J.H. Jennifer Lee
PEOPLE

J.H. Jennifer Lee

Partner
lee.jenny@dorsey.com
Palo Alto P +1 (650) 843-2710 F +1 (202) 442-3199 Washington, DC P +1 (202) 442-3572

Overview

JENNY LEE VIGOROUSLY PROTECTS THE INTERESTS OF FINANCIAL SERVICES CLIENTS IN REGULATORY AND ENFORCEMENT MATTERS, BRINGING TO BEAR HER EXPERIENCE AS A FORMER CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU (“CFPB”) OFFICIAL.

Ms. Lee served as an Enforcement Attorney in the CFPB’s Field Litigation Team for several years since the agency’s inception. In that role, she led investigations of financial services firms; negotiated consent orders and stipulations and admissions with such firms; and served as the CFPB’s Enforcement Division’s representative on supervisory examinations conducted by the CFPB under its visitorial powers. Her “insider’s view” of the CFPB provides an invaluable perspective to the clients she serves, in both the enforcement and litigation context and in the compliance and business-operations context. In her short time since leaving government, Ms. Lee has handled dozens of matters involving the CFPB or state agencies. Her frequent appearances before the CFPB set her apart from most practitioners in the enforcement arena.

Ms. Lee represents financial services clients in government investigations, Congressional inquiries, and complex litigation matters involving federal or state consumer financial statutes and implementing regulations. She has unique expertise sought by clients requiring assistance with Civil Investigative Demands from the CFPB, defending their interests in ongoing enforcement investigations or litigation matters, including drafting NORA response letters, negotiating compliance with CIDs and negotiating consent orders. Clients facing private actions involving consumer financial services claims, including class actions, also rely on Ms. Lee and the rest of Dorsey’s deep bench of litigators.

In addition to examinations and supervisory matters in which clients are already in “response mode” with regulators, Ms. Lee advises clients in avoidance of regulatory problems and represents businesses in policy-setting or rulemaking meetings with the CFPB. This advice arises in many contexts, including compliance control, product design, and transaction structuring. The combination of experience inside the CFPB and in private practice has given Ms. Lee a broad view of the regulatory landscape, and she advises clients on all consumer financial protection laws, including UDAAP, FCRA, RESPA, TILA, ECOA, EFTA, FDCPA, GLB, SCRA, and MLA. 

Clients who look to Ms. Lee for counsel include not only banks and other financial institutions, but also financial services clients including FinTech companies. Her FinTech clients regularly seek Ms. Lee’s advice on matters such as consumer lending, mobile banking, privacy, data protection and virtual currencies. All of these clients seek Ms. Lee’s counsel on issues directly affecting consumer strategies, and her focus on clients’ business goals relating to those strategies is fundamental to her approach. This includes the goal of keeping sensitive governmental exams and inquiries out of the public eye.

Ms. Lee is a highly regarded commentator on consumer financial services issues, and has been quoted in national and international publications including The Wall Street Journal, American Banker, The National Law Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg and many others.

Ms. Lee can be contacted via email at Lee.Jenny@Dorsey.com or at 202.442.3572.

Education & Admissions

University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 2006)

Duke University (B.S., 2001)

Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Languages

  • German and Korean

Clerkships

  • Judicial Intern, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Royce C. Lamberth

Experience

Representative Work

Enforcement/Litigation/Investigation Matters (Federal and State)

  • Represented major national bank in responding to a non-public, CFPB investigation regarding ACH payment processing and demand deposit accounts for business banking customers.
  • Represented major national debt-collection agency in responding to a non-public, CFPB investigation regarding debt-collection activities pertaining to credit card accounts.
  • Represented leading national rent-to-own company in responding to a non-public, CFPB investigation regarding a debt-sales transaction and consumer reporting.
  • Represented major national bank in responding to a non-public, CFPB investigation regarding sales practices.
  • Represented global payroll services provider in responding to a non-public, CFPB investigation regarding stored-value payroll cards and Regulation E.
  • Represented nationwide asset purchaser in pension industry in responding to a non-public, CFPB investigation regarding asset-sales contracts.
  • Represented nation’s top student loan servicer in responding to a non-public, CFPB investigation of alleged UDAAP regarding servicing activities.
  • Advised global retail banking business regarding non-public, CFPB investigation regarding deposit account products and deposit reconciliation.
  • Advised major national provider of identity-theft protection services regarding non-public, CFPB investigation of alleged UDAAP in connection with ancillary products for credit card accounts. 
  • Represented nationwide provider of online e-commerce and app products in home-improvement industry on non-public, agency investigation of compliance with California consumer-protection statutes.
  • Represented national auto finance company in non-public, supervisory examination by California Department of Business Oversight. 
  • Advised parties in litigation commenced by the CFPB in the Southern District of New York alleging UDAAP and Credit Practices Rule violations, resulting in complete dismissal of clients from the case.
  • Defended retailer in food industry on class action litigation commenced in Missouri state court alleging privacy violations in connection with online sales and credit-card transactions, resulting in an order granting our motion to dismiss the client from the case.

