Richard Willis is a partner in the firm's Financial Services & Products Group who focuses on the general representation of both public and privately held entities within the payments industry.
Mr. Willis concentrates his practice on mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances and has a particular expertise with cross-border transactions. As part of serving payments industry clients, Mr. Willis routinely advises on regulatory and compliance matters, as well as new market entry, across the globe.
Mr. Willis has extensive experience with complex, international acquisition and long-term joint venture transactions. Further, he has nearly 20 years' experience in counseling and serving as lead counsel to payments industry participants, including global financial institutions, merchant acquirers, card issuers, card schemes/associations, ISOs and MSPs, and B2B payment companies.
Mr. Willis has served as lead counsel in scores of acquisitions and joint ventures/strategic alliances throughout North America, Europe, South America and Asia (including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom).
- Representation of a global financial institution in its entry into the Mexican payments market by way of a long-term, joint venture with Latin America's largest bank.
- Representation of a global payments provider in its entry into Brazil via the creation of a 50/50, new-entity joint venture with a leading Brazilian bank.
- Representation of one of the top ten U.S. financial institutions in establishing, de novo, a licensed banking institution in Europe, the related regulatory and tax driven restructuring of its pan-European operations (with substantial physical operations in each of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom) and preparing various business lines for roll-out within all the countries of the European Economic Area.
- Advising clients with respect to SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area), the Payment Services Directive (PSD) and related payment industry initiatives, including with respect to registration as a “Payment Institution” under the PSD.
- Advising clients with respect to the rules and regulations, and related registrations, of the Card Associations / Card Schemes (Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club International, and American Express).
- Representation of a technology company in connection with both the creation and, in some instances, renewal/termination/dissolution of multiple joint ventures and strategic alliances throughout the United States.
- Representation of the purchaser in the acquisition of a pan-European business line from the world's then-largest financial institution.
- Representation of a company incorporated in England and Wales in connection with its business acquisition from, and long-term strategic alliance with, a leading UK commercial bank.
- Representation of an Irish-incorporated company in connection with its strategic alliance with one of Latin America's largest banks.
- Representation of an affiliate of a top ten U.S. financial institution in connection with the stock acquisition from one of Poland's leading banks.