Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that James E. Odell has joined the Firm as Co-Head of the Financial Services industry team and as a partner in the Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy group. Mr. Odell brings more than 30 years of top-level experience in the financial services industry, serving in a number of inside and outside counsel positions for leading banks and law firms. He is based in the Firm’s New York office.
Considered one of the nation’s leading financial services industry executives, Mr. Odell adds a broad set of skills and depth in the financial services industry, including bank and securities regulation, investment banking, trading and markets, capital markets, M&A, and finance—all of which support the Firm’s already strong capabilities in finance (including securitization and capital markets transactions), regulatory, and white collar defense and investigations.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jim to Blank Rome,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Chairman and Managing Partner. “Jim’s unparalleled experience, including serving as general counsel to two of the world’s top banks during some of the industry’s most turbulent times, will be an excellent addition to our comprehensive Financial Services team.”
Mr. Odell joins Blank Rome from The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry. As Managing Director, Head of Legal for DTCC, Mr. Odell served as the primary legal advisor to DTCC’s senior business leaders. He managed bank and securities regulatory matters; executed strategic initiatives and transactions; supervised litigation and investigations; oversaw corporate governance, lobbying, PAC, and government affairs; and focused on privacy and securities projects. While at DTCC, Mr. Odell oversaw FSOC/Dodd-Frank planning, response, and implementation, which resulted in its subsidiaries receiving the first “systemically important” designations by the Treasury.
Prior to DTCC, Mr. Odell served as General Counsel, Americas, for UBS Investment Bank. In this role, he managed the legal and compliance functions and related staff for UBS Investment Bank in the Americas and for all UBS businesses in Latin America. His wide-ranging responsibilities included oversight and management of regulatory matters and relationships; transactional and traded products legal matters; insolvency and workouts; corporate, real estate, and ABS lending; litigation and compliance; lobbying and government relations; and corporate and employment legal matters. At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, Mr. Odell served as the interim general counsel of all of UBS and represented UBS on the Treasury/Federal Reserve Wall Street crisis management team responsible for reviewing alternatives to the Lehman bankruptcy, the sale of Merrill Lynch, the preliminary restructuring steps for AIG, and establishing emergency financing facilities for the industry.
“Jim’s arrival to the Firm greatly bolsters our Financial Services industry team during an exciting period in the practice's growth and evolution,” said Lawrence F. Flick II, Co-Head of the Financial Services industry team. “Having served in prominent roles at two premier financial institutions, Jim brings tremendous insight and best practices with regard to maximizing value and better serving our clients in the financial services sector.”
Prior to UBS, Mr. Odell was Global General Counsel of Investment Banking for Citigroup’s Investment Bank, responsible for supervising the overall provision of legal services to investment banking globally and managing all outside counsel engagements and relationships. He was also a member of the Investment Bank’s commitment committee and senior management operating and management committees. Mr. Odell focused on equity capital markets; leveraged finance, high yield, and debt capital markets; corporate lending (real estate and ABS); workouts; and M&A. During his time at Citigroup, Mr. Odell was involved in the Google IPO, the Enron and WorldCom bankruptcies, and the equity research Global Settlement.
Before entering GC roles, Mr. Odell was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP where he served as Co-Head of the firm’s securities practice group and Head of the High Yield finance practice group. He also served as a partner at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue; and a senior associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.
“I considered a great number of factors and options before moving back to private practice, and Blank Rome presented what I consider to be an ideal platform for continuing to build out what is already a unique and thriving financial services practice,” said Mr. Odell. “The Firm’s continued expansion—both in New York and other key markets—along with the depth and breadth of its stellar Financial Services team allows me to draw upon my GC, transactional, regulatory, and banking experience.”
Admitted to practice in New York, Mr. Odell received his JD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and his BS in finance from Lehigh University. He currently serves as a member of the board of advisors for the Institute for Law and Economics, a joint research center of Penn Law, the Wharton School, and the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as a member of the committee of counsel and the board of directors for The Clearing House Association; chairman of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce (New York); a trustee of the UBS Americas Fund for Better Government; and a member of the capital markets committee of SIA/SIFMA.
About Blank Rome LLP
With nearly 500 attorneys serving clients around the globe, Blank Rome is an international law firm representing businesses and organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-up entities. Founded in 1946, Blank Rome advises clients on all aspects of their businesses, including commercial and corporate litigation; consumer finance; corporate, M&A, and securities; environmental, energy, and natural resources; finance, restructuring, and bankruptcy; intellectual property and technology; labor and employment; maritime, international trade and government contracts; matrimonial; products liability, mass torts, and insurance; real estate; tax, benefits, and private client; and white collar defense and investigations. Blank Rome also represents pro bono clients in a wide variety of cases and matters. For additional information, visit www.BlankRome.com.