Keith R. Fisher

Of Counsel
Tel 202.661.2284
Fax 202.661.2299
Washington, DC

Keith R. Fisher focuses primarily on banking and financial regulatory issues. He counsels clients nationwide on compliance with federal and state laws, particularly the range of provisions arising out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, such as the Volcker Rule, risk retention, capital adequacy, the CFPB’s remittance transfer rule, and the commodities regulatory provisions of Title VII. He also handles transactions and litigation for financial institutions, including mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Fisher counsels banks and thrifts on the marketing of nontraditional or ancillary products and services, including mutual funds, merchant banking, insurance products, and swaps. He is a leader of Ballard Spahr’s Bank Regulation and Supervision Group.

Mr. Fisher regularly represents clients before the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and state banking and insurance agencies.

An experienced enforcement lawyer, Mr. Fisher regularly represents institutions and individuals before the prudential regulators and other agencies, including the SEC. He conducts internal corporate investigations and successfully briefed and argued one of only two significant enforcement defeats for the regulators that they asked Congress legislatively to overturn.

Mr. Fisher also advises on issues involving:

  • Bank Holding Company Act and Regulation Y
  • Change in Bank Control ActCommunity Reinvestment Act
  • National Bank Act
  • Regulation of Savings Associations
  • Bank Secrecy Act/USA PATRIOT Act
  • International Banking Act and related laws
  • Deposit Regulation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Act
  • The Uniform Commercial Code, including secured transactions, documents of title, and payment systems, including the CFPB’s remittance transfer rule
  • Credit Union regulation

Formerly a full-time law professor, Mr. Fisher has taught law school courses in banking law, contracts, payment systems, anti-money laundering, international banking and finance, corporation finance, mergers and acquisitions, constitutional law, and legal ethics. He has authored a treatise on bank M&A and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters.

Mr. Fisher is also an experienced Supreme Court advocate, having worked earlier in his career with appellate legend E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr. and (now Chief Justice) John Roberts. He was the principal author of the American Bar Association's two amicus briefs in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc. (2009). He also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland in order to represent the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation in filing an amicus brief in Watters v. Wachovia Bank (2007).

Pro Bono Experience

Mr. Fisher has done extensive pro bono legal work for the International Human Rights Law Group and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Superior Court of the District of Columbia named him to the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll in 2014, for providing 50 hours or more of pro bono service in the prior calendar year.

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Herbert F. Murray, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, 1980-1981

Professional Activities

American Bar Association
Member, Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, International Law, and Business Law Sections
Appointed Chair, Business Law Section's Professional Responsibility Committee, 2014
Member, Center for Professional Responsibility
Chief Reporter on ABA's Commission on Ethics 20/20 
Reporter for the Judicial Disqualification Project (within the Standing Committee on Judicial Independence)

Federal Bar Association, Banking Law Committee, Executive Council

American Inns of Court Foundation, Charter Member


"Legal Process Outsourcing and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct," 34 Comparative Law Yearbook of International Business 507 (2013)

"Challenging The CFPB In Court: Inside The Complaint," Law360, July 3, 2012

A treatise titled "Mergers and Acquisitions of Banks and Savings Institutions," published by Little Brown & Co.

"Selva oscura: Campaign Support, Judicial Disqualification, and Due Process," 48 Duquesne Law Review 767 (2010) – commissioned by the Duquesne Law Review for a symposium on judicial independence

"Transnational Competition Law and the WTO," 2 Business Law & Technology: Present And Emerging Trends 273, 2006

"Transparency in Global Merger Review: A Limited Role for the WTO?" 11 Stanford J. Law, Bus. & Fin. 327, 2006

"Toward a Basal Tenth Amendment: A Riposte to National Bank Preemption of State Consumer Protection Laws," 29 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 981, 2006 (article was a prizewinner in the Peterson Prize National Writing Competition)

"The Higher Calling: Regulation of Lawyers Post-Enron," 37 Univ. Of Mich. 1. L. Reform 1017, 2004

Speaking Engagements

"FinCEN's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Customer Due Diligence: What You Need To Know," Ballard Spahr webinar, October 2, 2014

"Recent Developments in Regulatory Guidance for Debt Sellers and Buyers," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 24, 2014

"Reputation and Conduct Risk: What It Means to Regulators and What Banks Need To Do about It," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 25, 2014

"OCC's 'Heightened Expectations' Guidelines and Their Potential Impact on All Banks," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 11, 2014

Panelist, "OCC Bulletin: Use and Review of Independent Consultants in Supervisory Actions―Guidance for Bankers," Ballard Spahr webinar, January 15, 2014

"Regulatory Guidance on Third-Party Relationship Management—More Than a Restatement," Ballard Spahr webinar, January 9, 2014

"A New World for International Money Transfers: Complying with the CFPB's Remittance Transfer Rule," Ballard Spahr webinar, November 22, 2013

Panelist, "The Impact of the D.C. Circuit Court NLRB Ruling on the CFPB," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 4, 2013

Panelist, "What Do the CFPB's Servicing Rules Mean for Your Business?" HousingWire webinar, March 4, 2013

Panelist, "Coordinated AML/OFAC Enforcement Is Kicked Up a Notch," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 18, 2012

Panelist, "State Bank Supervisors: The New AML Enforcers," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 5, 2012

Mr. Fisher is a frequent speaker on programs both in the United States and abroad, including presentations on:

Issues in judicial disqualification reform and legal ethics, Conference of Chief Justices, Summer Meeting, July 24-27, 2010

Ethical issues in transnational law practice, Center for International Legal Studies, Program on Lawyering in the International Market, March 28-April 2, 2010

Legal ethics surrounding globalization and rapidly evolving technology and problems in the law of judicial disqualification, Conference of Chief Justices, Midwinter Meeting, January 30-February 3, 2010

Legal ethics surrounding globalization and rapidly evolving technology, American Bar Association, Section of Business Law, Leadership Retreat, January 15-18, 2010

Substantive and enforcement preemption of state bank regulators and other law enforcement officials, Brooklyn Law School, Program on Future of State Regulation of Financial Services, September 30, 2009

Amicus brief writing and current issues in judicial disqualification and recusal, Lincoln Institute for Land Policy/National State Tax Judges Conference, Annual Meeting, September 24-25, 2009

Board Memberships

U.S. Chess Center (1993-1998)

Chair, City of Rockville (Maryland) Cultural Arts Commission (1983-1985)

Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., cum laude)

Princeton University (A.B., cum laude)


Fluent in French and Italian

Proficient in German, Spanish, and Greek

District of Columbia

District of Columbia Court of Appeals

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court