Consumer Regulatory and State Attorneys General
In today’s intensive regulatory environment where businesses across all industries are subject to heightened governmental regulations and enforcement actions, clients turn to Sidley’s consumer regulatory lawyers to ensure compliance with the requirements, get ahead of potential issues and receive valuable insights on prospective developments that could affect their industries years from now. Our team is well versed and extensively experienced at providing clients with practical and granular recommendations on how to minimize their risk of becoming subject to agency inquiry.
When our clients are engaged in regulatory disputes, we help resolve conflicts quickly, mitigating exposure to, and liability from, litigation. Our team advises on matters involving advertising, marketing, credit practices, privacy and other regulatory issues—in both traditional and e-commerce realms. Our clients include world-renowned brands from numerous areas of business. We regularly represent companies before state and federal agencies and departments, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and all 50 state attorneys general.
We bring value to our clients in the following ways:
- Pioneering state attorneys general practice: We are recognized as leaders in this area of law. Our team features lawyers who have decades of experience in this legal arena and who have worked as assistant attorneys general. We harness that rare insider’s perspective and experience in our cases as defense counsel, representing clients in state attorneys general investigations, administrative proceedings and litigation, as well as helping them develop working relationships with state regulators. The team has extensive experience in multistate enforcement actions, and, on numerous occasions, has successfully negotiated and resolved multistate enforcement initiatives.
- Deep experience with the FTC and CFPB: Our lawyers have handled dozens of CFPB and FTC investigations and enforcement actions, defending businesses in response to inquiries such as highly sensitive civil investigative demands. We are known for our leadership in resolving such matters amicably whenever possible. Where litigation is necessary, our lawyers effectively pursue a strong defense for our clients. We have advised clients in numerous industries, including financial services, consulting, travel and leisure and transportation, in investigating and responding to data breaches and information security incidents. These representations have included interaction and advocacy before the FTC and tend to be confidential unless litigation is filed, a public settlement is announced, or data breach notice obligations are triggered. Members of our team have served as defense counsel on some of the highest-profile FTC cases, and our team features a former FTC commissioner and general counsel. Our group also possesses wide-ranging knowledge of federal and state consumer financial laws. A lawyer on our team is a former enforcement attorney at the CFPB and was with that agency at its inception.
- Expansive knowledge across the issues: With our depth of experience at the state and federal levels, our team can handle almost any consumer protection and related regulatory matter. We are adept in all areas of marketing and advertising clearance and compliance. Our team helps mass media clients navigate the regulatory issues that shape the development of their creative campaigns, including online sales, sweepstakes and social media promotions, email marketing and television, radio, telemarketing and direct-mail offers. We remain current on the ever-changing consumer regulatory landscape, including on such hot-button issues as privacy and behavioral marketing. The team represents clients in regulatory rulemaking and legislative arenas and has assisted in drafting comments to the FTC and Federal Communications Commission concerning such matters as negative option marketing, endorsements, .com disclosures, the Telemarketing Consumer Protection Act, credit practices and related consumer financial laws.
- Relationships with the enforcers: Members of our team have strong relationships with the FTC’s staff, bureau directors, commissioners and chairwoman, as well as with enforcement staff at the CFPB. Lawyers at Sidley previously served at both agencies, affording us uncommon insight into how and why they pursue enforcement. We also draw from an extensive network of relationships we have with state attorneys general offices nationally. Our contacts run deep with the attorney generals themselves, as well as with virtually every head of their consumer protection divisions.
Our first-hand knowledge and experience in the complex consumer regulatory arena enable us to work with our clients to develop best practices for compliance. When a client comes to us facing an investigation or inquiry from the government, we can help by developing a strategic approach to resolve the matter efficiently and effectively. We also can assist clients adversely affected by competitors engaged in illegal practices in these areas by devising cost-effective steps to ensure such practices are brought to the attention of the appropriate enforcement entities.