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24th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute


Speaker(s): Alan S. Kaplinsky, Andre M. Mura, Arjun P. Rao, Beth E. Terrell, Blythe Chandler, Cara Petersen, Chi Chi Wu, Christopher J. Willis, Christopher L. Peterson, Danielle N. Oakley, Deborah Hoffman, Jane M. Azia, Jason L. Lichtman, Jennifer Bennett, John J. Roddy, Joy Feigenbaum, Julia B. Strickland, Katherine E. McCarron, Keith A. Noreika, Linda E. Fisher, Malini Mithal, Nicholas Smyth, Peggy L. Twohig , Philip D. Ziperman, Shennan A. Kavanagh, Stuart Feldstein, Travis J. Hill (Invited)
Recorded on: Mar. 25, 2019
PLI Program #: 254136

Stuart Feldstein is the Director for Legislative and Regulatory Activities in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

In that capacity, Mr. Feldstein participates in and supervises legal work that includes the development and drafting of the OCC’s regulations, including those relating to the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act; analysis and drafting of legislative initiatives of importance to the national banking system and the OCC; and analysis and advice pertaining to the federal preemption of state law, the regulatory capital requirements that apply to national banks, and the OCC’s oversight of federal branches and agencies of foreign banks, and the international activities of national banks.

Mr. Feldstein joined the staff of the OCC in 1993 and was an Assistant Director in the Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division until 2010. From 1989 until joining the OCC, he was a senior associate at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton working on issues related to the financial services industry. Mr. Feldstein began federal government service in 1985 at the predecessor agency of the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.

Mr. Feldstein received his juris doctor in 1984 from the George Washington University School of Law, and a bachelor of arts (magna cum laude) in History and Political Science in 1981 from the University of Rochester.


Alan S. Kaplinsky is a senior partner and Practice Leader of the more than 100-person Consumer Financial Services Group at Ballard Spahr LLP in their 15 offices.  He devotes his practice exclusively to: (i) counseling financial services companies with respect to bank regulatory and transactional matters, particularly consumer financial services law, and (ii) defending them when they are sued by consumers and governmental enforcement agencies in individual and class action lawsuits.  Mr. Kaplinsky was the first president of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, an organization founded in order to honor those lawyers who have made substantial contributions to the development of consumer financial services law.  In April of 2016, he received the American College’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award is granted periodically to a person whose career has produced significant contributions to the field of consumer financial services law.  He is a past chair of the Committee on Consumer Financial Services of the Section of Business Law of the American Bar Association.  He has been named as a tier one banking and consumer financial services lawyer in the 2006-2019 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, a directory of America’s leading lawyers.  He has also been named in The Best Lawyers in America under financial services regulation law and banking and finance litigation from 2007-2019.  For 24 years, he has annually co-chaired for Practicing Law Institute its Annual Institute on Consumer Financial Services in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.  Mr. Kaplinsky was named to the National Law Journal’s 2015 list of Litigation Trailblazers for pioneering work in the area of consumer arbitration and the use of class action waivers.  He was featured in the November 1, 2015 New York Times lead front page article about pioneering class action waivers in consumer arbitration provisions.  In April 2019, Mr. Kaplinsky testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on “Arbitration in America.”  He was instrumental in launching his Firm’s blog and podcast series, Consumer Finance Monitor, devoted to the activities of the CFPB as well as federal and state agencies and attorneys general and other significant consumer financial services developments.  Mr. Kaplinsky was recently selected for his work on the Consumer Finance Monitor blog for the National Law Review’s 2018 Go-To Thought Leadership Award to honor excellence in legal news and analysis.


Arjun Rao practices in all areas of complex commercial litigation, with particular emphasis on consumer class actions and financial services litigation. He regularly counsels clients regarding regulatory matters and government investigations. He defends clients in a wide range of actions arising from lending and retail banking operations, including for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Truth-In-Lending Act and numerous provisions of state law, including California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and the Uniform Commercial Code. In addition, Arjun has extensive experience representing clients in connection with automobile lending.

