An experienced advocate, Ellen has represented various clients in high-stakes government investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and state attorneys general. She has carried a number of investigations through discovery and advocacy to final resolution, including, in many cases, closure without action. Her clients include retailers, financial institutions, start-ups, nonprofits, and other companies in the automotive, hospitality, cannabis, electronic retailing, fintech, payments, and direct-to-consumer marketing industries.
Advertising, Marketing, and Sales
In matters related to advertising, marketing, and sales, Ellen’s capabilities include:
- Compliance counseling on federal and state laws governing automatic renewal programs, membership clubs, subscription sales, lead generation, payments, and compliance with the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), the CAN-SPAM Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), and other federal and state consumer protection laws
- Responses to civil investigative demands and subpoenas issued by the FTC, the CFPB, the Department of Justice, and state law enforcement authorities
- Advocacy before the FTC, the CFPB, state consumer protection regulators, the NAD (National Advertising Division), and individual branches of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBBs)
- Development and completion of mock FTC investigations and compliance exams and audits of marketing and sales practices, including the development of compliance recommendations and policies and procedures
- Review of advertising and marketing materials distributed through television, radio, text, social media, e-commerce, email, and other digital channels, including evaluation of claims substantiation and sales practices
- Day-to-day support for in-house counsel on questions related to advertising disclosures, social media use, sweepstakes and promotions, telemarketing, texting, email marketing, e-commerce, digital advertising, sponsorships and endorsements, customer service, complaint response management, and consumer protection
- Coordination and management of foreign counsel for global marketing campaigns and multi-jurisdictional compliance considerations
- Review and drafting of terms and conditions, sales policies, and other consumer-facing agreements
Payments and Fintech
In matters specific to payments and fintech clients, Ellen offers:
- Compliance counseling on regulatory issues related to merchant underwriting, Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, beneficial ownership, merchant monitoring, and high-risk merchant industries, including cannabis, subscription sales, alternative currencies, multilevel marketing, debt collection, and tech support, among others
- Responses to FTC, CFPB, and state inquiries regarding regulatory compliance with consumer protection laws and money transmission licensing requirements
- Assistance to fintech companies with relationship agreements, funds flow, banking relationships, consumer-facing terms, and related issues
- Guidance on compliance training, monitoring, and termination policies related to pricing, services, early termination fees, automatic renewal clauses, and other sales representations
- Drafting and negotiation of agreements relevant to numerous layers of the payments industry, including bank sponsorship agreements, ISO services agreements, payment facilitator agreements, independent software vendor (ISV) agreements, merchant services agreements, sales referral agreements, independent contractors, and others
- Responses to card brand inquiries and investigations regarding compliance with card brand rules and applicable laws
Ellen is an active member of the Electronic Transactions Association, co-chairs the Government Relations Committee of the Merchant Acquirers Committee (MAC), and is a frequent writer and speaker on topics related to sales and marketing, merchant services, government investigations, regulatory developments, and other topics.
Ellen also serves as the partner-in-charge of Professional Development and Recruiting at the firm, where she oversees the firm’s Associate Evaluation Committee and other functions related to recruiting and career development.