To help clients understand and comply with the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, Ballard Spahr has formed the Dodd-Frank Task Force, the firm announced today.

The task force comprises Ballard Spahr attorneys whose clients span the sectors affected by the impending legislation, which will impose new laws affecting banks, consumer finance companies, hedge funds, investment companies, private fund managers, public companies, and insurance companies.

The task force is headed by Alan S. Kaplinsky, chair of Ballard Spahr’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services practice; Thomas H. Duncan, who has extensive experience in corporate, securities, and transactional matters, particularly those involving financial services companies; and Mary J. Mullany, who advises publicly traded companies on matters of corporate governance, finance, and executive compensation.

The task force consists of teams focused on:

  • Consumer Finance – creation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the extent to which state laws will be preempted for national banks and federal thrifts 
  • Banking Regulation – changes to the federal bank regulatory structure 
  • Asset-backed Securitization – reforms to enhance credit protection 
  • Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds – expansion of the registration and review powers of federal regulators 
  • Derivative Securities – inclusion of over-the-counter derivative securities in governmental regulation
  • Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation – requirements that all public companies include say-on-pay and director election mandates in their governance processes 
  • Whistleblower Protections – enhancement of whistleblower incentives for reporting securities violations

The task force will issue legal alerts regularly and will hold webinars and seminars on a wide variety of topics related to the new legislation. Information, analysis, and copies of the finalized legislation will be posted on the Ballard Spahr website.

"In my 40 years as a banking lawyer, this will be the most far-reaching banking law that has ever been enacted," said Mr. Kaplinsky, who represents many of the world's largest banks. "The level of regulatory and enforcement power entrusted to the director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a real concern for my clients."

Said Mr. Duncan, who is known for his work with investment advisors and companies of all sizes and stages of development: "The rules of business are about to change – and they will continue to change as new rules are adopted to implement the legislation. Some clients will need to rethink their corporate structure. Others will need to meet dramatically different compliance requirements. Either way, this legislation is just the beginning."

Noted Ms. Mullany, who will be advising clients nationwide on the corporate governance and executive compensation components of the legislation: "In addition to the significant changes affecting financial institutions, the legislation will affect the governance of virtually every public company. We are keeping a close watch on these provisions and are well positioned to guide clients through the changes."

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