Arjun, who joined Stroock in 2012, serves on the advisory board of the Western Center on Law & Poverty. He was also named a Fellow on the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) in 2018.

Arjun has been repeatedly named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and in 2019 was named to Benchmark Litigation’s “40 and Under Hot List” and Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Top Litigators and Trial Lawyers” list.


Beth E. Terrell is a founding member of Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC, a Plaintiff side law firm in Seattle, Washington. With over twenty years of experience, Beth concentrates her practice in complex litigation, including the prosecution of consumer, defective product, and wage and hour class actions.  Beth has served as co-lead counsel on multi-state and nationwide class actions, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for consumers, workers, and investors.  A member of the State Bar of California and the Washington State Bar Association, Beth Co-Chairs PLI’s Consumer Financial Services Institute, and frequently presents on a wide variety of topics, including class actions, consumer protection, legal ethics, gender equity, and electronic discovery. Beth serves as President of the Public Justice Foundation Board of Directors and Chair of both the Northwest Consumer Law Center and the Washington Employment Lawyers Association.


Blythe H. Chandler is a member of the Terrell Marshall Law Group in Seattle. She concentrates her practice on consumer class actions and appeals. Ms. Chandler has been appointed class counsel on behalf of consumers challenging unfair debt collection practices, harassing telemarketing calls, and unfair denials of insurance coverage. She has successfully briefed and argued appeals in the Ninth Circuit and Washington and California courts.

Prior to joining Terrell Marshall, Ms. Chandler served as a law clerk to the Honorable Betty B. Fletcher, Senior United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and to the Honorable John C. Coughenour, Senior United States District Judge for the Western District of Washington. Ms. Chandler graduated from the University of Washington School of Law with High Honors. She was the Chief Articles Editor of the Washington Law Review and received the Order of the Coif.


Chi Chi Wu is a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit focusing on marketplace justice for low-income consumers.  Chi Chi focuses on consumer credit issues at NCLC, including legislative, administrative, and other advocacy.  Chi Chi’s specialties include fair credit reporting and the FCRA, credit cards, and medical debt.  Chi Chi frequently serves as a resource for policymakers and the media on consumer credit issues.  Before joining NCLC, Chi Chi worked in the Consumer Protection Division at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office and the Asian Outreach Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services.  Chi Chi is a graduate of Harvard Law School and The Johns Hopkins University.

Chi Chi is the lead author of the legal manual Fair Credit Reporting Act, and a contributing author to Credit Discrimination, Consumer Credit Regulation and Truth in Lending.


Christopher Peterson is the John J. Flynn Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law where he teaches contracts, commercial law, and consumer protection courses. Professor Peterson is also a Senior Fellow and the Director of Financial Services at the Consumer Federation of America in Washington, D.C. From 2012 to 2016 Professor Peterson served as a Special Advisor in the Office of the Director at the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in the Office of Legal Policy for Personnel and Readiness in the United States Department of Defense, and as Senior Counsel for Enforcement Policy and Strategy in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Office of Enforcement. From 2009-2012 he served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Before joining the University of Utah faculty in 2008, Professor Peterson taught for five years at the University of Florida, Fredric G. Levin College of Law. He also worked as a consumer rights attorney for the United States Public Interest Research Group in Washington, D.C. and clerked for the Honorable Wade Brorby on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

A recognized authority on consumer finance, Professor Peterson has frequently testified in Congressional hearings and has presented his research to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and at the White House in both Democratic and Republican administrations. Professor Peterson's books include the Thompson/West casebook Consumer Law: Cases and Materials and Taming the Sharks: Towards a Cure for the High Cost Credit Market which won the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers' outstanding book of the year prize.  He is a consumer fellow of the American Bar Association's Consumer Financial Services Committee. Professor Peterson is a recipient of the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators' Consumer Advocate of the Year award and the Department of Defense's Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence--both bestowed in recognition of his role in promoting an Act of Congress and subsequent implementing regulations that protect military service members from predatory lending practices.