Compliance Counseling / M&A Due Diligence / Public Policy/Congress & Agency Rulemaking

  • Represented myriad participants in the mortgage industry (bankers, lenders, servicers, and outsourcing companies) regarding compliance with various regulations, including RESPA Section 8, TILA, escrow account disclosure rules, flood insurance requirements, and mortgage servicing requirements. 
  • Provided compliance counseling to consumer credit and identity-theft prevention services businesses on fair lending issues and CFPB.
  • Provided compliance counseling to various emerging market Fin Tech companies on consumer loans, Terms of Use issues, disclosure issues, mobile banking technology, data privacy/protection, alternative credit scoring models, and virtual currency issues, including restrictions related to NY DFS BitLicense.
  • Drafted Terms of Use and online disclosures for various businesses, including for example an online coding school and a marketplace lender.
  • Counseled investment companies and financial services firms on privacy and data protection issues under FCRA and GLB Act.
  • Counseled multiple Fin Tech companies in regards to CFPB rulemaking, Project Catalyst, and proactive agency outreach opportunities, including in connection with agency’s ex parte policy.
  • Provided advice and counseling to major consumer reporting agency regarding credit repair organizations and restrictions under CROA.
  • Advised and represented two major credit card issuers in rulemaking proceedings before the CFPB regarding proposed regulation of mandatory arbitration provisions.
  • Represented national consumer finance company in Senate inquiry regarding consumers’ sales of pension assets.
  • Conducted due diligence, compliance reviews, and internal legal advice to investors and buyers in connection with portfolio companies and/or target companies in the consumer finance space. Advised clients in regards to legal exposure associated with future acquisitions or recent acquisitions and required compliance overhauls.
While at the CFPB
  • First-chaired the agency’s first joint state and federal enforcement action and other actions; issued and negotiated compliance with civil investigative demands; and took sworn testimony from witnesses during investigational hearings – securing consent orders for injunctive relief, consumer restitution, and civil money penalties.
  • Investigated multiple financial services companies and institutions in connection with a variety of legal theories including:  mortgage, retail-installment lending, debt-collection, military lending, debt-settlement businesses, mortgage relief assistance, payment processing, and other industries. Investigated these companies in connection with compliance with Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), UDAAP, and other regulations/laws.
  • Served as Enforcement representative on myriad bank supervision matters to review compliance with federal consumer protection laws and CMS requirements.
  • Developed templates and policy for consent orders, investigational hearings and other enforcement protocols now used in internal agency proceedings or in federal court matters. 
  • Established partnerships between the CFPB and multiple state consumer-protection agencies and advocate groups, including state attorneys general, local/county authorities, and state banking agencies. 
  • Trained examiners at the FDIC on how to detect Unfair, Deceptive, and Abusive Acts and Practices under the Dodd-Frank Act. 
Pro Bono Commitments

  • Collaborated with Microfinance CEO Working Group on a pro bono basis to implement the Model Law and Commentary for Financial Consumer Protection in developing countries.
  • Represented a pro bono client in an original trial in death penalty litigation in Illinois (prior to Illinois abolishing the death penalty), resulting in state’s attorney deciding to change course and no longer seek the death penalty.
  • Represented a pro bono client in asserting civil claims for human trafficking violations in federal court. 
  • Represented a veteran in obtaining disability benefits in administrative proceedings.
  • Represented a victim of the earthquake in Nepal in obtaining immigration status on an emergency basis. 
  • Represented a military servicemember in a debt-collection litigation matter in the Norfolk, VA region on a Servicemember Civil Relief Act issue.

