Pepper Hamilton Adds Consumer Finance Head From Alston & Bird

Pepper Hamilton has a new practice leader focused on consumer finance, after hiring mortgage banking industry veteran Scott Samlin away from Alston & Bird in New York.

As a partner in the New York office, Samlin will lead Pepper Hamilton’s consumer financial services and bank regulatory practice within its financial services practice group.

Scott Samlin.

Samlin’s practice focuses on mortgage banking issues, including counseling clients on the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Truth in Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

“He brings a tremendous amount of energy and leadership and experience to our practice area, and really can help us further expand it,” said Richard Eckman, a partner in Pepper Hamilton’s Wilmington, Delaware, office, who chaired the firm’s financial services practice from 2003 to 2015. “What he does and what we do dovetail very nicely.”

Before joining Alston & Bird in 2013, Samlin was a partner at Dentons. Earlier in his career, at Morgan Stanley, he was the executive director and compliance counsel for the bank’s residential mortgage and lending businesses. (He left in 2004, before the mortgage crisis hit.) Prior to that he was the executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer for EMC Mortgage, the primary loan servicer for Bear Stearns.

Samlin has also held in-house positions at Superior Bank FSB, Carteret Federal Savings Bank and the New York State Banking Department.

It was during his time at Carteret that Samlin met Eckman, about 25 years ago. They stayed in touch over the years, and talked for a long time about Samlin joining Pepper Hamilton.

“He was a great mentor to me throughout my career,” Samlin said. While in-house, “I got to select the finest counsel with the various needs I had, and Pepper was always among them.”

With the opportunity to lead a practice group, Samlin said, it became the right time to make the move.

Pepper Hamilton managing partner Tom Cole said Samlin’s hire fits with the firm’s strategy to grow in New York. The firm also added New York partner H. Peter Haveles Jr. to the commercial litigation practice earlier this year.

The consumer finance and bank regulatory practice has seven other lawyers, Samlin said. They are part of the larger financial services group, which has more than 40 lawyers. They also work closely with the firm’s white-collar and litigation practices, Eckman said.

Samlin and Eckman said consumer finance and banking regulation is likely to see a lot of activity and change in the near future, particularly at the state level, while changes at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also promise to keep the practice busy.

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