Jonathan Hightower focuses his practice in financial institutions law, including corporate, regulatory and securities work. Mr. Hightower regularly advises banks and their boards of directors on their strategic plans, including organic and acquisition growth plans, sale transactions, strategic mergers and capital raises, as well as on complex regulatory issues. Mr. Hightower's active transactional practice significantly contributes to Bryan Cave's consistent rankings among the leaders in the SNL league tables for Financial Institutions M&A.

Mr. Hightower's broad base of experience representing financial institutions includes SEC reporting advice; open and failed bank acquisitions; branch transactions; formations of de novo banks; representations of directors and officers; corporate restructurings; bank holding company formations; and going-private transactions. His representation of financial institutions has spanned a broad geographic base, including representations in Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, New York, Michigan, Arizona and California.

Mr. Hightower also advises banks and financial technology companies on the corporate and regulatory aspects of their partnerships. Mr. Hightower has also been a frequent speaker, writer and press commentator on various banking issues.

Mr. Hightower is accredited to represent clients before the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for pro bono cases and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Frazer Center, an Atlanta-based non-profit.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Chambers USA
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Professional Affiliations

    • Georgia Bankers Association, General Counsel
    • Other State and National Bank Trade Associations
    • Other State and National Bank Trade Associations
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  • Co-Host, The Bank Account, a banking-focused podcast, launched October 2016
  • “Thinking of Starting a New Bank? Answer These Questions First,” The Banking Law Journal, November 2016
  • “Don’t Ignore This FDIC ‘Request for Comment,’” American Banker, May 2016
  • "How the New FDIC Assessment Proposal Will Impact Your Bank" (co-authored with Michael Shumaker),, August 2015
  • “The Hidden Risks of Selling a Bank in 2015 and Beyond,” Bloomberg BNA, July 2015
  • "Congress Makes Capital Requirements Easier for Small Banks" (co-authored with Reed White),, March 2015
  • "Keys to Success in the FDIC’s Definition of Community Bank" (co-authored with Dan Wheeler), Western Independent Bankers Directors Digest, July 2013
  • "Basel III: The Final Rules are Here and It’s Time to Get Ready,", July 2013
  • "The Bank Director’s Approach to M&A: Stay out of Hot Water,", November 2012  
  • "A Director’s Guide to Corporate Governance 101" (co-authored with Walt Moeling),, March 2012
  • "Sharing Directors Brings Added Experience to Your Board But Could Cause Problems,", March 2012
  • "Bank Buildings: When Directors are the Landlords,", November 2011  
  • "The Consolidation of the Consolidations in Bankruptcy," 38 Ga. L. Rev. 459 (2003)
  • Regular posts to

Speaking Engagements

  • Regulatory Update, Georgia Bankers Association Financial Risk Management Conference, November 2016
  • Beyond CECL: What We’re Seeing, Georgia Bankers Association Conference on CECL, October 2016
  • “Managing the Risks of a Changing Financial Industry,” Bank Director Growing the Bank Conference, May 2016.
  • Doom Diligence: Five Critical Mistakes that Buyers Make, Aquire or be Acquired, January 2016
  • All About Capital, Georgia Bankers Association Financial Risk Management Conference, November 2015
  • Strategically Planning for Growth, Bank Growth and Profitability Conference, August 2015 
  • Georgia Bankers Association Leadership Conference, July 2015
  •  Financial Institutions Stock Liquidity Conference, May 2015
  • Georgia Bankers Association Town Hall Meeting on Trust Preferred Securities, August 2014
  • Basel III: The Final Rule Takes Shape, July 2013
  • Basel III: If, When and How, March 2013
  • Basel III: Where We Stand and Likely Outcomes, November 2012
  • Regulatory Update: A Brief Look at Dodd-Frank and Diving into Basel III
  • Various Other Webinars and Presentations