O’Melveny Worldwide

Brian Brooks is a globally recognized authority on financial services and financial technology. Drawing on decades of government and in-house experience, he counsels an array of industry clients—including major banks, marketplace lenders, payments companies, mortgage originators and servicers, specialty finance companies, private funds, cryptocurrency companies, and fintech innovators—on their most pressing matters. Brian’s practice focuses on complex litigation, regulatory and enforcement matters, corporate governance and risk management especially in hypergrowth companies, and business and transaction strategy.

As Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian was the primary regulator of the national banking system, serving as the chief executive of 3,500-employee federal regulatory agency that charters and supervises the largest American banks. During his tenure at the OCC, Brian also served as a member of the FDIC’s Board and a voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

As Comptroller during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brian helped shape consequential federal policy on pandemic-era bank liquidity policies, audit requirements for publicly listed companies based in China, bank-fintech partnerships, risk management for cryptocurrency activities, and fair access to financial services. He led efforts to modernize the national bank charter, expand the scope of marketplace lending partnerships, reform and modernize the Community Reinvestment Act, and define the scope of permissible cryptocurrency activities. In addition, Brian founded Project REACh, an initiative to promote financial inclusion through expanded access to credit and capital.

In the private sector, Brian held several prominent executive positions at financial services and fintech companies, including: vice chairman of OneWest Bank; general counsel (and later board member) of Fannie Mae; chief legal officer of Coinbase; CEO of Bitfury, and a partner of Valor Capital Group. He also has advised or served on the boards of several successful venture-backed fintech companies, including Avant, Credix, Hashdex, Spring Labs, Curve, and EarnUp, among others.

Brian began his career at O’Melveny where he founded the firm’s financial services practice and served as the Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington, DC office. Among his achievements, Brian negotiated history’s largest financial privacy settlement and was a primary architect of the banking industry’s response to the 2010-11 foreclosure crisis. During the financial crisis, he represented former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and other clients before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

A distinguished thought leader, Brian is frequently called upon to share his insights on critical issues of the day. Brian has guest lectured at Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, and other major universities; published numerous opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the American Banker; and is a frequent commentator on CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV.

Read More


Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia


  • The University of Chicago, J.D., 1994, with honors, Member, The University of Chicago Law Review
  • Harvard University, B.A., cum laude, 1991

Honors & Awards

  • TabbFORUM’s 40 Top Financial Innovators (2022)
  • Treasury Medal, US Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (2021)
  • Qredo’s Top 20 Crypto Regulatory Voices (2021)
  • The Cointelegraph’s Top 100 Notable People in Blockchain (2021)
  • Crunchbase’s Annual List of Global Influencers (2021)
  • The Recorder’s “Most Innovative Emerging Company Legal Department of the Year” (2019)
  • Chambers Global’s Top 100 GC Influencers (2019)
  • The Legal 500’s GC Powerlist: United States (2019)
  • American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers Fellow (2015)
  • Corporate Counsel’s “Best Legal Departments” Finalist (2015)

Professional Activities


  • Former Board Member and Compliance Committee Chair, Avant 
  • Former Board Member and Member of the Risk Policy & Capital Committee and Strategic Initiatives & Technology Committee, Fannie Mae
  • Former Board Vice Chair, California Bankers Association
  • Former Board Member, Blockchain Association
    Member and Advisor on the Restatement of the Law Third, Consumer Contracts, American Law Institute
  • Board Member, LA Opera
  • Former Board Member, Pasadena Conservatory of Music
  • Former Board Member, Los Angeles Master Chorale
  • Former Board Co-Chair, Appleseed Foundation
  • Former Executive Council Member, Housing Policy Council of the Financial Services Roundtable


  • “The Roles of DeFi and Bank Intermediation in the Year 2050,” The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Seventh Annual Fintech Conference (September 2023)


  • Honorable Danny J. Boggs, Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals

Corporate & Government Experience

Government Experience

  • Acting US Comptroller of the Currency
  • Director, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Voting Member, Financial Stability Oversight Council
  • Member, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council