Cassandra “Cassie” Lentchner, the recent Head of Compliance for New York State’s financial services watchdog and principal author of the United States’ first-ever cybersecurity regulation, has joined Pillsbury as senior counsel. As a New York-based member of the firm’s Public Policy practice, she will help companies develop and implement compliance programs that comprehensively address their regulatory obligations and conduct deep-dive audits to test existing policies.

“Cassie has exceptional awareness of the regulatory landscape and brings a wealth of experience that spans anti-corruption laws, data protection regulations, ethics requirements and political activities limitations,” said Public Practices section leader Nancy Fischer. “She is an outstanding addition to our market-leading regulatory team, particularly given the vast experience and keen perspective she offers the firm’s many Financial Services clients.”

Lentchner comes to the firm from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), where she served as Deputy Superintendent of Compliance. In that role, she oversaw the development and implementation of NYDFS compliance standards for all regulated financial institutions and, most notably, wrote New York State’s landmark cybersecurity rules. She also led key NYDFS initiatives in connection with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes, as well as fintech licensing and supervision. At Pillsbury, she will leverage this unique regulatory background to help clients design, implement and supervise necessary compliance programs, providing in-depth strategic analysis that appropriately balances risks and business development objectives.

“The NYDFS regulations have quickly become the data security standard, and no one knows those requirements better than Cassie,” said Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy co-leader Brian Finch.

Deborah Thoren-Peden, who co-leads Pillsbury Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy team, added: “She has an understanding of cyber threats and data protection obligations that is simply unmatched, and any company with information to safeguard will benefit greatly from her invaluable insights and expertise.”

Before joining NYDFS, Lentchner held senior positions in the legal departments at Morgan Stanley and UBS, where her work focused on government and political activities compliance, ethics, anti-corruption and global financial crimes. Prior to that she worked in private practice—gaining significant experience with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related litigation—and on Capitol Hill, where she served as Special Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and the Workforce and as Senior Counsel for the U.S. Senate, Governmental Affairs Committee.

 “Perhaps because Pillsbury has always been embedded with financial institutions, the firm was really one of the first to fully appreciate how critical an issue cybersecurity would become for business,” Lentchner noted. “I am thrilled to be part of such a strong global team and look forward to working closely with so many lawyers I know and respect.”

Pillsbury has extensive experience advising and representing financial institutions regarding the full spectrum of their business, from transactions to regulatory compliance issues to corporate operations. The firm provides business-critical advice to a wide variety of financial institutions—from large multinational banks to local and regional banks to private equity and investment funds—headquartered around the world. Our broad industry experience spans all facets of compliance, transactional, corporate operations and litigation-related challenges encountered by financial services industry clients.