Last week, we reported that Leonard Chanin was leaving his position as Assistant Director for Regulations at the CFPB to return to private practice. His departure has now been officially announced by Director Cordray, together with a series of staffing changes.  Among those changes is that Kelly Thompson Cochran, who has been serving as the CFPB’s Deputy Assistant Director for Regulations, will assume Leonard’s responsibilities and serve as the Acting Assistant Director for Regulations.  Ms. Cochran came to the CFPB from the Treasury where she provided advice to leadership on consumer protection issues and the consumer and investor protection provisions of  Dodd-Frank. Before joining the Treasury in November 2009, Ms. Cochran practiced with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C. 

The other CFPB staffing changes announced by Director Cordray are: 

  • Chris Lipsett will join the CFPB as Senior Counsel in the Office of the Director.  He was most recently a partner  with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.  
  • Stephen Van Meter, who joined the CFPB’s Legal Division in June 2011 as Assistant General Counsel for Policy, will now serve as Deputy General Counsel.  Mr. Van Meter came to the CFPB from the OCC, where he served most recently as Assistant Director of the Community and Consumer Law Division.  Previously, he was a Senior Attorney in the Fed’s Legal Division, and an associate with Ropes & Gray in Boston.
  • Delicia Reynolds Hand will join the CFPB as the new Staff Director for the Consumer Advisory Board and Councils.  Prior to the joining the CFPB, the positions held by Ms. Hand included Legislative Director for the National Association of Consumer Advocates, General Counsel at the Center for Community Change, and Senior Counsel to John Sarbanes of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

All of these individuals appear to be well-qualified for the positions they will hold.  I am particularly impressed with Director Cordray’s appointment of Chris Lipsett, who I have known for more than 20 years.  I have worked with Chris on many class actions and government enforcement actions in which we each represented clients that were defendants in the same or similar lawsuits.  He is an excellent litigator and brings to the CFPB substantial familiarity with how banks operate, particularly credit card issuers.