Paul Hastings taps Venable financial services head for new CFPB group

Signage is seen outside of the Paul Hastings law firm in Washington, D.C.
Signage is seen outside of the Paul Hastings law firm in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • Allyson Baker most recently chaired Venable's financial services practice
  • She was formerly an enforcement attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

(Reuters) - Paul Hastings continues to bulk up its financial services offerings, bringing on Venable financial services practice chair Allyson Baker to lead a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau practice.

Washington, D.C.-based Baker spent eight years at Venable, where she also co-chaired the firm's consumer financial services practice. Before that she was an enforcement attorney at the CFPB.

Baker said Paul Hastings is strengthening its bench ahead of "what we expect will be a substantial uptick in CFPB activity," including more enforcement, rulemakings and interagency actions as the new Biden-appointed director, Rohit Chopra, "meshes" his priorities with the administration.

While at the CFPB, Baker served as lead counsel for the agency's 2012 settlement with Discover Bank, which required the credit card company to refund customers more than $200 million to settle claims of deceptive practices. Earlier in her career, Baker also served as a trial attorney with the Justice Department's Tax Division from 2007 to 2013.

At Paul Hastings, she said she will continue working with financial services companies with consumer-facing products and services. She is also joining the firm's investigations and white-collar defense practice and its fintech and payments practice, the firm's statement said.

Baker is the latest financial services practice leader to be poached by Paul Hastings, following Jeffrey Goldfarb, who was vice chair of Willkie Farr & Gallagher's finance practice, and Eric Sibbitt, who most recently chaired O'Melveny & Myers' fintech practice.

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Xiumei Dong covers legal industry news, with a focus on law firm strategy and growth, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., legal market. Reach her at