Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has added Simpson Thacher & Bartlett counsel Mark Chorazak as a partner in its financial services group in New York.
“It was a big jump for me personally, but it was just the right time,” said Chorazak, who spent over a decade at Simpson Thacher.
“For me, it was a tough choice, but really a natural one and just a terrific opportunity to serve both my clients that I had and also Cadwalader’s existing set of U.S. and European clients,” he added.
Chorazak’s practice as a banking regulatory lawyer has placed him firmly at the intersection of Wall Street and Washington, D.C. During his time at Simpson Thacher, Chorazak has worked with financial institutions on a wide array of bank regulatory, transactional and compliance matters.
“I cut my teeth in the beginning of my career with Dodd-Frank and the regulatory architecture that came out from that,” Chorazak said.
Over his career Chorazak worked on a variety of matters, including capital markets transactions and obtaining approvals from banking agencies for strategic mergers.
He was lead regulatory counsel on some of the largest bank mergers since the financial crisis in 2008, including KeyBank’s acquisition of First Niagara Financial Group Inc. and Toronto-Dominion Bank’s acquisition of the South Financial Group in 2010 and its $4 billion acquisition of Scottrade.
Now, traditional banking clients are facing a new world of delivery of financial services, whether offered by new competitors or nonbanking financial entities that are disrupting the financial services industry as a whole, said Chorazak.
“When I first started my career 10 years ago, no one used the word ‘fintech,’” said Chorazak. “Now every lawyer, including banking lawyers, are rushing to develop expertise and provide true value-add service to clients.”
This creates an opportunity for bank regulatory attorneys like him to hone their expertise and to become strategic advisers on emerging financial products and delivery systems, Chorazak noted.
“I think the financial services space is absolutely exciting,” said Chorazak. “It’s one of the reasons that I’m so very happy to be a lawyer today but also exceedingly happy to be at a platform with a client base like Cadwalader.”
Cadwalader saw its profits per partner jump up 18.6 percent to $2.51 million last year, amid a number of partner departures. The firm has made some notable additions so far this year, including former Cravath, Swaine & Moore associate and Moore & Van Allen partner Jonathan Watkins, who joined as a partner in its corporate and financial services litigation practice in February.
The firm also welcomed back the former head of its corporate practice, Christopher Cox, who rejoined the firm following a two-year stint in-house as executive vice president at the Parsippany, New Jersey-based The Medicines Co.