreign bank before the FRB and NYDFS concerning Regulation W compliance issues;
- Successfully representing Toyota Financial Services in a DOJ and CFPB investigation and negotiating a favorable settlement relating to the indirect auto lender’s fair lending practices;
- Advising a large foreign bank in responding to a multi-state attorneys general investigation of its auto lending and securitization practices;
- Representing financial institutions and individuals in SEC investigations, including the Chairman of the Board of a Fortune 100 company;
- Representing the CFO of an insurance company in an investigation before the NYDFS which resulted in the matter being closed without action;
- Representing Admirals Bank, as it restructured operations in the face of significant regulatory scrutiny and complex bank regulatory and enforcement issues;
- Representing the Board of Directors of a pre-eminent US retailer in an internal investigation concerning compensation and disclosure 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; and
- Representing FanDuel in a lawsuit and settlement with the New York Attorney General (NYAG) over the legality of daily fantasy sports and later resolving allegations of false advertising whereby the NYAG dropped its claims challenging the legality of FanDuel’s contests after a change in the New York State law permitting daily fantasy sports.
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 negotiate JPMC’s share of the industry’s $25 billion foreclosure settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses with the federal government and 50 state attorneys general;
- Spearheading the negotiation of the $9 billion Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement with the 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;
- Supervising the investigation and negotiation of the $389 million Consent Order settlement with the OCC and the CFPB of JPMorgan Chase’s billing practices relating to add-on products including the identity-theft protection product;
- Serving as Counsel to the Board of Directors’ Special Compliance Committee; and
- Serving as Counsel to the Board of Directors’ Public Responsibility Committee.
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
- Directing the defense of a lawsuit filed in 2006 against BNY Mellon by the Russian customs service for allegedly smuggling $22.5 billion out of Russia. This high-profile case was heard at Arbitrazh Court in Moscow, and very successfully resolved in 2009 after Russia withdrew the lawsuit against BNY Mellon, agreeing to a $14 million settlement.
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. His accolades and positions include:
- The New York Law Journal award for Outstanding Legal Department for Diversity in 2014;
- The New York Legal Assistance Group’s Corporate Leadership award in 2014;
- 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 25 years, teaching seminars in legal philosophy, federal crime, and corporate law and governance;
- Board of the New York Legal Assistance Group (“NYLAG”) where he chairs the Governance Committee and serves on the Executive Committee;
- Emeritus Board member of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest;
- Commissioner on the New York State Judicial Commission;
- Serving for three and a half years as a Director of Emigrant Bank and The New York Private Bank and Trust, where he served on the Risk Committee and chaired the Governance Committee;
- Trustee on the Cornell University Board of Trustees; and
- Member of the Board of Editors of the New York Law Journal.
Mr. Biben received a B.S. from Cornell University in 1989 and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1992.