James L. Pledger
Jim Pledger is a banking and corporate attorney and a recognized authority on financial institution law and regulation and mortgage regulation and licensing. With more than 35 years of experience, his practice focuses on the regulation and operation of banks, savings banks, credit unions, bank holding companies and mutual holding companies, financial institution public and private equity and debt offerings.
He has been involved in nearly every aspect of financial institution representations, including private law practice since 2003, 15 years as a state S&L and mortgage Commissioner, service as in-house general counsel and a financial industry lobbyist in Washington.
Jim focuses his practice on the regulation and operation of commercial banks, savings associations, savings banks, credit unions and financial institution holding companies, and the regulation of mortgage brokers and mortgage bankers. He has experience in such areas as acquisitions and control of depository institutions and holding companies, the establishment of de novo charters and charter conversions, resolution of supervisory and enforcement matters, transactions with affiliates, loans to one borrower, subsidiary, affiliate and service corporations, and public equity and debt offerings by depository institutions and their holding companies. He has represented financial institutions in mutual to stock conversions and the establishment of mutual holding companies. He also represents financial institutions and mortgage originators in mortgage compliance matters.
In his career, he has been involved in nearly every aspect of financial institution representation. He has served as a primary state banking and mortgage regulator, as in-house counsel for a $5 billion Texas financial institution with substantial mortgage origination and secondary market activities, as a Washington D.C. lobbyist for financial institutions, and author of a comprehensive industry regulatory publication and annotations of financial industry regulations. Since 2003, he has been engaged in the private practice of law at Jackson Walker with emphasis on finance services and mortgage lending.
Jim served as the Texas Savings and Loan Commissioner (1988-2003) and, in that capacity, he was the primary regulator of state savings institutions (combined assets of $16 billion) and their holding companies and over 22,000 Texas mortgage brokers. Jim was also the primary architect of the Texas State Savings Bank Act, which authorized the chartering and regulation of state savings banks in Texas. He was actively involved in the development of the first legislation enacted in Texas for the regulation and licensing of mortgage brokers and mortgage bankers and, beginning in 1999, he was responsible for the development of regulations related to mortgage originator licensing, examination and enforcement in Texas.
During his service as the Texas commissioner, Jim served as a director and chairman of the American Council of State Savings Supervisors, a national trade association of state savings association regulators, and as a director and chairman of the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators, a national trade association of state mortgage regulators, both headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Jim served as a member of the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council State Liaison Committee, 1997-2003. The Committee met quarterly with the Chairman of the FDIC, Comptroller of the Currency, a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board, and Directors of the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration and their senior staffs to provide a state perspective on the Council’s development of interagency federal regulations for depository institutions.
He has testified before the United States Congress numerous times regarding financial modernization, bank regulatory reform, and financial institution holding companies. He also testified extensively before the Texas Legislature on banking, agency appropriations, and other legislative issues.
Previously, Jim served as General Counsel of United Savings Association of Texas in Houston, a $5 billion state-wide savings association, and its publicly-traded holding company, United Financial Group, Inc. At the time, United Savings was a leading originator of single-family mortgages and among the most active depository institutions in the secondary mortgage market.
Prior to moving to Texas, Jim also served as Associate General Counsel of the National Savings and Loan League in Washington, D.C., where he served as editor and author of the League’s Manager’s Manual, which included annotations of the regulations applicable to savings association and mortgage lending. He served as author and editor of the League’s Manager’s Manual for more than 13 years.
Since 2006, Jim has been designated annually as one of the Best Lawyers in America for banking and financial services. He has been selected by Best Lawyers as Austin’s Lawyer of the Year for financial services regulation in 2015, 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023, and for banking and finance in 2017.
B.A., The University of South Alabama
J.D., The University of Alabama School of Law
- Outside General Counsel, coordinates legal work for financial institutions and holding companies and advises on corporate legal strategy.
