Denise L. Plunkett

Tel 646.346.8036
Fax 212.223.1942
New York

Denise L. Plunkett is Co-Managing Partner in Ballard Spahr's New York office and a partner in the firm's Antitrust and Consumer Financial Services Groups. Denise has significant experience in the payment card, financial services, and pharmaceutical industries, including individual and class actions, multidistrict and multidefendant litigations, and international arbitration. She has successfully litigated an impressive array of claims, ranging from common law claims and business torts to alleged violations of antitrust laws and consumer protection statutes. Denise's experience includes trial and appellate work in state and federal courts throughout the United States. She regularly counsels clients on antitrust issues, and helps them navigate issues related to regulatory compliance and business planning.

Denise has negotiated numerous favorable settlements, and has obtained: a dismissal on the pleadings of a consumer class action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act against a consumer credit issuer; dismissals on the pleadings of Truth in Lending Act claims against a payment card network; a Rule 19 dismissal of putative class claims under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Fair Housing Act against a mortgage lender; and enforcement of arbitration provisions by a non-signatory based on the doctrine of equitable estoppel.

Denise also is a member of Ballard Spahr's Expanded Board.

Representative Matters


  • Served as co-lead counsel for U.S. pharmaceutical company and related entities in an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration involving claims for, inter alia, breach of contract based on licensee's alleged failures to use "best efforts" in commercializing claimants' FDA-approved product.

Investment Funds

  • VanDeventer, et al. v. CS SCF Management, Ltd., et al. (New York County, NY). Defending claims and prosecuting counterclaims relating to, inter alia, alleged breach of investment fund consulting agreement.

Mortgage Lending

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

  • Successfully moved for order requiring joinder of third-party mortgage brokers in Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Fair Housing Act putative class action against mortgage lenders alleging discriminatory pricing policies.

Payment Cards

Currency Conversion

  • In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation, 265 F. Supp. 2d 385 (S.D.N.Y. 2003); In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation, 361 F. Supp. 2d 237 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). Obtained Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of Truth in Lending Act claim against payment card network; also obtained district court decision enforcing arbitration provisions in cardholder agreements as to payment card network on grounds of equitable estoppel. 
  • Schwartz v. Visa Int'l Service Assoc., et al., 2005 WL 237015 (Cal. App. l Dist.) (Sept. 28, 2005). Represented MasterCard in action under California's Unfair Competition Law (§ 17200) concerning payment card currency conversion practices. Obtained reversal of adverse portion of trial court decision on grounds of plaintiff's lack of authority to sue in light of California Ballot Proposition 64.


  • PaycomBilling Services, Inc. v. MasterCard International, Inc., 467 F.3d 283 (2d Cir. October 27, 2006). Successfully moved to dismiss antitrust claims relating to payment card "chargebacks"; Second Circuit affirmed district court decision dismissing the case. 
  • PSW, Inc. v. Visa USA, Inc., No. CA. 04-347T,2006 WL 519670 (D.R.I. Feb. 28,2006). Obtained Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of antitrust claims relating to, inter alia, chargeback rules and policies.

Unsolicited Issuance

  • Garner v. Capitol One Bank and MasterCard International, Inc., No. CV-01-BU-0712-S (N.D. Ala. 2001). Obtained Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of Truth in Lending Act and civil conspiracy claims against payment card network relating to alleged unsolicited issuance of cards.

Personal Loans

Fair Credit Reporting Act

  • Successfully moved to dismiss claim that a prescreened offer for an open-end line was not a "firm offer of credit" under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Professional Activities

Antitrust and Trade Regulation Committee Member, New York City Bar

Adjunct lecturer in Consumer Finance Law at Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, spring 2009

Recent Publications and Speaking Engagements

Moderator, "Hot Topics in NY Antitrust: Class Certification and Fraud-Based Antitrust Investigations," New York City Bar's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Committee, April 30, 2018 

Speaker, "Everyday Antitrust Issues: You Don’t Know What You Don't Know," Ballard Spahr CLE Program, October 12, 2017 

Speaker, "Taking the Deposition," Practising Law Institute, Taking and Defending Depositions, New York, March 2017, March 2013, May 2012, May 2011, May 2010, and June 2009 

Panelist, “Back to the Future: A CLE Focused on Antitrust Basics, the Evolution of Antitrust Law, and Ethical Pitfalls,” Ballard Spahr CLE Program, November 16, 2015 

Co-author, "Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis: Supreme Court Holds That Rule of Reason Applies in 'Reverse Payment' Patent/Antitrust Case," client alert, June 18, 2013

Co-author, Evolving Standards Under Sherman Act Section 2, ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting, February 2013 

Co-author, The Federal Antitrust Laws, Basri & Kagan, Corporate Legal Developments, Practicing Law in a Corporation, Practising Law Institute, updated annually, 2009-2013

Speaker, "Fair Lending – Managing and Defending Against Claims of Discriminatory Lending and Assessing the Status of 'Disparate Impact' in Lending Litigation and Enforcement," American Conference Institute: Residential Mortgage Litigation and Lending, September 2012

Co-author and speaker, Certain Defenses in Recent Mortgage Lending Cases, Law Seminars International: Subprime Lending Crisis Conference, New York, March 2008

Boston University School of Law (J.D. 1994, cum laude)
Member, Probate and Family Law Journal; G. Joseph Tauro Scholar; Recipient, Prentice Hall Book Award in Federal Taxation

University of Maryland (B.A. 1991)
Member, Mock Trial Team

New York


U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit