Image of Don Waack

Don Waack

Financial Regulation Partner, Washington, D.C.

I advise globally active financial services firms on their most challenging regulatory, transactional, and enforcement matters.


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Don advises global financial institutions on complex strategic and regulatory matters, with a particular focus on significant cross-border transactions, regulatory compliance issues, and related supervisory and enforcement matters. Clients describe Don as "very knowledgeable and fast," adding "[h]e understands complex areas of the US regulatory framework and he provides sound and practical advice." (Chambers USA, 2023). Don is regarded as having a “strong reputation in the market across a range of […] Dodd-Frank compliance work, as well as [on] M&A activity.” (The Legal 500, 2019)

Don advises many of the world's largest banks and bank holding companies on key regulatory and compliance matters, including regulatory control determinations; investment authority issues and activities restrictions; governance; fund formation; fintech partnerships and investments; digital asset and cryptocurrency activities; regulatory capital; vendor management issues; and proprietary trading and private fund restrictions arising under the Volcker Rule.

Don frequently counsels financial services clients on the structuring and execution of significant investments and provides practical, commercially-focused advice in connection with mergers and acquisitions and other complex transactions. He also counsels hedge funds, private equity funds, and other firms regarding investments in the banking sector and transactions with banks and other regulated counterparties. In connection with his regulatory counselling practice, Don works frequently with the staffs of the major federal and state bank regulatory agencies.

Don also advises domestic and non-U.S. financial services firms regarding sensitive internal investigations and similar matters. He has experience structuring and managing cross-border internal regulatory compliance reviews and has represented clients in connection with a broad range of regulatory inquiries and investigations, including federal and state supervisory and enforcement matters.

Don has been recognized by Chambers (2023) as an "Up and Coming" practitioner in Financial Services Regulation.  

Work highlights

Highlights of Don's experience include advising:

  • A large foreign banking organization before the Federal Reserve Board in connection with its review and remediation of Bank Holding Company Act (BHCA) compliance issues, including the restructuring and divestiture of non-conforming assets.

  • A major non-US government investment fund regarding bank regulatory and structuring matters for private equity, credit, venture capital, and other fund investments, including compliance with the BHCA and Volcker Rule.
  • Multiple U.S. hedge funds in connection with bank and savings and loan holding company investments and related regulatory and supervisory inquiries initiated by the Federal Reserve Board and various state authorities.
  • A major non-U.S. bank trade association before the Federal Reserve Board in connection with advocacy efforts on key regulatory initiatives, including the FBO tailoring proposal and the proposal to amend BHCA control rules.
  • Several major international banking organizations with respect to cross-border asset management and fiduciary activities, including structuring private investment funds and related products to comply with the BHCA, Volcker Rule, and intermediate holding company (IHC) regulations.
  • A large non-U.S. banking group regarding legal authority and structuring issues related to U.S. real estate-related activities and investments.
  • A large foreign banking organization in connection with the acquisition of a U.S. asset manager and expansion of a U.S. private wealth platform.

    Professional experience

    • Recommended, Investment fund formation and management: Alternative/hedge funds, The Legal 500 U.S. (2021)
    • Member, Banking Editorial Advisory Board, Law360 (2020)
    • Rising Star, Financial Services Regulation, IFLR1000 (2018, 2019)
    • Member, Federal Bar Association Executive Council of the Banking Law Section

    Education and qualifications

    Donald holds a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law and obtained his undergraduate degree from Yale University.