- Represented large and small banks, holding companies, bankers and other entities in:
- De Novo Charters
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Charter Conversions
- Stock Offerings
- Holding Company Transactions
- Branch Applications
- Enforcement Actions
- Regulatory Appeals
- Transactions with Affiliates
- Mutual to Stock Conversions
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.), 2006-2023
- Lawyer of the Year – Austin, Financial Services Regulation Law, 2015, 2018, 2020, 2022, 2023
- Lawyer of the Year – Austin, Banking and Finance Law, 2017
- Banking and Finance Law, 2006-2023
- Financial Services Regulation Law, 2006-2023
- Moderator, “Regulatory Panel,” Texas Bankers Association Legal Conference (2022)
- Speaker, “Current and Future Issues in Bank Secrecy Act Compliance,” Texas Bankers Association Annual Attorneys Conference (2017)
- Movability, Inc. (Central Texas’ Regional Transportation Management Association) – Director and Chair Emeritus
- West Lake Hills Zoning and Planning Commission – Vice Chair
- Past Member of the West Lake Hills City Council
- Texas Bankers Association
- Independent Banker Association of Texas
- Southwest Association of Bank Counsel
August 18, 2022Attorney News
‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 214 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2023 Edition, Including 11 “Lawyers of the Year” and 41 “Ones to Watch”
The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 214 Jackson Walker attorneys across 6 offices and 79 specialty practice areas in its 2023 edition, including 11 Lawyers of the Year and 41 Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.
August 19, 2021Attorney News
‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 178 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2022 Edition, Including 8 “Lawyers of the Year” and 31 “Ones to Watch”
The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 178 Jackson Walker attorneys across 6 offices and 67 specialty practice areas in its 2022 edition, including 8 Lawyers of the Year and 31 Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.
September 16, 2020Speaking Engagements
Lindsey Berwick and Jim Pledger to Speak on Paycheck Protection Program and Regulatory Updates During Bankers Conference
For the latest updates surrounding Paycheck Protection Program and regulatory changes, Jackson Walker partners Lindsey Berwick and Jim Pledger will be speaking at a virtual conference held on September 17-18, 2020.
August 20, 2020Attorney News
‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 164 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2021 Edition, Including 9 “Lawyers of the Year” and 25 “Ones to Watch”
Jackson Walker congratulates the 164 attorneys who were selected by their peers as Best Lawyers, including 9 Lawyers of the Year and 25 Ones to Watch, across 6 offices and 66 specialty practice areas.
October 17, 2018Spotlight
Concluding the first half of 2018, Jackson Walker secured over $1.24 billion in capital markets transactions to place the Firm at No. 11 in The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker results.
August 16, 2018Attorney News
Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas. For over three decades, recognition in Best Lawyers has been regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, since an attorney cannot pay to be listed.
June 7, 2018Client Results
Jackson Walker represented Integrity Bancshares, Inc., the holding company of Integrity Bank, in the sale of its business to Independent Bank Group, Inc., the holding company of a commercial bank operating in Texas and Colorado.
May 9, 2018Client Results
Jackson Walker represented Spirit of Texas Bancshares, Inc. (STXB) in its initial public offering of 2,300,000 shares of common stock at $21 per share, before underwriting discounts and commissions.
August 15, 2017Attorney News
Jackson Walker partners Albon Head, Bill Dahlstrom, Bob Latham, Bob Ruckman, Jed Morrison, Jim Pledger, Kurt Nondorf, Michael Knapek, Scott Rose, and Steve Martens have been named “2018 Lawyers of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America.
August 15, 2017Attorney News
The Best Lawyers in America, a widely regarded guide to legal excellence, has recognized 94 Jackson Walker attorneys in its 2018 edition. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.
- Texas Savings and Loan Commissioner, 1988-2003, primary regulator of state savings banks and mortgage originators.
- Primary Architect of the Texas Savings Bank Act.
- Since 2007, Jim has been designated annually as one of The Best Lawyers in America for banking and financial services and was selected in 2015, 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023 as Austin’s Lawyer of the Year for Financial Services Regulation Law by Best Lawyers.