Deutsche Bank’s Walker Steps Down Joining Counsel Turnover

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Deutsche Bank AG, the bank with the highest legal bills in continental Europe, said Richard Walker will retire as the company’s general counsel at the end of the year at his own request.

Walker will be succeeded by Simon Dodds and Christof von Dryander, who have been deputy general counsels since 2013, Deutsche Bank said in an e-mailed response to questions on Friday.

Walker led Deutsche Bank’s legal department in a period when the company and other banks paid billions of dollars in fines for misconduct and settlements with clients who said they were unfairly treated. The firm is the third global bank in the past month to signal a change in general counsel, joining JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp.

Walker helped the bank “navigate exceptionally challenging times” during his 14 years as general counsel, Deutsche Bank said in the e-mail.

He will become a senior adviser to the bank in the role of vice chairman and will remain on its group executive committee, according to the company.

SEC Background

JPMorgan said last month that Steven Cutler will become a vice chairman and give up his role as general counsel early next year. Bank of America Gary Lynch, who was named vice chairman, will step down as general counsel when a replacement is found, a person with knowledge of the plans said last month.

Walker, Cutler and Lynch each oversaw enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier in their careers before helping their banks negotiate with regulators and prosecutors in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Walker was among Deutsche Bank executives Bafin criticized in a letter it sent to the bank in May after concluding its investigation in interest rate manipulation. He rejected the regulator’s allegations as “unfounded” and has refuted them in detail in a letter to Bafin, the company said last month.

Deutsche Bank agreed in April to pay $2.5 billion in penalties to settle U.S. and U.K. investigations into its role in rigging interbank offered rates. The bank’s foot-dragging and evasions increased the fine it paid to the U.K. regulator, the London-based Financial Conduct Authority said in April.

Deutsche Bank has faced 11 billion euros ($12.1 billion) in legal costs it has disclosed, including reserves, since the beginning of 2008, according to its filings and court documents. That’s more than any other bank in continental Europe and the fifth highest in Europe when considering the funds U.K. banks have set aside for customers who were sold loan insurance they didn’t need, calculations by Bloomberg show.

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