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For financial institutions, I’ve counseled on a wide range of topics – bank formations and closures, regulatory issues, capital raising and securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, lending, bankruptcy and litigation, including class actions and arbitration. Now I focus on counseling and transactions – including regulatory issues, mergers and acquisitions, securities and commercial lending – but my clients appreciate that I also bring the experience of a litigator when I give them advice.

C. Phillip Buffington, Jr. advises financial institutions throughout the United States on federal and state banking laws and regulations. For more than 30 years, he has served as a trusted advisor to community, regional and national financial institutions, helping them to assess and analyze regulatory and litigation risks. Phil advises on a full range of issues, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, expansion and divestitures, de novo formations and charter conversions, bank holding company formations and expansion, notices of change in control and change in director or senior officer, strategic planning, capital planning, securities offerings, responses to examinations and enforcement actions and commercial lending transactions, including syndicated lending, asset-based lending and SBA loans.


Phil conducts seminars for numerous organizations related to topics of interest in the financial institution industry, including the Independent Community Bankers of America, Mississippi Bankers Association, Florida Bankers Association, South Carolina Bankers Association, Texas Bankers Association, Mississippi Home Corporation, Mississippi Center for Nonprofit Corporation and several other associations.

Phil is also an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law (Banking Law and Business Planning), and is a faculty member for the Mississippi Bankers Association School of Banking (Commercial Loan Documentation I and II).


  • Strategic Alternatives For and Against Distressed Businesses and Commercial Bankruptcy Litigation, Second Edition, 2015
  • Strategic Alternatives for Distressed Businesses, 2012


  • Trade Finance Basics, Financial Poise Webinar, Oct. 7, 2020
  • Dealing with Defaults, Financial Poise Webinar, Sept. 9, 2020
  • Key Provisions in M&A Agreements, Financial Poise Webinar, Sept. 3, 2020
  • Alternative Structures – PO Financing, Factoring & MCA, Financial Poise Webinar, Aug. 5, 2020
  • Leveraged Finance 2018, Financial Poise/West LegalEdcenter Webinar, August 2018
  • Post-Closing Merger Issues – Integration & Potential Buyer/Seller Disputes, Series: Private Company M&A Boot Camp, Financial Poise
  • Independent Community Bankers of America, 2017 Capitol Summit – Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions, 2016 Florida Bankers Association Bank Directors Forum
  • Business Account Signature Cards and Resolutions: Entities, Authority and Documentation – 2016
  • Legal Panel Discussion, MSCPA Banking and Finance Conference, 2016
  • Regulatory Enforcement Action Overview, Hancock/Whitney Bank, 2015
  • Record Retention, Mississippi Corporate Counsel, 2015
  • Going Paperless, Columbia Bank Counsel, 2015
  • Fundamentals of Commercial Loan Documentation I and II, 2012-2015
  • Going Paperless, Texas Bankers Association, 2014
  • Money Can't Buy Me Love, but it Helps: Dealing with Bank Regulators - Capital Planning, Basel III and Stress Testing - Will It Ever End?, SC Bankers Convention, 2014
  • Understanding the Lasting Impact of Basel III on Community Banks Live Webcast, The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series, 2014
  • Advanced Business Contracts: Acquisition Agreements, 2014
  • News Bankers Need to Know - Vendor Management, Tampa, Florida, 2013
  • Record Retention, Mississippi Bankers Association, 2013
  • Banks and Title Insurance, Stewart Title Insurance
  • Banks and Title Insurance, Mississippi Valley Title Insurance
  • National Prosperity through Modern Rural Policy, White House Rural Council and the United States Department of Agriculture conference on Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Rural Development Policy Conference
  • Affordable Housing and Non-Profit Issues, Mississippi Home Corp.
  • National Center for Nonprofit Boards, Association Member, Speaker
I pride myself in being more than a lawyer who practices law and goes home. I want also to be known as a lawyer involved in the community – to help and support on issues important to the communities we serve.


  • Mississippi College School of Law, J.D., 1984
  • University of Mississippi, B.B.A., 1981

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi

Court Admissions

  • Mississippi Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Mississippi
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Community Involvement

Phil currently serves as the Chair of the Board and Member of the Government Relations Committee of the Madison County Business League & Foundation and also serves on the Board of Governors of the Mississippi Economic Council. In addition, Phil serves on the University of Mississippi Banking and Finance Board. Phil is involved with St. Andrews Episcopal Cathedral, having served in various positions and on numerous committees and has also served on various nonprofit boards including Habitat for Humanity/Metro Jackson, Inc.


  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell 
  • Best Lawyers® - Banking and Finance Law, Commercial Finance Law, Corporate Law, Financial Services Regulation Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters) Banking  2011-2019
  • Top 10 Leaders in the Law, Mississippi Business Journal, 2017
  • Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year - Commercial Finance Law, 2018
  • Madison County Business League & Foundation Diversity Committee, Vice Chair
  • Madison County, Mississippi Republican Executive Committee
  • Mississippi Bar Foundation, Fellow

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Phil is a member of various sections within the American Bar Association, including the Banking Law Committee. He is also a member of the Business Law Section of the Mississippi Bar Association. Phil has been appointed Chairperson of The Madison County Business League & Foundation Government Affairs Committee. Phil has been appointed Vice-Chair of the newly formed Diversity Committee for the Madison County Business League & Foundation. Phil has been elected to the Madison County Republican Party Executive Committee and the Mississippi Republican Party State Executive Committee. Phil currently serves as the Chair of the Mississippi Tort Claims Board by the Mississippi Senate and is a Board Member of the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District. 

  • Advised boards of directors of financial institutions with regard to their duties and responsibilities, including regulatory, corporate and risk management matters.
  • Negotiated, structured and handled mergers, purchase and assumption and expansions for over 30 years for numerous institutions.
  • Structured, documented and closed commercial loans, including syndicated loans, participations and all types of secured loan transactions for over 30 years.
  • Advised and assisted financial institutions on private and registered securities offerings for over 30 years.
  • Advised and counseled on financial institution litigation involving director and officer actions, lending related litigation (including lender liability), shareholder derivative litigation, embezzlement, conversion, wrongful foreclosure and repossession, Equal Credit Opportunity Act claims, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act claims and guaranty litigation.