Bloomberg Law
Aug. 24, 2020, 11:01 AM

Wells Fargo’s New Legal Leader Patterson Looking for Lieutenants

Brian Baxter
Brian Baxter

Wells Fargo & Co., coping with layoffs and a change in its compliance leadership, is also shaking up the ranks of those reporting to new general counsel Ellen Patterson.

Emma Bailey, Americas general counsel at Barclays PLC in New York, will join Wells Fargo in September as deputy general counsel for enterprise risk, regulatory, and audit, the company told Bloomberg Law. Wells Fargo is also looking to fill three other deputy general counsel positions as part of a reorganization plan unveiled by Patterson in July.

Wells Fargo’s recruitment of Bailey comes as two other deputy general move on. Suzanne Alwan, who will be replaced by Bailey, and Bevelyn Coleman, who had responsibility for enterprise functions, have both decided to retire, said Wells Fargo spokesman Peter Gilchrist. Alwan and Coleman were based in Charlotte, N.C., and had worked at the bank for at least a decade.

Patterson joined Wells Fargo in March after serving as group head and general counsel at Toronto-Dominion Bank. She reorganized the legal group four months later, expanding her leadership team to include 11 deputy general counsel.

The idea, Gilchrist said, is to align a deputy general counsel with each of Wells Fargo’s five business lines: commercial banking; consumer and small business banking; consumer lending; corporate and investment banking; and wealth and investment management. Gilchrist said the remaining six deputy general counsel are tasked with overseeing other areas like enterprise risk, which Bailey will soon take over, as well as intellectual property, litigation, and regulatory enforcement and investigations.

Wells Fargo is conducting an internal and external search for three deputy general counsel to cover its consumer lending, corporate and investment banking, and enterprise functions. The new operating structure mirrors changes implemented earlier this year by Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf.

Bailey’s move to the company comes as Barclays group general counsel Robert Hoyt was succeeded this month by Stephen Shapiro, corporate secretary for the London-based banking giant.

Barclays didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about Bailey’s departure. She joined Barclays in September 2008 when it absorbed part of now-defunct Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., where she went in-house in 2000 after working as an associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Bailey was promoted to her Americas general counsel role at Barclays in late 2017.

Executive Turnover

Scharf took over San Francisco-based Wells Fargo in October 2019. He succeeded interim CEO C. Allen Parker Jr., who was hired as general counsel in 2017 as the bank grappled with the fallout from a fake accounts scandal.

Parker, a former presiding partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, received $9.6 million in total compensation from Wells Fargo last year. He left in March.

The race to replace Parker as law department leader saw Wells Fargo eventually look externally for candidates. James Strother, who preceded Parker as general counsel, was among several former executives at the bank in January to face record civil fines handed down by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Douglas Edwards, who served as interim and then acting general counsel at Wells Fargo after Parker relinquished the top legal role, remains with the bank as a deputy general counsel. Other deputy general counsel reporting to Patterson at Wells Fargo include Anthony Augliera, Craig Baldauf, Mark Metz, and Thomas Trujillo.

Wells Fargo announced this month that chief compliance officer Michael Roemer, a non-lawyer hired from Barclays in 2017, would leave the bank and be replaced in October by Paula Dominick of Credit Suisse AG.

Wells Fargo, the largest employer among U.S. banks, recently resumed job cuts paused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Bloomberg News. The company, however, has continued to make legal and public policy additions.

In June, Wells Fargo hired Michael Lipsitz, a former chief legal officer at Santander Holdings USA Inc., to serve as its chief policy adviser. The position reports to William Daley, a former Mayer Brown partner and one-time chief of staff to President Barack Obama hired by Wells Fargo in November 2019 as vice chairman and head of public affairs. Daley and Lipsitz work outside of Wells Fargo’s legal group.

Maggie Basu, who spent a dozen years at Wells Fargo before taking an of counsel role at Fox Rothschild and legacy firm Smith Moore Leatherhood, rejoined the bank’s Charlotte office in July as an assistant vice president and operations manager.

Well Fargo also hired Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath corporate partner Samuel Rosenbaum in May as senior counsel in Minneapolis and in January brought on senior company counsel for employment Austin Breen in Charlotte. Breen spent the past four years at Raymond James Financial Inc., most recently as an assistant general counsel and vice president of human resources employment practices.

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To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at