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Judith Rinearson

Fax +1.212.536.3901
Fax +44.(0)20.7648.9001
Judith Rinearson is a partner in the firm’s New York and London offices. Ms. Rinearson concentrates her practice in prepaid and emerging payment systems, electronic payments, crypto/virtual currencies, reward programs, ACH and check processing. She has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, including 18 years at American Express’s General Counsel’s Office. Her expertise focuses particularly in the areas of emerging payments and compliance with state and federal consumer protection laws, anti-money laundering laws, state money transmitter licensing laws and abandoned property laws.

Fully experienced in both the “issuing” and “acquiring” side of the payments business, Ms. Rinearson has drafted and negotiated complex agreements with strategic co-branded partners, processors and Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), ATM networks, major retailers and service providers, prepaid card issuers and program managers, international remittance companies, virtual and mobile payment providers, as well as the Terms and Conditions and disclosures that usually accompany such products. She has hands-on experience in all legal aspects of launching and managing a range of payment products, from prepaid cards of all kinds, to Bitcoin exchanges and miners, wire transfer services, ACH, electronic banking, money orders and credit cards. Her practice includes advising on fraud avoidance and compliance with federal banking and anti-money laundering laws, as well as state money transmitter licensing laws, consumer protection laws and abandoned property laws. On the international level, Ms. Rinearson has supervised the launch of a range of payment and foreign currency products in Europe, Asia and Latin America; met with international regulators; and spoken on the issue of payment regulation.

Ms. Rinearson currently serves on the Advisory Board of the UK’s Emerging Payments Association (EPA), and previously served on the Board of the UK’s Prepaid International Forum (PIF) where she is still an active contributor. She has also served for 8 years as Regulatory Counsel for the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA) in the U.S., and as Chair of the NBPCA’s Government Relations Working Group, and in that role represented the NBPCA at the Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group (BSAAG) in Washington DC.

She has long been a member of the American Bar Association’s Cyberspace Law Committee, where she has previously chaired the Payment Card Fraud Task Force.

Over the years, Ms. Rinearson has garnered many honors. In 2015, she was named one of the Top 10 Payment Lawyers, by Paybefore magazine and in the same year was voted as one of the most Influential Women in Payments at the same publication. In March 2008, she was honored with an Industry Achievement Award from the 2008 Prepaid Card Expo for her contributions as a pioneer in the prepaid card industry and her particular influence in the regulation of prepaid cards.

She has also given numerous presentations about payment regulations at meetings held by the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Chicago, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the Electronic Funds Transfer Association, Forum Europe, NACHA, and at annual meetings of the Money Transmitter Regulators Association, American Bar Association and the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. In 2015 and 2016, among other things, Ms. Rinearson presented at the Prepaid International Forum in London regarding U.S. payment laws; moderated a panel at Money2020 regarding state money transmitter licensing issues; and trained bank examiners regarding prepaid cards and emerging payments including crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, Etherium and Ripple. She also testified at the January 2014 Virtual Currency Hearings before the New York State Department of Financial Services regarding regulation of virtual and crypto currencies.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Rinearson was a partner in the London and New York offices of an international law firm. In addition, she worked at another New York law firm. Ms. Rinearson was group counsel for the American Express Global Travelers Cheque and Prepaid Services Group for more than 10 years. Under her legal guidance, American Express launched a range of stored value cards and products, including phone cards, gift cards, mall cards and expense management cards. Her experience also encompasses smart cards, “virtual” and radio frequency ID (RFID) products as well as an extensive range of reward, loyalty and incentive products.


  • New York Super Lawyers, 2014
  • Top 10 Payment Lawyer, 2015
  • Women Influencing Change in Payments, 2015

Professional/Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association
    • Business Law Section, Law of Cyberspace Subcommittee, Chair of the Payment Card Fraud Task Force (2009-2010)
    • Chair of the Electronic Financial Services Subcommittee (2005-2008)
  • National Chorale (New York City)
    • Board Chairman of Not-for-Profit focused on choral education in New York City public schools, and professional choral performances at Lincoln Center.

Speaking Engagements

  • Panel Moderator, “Digital Banking Transformation,” Emerging Payments Association PAY360, London, March 14, 2019
  • Panelist, “Beyond the Blockchain Hype: Examining Real World Examples To Determine Blockchain’s Impact on Legal Services,” LegalCIO Conference at Legalweek, NY, New York, January 2019
  • Speaker, Scary Topics and Spooky Trends in FinTech Webinar, November 2018
  • Panelist, PayThink 2018, Austin TX, September 24, 2018
  • Panelist, MTRA 2018 Annual Conference and Examiners’ School, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 2018