News & Resources

Articles

CFPB Issues FAQs on Mortgage Servicing Rules on the Eve of Compliance Deadline
Federal Court Orders Loan Servicer to Comply with CFPB’s CID Investigating Potential UDAAP and FCRA Violations
D.C. Circuit Upholds CFPB’s Constitutionality: Why the PHH Case Underscores the Importance of Internal Agency Discipline
OCC’s Proposed Charter for Fintech Companies in Limbo
Mulvaney-Led CFPB Actively Litigates in Court Regarding Overdraft Policy-Related Evidence
Senate Republicans Sink Controversial CFPB Anti-Arbitration Rule: Lessons Learned for the CFPB
CFPB Denied Restitutionary Relief in False Advertising Lawsuit Against Mortgage Services Company
Law Firm Attempts to Resist Subpoena by Arguing CFPB is Unconstitutional
Atlanta Federal Judge Orders Discovery Sanctions Against CFPB and Dismisses CFPB’s Claims
Texas Federal Judge Upholds CFPB’s Investigative Authority in Denying Stay Pending Appeal of CFPB CID Dispute
Consumer Protection, the CFPB, and Prison: How Jail Sentences Arose Out of Civil Consumer Financial Protection Matters, Antitrust, American Bar Association
What You Need to Know About the CFPB and the PHH Argument Yesterday
Trump Executive Order on Financial Regulation: Implications for CFPB
The CFPB’s Action Against the Country’s Largest Student Loan Servicer, Navient: Four Things You Need to Know Right Now
CFBP Supervisory Highlights – January 2016 to April 2016
The Long Arm of the CFPB
"The Long Arm of the CFPB," Corporate Counsel
"'Nonbank' Lender Seeks Injunction Restraining CFPB Administrative Action," Consumer Financial Services Legal Update
"What You Need to Know about CFPB’s Proposal to Ban Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Financial Contracts," Consumer Financial Services Legal Update
BNA INSIGHTS: An Updated Lender's Primer on California's Finance Lenders Law
"Problems With the CFPB’s Argument: An Analysis of the D.C. Circuit Oral Arguments on Statute of Limitations," Consumer Financial Services Legal Update
"When is an Administrative Action Barred by the Dodd-Frank Act’s Three-Year Statute of Limitations? Never, According to the CFPB," Consumer Financial Services Legal Update
"How Far Can the CFPB Cast Its Net for Abusiveness Claims," Corporate Counsel
"CFPB Enforcement of the Abusive Standard," Corporate Counsel
"Litigation 101: Ethics Related to the Use of Contract Attorneys, Pretrial Practice and Discovery," American Bar Association-Section of Litigation

News & Press Mentions

"Top student loan watchdog resigns over Trump administration policies," Washington Post
"In a twist, Mulvaney now defending CFPB enforcement powers," American Banker
Boom Bust: CFPB and Mulvaney's Moves (interview starts 4:17), Interviewed by Former CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton
"Trump CFPB Seen as Shifting to By-the-Book Supervision," BNA Daily Report
"Mulvaney response to CFPB data security gaps baffles cyber experts," American Banker
"It ‘would stab a knife’ into CFPB: Critics react to Mulvaney proposal," American Banker
"CFPB wants firms to sound off, but openness carries hidden risks," American Banker
Mulvaney Looks to Neuter CFPB’s Most Potent Weapon," American Banker
"What CFPB gained, lost in appeals court ruling," American Banker
"Three Things Companies Hate About the CFPB's Investigative Demands," National Law Journal
"Fight Erupts Over CFPB Interim Leadership," The Wall Street Journal
“Legal Clash at CFPB Continues as Two Claim Mantle,” American Banker
“What Lawyers Are Saying About Richard Cordray’s CFPB Departure Plans,” The National Law Journal
"Cordray Announcement Stirs the Industry", DS News
"A Bitter Blow To The Class Action Bar," Bank Lawyer's Blog
"Inside Cordray’s ill-fated gamble on CFPB arbitration rule," American Banker
"Inside Cordray’s ill-fated gamble on CFPB arbitration rule," Credit Union Journal
"Is arbitration win a turning point for banks?," National Mortgage News
“Is Arbitration Win a Turning Point for Banks?,” American Banker
U.S. consumer watchdog's enforcement chief to step down: WSJ
"CFPB Enforcement Chief to Step Down," The Wall Street Journal
"Should CFPB have more power over credit reporting agencies?," American Banker
“House Report on CFPB’s Wells Fargo Investigation is no smoking gun,” American Banker
"SNAAC Failed to Satisfy 2015 CFPB Order, Fined $1.25 Million," Auto Finance News
"States Step Up Enforcement, Anticipating CFPB Decline," Auto Finance News

