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David L. Beam

David L. Beam

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The National Law Journal Trailblazer

Thriving in an Age of Digital Transformation

“David Beam is ‘very knowledgeable - he delivers useful and practical advice,’ according to one satisfied client. He is a payments specialist who is ‘very good on regulatory and blockchain issues.’”

Chambers FinTech 2018

David Beam is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington, DC office. He is a member of the firm’s Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement group. David's practice encompasses a broad range of matters related to financial services. His focus is on payment systems and credit products, with an emphasis on legal issues that arise from the innovative use of technology in financial services.

David was among ten lawyers worldwide selected for inclusion as ranked lawyers in the area of Payments Law by Chambers FinTech 2018, the inaugural publication by Chambers and Partners identifying the best lawyers and other professional advisors representing the fintech sector.  In September 2018, the National Law Journal included David on its inaugural list of Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazers for his work at intersection of finance and technology.  Super Lawyers magazine also named David a rising star in Washington DC, 2013-2015. 

Practice Overview

David’s clients range from startups to some of the world's largest financial institutions.  They comprise a broad spectrum of the financial services industry, and include banks and bank affiliates; fintech companies; money service businesses; investment banks; non-bank; commercial and consumer lenders;  and payment system providers.

His practice includes:

  • Providing clients with regulatory compliance and related business planning advice;
  • Representing clients in connection with investments and acquisitions related to financial services companies;

  • Defending companies in federal and state governmental audits, investigations, and enforcement proceedings;

  • Conducting regulatory due diligences of investment and acquisition targets;

  • Structuring joint ventures and other business arrangements;

  • Obtaining approvals, licenses, and regulatory guidance from US federal and state financial regulators;

  • Preparing terms and conditions for financial products and services; and

  • Assisting in litigation matters, including putative class action proceedings.

Substantive Areas of Focus

Some substantive areas in which David focuses are:

  • Payment Systems and Products: David has extensive experience advising both major financial institutions and fintech startups on the regulation of payments in the United States and globally. He is deeply familiar with all the major federal and state laws that regulate payments in the United States. These include the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Regulation E; the credit card provisions of the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z; the Bank Secrecy Act and FinCEN rules (and other federal and state laws related to money laundering and terrorist financing); state money service business laws (discussed further below); and the participant rules for the major payment networks and clearing houses.
  • Credit Products: David represents companies that provide credit and alternative financing to both consumers and businesses. He has particular experience advising lenders that use nontraditional underwriting tools. He also advises payment companies that integrate credit and financing products into payment services. David has advised on or negotiated dozens of bank partnership arrangements for credit programs. He has represented both banks and program managers in these arrangements.

  • Emerging Technologies in Financial Services: Across product categories and industry segments, a large part of David’s practice focuses on helping innovative clients navigate the complex legal issues that arise when revolutionary technologies are integrated with heavily-regulated financial activities. Some technological innovations on which he has advised clients most recently include blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies; smart contracts; the use of “big data” in decisioning systems; artificial intelligence and machine learning; and the integration mobile and wearable computing devices into financial services.

  • Money Service Business Regulation: David has an extensive background in the regulation of money transmitters and other types of money service businesses. He regularly advises several of the largest MSBs in the United States on these requirements. He also has helped dozens of fintech startups navigate these rules at various stages of their business evolution. He also advises established companies in non-financial industries on the application of MSB laws to incidental payment services that they provide to their clients and customers. He works with clients to structure operations to stay outside of MSB laws where possible, to explore partnerships with banks or licensed money transmitters as an alternative to getting licensed (and negotiating and preparing the contracts for those partnerships when that is the course the client decides to take), and helps clients obtain MSB licenses when necessary.

  • Federal Preemption: Federal preemption of state financial laws has been a primary area of focus for David’s practice since the start of his career. He advises financial institutions—particularly national banks and federally-chartered thrift institutions, and their business partners—on complex federal preemption questions in connection with state laws relating to a variety of product categories (including payments, credit, and financial advisory services) and substantive topics (including consumer protection, prudential standards, and approval requirements). He has extensive experience negotiating and structuring bank partnerships for a variety of different product categories.

Other Professional Activities

David presents and publishes extensively on matters affecting the financial services industry. He is a regular speaker at seminars and conferences on a wide range of topics, including fintech, payments, credit (both commercial and consumer), and investigations and enforcement actions by the CFPB and other agencies. He is active in the American Bar Association's Consumer Financial Services Committee and is the chair of the Deposit Products and Payment Systems Subcommittee. He is also a past chair of the committee's Preemption and Federalism Subcommittee.

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