Scalia Spotlights

Dechert LLP’s Thomas Vartanian to Head New Financial Regulatory Institute at George Mason University’s Scalia Law School

Thomas Vartanian
Thomas Vartanian

Arlington, VA — George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School and Dechert LLP are jointly announcing that Thomas P. Vartanian will retire from Dechert LLP to become the Founder and Executive Director of a new financial regulatory Institute that will be launched in early 2019 within the Law & Economics Center of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

Mr. Vartanian will also become Professor of Law and Director of Scalia Law School’s new academic concentration on financial services laws. He will be joined by his colleague of 34 years, Robert H. Ledig, who will become Director of the Institute and Professor of Law.

Mr. Vartanian has been described by his clients in private practice as “one of the best financial services lawyers in America,” who “brings unparalleled experience and judgment to difficult decision-making both as a deal-maker and regulatory guru.” He began his legal career with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 1976 and became Special Assistant to the Chief Counsel within three years. In1981, he was appointed General Counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and FSLIC in the opening days of the Reagan Administration, where he oversaw legal matters in the first phase of the savings and loan crisis. After leaving government service, he became a trusted advisor to many of the country’s banks, investors, funds, insurance companies, and financial executives.

Mr. Ledig is a nationally-known regulatory expert who also began his career as a bank regulator. He has extensive experience in bank receiverships, financial stability issues, and the impact of technology on the creation and delivery of financial services.

Scalia Law School’s new financial regulatory Institute will be launched in early 2019. It will blend Messrs. Vartanian and Ledig’s combined 75 years of hands-on transactional and regulatory financial services experience with the academic and economic excellence of the law school and its Law & Economics Center. The Institute will be a center for independent academic excellence, dedicated to evaluating and affirmatively advocating for efficient and effective regulation that is responsive to the best interests of the U.S. economy. Among other things, it will focus on future global financial challenges and opportunities in the areas of financial stability, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and technologically-driven financial products and delivery systems.

Scalia Law School’s Dean Henry Butler noted that “our new Institute will immediately put Scalia Law School in a leading position to make significant public policy contributions in financial services regulation.” He was equally enthusiastic about the School’s new focus on financial services and the technology impacting it, saying “we intend to provide our students with the very best educational courses and practical experience in financial services regulation in the United States.”

Dechert’s Chairman, Andrew J. Levander, said: “Tom and Bob have had remarkable careers advising clients through the thicket of financial regulation. While we will miss them, the work that they will undertake at the Institute and Scalia Law School is greatly needed as policymakers continue to evaluate and reshape financial services regulation.”

About the Scalia Law School

The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead. Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead). It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.

About George Mason

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.

About Dechert LLP

Dechert is a leading global law firm advising on matters with the greatest complexities and highest regulatory demands. The firm continues to be a trusted advisor to financial institutions worldwide, with extensive sector experience built upon a century-long heritage of bank representations. Our lawyers advise large, regional, foreign and community financial services companies, their holding companies and investors, private and registered funds, and asset managers with regard to the most complex transactional, regulatory, litigation and enforcement challenges that confront them. Clients value the level of sophistication and professionalism of our legal team.