Mercedes Tunstall
Mercedes Tunstall

Mercedes Kelley Tunstall

Tel 202.661.2221
Fax 202.661.2299
Washington, DC

Mercedes Kelley Tunstall is the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Privacy and Data Security Group. She is also a member of the software and business methods practice team in the firm's Patents Group.

Ms. Tunstall counsels clients on compliance with consumer financial services laws, including unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices, as well as the investigations, rulemakings, and proceedings of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

Ms. Tunstall has substantial experience working with clients to develop new financial products and services, including mobile wallets, virtual currencies, and prepaid cards. These engagements typically include negotiating agreements with technology vendors, reviewing technical designs, drafting customer communications and agreements, and advising on potential regulatory and privacy and data security concerns.

She also works with clients from a spectrum of industries on mobile and other e-commerce initiatives, privacy and cybersecurity issues, and the use of social networking sites for marketing, customer service, and crowdsourcing purposes. She has testified on virtual currencies before two subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Before joining Ballard Spahr, Ms. Tunstall was lead counsel for Global Marketing and Deposits at Ally Financial. She also worked in-house for Bank of America, where she managed all legal aspects of e-commerce, and at HSBC, where she managed consumer financial services litigation.

Ms. Tunstall was a Staff Attorney at the Federal Trade Commission, where she investigated and litigated the Commission’s first Internet hijacking case, among other Internet fraud matters.


Co-author, "President Issues Executive Order to Improve Security of Federal Payment Systems," Ballard Spahr alert, October 22, 2014

Co-author, "FTC Brings First ROSCA Enforcement Action," Ballard Spahr alert, October 22, 2014

Co-author, "Massive Hacking Operation Further Reveals Weakness of Passwords," Ballard Spahr alert, August 11, 2014

Featured in "Shaping the Future of Dollars and Sense," DePauw Magazine, Summer 2014

Co-author, "U.S. Supreme Court Cell Phone Privacy Decision Deserves Employer Attention," Ballard Spahr alert, June 27, 2014

Co-author, "California Attorney General Releases Privacy Policy Guidance for 'Do Not Track' Disclosures," Ballard Spahr alert, May 27, 2014

Co-author, "CFPB Proposes New Rules on Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Annual Privacy Notices," Ballard Spahr alert, May 16, 2014

"Definition of 'Critical Infrastructure' Falls Short," USA Today, June 18, 2013

Co-author, "Reverse Mortgage Documentation: Learning the Lessons from Forward Mortgage Foreclosures," Reverse Review Magazine, March 2012

"Reporting Cyber Attacks and Data Security Breaches—Guidance from the SEC," Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report, February 27, 2012

Co-author, "Reverse Mortgage Regulation in the New World After Dodd-Frank," Reverse Review Magazine, January 2012

Speaking Engagements

"Cybersecurity: Threats, Regulatory Oversight, and the Role of the Risk Manager," Mortgage Bankers Association's Risk Management & Quality Assurance Forum 2014, Miami, September 8, 2014

"Identity and Access Intelligence," Ballard Spahr and ZwillGen-Hosted CISO Executive Network Breakfast Roundtable, Washington, D.C., August 21, 2014

Panelist, "Cybersecurity: Best Practices for Financial Institutions," Ballard Spahr webinar, July 16, 2014

"The CFPB's First 1,000 Days," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 16, 2014

"Dos and Don'ts of Advertising Credit Cards, Prepaid Cards, and Deposits," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 18, 2014

"The CFPB's Financial Literacy Mandate: What It Means for Industry," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 11, 2014

"Credit Cards: Getting Ready for More CFPB Scrutiny," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 19, 2014

"Securing Critical Infrastructure: An Update on the Administration's Cybersecurity Standards," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 4, 2013

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

"Enterprise Network Security," Part V in a Series of CISO Executive Network Breakfast Roundtables, Ballard Spahr-Hosted CISO Executive Network Event, Washington, D.C., October 1, 2013; and Philadelphia, October 10, 2013

"Endpoint and Mobile Device Security," Part IV in a Series of CISO Executive Network Breakfast Roundtables, Ballard Spahr-Hosted CISO Executive Network Event, Washington, D.C., August 20, 2013; and Philadelphia, August 29, 2013

"UDAAP Front and Center – Mitigating Risk," Ballard Spahr webinar, August 7, 2013

"The ABCs of Consumer Privacy Communications," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 28, 2013

"Mobile Advertising Review: Creating Effective Advertising Review Policies and Procedures in the Digital Age," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 5, 2013

"Online Disclosures 101: FTC Dot-Com and Mobile Disclosures," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 15, 2013

"Cybersecurity – From Advanced Threat Awareness to Preparedness: Creating a Security-Aware Corporate Culture," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 2, 2013

"The CFPB and Prepaid Cards: Critical Updates on the Bureau’s Activity and What the Prepaid Industry Can Expect Going Forward" and "Post-Conference Master Class – Emerging Payment Systems: Legal, Regulatory, and Compliance Considerations for New Technologies and Evolving Products," American Conference Institute's 7th National Forum on Prepaid Card Compliance, Washington, D.C., January 29 and 30, 2013

"The National Mortgage Database, by the Numbers," Ballard Spahr and Navigant Consulting webinar, January 8, 2013

"The Latest Developments in Mobile Banking and Commerce and Tips for Handling the Mobile Banking and Commerce Applications Your Clients Are Starting To Use," 2013 Winter Meeting of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Consumer Financial Services Committee, Naples, Fla., January 8, 2013

"Advertising Dos and Don'ts for Mortgage Lenders and Brokers," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 6, 2012

Panelist, "Getting Mobile: Using the Mobile Channel To Deliver Consumer Financial Services and Reach New Customers," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 13, 2012

Panelist, "Service Provider Relationships in the CFPB Era: Safeguarding Yourself from Regulatory Liability," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 20, 2012

Panelist, "Business Method Patents and Financial Institutions: Opportunities and Risks," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 1, 2011

Panelist, "The First Anniversary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," Ballard Spahr webinar, July 21, 2011

"You Like This: Using Social Media Channels To Reach Consumers," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 17, 2011

University of Michigan Law School (J.D. 1998)
Assistant Editor, Michigan Journal of International Law

DePauw University (B.Music 1995, magna cum laude)
Member, Honor Scholar program; studied at the Vienna Conservatory of Music

District of Columbia



U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia