Areas of Practice
Paul Lee is of counsel and former Co-Chair of the firm’s Banking Group and a member of our Financial Institutions Group. He has extensive experience in the banking industry as a corporate lawyer, both as a general counsel and in private practice, as well as experience in the public sector with leading bank supervisory agencies. Mr. Lee is ranked nationally by Chambers USA in Band 1 as a leader in Financial Services Regulation: Banking (Compliance). Mr. Lee is also recognized as a leading lawyer in Financial Services: Regulatory by The Legal 500 US (2014) and in The International Who’s Who of Banking Lawyers (2013) as one of the ten “most highly regarded individuals” in the global survey.
Prior to joining Debevoise, Mr. Lee was Executive Senior Vice President and General Counsel of HSBC USA Inc., where he served as the senior legal officer in the United States advising senior management in the United States and London on legal, regulatory and compliance matters. He was a member of HSBC USA’s Senior Management Committee and Risk Management Committee.
Mr. Lee began his career as a corporate associate at Debevoise from 1974 to 1977, followed by two years at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he served as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and Special Assistant to the General Counsel of the Treasury. Mr. Lee served as Deputy Superintendent and Counsel of the New York State Banking Department from 1980 to 1981 when he joined a major, international law firm as a partner. In 1994, Mr. Lee joined a client, Republic New York Corporation, as General Counsel. (Republic New York was acquired by HSBC in 1999 and became HSBC USA Inc.)
Mr. Lee has been a member of the adjunct faculty of Law at Columbia Law School since 2002 and was a Lecturer in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School from 1983 to 1986. He speaks frequently on the banking industry and has written extensively on issues relating to banking and international finance. His recent publications include, “Cross-Border Resolution of Banking Groups: International Initiatives and U.S. Perspectives,” Part I, Pratt's Journal of Bankruptcy Law 391 (2013) and Part II, Pratt's Journal of Bankruptcy Law 583 (2013); “The Source-of-Strength Doctrine: Revered and Revisited,” Part I, 129 Banking Law Journal 771 (2012) and Part II, 129 Banking Law Journal 867 (2012); “Savings and Loan Holding Companies After the Dodd-Frank Act: An Endangered Species?” Part I, 129 Banking Law Journal 147 (2012) and Part II, 129 Banking Law Journal 195 (2012); “The Dodd-Frank Act Orderly Liquidation Authority: A Preliminary Analysis And Critique,” Part I, 128 Banking Law Journal 771 and Part II, 128 Banking Law Journal 867 (2011); “A Renewed Focus on Foreign Corruption and Politically Exposed Persons,” 127 Banking Law Journal 813 (2010); “Risk Management and the Role of the Board of Directors: Regulatory Expectations and Shareholder Actions,” 125 Banking Law Journal 679 (2008); and “Anti-Money Laundering and Economic Sanctions Laws,” Regulation of Foreign Banks & Affiliates in the United States (7th ed., 2013).
Mr. Lee received his B.A. summa cum laude from Georgetown University in 1969. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1972, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Law Review. He served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Walter R. Mansfield, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, from 1973 to 1974.
University of Michigan Law School, 1972, J.D.
Georgetown University, 1969, B.A.