Danielle Oakley counsels banks and other non-bank financial services providers with respect to their most strictly scrutinized practices. Danielle guides banks through process overhauls, risk assessments, and internal as well as external-facing compliance reviews with respect to various consumer financial products, including deposit products and mortgage loans, with particular expertise in the intersection between consumer bankruptcy and financial products.

Danielle also litigates her clients’ most escalated and novel consumer litigation and regulatory enforcement actions. Danielle believes it is critical that regulatory and compliance legal advisors of regulated financial institutions have firsthand experience with the potential litigation impact of their clients’ practices as well as extensive knowledge of their clients’ business operations and their regulators’ views and approaches. Danielle serves her clients with a deep understanding not only of their industries, but also of their institutions’ specific goals, strategies, and initiatives


Debbie Hoffman is Founder & CEO of Symmetry Blockchain Advisors, Inc. where she works with clients in their endeavors related to education, strategy, compliance and development of blockchain solutions.  With her experience in financial services, law and technology innovation, Debbie brings a unique perspective in working with Symmetry’s clients. Debbie is also the founder of Orlando-based Blockchain Technology and Business Meetup, serves as the education Chair for the MBA MISMO Blockchain Community of Practice, is the Associate Editor of Blockchain Media Magazine and is an advisor to a variety of tech companies including DomiDocs, CProp, BlockDrop, ClariLegal, Elphi and LevelBlox.

Debbie was previously the Chief Legal Officer at a financial services company where, in addition to overseeing all legal and compliance matters, she was an integral part of the executive team in the strategy and implementation of client solutions. She spent a decade of her career as a real estate finance attorney at the law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood in New York. Debbie has also been a professor at the Florida A&M University College of Law and the University of Central Florida. 

Debbie was named as a 2019 American Bar Association Woman of Legal Tech, was selected as a 2018, 2016 and 2014 Woman of Influence by Housingwire Magazine and was awarded a 2015 Stevie® Award, Woman of the Year and a 2014 Stevie® Award, Female Executive.  She was named as a 2018 NAWRB Roaring Thirty Winner in the category of “The Visonary.”  In 2017, Debbie was awarded as a Top General Counsel by the First Chair Awards, received an Honorable Mention as a Leading Lady in the MReport’s Women in Housing issue and was named as a 2017 “Hot 100” in Mortgage Professional America. She is a frequent author in industry periodicals, a speaker at conferences and events, as well as a guest lecturer at universities of higher education.


Jennifer Bennett is a Staff Attorney at Public Justice, where she focuses on appellate and Supreme Court litigation. Jennifer litigates precedent-setting appeals on a wide range of issues, including civil rights, workers’ rights, consumer protection, and government transparency. Her recent work includes a unanimous Supreme Court victory on behalf of transportation workers fighting forced arbitration, a Fifth Circuit victory on behalf of a father killed by Texas jailers, and a Ninth Circuit victory vindicating the public’s right to access court records. Jennifer earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and her B.A. summa cum laude from Yale University. She clerked for the Honorable Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Honorable Jesse Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the Honorable Vince Chhabria of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


John is a partner in Bailey & Glasser’s Boston office. His practice is devoted to representing consumers in class actions, challenging unfair and deceptive business practices, and serving as relator’s counsel in qui tam “whistleblower” actions. In the last two decades the settlements in cases he has litigated have returned more than $850 million to consumers harmed by marketplace misconduct. John regularly writes and speaks on class action practice and consumer financial services law, and has published dozens of articles on these topics. He is a fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, and serves on the Consumer Financial Services Law Report Board of Advisors, the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Appleseed Foundation, and the National Consumer Law Center Partners Council. He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and the Volunteer Lawyers Project. John has co-chaired PLI’s Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute for the past 17 years.


