Ballard Spahr has created a mortgage banking group and hired a team of four attorneys who are at the forefront of evolving regulatory developments.
Partners Richard Andreano, Jr., John D. Socknat, and Michael S. Waldron come into the firm as practice leaders for the firm's newly created unit. Along with associate Reid F. Herlihy, they were previously from the Washington, D.C., office of Patton Boggs.
The four lawyers, who were all editors and co-authors for Mortgage Finance Regulation Answer Book 2011-2012, published by the Practicing Law Institute, will be based in Ballard Spahr’s Washington, D.C., office.
As part of the firm's consumer financial services group, the new group includes over two dozen attorneys in nearly all of its 13 offices across the U.S. The incoming attorneys will lead a team that performs a various types of regulatory work, advising mortgage firms and other financial companies regarding compliance and licensing issues, structuring operations, and representing clients in federal and state enforcement actions. They also give advice to clients on issues such as e-commerce, electronic signatures, and electronic records storage. The law firm also handles class action and other mortgage lending lawsuits across the country.
The mortgage banking practice's attorneys represent clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms in both the residential and commercial mortgage banking industries. They counsel clients on issues regarding the Dodd-Frank Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act or RESPA, the Truth in Lending Act or TILA, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act or ECOA, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA, the Fair Housing Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act or HMDA. The firm also advises industry service providers such as document preparation companies, telemarketers, loan fulfillment companies, and trade associations.
“Acquiring this group of superbly talented lawyers fills out our Consumer Financial Services Group in an important way by adding attorneys whose focus is on residential mortgage regulatory work—a need we’ve been aware of for some time,” Chair Mark Stewart said today. “We’re confident that these lawyers will be a perfect complement to our existing practice.”
“We have been looking for several years to identify a group of experienced mortgage banking regulatory lawyers, and joining forces with this group is a tremendous opportunity," said Alan Kaplinsky, the head of Ballard Spahr’s consumer financial services group. "We have one of the largest consumer financial services practices in the country, with dozens of lawyers who represent the types of clients that this group is bringing to the firm. The addition of this group is 1+1=3.”
“We are excited about the expanded opportunities we will have by combining our mortgage banking practice with Ballard’s robust consumer financial services group, and the ability to provide a broader range of services to our clients," Andreano said. "In particular, the mortgage litigation practice at Ballard is a perfect fit for our clients.”