Cravath attorney to join Wells Fargo as general counsel

C Allen Parker will be the bank’s next top lawyer

C Allen Parker

C Allen Parker

Wells Fargo has hired Cravath Swaine & Moore lawyer C Allen Parker to serve as the bank’s next senior executive vice president and general counsel, effective March 27.

Parker will report to the company’s CEO, Tim Sloan, and will be based in San Francisco. He will be responsible for all Wells Fargo legal affairs and serve on the company’s operating committee. Parker will succeed James Strother, who is retiring from the post after 30 years with the company and 13 years leading the Wells Fargo law department, according to the firm. 

Parker is currently a partner in Cravath’s corporate department and a member of the firm’s corporate governance and board advisory practice. According to his biography on the Cravath website, his experience also includes finance, banking and other related matters, and his clients have included Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, DreamWorks Animation and Permira.

In a statement, Cravath presiding partner Faiza Saeed says: ‘Over the last 25 years, Allen has been one of the most respected banking lawyers in the [US], a highly valued and admired partner in our firm and a mentor to countless young people…We are so pleased he will now be joining Wells Fargo, our client of many years, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with him in this new capacity.’  

‘Allen is well known throughout the legal and financial services industries not only for advising some of the world’s largest companies on their most complex legal matters, but also for his strong character, integrity and high ethical standards,’ Sloan says in a statement. ‘His background and corporate experience make him the ideal leader for this role as his efforts will be instrumental in helping our company continue to rebuild trust, make things right with customers, and build a better Wells Fargo.’

Strother will remain with the company for the next several months to assist with the transition, according to the statement.

‘Jim is an extraordinary leader and strategic adviser who has helped our company navigate through a period of great change and many unprecedented events during his 30-year career at Wells Fargo, including the purchase of Wachovia ‒ the largest, most complex banking merger in US history ‒ as well as the purchase of the GE Capital portfolio and the work we are doing today to rebuild trust with all of our stakeholders,’ Sloan says.  

The bank last year reached agreements with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney regarding allegations that some of its retail customers received products and services they did not request. The company has since announced a number of actions to address the issue. Among other things, its independent directors in September launched an independent investigation into the company’s retail banking sales practices.

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