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Satish Kini is Co-Chair of Debevoise’s National Security practice and the Chair of the Banking Group and is a member of its Financial Institutions Group. Mr. Kini advises on a wide range of regulatory and transactional issues.

For example, he has:

  • represented large financial services firms in transactional matters, including to secure regulatory approvals for transactions from U.S. federal and state bank regulatory agencies and to develop compliance frameworks for various business combinations;
  • counseled banks, securities firms, insurers and asset managers in a broad range of regulatory and compliance issues, ranging from the Volcker Rule to affiliate transactions, anti-money laundering, economic sanctions and data privacy/security;
  • represented clients in adversarial proceedings before the federal bank regulatory agencies and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), including in investigations, enforcement proceedings and adverse examination contexts; and
  • advised clients on regulatory and compliance issues arising out of cross-border transactions and outsourcing arrangements, including with respect to sanctions and money laundering issues.

    In the context of these matters, Mr. Kini has led internal fact investigations of clients (involving allegations of data breaches/fraud, money laundering and sanctions compliance issues) and advised clients on compliance governance and structuring. He also has briefed senior business decision-makers and boards of directors, based in the United States and abroad, on important regulatory, enforcement and investigations matters.

    Mr. Kini has represented a wide range of firms (including banks, securities broker-dealers, insurers and asset managers) and leading industry trade associations on regulatory reform issues, including those arising out of the Dodd-Frank Act, and has assisted clients to participate in the policymaking process before federal regulators. He has helped to create industry coalitions to advocate for regulatory positions and to arrive at consensus interpretations on difficult issues. He also has testified on Dodd-Frank issues before Congress and has represented clients on Dodd-Frank and other matters before the federal banking agencies, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the U.S. Treasury Department and its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

    Chambers Global and Chambers USA have repeatedly recognized Mr. Kini as a leading lawyer. In Chambers Global (2024), he is recognized in the category of Banking & Finance: Mainly Regulatory USA and in Chambers USA (2023), where he is recommended for Financial Services Regulation: Banking (Compliance) and International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, clients highlight his ability “to distill difficult issues into tangible action items” and describe him as “the complete package.” They note that “he is our go-to on all issues related to AML policies and procedures” and “he is smart, forthright and a great listener and researcher” with “spot-on instincts.” In previous editions of the guides, clients highlight his “deep expertise and credibility with government agencies” and describe him as a “phenomenal lawyer” who “provides very thoughtful legal analysis, is weighty on the substance and incredibly distinguished in the banking Bar.” They praise his “exceptional communication skills and great judgment” and attest: “He has a thoroughly comprehensive knowledge of bank regulatory issues relating to large domestic and foreign banks in the US. He understands the law and the inclinations of the regulators, and he connects that easily to the banks” and sources compliment him as “an outstanding lawyer with excellent client-service skills.” Mr. Kini is noted by The Legal 500 US (2023) as a leading lawyer in Financial Services Regulation. He also has been recognized in the Data Protection and Privacy categories. In addition, IFLR1000 (2022) lists Mr. Kini as a Notable Practitioner for Banking and Financial Services Regulatory.

    Mr. Kini is a frequent speaker on sanctions, anti-money laundering and other financial institutions matters. He also is the author or co-author of numerous articles regarding compliance issues and banking and securities legal developments, and has been published in numerous business and legal publications.

    He currently serves as counsel to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s (SIFMA) AML Committee. He also is a member of the Executive Council of the Banking Law Section of the Federal Bar Association. In addition, he serves on the Board of Editors of The Banking Law Journal and The Privacy and Data Security Review and the Board of Advisors for the University of North Carolina Banking Law Institute.

    Earlier in his career, Mr. Kini served in the Legal Division of the Federal Reserve Board, rising to the level of counsel and working on a broad range of regulatory matters before the agency. From 1992 to 1993, he clerked for the Hon. Judge Richard J. Cardamone of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

    Mr. Kini received his B.A. magna cum laude from Colgate University in 1985. He received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1992, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics and the managing editor of the Columbia Law Review. He is a member of the District of Columbia and the New York Bars.


    • Colgate University, 1985, B.A.
    • Columbia Law School, 1992, J.D.

    Bar Admissions

    • New York
    • District of Columbia