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Compliance : Dodd Frank : Consumer Protection Bureau

Venable Adds CFPB Enforcement Attorney as Partner

Allyson Baker
Partner in DC

Venable LLP has announced that  Allyson Baker, who helped stand up the Consumer Financial Protection  Bureau’s Office of Enforcement and served as lead counsel on one of the  agency’s first enforcement actions, which also resulted in its largest  settlement to date, has joined the firm as a partner in its Washington, DC  office.

Ms. Baker arrives directly from the CFPB, where she was among  the initial team of Enforcement attorneys who helped formulate agency policies  regarding investigations and litigation in the aftermath of the financial  crisis.

Prior to joining the CFPB in 2011, Ms. Baker served as a Trial  Attorney in the Department of Justice’s Civil Tax Division, where she was the  recipient of the Outstanding Attorney Award on three separate occasions.  

At the Department of Justice, Ms. Baker served as lead trial counsel  in several noteworthy cases, including:
U.S. v. Stover in which the government  obtained an injunction against a promoter of fraudulent tax structures  involving retirement plans and pass-through entities; the estimated tax harm  was equal to hundreds of millions of dollars.  
U.S. v. Davison in which the government  obtained an injunction against a promoter of fraudulent tax structures  involving retirement plans, pass-through entities, and farm-related tax  deductions; the estimated tax harm was $200 million dollars.  
Community First Credit Union v. U.S., a test  case in which the government defended an IRS determination regarding  unrelated business income tax.

“Allyson brings an outstanding combination of  experience in prosecution, financial investigation and trial work, working in  the most forceful areas of government enforcement at the DOJ’s Civil Tax  Division and more recently the CFPB,” said Venable Litigation Division Chair  Geoffrey Garinther. “Being present at the creation of the CFPB and  handling one of its biggest enforcement matters to date has given her a unique  perspective. Allyson figures to be an invaluable addition to our litigation  and enforcement groups, especially assisting financial services clients facing  their most sensitive and complex matters.”

Venable’s Litigation group  includes a number of former federal prosecutors as well as former senior  enforcement attorneys with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Venable  also has multiple, long-established practices focused on the intersection of  consumer protection and government regulation of financial services, which  make up its CFPB Task Force. Venable’s decades of experience encompass banking  and financial services regulation, advertising and marketing law, privacy and  data security, class action defense, legislative and government affairs, and  defending clients faced with investigations and enforcement actions before the  federal banking agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, state Attorneys  General, state financial services regulators, and now the CFPB.

“In its  short history, the CFPB has shown itself to be an extremely active agency.  From the start, financial services providers – banks and nonbanks – have seen  that the CFPB plays a critical role in enforcing federal consumer financial  laws and regulating how credit card issuers, mortgage lenders, and other  consumer financial services providers conduct themselves with consumers,” Ms.  Baker said.

“Being part of the CFPB’s formation and implementation was  an exhilarating, once-in-a-career experience,” she added. “In looking to apply  my background to a private practice setting, I was looking for a firm that  understood the dimensions and value of my trial experience and enforcement  credentials, particularly in the consumer financial services arena, and also  really understood the CFPB. With its strong and diverse team of litigators,  former financial services industry regulators, and advertising and consumer  protection attorneys, Venable really fit the bill. The firm also has a great  group of banking and tax controversy attorneys and really knows the landscape  for government enforcement. I look forward to working with Venable clients.”  

Ms. Baker earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law  (2000) and her B.A. from Columbia University (1995).

Venable’s CFPB  Task Force, is headed by Jonathan Pompan and Suzanne Garwood,  who represent a number of consumer financial institutions in a variety of  matters before the CFPB, and are joined by several strong practitioners in the  fields of consumer financial services, advertising and marketing law, privacy  and data security, and government investigations and enforcement. Venable has  one of the country’s leading financial services practices and boasts a number  of lawyers with significant experience gained at major enforcement and  regulatory agencies.

The group includes Ronald Glancz, a former  Assistant General Counsel and Acting Deputy General Counsel of the FDIC and  former director of the litigation division of the Office of the Comptroller of  the Currency; Ralph Sharpe, a Director of Enforcement and Compliance at  the OCC; John Beaty, former Assistant General Counsel at the Federal  Deposit Insurance Corporation and head of the Resolution Trust Corporation’s  Professional Liability Section; William Donovan, former General Counsel  of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions; and John Bowman,  former Acting Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision. In addition, they  are joined by leading advertising and privacy attorneys, including Jeff  Knowles; Randy Shaheen; Amy Mudge; Melissa Steinman; Stu Ingis;  and Len Gordon, the former Northeast Regional Director at the  FTC.

Venable will co-sponsor a day-long conference entitled  "Understanding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" at the Law &  Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law on May 2, 2013.  Ronald Glancz, Ralph Sharpe, Allyson Baker and Jonathan Pompan will  participate as speakers and moderators.

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