Joy Feigenbaum is Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Santander US.  In that capacity, Joy provides advisory services on best practices from a consumer practices and regulatory lens to the consumer-facing businesses in Santander’s US operations, including Santander Bank NA, Santander Consumer USA, Banco Santander Puerto Rico, Banco Santander International and Santander Securities LLC (a broker-dealer).  She also supports Fair Banking, UDAAP/UDAP, Fair Lending and other consumer practices requirements across the consumer-facing businesses.  Joy serves as General Counsel to Santander’s U.S. Office of Consumer & Business Practices (US OCBP) and provides subject matter expertise for Santander US’ proactive Americans with Disabilities (ADA) work.  Prior to serving in her current role, Joy was Senior Vice President and Director of Santander’s US OCBP from August 2017 when she joined Santander until March 2018. 

Before joining Santander, Joy served for six years as Executive Deputy Superintendent at the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) in charge of the Financial Frauds & Consumer Protection Division.  The Division included units responsible for: Civil Investigations, Criminal Investigations, Disciplinary (administrative hearings for insurance producers); Consumer Assistance (including Consumer Complaints, Producer Investigations, and External Appeals from health insurance denials), Consumer Examinations (conducting Fair Lending, Consumer Compliance and Community Reinvestment Act examinations of depository and other financial institutions, and responsible for the Banking Development District Program), Student Protection, Producer Licensing and the Holocaust Claims Processing Office.  Joy also worked on the New York Financial Services Law, the legislation that merged the New York State Banking and Insurance Departments to form DFS in 2011.

Before joining DFS (and brief stints at the NYS Insurance Department and Banking Department while working on the DFS merger), Joy served for fourteen years at the New York Attorney General's Office, where she was Special Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Consumer Frauds & Protection Bureau.  She led major investigations into consumer frauds, deceptive practices and false advertising, including then Attorney General Cuomo's first-in-kind investigation of the student loan industry, as well as many industry-wide investigations involving life, health, disability and worker's compensation insurance, mortgage fraud, and credit and debit card practices, among others.  Her consumer advocacy at the Attorney General's Office also included work on the states' litigation against the tobacco industry, culminating in the Master Settlement Agreement and subsequent tobacco enforcement cases. 

Prior to her service at the Attorney General's Office, Joy worked in private litigation defense practice focusing on general commercial, banking, insurance, reinsurance, product liability, antitrust and health care litigation and advisory work.  Joy is a member of the bars of the State of New York, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the U.S. Supreme Court. She earned a B.A. in History and proficiency degree in French from Rutgers College where she graduated with highest honors, and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 


Keith Noreika is a Partner in the Firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the Financial Institutions Practice. Keith’s practice focuses on banking regulation and related litigation. He advises a wide range of domestic and international financial institutions on regulatory issues relating to mergers and acquisitions, minority investments, capital issuances, structuring and compliance activities, and litigation matters, particularly in the area of federal preemption.

Keith’s extensive experience includes advising regional, multinational and other banks on the structuring of their U.S. operations, including compliance with the Volcker Rule and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations, Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering rules, as well as transactional matters and related regulatory applications. He has worked as the lead regulatory attorney in connection with IBERIABANK’s acquisition of Sabadell United Bank. He has counseled numerous private equity funds with respect to investments in banking organizations. In addition, Keith has represented large national banks before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Courts in connection with federal preemption challenges to states’ assertions of regulatory and supervisory authority over the activities of operating subsidiaries.

Keith returned to the Firm in 2018 after serving as Acting Comptroller of the Currency where he led the 4,000-person agency responsible for chartering, regulating and supervising all national banks and federal savings associations as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks in the United States. He joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in May 2017. The OCC supervises approximately 1,400 national banks and federal savings associations and about 50 federal branches and agencies of foreign banks in the United States. The Comptroller also is a director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

Keith has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the University of Virginia School of Law. He is a co-author of the treatise Regulation of Foreign Banks & Affiliates in the United States. Keith has been recognized as a leader in his field by Chambers USA in “Financial Services Regulation: Banking Compliance” since 2014. He received his J.D. in 1997 from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. He earned his B.S. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1994.

