Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has added co-lead of Debevoise & Plimpton’s banking industry group Matthew Biben as co-chair of its financial institutions practice group in New York.
In his new role at Gibson Dunn, Biben will continue his financial institutions practice, focusing on complex regulatory and litigation matters.
Biben joined Debevoise in 2015 after roughly three and a half years as a top attorney at JP Morgan Chase.
Biben joined JP Morgan in 2011 as general counsel, overseeing its mortgage banking operations. In 2012 Biben was promoted to general counsel of JP Morgan’s consumer and community banking unit where supervised a team of over 500 lawyers and oversaw an array of legal and compliance issues.
In 2012 Biben helped negotiate the bank’s share of a $25 billion national foreclosure settlement. He also helped guide JP Morgan through a government investigation involving its 2008 purchase of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual that led to a $13 billion settlement with the Department of Justice in 2013.
Many of his former colleagues from JP Morgan and elsewhere are now with Gibson Dunn, some in senior leadership roles, prompting him to make the move to the firm, he said.
“I just decided ultimately that the time was right and the opportunity was too good to pass up,” he said.
Biben spent 12 years as a prosecutor, serving as an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s office and then in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York as an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division.
In 2004 Biben joined the Bank of New York Mellon as its executive vice president and deputy general counsel. He decamped nearly seven years later for a brief stint as chief administrative officer and chief legal officer at e-commerce company Next Jump before joining JP Morgan Chase.
Biben said that his 10-plus years in-house provides him with a great window into what it means to be on the client side and the pressures that clients face.
He explained his practice is very client-centric and focused on understanding the difference between what he calls ‘noncommercial lawyering’ and getting to problem solving and results in ways that clients appreciate., Biben said.
Biben has also long taught as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Gibson Dunn chairman and managing partner Ken Doran said in a statement that Biben’s background as both a prosecutor and in-house counsel would serve clients well.
“Matt is well-known and respected in the financial sector — among financial institutions and among its regulators. He will be a strong addition to our financial institutions, and premier white collar and litigation practices in New York, Washington, D.C. and globally.”
(Adds information from interview with Biben throughout. )
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