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Robert Birnbaum

Of Counsel
Bob Birnbaum joined Davis Wright in early 2010 after nearly 34 years at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its predecessor companies. Bob last served as general counsel to Chase Card Services, one of six major lines of business for JPMorgan Chase. Bob was responsible for the management and administration of all legal and compliance activities of the Card Services business line. The Card Service legal and compliance team consisted of approximately 175 employees in four countries, including 40 attorneys and 11 compliance officers.

As the former chief legal officer of one of the largest U.S. and North American card issuing and acquiring companies, Bob offers a senior-level perspective on strategic issues, such as relationships with regulators and payment networks, and management and structure of legal and compliance staffs. He also provides technical support for his clients on compliance issues, including legislative and regulatory developments. Bob also has significant experience in the negotiation and drafting of co-brand, agent bank, reward program, payment processing, and strategic alliance agreements.

Prior to becoming general counsel to Chase Card Services, Bob had significant experience with numerous consumer products, including first and second mortgage loans (including home equity loans and lines of credit), student loans, auto loans and leases, small business loans, stand-alone and overdraft lines of credit and personal loans. Bob returns to private practice after more than three decades of experience in the financial services industry.

Practice Highlights
  • Participation in the negotiation and drafting of related agreements for the purchase of $8 billion in receivables and accounts from Providian National Bank
  • Creation of the ability to negotiate and draft private label agreements in-house
  • Growth and expansion of a unique in-house collection litigation process in five key states
  • Assistance in the establishment of offshore servicing programs in India, Canada and the Philippines
  • Creation of an in-house legal and compliance department in Canada to support a $2 billion Canadian portfolio acquisition
  • Negotiation and drafting of a major, long-term, outsourced payment card servicing agreement (then the largest card-servicing platform agreement in U.S. history)
  • Negotiation of the first major fuel oil company co-branded credit card agreement in the U.S., including the first use of rebates as statement credits in the card industry
  • Creation of one of the first home equity loan and home equity line of credit products in New York state

Representative Experience

Regulatory advice for major card issuers

Representation of major card issuers in connection with implications of Dodd-Frank financial reform. (2011)

Regulatory advice for global financial services company

Representation of a global financial services company in connection with advising on issues related to the Credit Card Act and its implementing regulations. (2010)

Additional Qualifications

  • General Counsel, Chase Card Services, June 1997-Dec. 2009
  • General Counsel, Chase Auto Finance, March 1997-June 1997
  • Assistant General Counsel, Chase Manhattan Bank (formerly Chemical Bank (prior to merger with Chemical Bank in 1996) 1992-1996
  • Assistant General Counsel, Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company, 1976-1991
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