Events & Speaking Engagements

Seminar Playback: FinTech — Perspectives and Legal Issues

Select Presentations

  • Panelist, "Changes and Challenges at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," State Attorneys General Education Program, Eighth Annual Public Policy Institute on Financial Services, May 3, 2018
  • Speaker, “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Version 2.0,” Bank Counsel Roundtable, April 18, 2018
  • Speaker, “Current Trends and Priorities for the CFPB,” Minnesota Banking Law Institute, April 5, 2018
  • Moderator and speaker, "Individual Attorney Liability in CFPB Enforcement Matters," American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, September 14-16, 2017
  • Speaker, “Responding to an Enforcement Action,” Mortgage Bankers Association 2017 Conference, May 5-9, 2017
  • Presenter, “Bank Examination Privilege,” onsite client seminar
  • Speaker, “A Rising Tide: Increased Pushback in CFPB CID Matters,” Consumer Bankers Association 2017 Conference, April 2-5, 2017
  • Moderator, “Financial Services Enforcement – the Impact of the CFPB and the PHH Corp. Decision,” Webinar Playback: Third Annual Federal Enforcement Forum, December 1, 2016
  • Moderator, “Heightened Scrutiny in Financial Services: Government Enforcement in the Banking Sector,” International Association of Korean Lawyers Annual Conference, September 30, 2016
  • Speaker, "Impact of the Regulatory and Compliance Challenges Surrounding Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and Blockchain on the Prepaid Industry," September 26-27, 2016
  • Speaker, "CFPB Outlook for 2016-2017," Bank Counsel Roundtable, September 2016
  • Speaker, CFPB Examination and Enforcement Process panel during the Mortgage Bankers’ Association Regulatory Compliance Conference 2016, September 18, 2016.  
  • Presenter, “The Revised HMDA Rule— Legal Risks and Implementation Challenges,” July 14, 2016
  • Speaker, “The CFPB’s Arbitration Proposal and Its Implications,” Bank Counsel Roundtable, May 17, 2016
  • Speaker, “CFPB Investigations—The Agency Perspective,” Bank Counsel Roundtable, February 29, 2016
  • Speaker, “Current Developments in Financial Services Regulatory Enforcement,” Webinar Playback: Second Annual Federal Enforcement Forum, February 24, 2016
  • Speaker, “Federal Financial Services Enforcement – Current Developments,” Dorsey & Whitney Second Annual Federal Enforcement Forum, February 24, 2016
  • Speaker, “Preparing for a CFPB Examination,” Bank Counsel Roundtable, January 24, 2016
  • Moderator and speaker, “Is Your Cell Phone Company Now a Bank?,” Women in Housing and Finance, Luncheon Presentation, Washington, DC, November 2015
  • Co-chair and speaker, "Consumer Lending Regulatory Compliance, Lessons Learned and Best Practices in an Era of Heightened Government Scrutiny for the Industry," American Conference Institute, New York, NY, October 2015
  • Presenter, "The New Normal? CFPB's Regulatory Scrutiny of the Telecommunications Industry," Dallas, TX, June 16, 2015
  • Presenter, "Why Fair Credit Reporting and Data Accuracy Are So Deeply Important to the CFPB," Wilmington, DE, February 19, 2015
  • Presenter, "The Other A in UDAAP," Federal Depository Insurance Corporation: Examiner Training Program, Arlington, VA, October 2014
  • Presenter, "Is the Pollution Exclusion a Silver Bullet?," Harris Martin Chinese Drywall Litigation Conference, Miami, FL, October 2010
  • Presenter, "Risk Management and Ethical Considerations Involving E-Discovery," IAKL Conference, Chicago, IL, September 2010

Industries & Practices

Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
Government Enforcement & Corporate Investigations
International Arbitration & Litigation
Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
  • Blockchain & Digital Assets
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Consumer Financial Services
  • Corporate Governance & Compliance
  • Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
  • Emerging Companies
  • Financial Services Regulatory
  • FinTech
  • Government Enforcement & Corporate Investigations
  • Indian & Alaska Native
  • International Arbitration & Litigation
  • Legislative
  • Lending Transactions
  • Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Securitization
  • Technology
  • Technology Commerce

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

Community Leadership

  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of D.C., Board of Directors; Co-Chair of Partners and Senior Counsel Committee (2016-2017)
  • International Association of Korean Lawyers - Chairman, Overseas Board of Directors (2015-2017); Director, Overseas Board of Directors (2011-2015)
  • Opera Lafayette, Director, Board of Directors (2010-2015)
  • Korean American Bar Association of Washington DC, Vice President (2011-2013)
  • Co-Chair of the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition national finals, at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association annual conference, Washington DC (2012)
  • Korean American Bar Association of Chicago, Director, Board of Directors (2007-2009)
  • Global Alliance For Africa, Director, Auxiliary Board (2006-2009)

Pro Bono Commitments

  • Collaborated with Microfinance CEO Working Group on a pro bono basis to implement the Model Law and Commentary for Financial Consumer Protection in developing countries.
  • Represented a pro bono client in an original trial in death penalty litigation in Illinois (prior to Illinois abolishing the death penalty), resulting in state’s attorney deciding to change course and no longer seek the death penalty.
  • Represented a pro bono client in asserting civil claims, leading to the filing of lawsuit in USDC-DC for human trafficking violations in federal court. 
  • Represented a veteran in obtaining disability benefits in administrative proceedings in DC.
  • Represented a victim of the earthquake in Nepal in obtaining immigration status on an emergency  basis. 
  • Represented a military servicemember in a debt-collection litigation matter in the Norfolk, VA region on a Servicemember Civil Relief Act issue.
J.H. Jennifer Lee