 


Linda E. Fisher is a Professor of Law and the James Boskey Research Scholar at Seton Hall Law School.  Her recent research and publications address the subprime lending crisis and its consequences for communities.  She also directs a clinic focusing on foreclosure defense, predatory lending, fair housing and related consumer issues.  Prof. Fisher recently finished writing a book entitled The Foreclosure Echo: How Those Hit Hardest by the Crisis Have Been Left Out of the Recovery (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019).  For decades, she has taught Professional Responsibility and a Civil Litigation Clinic. She has been a Network Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, and a Bellow Scholar of the Association of American Law Schools Clinical Section. As well, she has testified before the House Financial Services Committee and the Federal Trade Commission. Prof. Fisher received an LL.M. from Northwestern, a J.D. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Macalester College.


Malini Mithal is the Associate Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Financial Practices. In this capacity, she supervises investigations and enforcement actions challenging unfair or deceptive practices in the provision of non-bank financial services, including in the areas of FinTech, lead generation, short-term loans, debt collection, student loan debt relief, mortgage relief, and automobile advertising and financing. Under her leadership, the Division has also engaged in significant policy initiatives, including hosting workshops or issuing reports on marketplace lending, blockchain, artificial intelligence, peer-to-peer payments, crowdfunding, lead generation, mobile payments, and mobile cramming.

Ms. Mithal has held numerous positions at the Commission, including Counsel to the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Prior to joining the FTC in 2005, Ms. Mithal served as a law clerk for the Honorable Alan S. Gold of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. She received her law degree from Columbia Law School and her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.


Nicholas Smyth is a Senior Deputy Attorney General and the Assistant Director of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Attorney General Josh Shapiro appointed Nick in July 2017 to start Pennsylvania’s first-ever Consumer Financial Protection Unit. He manages the Bureau’s work involving consumer finance, such as student lending, mortgages, auto finance, payday lending, debt collection, credit reporting, debt settlement, and financial scams. Prior to joining the AG’s office, Nick spent four years as an Enforcement Attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). After that he was a Senior Associate at Reed Smith and then a Senior Counsel at Xchange Leasing, an auto finance company. Before joining the CFPB, he was part of a small team at the U.S. Department of the Treasury that drafted and revised the CFPB’s enabling act, the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.


Peggy Twohig is currently the Assistant Director for Supervision Policy at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The Office of Supervision Policy is responsible for developing supervision strategy across bank and nonbank markets and ensuring that policy decisions are consistent across markets, charters, and regions.

Prior to her work at BCFP, Ms. Twohig was Director of the Office of Consumer Protection at the Department of the Treasury, where she worked on the proposal to create a new consumer agency as part of financial regulatory reform. Immediately before joining Treasury, Ms. Twohig served as Associate Director of the Division of Financial Practices at the Federal Trade Commission. Her 17-year tenure at the FTC focused on enforcement and policy issues related to consumer financial services.  Ms. Twohig’s career also included work as a litigator with the firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Twohig received her law degree from the New York University School of Law and a Master’s degree in public policy from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1983. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable William K. Thomas in United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.


Philip is presently serving as the Deputy Chief of the Maryland Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, where he oversees that Office’s enforcement work.  Philip previously served as the first Director of the Office of Consumer Protection for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, in which capacity Philip organized and managed that office’s first consumer protection agency.  Philip has more than 23 years’ experience as a public servant litigating cases on behalf of consumers.  Prior to his government service, Philip worked nine years as a trial attorney, primarily litigating toxic tort and medical malpractice cases on behalf of plaintiffs.  Philip is a 1990 graduate of the Washington College of Law at the American university.  Philip obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1987.


Travis Hill serves as a Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He is the Chairman’s primary policy advisor and oversees bank regulations across a range of issues. He also serves as the FDIC’s representative on the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s Deputies Committee.

