Mayer Brown announced today that an industry-leading consumer financial services group of partners has joined the firm, representing a significant addition to its global Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement practice. The nationally recognized group, which will be based primarily in Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office, is led by Laurence Platt, Phillip Schulman, Steven Kaplan, Melanie Brody and Jonathan Jaffe. All previously practiced at K&L Gates LLP.

Mr. Kaplan will join Tom Delaney as a co-leader of Mayer Brown’s Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement practice.

“For more than 20 years, this outstanding team has been recognized by clients for its thought leadership and providing high caliber regulatory counseling, enforcement defense and transactional advice to mortgage and auto lenders, consumer finance companies, credit card issuers and investment banks,” said Mayer Brown Chairman Paul Theiss. “Their arrival positions Mayer Brown, with its outstanding financial services practice, to provide high-level regulatory and enforcement advice to clients operating in the consumer financial services space, particularly traditional and non-traditional companies grappling with the challenges associated with delivering products and services in the increasingly complex arena of financial technology. Today, we are better able to represent consumer financial services providers in each critical phase of their business operations with practitioners who are universally regarded as among the best in the business.”

“The decision to move from our previous firm has been a difficult one, but at this stage of our practice, the synergies with Mayer Brown to serve our mutual clients in a rapidly changing industry were compelling,” added Mr. Platt. “This combination offers numerous opportunities to leverage Mayer Brown’s extensive platform, not the least of which are the firm’s first class structured finance and securitization capabilities across various types of consumer credit assets and its substantial, multifaceted financial services litigation offerings.”

The new Consumer Financial Services group advises leading financial services companies—including banks, investment banks, private equity funds, hedge funds, mortgage companies, marketplace lenders, emerging payment companies and start-ups—as well as various types of participants in the consumer credit and real estate finance arenas. The group:

• Counsels clients on federal and state laws governing the making, servicing, purchase and sale of consumer loans, including residential mortgage loans, auto loans and marketplace loans under federal and state laws, and the requirements of FHA, VA, Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;

• Represents clients in supervisory matters before the CFPB, FDIC, FRB, OCC and state consumer credit and banking agencies;

• Defends clients in federal and state government enforcement actions, including fair lending and False Claims Act claims by the Department of Justice, unfair, deceptive and abusive practices and other consumer credit claims by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, defective lending and servicing claims by the Federal Housing Administration, and claims for violations of banking and lending laws by federal and state banking and consumer credit agencies;

• Obtains federal and state governmental approvals and licenses for mortgage companies, investors, money transmitters and consumer finance companies;

• Advises payment system providers on legal, regulatory and policy issues;

• Represents clients in purchases and sales of mortgage and other consumer credit companies, mortgage and consumer loans and servicing rights, formations of joint ventures, provisions of servicing and sub-servicing and other third party services, and extensions of business credit;

• Assists litigators in the defense of consumer credit class actions; and

• Participates in state and federal public policy and governmental affairs issues involving consumer credit.

For several years, Chambers has ranked the Consumer Financial Services group in the top tier for its consumer regulatory work, and has also highly rated several of its partners for their work as leading lawyers.

The Consumer Financial Services group has also launched a blog, “Consumer Financial Services Review.” The blog is designed to serve as a resource for the consumer financial services industry and provide timely updates on important news and developments related to consumer financial products and services, including legislative enactments, regulatory promulgations, enforcement actions and court decisions.

“Over the past few years, lawyers from a number of different areas – intellectual property, FDA, and litigation, to name just a few – have significantly augmented the service offerings of our office in the nation’s capital,” said Daniel Masur, partner-in-charge of Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office. “The addition of this impressive group builds on the growth of our Washington office, which has seen the arrival of 19 lateral partners in the past two years.”