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Morrison & Foerster Adds Earley as Financial Services, Fintech Partner

July 27, 2021, 08:00 AM

Morrison & Foerster announced the addition of Maria B. Earley as a partner in its Financial Services and FinTech Groups in Washington, D.C. Ms. Earley joins Morrison & Foerster from another prominent international firm, where she served as financial services regulatory and enforcement partner and built the firm’s FinTech practice. Prior to working in private practice, Ms. Earley served for three years as a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforcement attorney, where she focused on issues related to consumer protection laws and emerging technology.

Ms. Earley is a highly experienced financial services regulatory lawyer whose addition to Morrison & Foerster underscores the firm’s commitment to the growth of its global finance capabilities. Ms. Earley’s practice focuses on advising and representing financial services and FinTech companies with respect to product development, regulatory compliance, state and U.S. federal enforcement and examination, state licensing, and transactional matters. Her regulatory compliance work spans a range of loan products, bank products, payments, mortgage technology, alternative financing arrangements, and digital currencies. Ms. Earley represents companies that touch all aspects of these products, including marketplace lenders, payment processors, lead aggregators, money transmitters, credit-reporting agencies, and numerous platform service providers.

Leveraging her CFPB experience, Ms. Earley helps companies navigate the complex and unique issues that arise when interfacing with the CFPB and other financial regulators. She has handled numerous matters involving federal and state regulators, including the CFPB, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), several state attorneys general, and other state regulatory agencies.
“Maria’s addition to the financial services team complements our existing and significant strength in practice, particularly in the FinTech space,” said Jennifer Marines, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Global Finance Department. “We are excited to build on our already robust capabilities in the financial services space. Maria’s focus on regulatory compliance and enforcement will bolster the team’s bank regulatory, financial privacy, money transmission, and transactional expertise, as well as the firm’s government-facing litigation practices in Washington, D.C. and beyond. We look forward to continued growth, and the firm is excited for Maria to be a part of that trajectory.”  

“Maria further strengthens our standout FinTech practice, and her regulatory compliance and enforcement experience will benefit our FinTech clients, particularly when CFPB and other state and federal regulator enforcement activity is expected to significantly increase,” said Crystal Kaldjob, co-lead of Morrison & Foerster’s FinTech practice.

“Morrison & Foerster is an industry-leading global firm with exceptional Financial Services, FinTech, and Litigation credentials, not to mention a unique culture,” said Ms. Earley. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues and leveraging my public- and private-sector experience to represent clients across a number of the firm’s practice areas on their most sophisticated financial services and FinTech enforcement and regulatory matters.”

In addition to her practice-related work, Ms. Earley is committed to creating and sustaining collaborative, innovative, and inclusive environments in the legal community. She served as the U.S. Deputy for Diversity and Inclusion at her previous firm and on the boards of the Legal Aid Society of D.C. and the Anacostia Watershed Society. She currently serves on the board of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of D.C. Prior to serving as a CFPB enforcement attorney, Ms. Earley spent eight years as a consumer financial services and class action litigator at two other leading global law firms. She earned her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and her B.A. from Northwestern University. Ms. Earley is admitted to the District of Columbia Bar and the New York Bar. She clerked for the Honorable Raymond L. Jackson, U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Virginia.

Ms. Earley’s arrival follows Morrison & Foerster’s recent addition of an Agency Finance team led by Greg Smith and Ann Lilienthal in Washington, D.C., who joined the firm earlier this month, along with multiple other finance partner additions across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Ms. Earley is the eighth partner Morrison & Foerster added in 2021 to the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, which has expanded to include Greg Smith, Ann Lilienthal, Stacy Cline Amin, Brian Kidd, Alexander Okuliar, David Shaw, and Brandon Van Grack.

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