Smith, Brian W.

Brian W. Smith

Retired Partner

Brian Smith retired from the partnership in June 2012. Mr. Smith was a partner in the Finance Department of Latham & Watkins’ Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Smith has more than 40 years experience in the financial services industry as a partner of an international law firm, a senior federal regulator and a senior corporate officer of a multi-national financial services company. Mr. Smith’s work involved financial institutions regulation, corporate, securities, payment instruments/systems and electronic commerce. Mr. Smith’s experience included representation of financial services firms and technology companies in transactional and regulatory matters, retail and institutional product development and distribution, electronic commerce, capital markets, asset management and fiduciary products.

His clients included firms engaged in electronic payments and electronic commerce, US and foreign commercial banks, trust companies, investment banks, savings associations, securities firms, insurance companies, mutual fund organizations, pension and benefit funds managers, private equity and other investment funds, domestic and foreign joint ventures and individuals.

Immediately prior to joining Latham, Mr. Smith was a partner at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP in Washington, D.C. His career has also included the following positions: managing partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in Washington, D.C.; chief counsel & member of policy group, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, US Department of Treasury, Washington, D.C.; senior vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary and member of the office of the President, MasterCard International, Inc., New York; assistant general counsel, CIT Financial Corporation, New York; and attorney American Express Company, New York.

Mr. Smith is a frequent commentator, author and lecturer on the financial services industry and the law and regulations affecting it. At the time of his retirement, he was a member of the American Bar Association’s Banking Law Committee and served on the board of advisors of several leading industry publications.

Mr. Smith has been selected by American Banker as among Washington’s most effective and influential practitioners in financial services and has been listed in the American Banker’s – Banking on Top Bankers. He has received special mention in International Who’s Who of Internet, e-Commerce & Data Protection Lawyers, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for both eCommerce and for Business: Financial Regulation, The Legal 500 US for Financial Services: Regulatory, Who’s Who Legal, and The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers.


  • MS, Columbia University Graduate School of Business, 1981
  • JD, St. John's University School of Law, 1971
  • BA, St. John's University, 1968