Previously, he served as Senior Counsel for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs from 2013 through 2018 for Chairman Mike Crapo and before that for Chairman Richard Shelby. In that role, he focused primarily on prudential banking, housing finance, and consumer protection issues. He helped draft the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law in May of 2018; the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015; and the Johnson-Crapo housing finance reform legislation in 2014. Prior to joining the Senate, he served as a policy analyst for Regions Bank.

Hill holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Duke University and a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center.


Cara serves as the Principal Deputy to the Assistant Director for Enforcement of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Cara joined the Bureau in March 2011 during the stand-up and implementation phase of the agency. Prior to assuming the Principal Deputy role, Cara served as a Litigation Deputy and an Assistant Litigation Deputy in the Office of Enforcement. 

Before joining the Bureau, Cara was an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission, handling consumer protection investigations in the FTC’s Division of Financial Practices. Before that, she was a litigator at Arnold & Porter. 

Cara holds a B.A. in Economics, summa cum laude, from the George Washington University and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Iowa Law School. 


Lieff Cabraser partner Jason L. Lichtman has extensive experience leading multidistrict and large class action litigation on behalf of consumer plaintiffs. With a practice focused on consumer protection, data privacy, damages, and appeals, Jason played a key role in the Anthem Data Breach Litigation, work that contributed heavily to the ground-breaking $115 million settlement for plaintiffs as well as significant injunctive relief targeting Anthem’s deficient cybersecurity practices.

Jason has been appointed to leadership positions in numerous large-scale consumer protection cases, including the exploding Samsung Top-Loading Washing Machines case (Co-Lead Counsel); Whirlpool Front-Loading Washer Defects Case (Co-Lead Counsel); and the British Airways airline overcharging case (Class Counsel). In the Whirlpool litigation, Jason served as Co-Chair of the Law and Motion Committee, one of the trial counsel, and Lead Settlement Counsel, achieving a nationwide settlement strongly favorable to plaintiffs following a bellwether trial, multiple appeals to the Sixth and Seventh Circuits (all won by plaintiffs), and multiple petitions for certiorari (all defeated by plaintiffs). Jason has also secured major victories as counsel of record before numerous federal appellate courts.

Jason serves on the board of directors for Public Justice Foundation and is Chair of the Public Justice Class Action Committee. A multiple-year “Super Lawyer” for the New York area, he also serves on the Law360 Privacy and Consumer Protection Editorial Advisory Board. In 2017, the publication named Jason a “Rising Star” for Consumer Protection, and published an extensive profile and interview.


Widely recognized as one of the best litigators in the country, Julia Strickland leads a broad national practice that focuses on the defense of class actions and other complex actions. Ms. Strickland is regularly called by major financial services companies and others when they are confronted with complex issues that put them at substantial economic and reputational risk. She is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office, and head of the firm’s national Financial Services Litigation, Regulation and Enforcement Group.

In addition to her experience defending complex and class actions through dispositive motion practice, trial and/or appeal, Ms. Strickland has settled all types of complex and class actions. She is versatile and creative in addressing settlement considerations, both legal and business, and in developing settlement structure options unique to the particular case. She also routinely represents companies in compliance counseling, regulatory proceedings and responding to claims by federal and state regulators and enforcement authorities. Representative clients include JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, TransUnion, Discover, American Express, Citigroup, HSBC, PayPal, BMW Financial Services, Zappos and Synchrony Bank, among others.

Ms. Strickland once again received top honors in Chambers USA 2019 with a Band 1 ranking in the Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance Litigation–Nationwide category.  Ms. Strickland is one of only three attorneys across the country to receive this recognition.

