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 25 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.
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 21 years.
Richard Cordray served for six years as the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by a bipartisan vote of the Senate. During his tenure, the Bureau returned over $12 billion to 30 million Americans, handled 1.3 million consumer complaints that resolved many individual problems, and adopted new rules to safeguard the mortgage market that caused the financial crisis of 2008 and the deep recession that followed. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Watchdog, to be released in March 2020, about consumer protection and the role and importance of the CFPB.
Before joining the Consumer Bureau, Rich served as Ohio’s Attorney General, where he and his team recovered over $2 billion for Ohio’s retirees, investors, and business owners and took major steps to protect consumers from fraudulent foreclosures and financial predators. He also served as Ohio Treasurer, where he led the State’s banking, investment, debt, and financing activities. He previously taught at Ohio State’s law school and served as a state legislator and as Ohio’s first Solicitor General. Rich has argued seven cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including by special appointment of both the Clinton and Bush Justice Departments.
Rich graduated from Michigan State University’s James Madison College, Oxford University in England, and the University of Chicago Law School. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He lives in Grove City, Ohio with his wife Peggy, a law professor at Capital University Law School, and twin children Danny and Holly.
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 in a variety of the Division’s core consumer finance investigations and litigation, including matters involving predatory lending, student loan servicing, automobile sales and financing and debt collection.
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. 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.
In addition to complex class action litigation, Ms. Kavanagh has 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.
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). Chris chairs the firm's Fair Lending and Collection Documentation Task Forces. Chris is a frequent author and speaker on issues relating to consumer financial services.