James I. Kaplan, Partner


James Kaplan is a senior banking lawyer and a member of the firm’s Business Law Practice Group. He has extensive experience in financial services, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and transactional and regulatory matters, as well as banking, compliance, data privacy and information security, financial services litigation, and shareholder and governance matters. He is a former General Counsel of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co and Associate General Counsel of The Northern Trust Company.

His experience includes:

Advice to banks and other financial institutions on major regulatory and enforcement issues, including AML/KYC matters, cybersecurity and data privacy, CFPB and consumer finance, affiliate transactions and margin lending. Representations have also included defense of individual officers and others in enforcement and supervisory proceedings.

Advice to leading international banks on correspondent banking transactions and operations.

Work with financial institutions and companies on M&A regulatory and transactional aspects of mergers and acquisitions and similar transactions in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures of wealth management, trust companies, custody, processing and other financial businesses.

Representation of lenders and borrowers in complex finance and other banking transactions, such as treasury management, custody, processing and other deals. Clients have been both major banks and significant corporations and major not-for-profit entities such as a large State university.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1981)
  • Harvard University (A.B., magna cum laude, 1977)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • New York

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • Chicago Bar Association (Member)
  • New York State Bar Association (Member)
  • New York City Bar Association (Member)
  • Clerkship, Judge Milton I. Shadur, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (1981–1982)
  • University of Chicago Law School Visiting Committee (Member)
  • American Jewish Committee, Regional Board Member and Vice President
  • University of Chicago Law School Public Interest Advisory Board
  • Northwestern Law School Bluhm Legal Clinic Center on Wrongful Convictions (Advisory Board Member)
  • MFY, Inc. (Board Member – MFY provides legal services to poor and elderly in New York City)

Professional Recognition

  • Selected as an Illinois Leading Lawyer - Leading Lawyers Network, 2017–present (Banking & Financial Institutions)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • 2011 Jane Beber Abramson Award for extraordinary dedication to pursuing justice for the wrongfully convicted (presented by Northwestern Law School Clinic Center on Wrongful Convictions, December 15, 2011)
  • 2016 Michael Gonring Award from Quarles & Brady LLP, Pro Bono Partner of the Year.