According to media reports, the FTC is expected to appoint Andrew Smith, an attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C. who currently represents many industry clients, to lead the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau. His expected appointment has reportedly met with criticism from two Democratic Senators.
Before entering private practice, Andrew was an attorney with the FTC. He currently chairs the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee.
I have known Andrew for many years going back to his tenure at the FTC where he served in senior supervisory and policy-making positions. I always felt that Andrew was a very fair-minded attorney who studiously called the shots as he saw them. As a leader of the ABA Consumer Financial Services Committee, including in his current position as Committee Chair, he has been very even-handed, always ensuring that the voices of consumer advocates are heard. The ABA represents all of it members, not just lawyers who work for or represent the consumer financial services industry.
The knee-jerk criticism of Andrew by two Democratic Senators based on his prior legal work for clients and his need to recuse himself from FTC investigations involving those clients is completely unfounded. If anything, it demonstrates that Andrew is an excellent lawyer and that his services are in high demand. Indeed, the BTI Consulting Group recently named Andrew to its 2018 “Client Service All-Stars” list, which recognizes “the leaders in superior client service.” Andrew is one of only three consumer financial services lawyers in the country named to this list. My partner, Scott Pearson, also received this rare honor.