Legal

Michael Held (bio)
Executive Vice President
and General Counsel
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The Legal Group comprises of seven separate and distinct Functions: Bank Applications, Compliance, Corporate Secretary’s Office (CSO), Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Unit (FRLEU), Group Operations and Strategy (GOAS), Legal, and Records Management.

The Bank Applications Function coordinates, analyzes, evaluates, and recommends Federal Reserve action on a variety of proposals by domestic and foreign banking organizations. The function assists in proposing amendments to applicable laws and regulations and contributes to the formulation of Federal Reserve policy on application matters. In addition, it educates local and foreign banking communities about U.S. laws and regulations relating to mergers, acquisitions and expansionary activities.

The Compliance Function is an independent advisory and control function within the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The central mission of the Compliance Function is to protect the Bank and its people by fostering an ethical culture and ensuring appropriate risk-based compliance and ethics controls are utilized.

  • The Compliance Department identifies and assesses risks related to the failure to comply with the Bank's Code of conduct, internal policies and regulations principally associated with anti-money laundering, U.S. economic sanctions compliance, fraud risk, sensitive data management, trading operations, and other restrictions related to employee conduct.
  • The Ethics Office provides guidance to employees on conflicts of interest and other Code of Conduct–related issues. It considers waiver requests and serves as a central resource for resolving allegations of violations of policies; laws or regulations; and breaches of accounting; auditing and operational controls.

The Corporate Secretary's Office (CSO) promotes strong corporate governance within the Bank; convenes and advises key decision-making bodies; and gathers, communicates, maintains and shares critical Bank and System information among senior management, the Board of Directors, and staff, all in support of the Bank's mission.

The Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Unit (the Unit) provides protection for Bank personnel, guests and premises as well as valuables and custodies at the Main building and the Bank's East Rutherford Operations Center (EROC). Through the use of our Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers (FRLEOs) and outside guard services, the Unit also performs similar tasks across the street at 33 Maiden Lane. The Unit also operates a video surveillance system and a card access and alarm system, amongst other physical security systems.

The Unit controls the entrance and exit of visitors and vehicles. It is also responsible for all operations in the loading dock and for ensuring effective control of incoming and outgoing armored cars, trucks and other vehicles. The Unit also operates a fleet of automobiles and passenger vans.

The Unit participates in the screening of personnel for employment and coordinates with attorneys and investigators to resolve issues involving misconduct within the Bank.  

The Group Operations and Strategy Function provides the Legal Group with appropriate resources and strategies in furtherance of Group and Bank objectives through the three units below:

  • Business Operations & Strategy (BOS): Serves as the primary liaison between the Legal Group and key stakeholders in the Bank's support areas and is responsible for implementation of personnel and facilities decisions made by Legal Group management (e.g., on-boarding, off-boarding, compensation, promotions, office moves and space utilization).

    BOS also manages the Group's administrative assistants and the Law Library, which includes providing research and reference services in a range of areas, the coordination of online-based and electronic resource training, and the organization and dissemination of Legal Group information sources.

    The unit also helps the Legal Group focus on professional development and personnel matters work streams; strategically assess existing work (e.g., "Start, Stop, and Continue" business operations review) as a regular and repeatable component of Legal Group planning to identify emerging trends that may change how the Legal Group works and provides project management support and guidance, as necessary.
  • Legal Information Management and Automation (LIMA): LIMA’S mission is to establish and promote Information Management best practices and carry out tasks in support of the capture, organization, access control, classification, management and distribution of the data and records used by the Legal Group.
  • Risk Management and Contingency Planning (RMCP): In addition to traditional Contingency Planning, RMCP is responsible for strengthening risk management processes by overseeing the risk assessment process, risk event management and related reporting, articulating risk tolerance for the Group, integrating risk considerations into the Group's strategic efforts and educating staff on elements of risk management.

The Legal Function's mission is to provide high-quality, cost-effective legal services to the New York Fed. The function is headed by the Bank's general counsel and is divided into three divisions, each headed by a deputy general counsel:

  • Bank Supervision and Markets Division (BSM) division provides legal advice in connection with (i) financial institution supervisory and regulatory matters, including legal support for supervision and regulatory reporting and legal analysis of regulatory applications; (ii) the Bank’s open market, U.S. Treasury auction, foreign exchange, reference rate and discount window operations; and (iii) the Bank’s external and sponsored committees. BSM also tracks legislative affairs for the Bank, and the head of the division oversees the Bank Applications Function.
  • Enforcement, Litigation, Police, Investigations and Corporate Affairs Division (ELPICA) division handles all litigation for the Bank and pursues regulatory enforcement investigations and actions against financial institutions in the Second Federal Reserve District. In addition, ELPICA conducts investigations of internal Bank matters and advises with respect to the Bank's corporate affairs, including human resources and employment law matters. The head of the division also oversees the Bank's police arm, the Law Enforcement Unit.
  • Financial Services, Technology, and Contracts Division (FSTC) division provides legal support for the areas of the Bank that are responsible for financial services, including the Fedwire services, international and domestic currency and coin distribution, and account services for the U.S. Treasury, foreign central banks and international organizations, depository institutions, and other customers. FSTC also advises with respect to contract, procurement, and technology matters for the Bank, including software licenses and cloud computing. 

The Records Management Function is responsible for providing Bank staff with the policies, guidance, and tools necessary to manage records and information in an effective, efficient, compliant and legally defensible manner.

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