Four attorneys who are widely known in the credit union system have brought their expertise, energy, and deep commitments together to launch a new law, advocacy, and consulting firm, CU COUNSEL PLLC.
The new firm is dedicated to representing credit unions and to achieving real regulatory relief for clients.
The firm is based in Washington, D.C. and is focused on a wide range of credit union concerns, including:
- supervisory issues
- regulatory and legislative advocacy
- corporate governance and
- improving pending proposals,
- litigation and others.
The firm has placed special emphasis on issues involving the National Credit Union Administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Small Business Administration, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and other agencies such as the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board.
The firm is ready to advocate for credit union priorities as needed to Congress and the White House as well.
The attorneys who formed the new venture are, as principals, Eric Richard, former Executive Vice President and General Counsel at CUNA; Mary Dunn, former Deputy General Counsel and head of Regulatory Advocacy at CUNA; and Steven Bisker, a former NCUA Assistant General Counsel and longtime private
practitioner representing credit unions. Stephen Eisenberg, former Executive Vice President and General Counsel for almost 30 years at Pentagon Federal Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in the country, serves as advisor to the firm.
“Each of us brings something unique to this new organization, but we have in common that we have each been involved in hundreds of issues involving credit unions and regulators,” Richard said. “We approach these problems from varying perspectives that help us tailor uniquely effective approaches. Some of us have the experience of representing the entire industry, or key parts of it, on a national level; others have many years’ experience of pressing for individual credit unions’ interests. Our group includes the kind of background that one gets from working inside a credit union, and we also credit union system and private practice experience.”
The firm intends to offer its services to all segments of the credit union community, including Leagues, individual credit unions, groups of coalitions of credit unions, CUSOs, and third parties whose business orientation is closely allied with credit unions.
The group credited Bisker with coming up with the initial vision of bringing these four individuals together. “Steve has been in the trenches fighting for credit unions for a long time,” Eisenberg said. “He knows what it takes to pull a new practice together and make it come alive. And he is a bulldog who knows how to fight hard for his clients.”
“We welcome the opportunity to reach out to the credit union system with our backgrounds,” Dunn noted. “Given the range of regulatory limitations credit unions face, our plan is to combine our passion for credit unions, energy, experience, credibility, tenacity and knowledge of the law and regulatory process to advocate for the betterment of individual credit unions as well as for broader credit union interests. We are prepared to address compliance, supervisory, governance, statutory and other issues to help credit
unions,” she added.
Eisenberg and Bisker have long been involved in regulatory issues, but both also have experience helping credit unions with questions of governance, regulatory compliance, development of internal and external policies, and business issues that credit unions face.
“I am fully sensitive to serving as counsel for and collaborating with credit union directors and members of the supervisory committee as these officials meet their important roles and responsibilities,”
Eisenberg said. “And having been deeply involved in substantial and critical transactional initiatives and corporate governance issues as well as overcome statutory and regulatory hurdles, my experience can be applied to help benefit other credit unions.”
The group is firmly convinced that it can achieve progress on regulatory relief for credit unions because of its unrelenting focus on the issues. “We expect success because we are going to stay intensely focused,” Dunn said.
The group also stressed that it will not hesitate to approach Congress when necessary to achieve results for clients. Three of the group’s members have worked in or with Congress many times over their careers. “We are comfortable in every forum, and while we approach each of them with respect, we are not awed by any of them,” according to Richard.
CU Counsel’s address is 1629 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006. It can be reached at [email protected] and 202 508 3795.