Chris Ford—an attorney who has led some of the country’s largest and most innovative financial technology and payment systems transactions—has joined Ballard Spahr as a partner in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Group, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.
Mr. Ford advises clients—among them Fortune 100 companies, merchants, and financial institutions—on large-scale commercial transactions, particularly those involving financial services, payments, technology, and outsourcing. He also provides strategic counsel to clients on co-brand and private-label card transactions, card processing and network-related deals, merchant acquisition, and information technology and business process outsourcing.
“Chris is an outstanding addition to a Consumer Financial Services Group that is second to none,” Mr. Stewart said. “As a leader in transactions involving financial services technology, he will be an extraordinary resource for clients seeking to make the most of developments that are revolutionizing the industry.”
Mr. Ford’s work includes representing one of the world’s largest financial institutions in its global, retail, commercial, and small business credit card processing agreements; assisting a global finance company in the issuance of a credit card in the United States; assisting one of the largest merchant-acquiring companies in a strategic partnership with a major credit card issuer; and advising a major grocery retailer in its merchant acquiring and payment processing arrangements.
“We’re in the midst of a technology explosion in the financial services industry,” said Alan S. Kaplinsky, who leads Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group. “New products are streaming into the market, offering enhanced services on more efficient platforms. Our clients need transactional lawyers with industry experience, specific knowledge of the technology, and market insight. I’m excited for them to meet Chris and to see what we can accomplish together.”
The more than 120 attorneys in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group represent clients ranging from global financial institutions to entrepreneurial enterprises and internet-based providers. They advise on regulatory matters, assist in the design and documentation of new products, and advocate for clients in class actions, regulatory enforcement proceedings, and other lawsuits nationwide.
“The areas where I focus are poised for extraordinary growth. Ballard has the practice depth, reputation, and national platform to support a significant level of expansion,” Mr. Ford said. “They have been at the forefront of every major development in the consumer finance industry, covering the market in a way very few other firms can.”
Chambers USA consistently ranks Ballard Spahr in the highest tier nationally in the category of Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance (Compliance and Litigation) and Law 360 recognized it as a Banking Group of the Year. The Group includes 11 members of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, including its first president.