For more than 14 years running, The Los Angeles Daily Journal has named Ms. Strickland one of California’s “Top Women Lawyers.” She was also selected by Law360 as a 2017 Banking MVP joining an elite slate of only six lawyers nationally who have distinguished themselves from their peers. The Los Angeles Business Journal honored Ms. Strickland in 2019 as both a “Top Litigator and Trial Lawyer” and as one of their “Most Influential Women Lawyers.” She was also featured in their Leader in Law awards, where she was named one of their “Lawyers of the Year” for 2016 and 2017. Ms. Strickland was recognized by leading corporate counsel as a member of the BTI Consulting Group’s “Client Services All-Stars” for her “uncanny ability to anticipate opposing counsel,” as well as being “very customer focused and practical.” She has also been repeatedly recognized by Super LawyersBenchmark LitigationThe Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Business Journal and The Best Lawyers in America.


Andre M. Mura represents plaintiffs in class action and complex litigation concerning consumers’ and workers’ rights, products liability, drug and medical devices. Prior to joining Gibbs Law Group LLP, Andre was senior litigation counsel at the Center for Constitutional Litigation PC, where he represented plaintiffs in high-stakes appeals and complex litigation. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Lawyers Committee of the National Center for State Courts, a member of Public Justice’s Class Action Preservation Project, an Ex-Officio Trustee of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, and Chair-Elect of the American Association for Justice’s LGBT Caucus.


Jane Azia is currently the Chief of the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection in the office of Attorney General Letitia James and has been bureau chief since May 2011.  From April 2007 through April 2011, she served as the Director of Consumer Protection for the New York State Banking Department where she was responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable consumer protection laws and that consumers have access to and receive financial products and services that are fair and not predatory.  Prior to joining the Banking Department, Jane worked for nearly twenty-five years as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York Attorney General’s Consumer and Internet bureaus.  Jane has worked on a wide range of consumer issues, including predatory lending, credit and financial services, advertising, retail sales, health care, insurance, product safety, housing, telecommunications, telemarketing, food and drugs, privacy and online services.  Jane also spent five years as a legal services attorney in Brooklyn and Poughkeepsie.  Jane is a graduate of NYU Law School. 


Katherine E. McCarron is an attorney with the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.  This division of the Commission has responsibility for enforcing federal statutes and regulations that pertain to information security and consumer privacy.  Ms. McCarron investigates and prosecutes violations of U.S. federal laws governing the privacy and security of consumer information and has worked on FTC enforcement actions under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.  She received her J.D., from Stanford Law School, her M.A. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and her B.A. from Yale University.


Shennan Kavanagh is the Deputy Chief of the Consumer Protection Division at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. She is engaged in the day-to-day work on a variety of the Division’s core consumer finance investigations and litigation. Ms. Kavanagh oversees and participates on a team of six assistant attorneys general located across Massachusetts who lead the Division’s automobile sales and financing matters. The team has obtained hundreds of thousands in restitution and debt relief for consumers.

Ms. Kavanagh’s entire legal career has been devoted to representing low-income consumers and public service. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Kavanagh was a co-founder and partner at Klein Kavanagh Costello, LLP, a mission-driven consumer finance class action firm that litigated cases nationwide.  Her areas of concentration included predatory and discriminatory mortgage lending, unfair mortgage servicing, unfair debt collection and creditors’ violations of the bankruptcy code. Klein Kavanagh Costello brought some of the nation’s first cases on behalf of homeowners trying to obtain affordable loan modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”). In addition to complex class action litigation, Ms. Kavanagh handled dozens of pro bono cases during her time in private practice, successfully preventing foreclosures for individuals, obtaining home loan modifications, and stopping harassing debt collectors. Ms. Kavanagh practiced in the areas of consumer finance litigation and class actions as an associate at Roddy Klein & Ryan before starting her own firm.


Christopher J. Willis is an Atlanta-based partner at Ballard Spahr and The Practice Group Leader of the firm's Consumer Financial Services Litigation Group. He counsels financial institutions on consumer financial regulatory matters, advises them on compliance with consumer financial services laws, and defends them in both individual and class action lawsuits, as well as governmental enforcement actions (including numerous CFPB enforcement investigations). Mr. Willis chairs the firm’s Fair Lending and Collection Documentation Task Forces. Mr. Willis is a frequent author and speaker on issues relating to consumer financial services.