Brian D. Christiansen

Brian D. Christiansen

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Recognized since 2014

Washington, District of Columbia

Practice Areas

Banking and Finance Law

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Brian D. Christiansen is a partner in Skadden’s Financial Institutions Regulation and Enforcement Group. Mr. 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 institution clients 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. His matters have been recognized in the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers report, The M&A Advisor and the Turnaround Management Association. Mr. Christiansen has been selected as a “leading lawyer” in IFLR1000 in the area of financial services regulation, byChambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and by The Best Lawyers in America 2014. In its 2012 edition, Chambers USA named him “as one of the brightest up-and-coming talents in the sector.” In 2014, Mr. Christiansen was profiled byLaw360 as a “Rising Star Under 40.” His representations include:

  • 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 publicly traded banking organization in an internal investigation of regulatory compliance matters, including with respect to Sections 23A and 23B;
  • Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc. in its first-of-its-kind restructuring and $175 million recapitalization through a prepackaged bankruptcy process. This transaction was named as the “Restructuring Deal of the Year (Over $250mm to $500mm)” for 2013 by The M&A Advisor;
  • 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;
  • a management team led by John Kanas and a consortium of private equity firmsin the formation and $900 million capitalization of a new federal savings bank to acquire the banking operations of BankUnited, FSB from the FDIC as receiver; as well as the resulting institution, BankUnited, Inc., in its initial public offering, acquisition of Herald National Bank, and conversion from a thrift organization to a bank holding company;
  • Piedmont Community Bank Holdings, Inc. on regulatory matters related to its $75 million acquisition of Crescent Financial Bancshares, Inc.;
  • 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 American General Finance Inc., a consumer lending company with $20 billion in assets;
  • an investment fund led by Gerald J. Ford in its $500 million recapitalization and acquisition of control of Pacific Capital Bancorp;
  • 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.

  • 1440 New York Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20005
  • The George Washington University, J.D.
  • University of Virginia, BS
Bar Admissions
  • Virginia, Virginia State Bar
  • District of Columbia, The District of Columbia Bar
  • American Bar Association - Member

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Banking and Finance Law
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Financial Services Regulation Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Law


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