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David L. Beam

Fax +1.202.778.9100

Mr. Beam has a national practice that encompasses a broad range of matters related to payments and credit regulation. This includes:

  • Providing clients with regulatory compliance and related business planning advice;
  • Conducting regulatory due diligences of investment and acquisition targets;
  • Structuring joint ventures and other business arrangements;
  • Obtaining approvals, licenses, and regulatory guidance from federal and state financial regulators;
  • Preparing terms and conditions for financial products and services;
  • Defending companies in connection with federal and state governmental audits, investigations and enforcement proceedings; and
  • Assisting in litigation matters, including putative class action proceedings.

Mr. Beam also presents and publishes extensively on matters affecting the consumer financial services industry. He is active in the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee, and is a past Chairman of the Committee’s Preemption and Federalism Subcommittee. Super Lawyers magazine named Mr. Beam a rising star in Washington, D.C., in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Payment Systems
Mr. Beam has an active practice representing various parties involved in consumer payment systems. He advises clients on compliance with a broad range of federal and state laws that regulate payment systems. These include, for example, state money service business (money transmitter) laws; state credit card laws; state gift and prepaid card laws; the federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E; the Credit CARD Act of 2009; Regulation II (the regulation implementing the Durbin amendment); and FinCEN regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act. He also negotiates transactions among parties involved in providing payment services, drafts consumer user agreements, and defends clients in government investigations and enforcement proceedings.

Mr. Beam’s clients range from startups to some of the world’s largest financial institutions. His practice embraces both traditional payment systems—such as plastic card-based systems—and emerging payment technologies.

Federal Preemption
A significant part of Mr. Beam’s compliance practice involves advising financial institutions on the federal preemption of state and local laws regulating financial institutions. Mr. Beam has published and presented extensively on the preemption of state financial laws, particularly state consumer financial laws. He is also the Chair of the Preemption and Federalism Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee.

Credit Regulation
Mr. Beam represents a broad range of clients in the consumer lending and servicing industries.  These include mortgage lenders, servicers and investors; credit card companies; student loan companies; consumer finance companies; and debt collectors.  His practice focuses on helping clients develop new credit products and ensure ongoing compliance with federal and state consumer credit laws.  He also performs compliance audits of consumer credit companies for potential purchasers or investors.

Professional Background

Mr. Beam was a law clerk for the Honorable Robert W. Clifford of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court from 2001 – 2002.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • ABA Consumer Financial Services Committee (Chair, Preemption and Federalism  Subcommittee)

Speaking Engagements

  • South by Southwest Convention (SXSW): “Cash, Credit, Bitcoin? The Law of Digital Currency” (2015)
  • Served as regulatory counsel for American Express in connection with Bluebird, an alternative to checking accounts to be offered through Wal-Mart stores.
  • Advised federally-chartered institutions and their operating subsidiaries engaged in payment activities on the impact of the new preemption standards in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and assisted them with state law compliance where required.
  • Working with the Group’s state law team, performed a comprehensive audit of the mortgage lending and servicing operations of several federally-chartered banks to assess the impact of the preemption standards in the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • Drafted user agreements and other transaction documents for various prepaid card programs.
  • Defended a payment processing company in state investigations into whether its activities triggered state licensing requirements.
  • Advised several mobile payment platforms on regulatory and licensing issues related to mobile payments.
  • Counseled several clients on the relative advantages and disadvantages of issuing prepaid products out of a bank versus a state-licensed money service business.