Cleary Gottlieb advises businesses in consumer-related industries—consumer products, financial services, and others—in a broad range of domestic and international consumer protection-related civil litigation and regulatory matters.

Cleary’s experience includes defending clients in class actions and other private civil litigation related to consumer financial services and products, including extensive experience litigating claims brought under state consumer protection acts (little-FTC Acts). We also are experienced with navigating regulatory, compliance, and enforcement matters before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and other state, federal, and foreign government agencies.

In this space, Cleary has represented multinational corporations, airlines, manufacturers, consumer products companies, lenders, loan servicers, credit card issuers, and other financial institutions and service providers.

Our practice includes senior lawyers in New York and Washington, D.C. who provide experience and credibility with the government, including through their experience working alongside or at the CFPB and FTC during their public tenures. The Cleary team includes nine former federal prosecutors, including two recent Acting U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District of New York; a recent Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, who has significant experience with FTC advertising and marketing investigations; several former senior officials from the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice; and several former senior officials of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Chief Litigation Counsel of the Enforcement Division. The firm regularly draws upon the experience of many other partners, including former senior officials of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Consistent with the firm’s client-centered approach, the team routinely consults with other senior lawyers practicing in areas such as consumer products and retail, antitrust, banking, and tax so that our clients always benefit from the talents and resources of the entire firm.

Notable Experience

  • Bosch in one of the largest multidistrict consumer class action litigations and related litigation, based on consumer protection statutes of all 50 states, and related investigations by federal and state authorities relating to diesel emissions.

  • Domestic and multinational financial services corporations in civil litigations involving credit card practices and related enforcement actions brought by the CFPB and OCC.

  • Copa Airlines in a putative class action alleging breach of contract claims involving flight cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the federal aviation consumer protection statute.

  • LATAM Airlines in a putative class action brought by TM Solutions alleging violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and related claims in connection with ticket cancellations due to airline policy.

  • Deutsche Bank on behalf of U.S. Trust Company subsidiaries in their capacities as trustees of PEAKS, with respect to settlements with the CFPB, 47 states, and the District of Columbia, involving allegedly unfair or deceptive acts or practices by the lender in connection with its private student loan program under the Consumer Financial Protection Act and numerous little-FTC Acts.

  • LVNV in federal class action litigation alleging violations of the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and state debt collection statutes.

  • FTC investigations related to advertising claims and compliance with consent decrees involving both manufacturers and retailers.

  • Numerous little-FTC Act class action litigations based on advertising claims, marketing practices, and related issues in consumer-facing industries including beverages, construction products, title insurance, and others.

  • State Attorney General little-FTC Act investigations into advertising and marketing practices in multiple states including Maryland, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas.

  • A financial institution in connection with an action brought by the Attorney General of West Virginia alleging violations of the West Virginia’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

  • Bally North America, a retail corporation, in federal class action litigation involving claims under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA).

  • Transform/ESL in connection with a class action brought by purchasers of appliance service contracts alleging breach of contract, fraud, and violations of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

  • A major conglomerate corporation in connection with false advertising claims brought by a competitor.

  • A foreign television operator in connection with proceedings involving claims under the Italian Consumers’ Code.

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