Heather Russell, who was fired earlier this year as Fifth Third Bancorp's chief legal officer, has re-emerged in a new role.
BuckleySandler said in a press release Thursday that it had hired Russell to head its new financial institutions regulation, supervision and technology practice. The team combines institutional bank regulatory capabilities with the law firm's broader regulatory compliance, enforcement, transactional and fintech practices.
Russell had worked at the $141 billion-asset Fifth Third until the company disclosed in July that it had fired her over a "personal matter" that presented a conflict of interest. Russell later revealed to The Wall Street Journal in a statement that she had been terminated after informing the banking company's senior management about a personal relationship with Timothy Mayopoulos, Fannie Mae's chief executive.
Mayopoulos had disclosed the relationship in March to Fannie Mae's compliance and ethics office, which determined that no more action was needed as long as he avoided matters concerning Fifth Third, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Russell's employment history includes time as global chief regulatory counsel at BNY Mellon, where she created and led the company's global office of public policy and regulatory affairs. She also spent five years at Bank of America — where Mayopoulos had also worked — where she had been lead counsel for a number of the company's divisions.