Cravath hires Debevoise partner Portilla

Debevoise & Plimpton partner David Portilla, one of GBRR’s “45 under 45”, has joined Cravath Swaine & Moore in its New York office.

Cravath announced Portilla’s hire in its corporate practice on 16 February.

Portilla is a member of GBRR’s editorial board, and featured in our recent “45 under 45” survey of leading banking regulation practitioners under the age of 45, which was published in November.

He joins Cravath after over seven years as a partner at Debevoise, which he joined from the US Treasury in November 2013.

His time at Treasury saw him play a key role in establishing the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). He was a member of the initial team that established FSOC after it was created under the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, developing its agenda, operating procedures and governance structures.

Portilla also worked on other aspects of Dodd-Frank’s implementation, including the interagency rule-writing process for the Volcker Rule, new prudential standards and development of FSOC’s “living wills” policy.

He began his career as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in 2006, after earning his juris doctor from Rutgers Law School.

His practice focuses on advising international and domestic banks on transactional, regulatory, supervisory and governance matters, particularly on Volcker Rule application and prudential regulation of large banks and non-bank financial companies.

Portilla has also acted on several policy advocacy matters on behalf of financial industry trade organisations including the American Investment Council, European Banking Federation, Financial Services Forum, and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

He is a member of the American Bar Association’s banking law committee, co-chairing its subcommittee on systemically important financial institutions.

Speaking to GBRR for his “45 under 45” profile, Portilla said he appreciated the connection of banking regulation practice to larger policy debates and “fundamental questions” about the priorities and goals it advances.

“I think when I was more junior, this practice is exactly the type of practice I imagined – working on deals, congressional hearings, regulatory questions, policy issues,” he said. “Candidly, I wasn’t sure if it was possible to have that type of practice in the private sector. I feel quite lucky to be able to do it, and grateful to clients for the trust they place in us.”

Faiza Saeed, Cravath’s presiding partner, said Portilla’s “experience in and outside of government will enhance Cravath’s ability to advise our financial services clients across a broad array of issues”.

A Debevoise & Plimpton spokesperson said: “We thank David for his contributions and wish him well in his new role.”

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