Gregory Lyons is a corporate partner and Co-Chair of the firm’s Financial Institutions Group. Mr. Lyons has been Chair of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Banking Law. His practice focuses on serving the needs of financial institutions, as well as private equity and other entities that invest in financial institutions, with a particular emphasis on domestic and cross-border bank regulatory, transactional and examination matters.
His practice includes U.S. and foreign bank regulatory, formation, merger, conversion, structuring securities and securities finance work, risk capital and trust matters and corporate and securities law matters. Mr. Lyons has represented banking and other financial institutions before the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and state banking and securities regulatory agencies. He has extensive experience counseling clients in the securities, securities finance, insurance and other non-banking financial service sectors regarding acquiring, leveraging and ongoing ownership of banking institutions, as well as advising banking organizations with non-traditional banking activities and assisting clients in the analysis of associated business and regulatory risks.
In Chambers USA and Chambers Global, which have recommended Mr. Lyons as a top financial services lawyer for numerous years, sources report that he has “vast knowledge and experience in the regulatory space and his expertise gives him the unique ability to provide guidance on complex matters quickly and in an easily understandable manner.” They also say that “he is invested in ensuring that we are successful in our endeavors by helping us understand the challenges and risks, meeting those head-on with innovative and practical solutions,” and “I've said this before and I'll say it again, he's a top-notch lawyer. Not only has he a keen intellect, but he also has a vast knowledge of the bank regulatory landscape, from straight regulatory issues to corporate governance issues to the structuring of a transaction, where he's able to handle all the attendant regulations that are involved in a deal.” Sources praise him as “very business-savvy,” “phenomenal,” an “outstanding” lawyer who is “hugely pragmatic and very solutions-oriented,” with “unparalleled experience and depth of knowledge.” Mr. Lyons is also recognized as a Leading Lawyer by The Legal 500 US (2013–2023) for being “extremely responsive and knowledgeable about the industry and its players.” The guide also praises him for his ability to “add value by providing a practical perspective on regulatory matters.” In addition, he is recognized as a Market Leader by IFLR1000 (2022), was recognized as an MVP by Law360 for banking and is listed in BTI “Client Service All-Stars.”
Mr. Lyons has spoken at numerous seminars on banking and related issues. He recently created and chaired national conferences regarding ways to leverage the benefits of a bank within a diversified financial services organization, the application of the Basel II and “Basel III” capital regulations to large domestic and institutional financial services organizations and private equity investing in banking institutions. He is a frequent panelist at The Risk Management Association’s conferences and recently presented on “The Impact of Dodd-Frank on Securities Finance” at the 27th Annual RMA Conference. He also has spoken on securities lending, common and collective fund and other fiduciary and securities matters.
Mr. Lyons has authored various articles on legal developments affecting financial institutions, private equity and other entities. Recent publications include “Debevoise Discusses Proposed FDIC Guidelines for Corporate Governance and Risk Management,” CLS Blue Sky Blog (October, 2023); “CFPB’s Report on Buy Now, Pay Later,” NYU Compliance & Enforcement (October, 2022); the U.S. Banking Regulation chapter in Lexology Getting the Deal Through (2021, 2022 and 2023); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses Federal Regulators’ Focus on AI and Consumer Protection in Finance,” CLS Blue Sky Blog (November, 2021); “Debevoise Discusses Banks and Climate-Change Initiatives,” CLS Law School Blue Sky Blog (January, 2021); “Debevoise & Plimpton Expects More New York Regulatory Enforcement of Banking and Financial Services,” CLS Blue Sky Blog (September, 2020); “Insulated No More: The Seila Decision and the End of the Independent CFPB Director,” NYU Compliance & Enforcement (July, 2020); “Federal Reserve Proposes Enhanced Prudential Standards For Insurance SIFIs,” FC&S Legal (July, 2016); “Federal Reserve Publishes Advance Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking On Capital Requirements For Insurers,” FC&S Legal (July, 2016); “Enforcement Outlook For Foreign Banks In New York,” Law360 (July, 2016); “Preparing For The New Reality Of Bank Activism,” Bank Director (April, 2016); “The ISDA Resolution Stay Protocol And Its Impact On The Securities Lending Industry,” Securities Lending Times (November, 2015); “NAIC Begins To Develop A Group Capital Measure For U.S. Insurance Enterprises,” FC&S Legal (August, 2015); “The Regulatory Tiers: Should You Grow Past $1 Billion, $5 Billion Or Even $10 Billion In Assets?,” BankDirector.com (May, 2015); and “FSOC: Are Asset Managers’ Products And Activities Creating Systemic Risk?,” The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (January, 2015).
Prior to joining Debevoise in 2009, Mr. Lyons was Co-Chair of Goodwin Procter’s Financial Services Group and Chair of its Banking Practice, where he created and wrote Goodwin Procter’s weekly financial services newsletter and regularly advised clients as to the ramifications of legislative and regulatory developments in the financial services industry.
Mr. Lyons received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1987. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law in 1990.