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JAMES ODELL

Jim brings 30 years of experience in the financial services and investment banking industries. He has advised several of the world’s leading banks and investment banks on many of the industry’s most significant transactions and regulatory matters. Jim has served in a number of inside and outside counsel positions, including as:

  • General Counsel for UBS
  • General Counsel of Investment Banking for Citigroup.

Concentrating his practice in bank and broker-dealer regulation, investment banking, trading and markets, M&A and finance, Jim adds a broad set of skills and depth in the financial services industry which compliments the Firm’s strong capabilities in finance, litigation, white collar defense and investigations and financial services regulation.

Jim served as General Counsel for UBS Investment Bank where he managed UBS’s large and wide-ranging legal and compliance functions in the Americas region. At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, Jim served as the co-General Counsel for UBS worldwide and represented UBS on the Treasury/Federal Reserve Wall Street crisis management team responsible for reviewing alternatives to the Lehman bankruptcy, the sale of Merrill Lynch, the preliminary restructuring steps for AIG and establishing emergency financing facilities for the industry. While at UBS, Jim’s key areas of responsibility include:

  • Bank and broker-dealer regulation
  • Management of regulatory relationships (SEC, FRB, state banking and securities regulators)
  • Key businesses advised: traded products, capital markets, investment banking, M&A
  • Litigation and investigations
  • Employment and compliance.

He regularly advised UBS on material transactions including acquisitions and dispositions of several banking and securities businesses (including the $2.5 billion acquisition and integration of Banco Pactual) and numerous restructurings of the firm’s bank and broker-dealer organizational structure to accommodate regulatory requirements and reorganizations of various businesses (including municipal finance, captive hedge funds, joint ventures in Canada and China and the formation of new banking firms, e.g., Moelis & Co.).  He also supervised close-outs and restructurings involving Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, AIG, Refco, several monoline bond insurers and the Republic of Argentina, debt and equity underwritings (including IPOs of General Motors and Vonage) and numerous leveraged finance transactions.

Jim also supervised several of UBS’s most critical regulatory and litigation matters including:

  • various remediation requirements following the financial crisis,
  • numerous disputes and investigations relating to subprime mortgage products and auction rate securities, and
  • transactional litigation relating to HealthSouth, Gillette/P&G, Lyondell and Finish Line/Genesco.

Prior to UBS, Jim was Global General Counsel of Investment Banking for Citigroup where he was responsible for supervising the provision of legal services to investment banking globally as well as managing all outside counsel engagements and relationships. He was a co-head of Citigroup’s commitment committees (where he was responsible for reviewing and approving Citi’s loan, underwriting and M&A advisory/fairness opinion transactions) and a member of key management and operating committees. His transactional work focused on equity and debt capital markets, leveraged finance and high yield, corporate lending, workouts, and M&A. Some of the notable matters on which Jim advised Citigroup included:

  • Google IPO
  • Equity Research Global Settlement
  • Enron, Adelphia and WorldCom workouts/bankruptcies.

Prior to joining Blank Rome, Jim headed the legal function at the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”), the post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry. At DTCC, he supervised litigation and investigations, served as the senior legal advisor to DTCC’s business leaders on a number of critical strategic transactions and was a primary interface with the firm’s financial regulators (including the SEC, the NY Fed, the Treasury, and the FSOC) in connection with Dodd-Frank implementation and the FSOC’s “systemically important” designation process.

Before entering his GC roles, Jim was a partner at two Am Law 25 law firms, with his most recent role being the co-head of the securities practice group and the head of the high yield finance practice group. In private practice, Jim specialized in underwriter representation, domestic and international high-yield and acquisition finance and represented numerous U.S. and international investment banks, private equity firms and corporations in connection with M&A and financing activities in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia.

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