Vanessa Muñoz-Martínez is a highly experienced Senior Associate at Pirillo Law. She is a licensed legal advisor with both federal and state licenses and holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Barcelona in Spain and a Juris Doctor magna cum laude from the University of Puerto Rico, School of Law. With over 13 years of experience in the banking industry, Vanessa has worked at renowned institutions such as Santander Bancorp (Santander US – Puerto Rico), FirstBank Puerto Rico, and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates. Her comprehensive experience includes excelling in regulatory and compliance consulting, proposing legislation and impact analysis, negotiating contracts, litigation, extrajudicial claims, regulatory complaints, internal working groups, and committees, special projects, insurance and securities legal matters, and more.
Vanessa specializes in corporate and financial industry matters and assists clients with consumer regulations, asset custody services, information technology contracts, insurance contracts, Trust Department, and Government & Business Department advisory. Prior to joining Pirillo Law, Vanessa worked as a Senior Legal Advisor for two major Banks in Puerto Rico: Banco Santander Puerto Rico and First Bank Puerto Rico. Her work was extensive to both banks’ subsidiaries and affiliates in insurance, securities, international banking center, asset management, mortgage, and other financial entities, including Santander Insurance Agency, Santander Overseas Bank, Santander Securities, Santander Asset Management, and Santander Financial Services.
Vanessa is known for her effective and assertive solutions to contract and law-related matters, including legal opinions for consumer and corporate regulations, such as Regulation W, Regulation E, Regulation Z, Regulation CC, and Regulation V, among others. She has been an active member and participant in various of the banks’ internal advisory groups and committees. She also played a key role in the vendors’ transition project between Banco Santander and FirstBank.
Additionally, Vanessa has directed the discovery process of complaints and extrajudicial claims by providing expert opinions, achieving results favoring the corporate client, and managing risk identification. Her expertise continues to allow her to identify better solutions for the Firm’s Clients by applying years of knowledge regarding the interrelationship between different banking areas.
Vanessa was also a member of the group in charge of the “Inherent Risk Assessment of the Bank” (“Stress Test”), identifying legal risk issues, and proposing solutions. Her role as the bank representative at the Puerto Rico Bankers Association, proposing important legislation and amendments for the banking sector, emphasizes her commitment to the pursuit of solutions.
Prior to working for the banking industry, Vanessa worked for the Legal Departments of two very recognized law firms in Puerto Rico and Clifford Chance in Barcelona, Spain, in which she worked with intellectual property issues for pharmaceutical companies.
- Top-notch legal counseling for executive directors, also as part of the merger and transition between Santander Bancorp and FirstBank Puerto Rico.
- Experience overseeing licensing and chartering requirements compliance process for FinTech companies (involving also digital assets management).
- Experience developing policies for risk management and complaints.
- Handled the post-sale agreements and consulting related to the purchase and sale of JetBlue Mastercard Santander card portfolio.
- Plenty of experience in law enforcement consulting: state and federal laws, including but not limited to financial consumer federal regulations.
- Knowledgeable in government regulatory agencies relationship management, including Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Consumer Protection Bureau, Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, Department of Consumer Affairs and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.
- Legal advisor for FinTech companies, banks, international financial entities, international banking entities, trusts, money services businesses, entities licensed under Act 214 & Act 68, private equity funds, and an American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation, CitiBank.
- Advisory experience includes tax incentives under Act 60, tokenization, gaming, BSA/AML/OFAC, and OCFI, among others.
- University of Miami, School of Business, Executive Directors Development Program Certification.
- Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, Continuing Education Program, Project Manager Course.
- University of Puerto Rico, School of Law. Juris Doctor & Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Dret. Bachelor’s Degree of Law (Dual Degree Program with University of Puerto Rico); Magna Cum Laude.
- University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez Campus, Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.), major in Finance, Highest G.P.A. of the College of Business Administration. Magna Cum Laude.
- Puerto Rico State Bar
- United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
- Notary Public