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WHF Brown Bag Lunch: Bank Trade Association General Counsel
Thursday, March 11, 2021, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST
Category: Events

WHF Brown Bag Lunch: Bank Trade Association General Counsel

The general counsels of some of Washington’s leading banking associations will offer insights on what concerns their members and what they expect from the agencies in the months ahead.

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Michael Briggs, General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Mortgage Bankers Association 
Karen Thomas, Senior Executive Vice President, Independent Community Bankers of America
Thomas Pinder, General Counsel, American Bankers Association 
John Court, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Bank Policy Institute 

Michael Briggs oversees the association's internal legal affairs, compliance, and human resources operations.  He also oversees the MBA Opens Doors Foundation, MBA's 501(c)(3) foundation that provides mortgage and rental payment assistance to families with critically ill or injured children. Prior to joining MBA, Briggs spent a dozen years at the FDIC. As Assistant General Counsel for the Consumer Law Section, he led a team that delivered advice and counsel throughout the agency on a wide variety of consumer protection, real estate finance, bank supervision, enforcement, financial technology, community development and economic inclusion matters. Before joining the FDIC, Briggs was in private practice and also previously served as Chief Legal Officer of America's Community Bankers. Earlier in his career, he served as Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs at Bank of America Corporation and as Regulatory Counsel for Barnett Banks. Briggs is a former vice chair of the American Bar Association (ABA)'s Banking Law Committee and is a member of the LGBTQ Bar Association of Maryland, Women in Housing and Finance, and ALLRISE DC, an organization formed in 2019 to focus on promoting gender equity in financial services. He earned his LL.M. degree in financial services law from Boston University School of Law. He holds a J.D. cum laude from Drake University Law School and a bachelor's degree from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida.

Karen Thomas works with other members of ICBA’s executive management team to shape the association’s policy strategy and advance the interests of community banks. Thomas leads ICBA’s congressional and government relations teams and oversees ICBA’s advocacy initiatives in the legislative, regulatory, lending, accounting, and payment system areas. She has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress on behalf of the community banking industry and is quoted frequently on banking issues in the national and trade press. Thomas has broad experience in financial institutions law, including bank regulatory law, mergers and acquisitions, legislation and litigation. Prior to joining ICBA in 1992 as regulatory counsel, Thomas was a partner at Dann & Thomas, a Washington, D.C. law firm she co-founded.

As ABA’s ninth general counsel, Tom Pinder is the association’s resident expert on election and lobbying laws and internal code of conduct. Tom also oversees ABA’s coalition-building work, having filed more than 100 amicus briefs in support of legal matters important to the banking industry. Tom joined ABA in 2012, and previously served as deputy general counsel, where he led strategic litigation efforts to enhance the public policy environment for America’s banks along with all other association litigation activities. Tom was enforcement counsel at the FDIC (a breeding ground for future association general counsels?) before joining ABA. His prior experience also includes time as a trial attorney in the money laundering and asset forfeiture section at the Department of Justice (where he received an Assistant Attorney General Special Commendation Award in 2006) and as a prosecutor in Montgomery County, Md. Tom has recently been named, also following in Michael Briggs’ footsteps, Vice ChairmanAmerican Bar Association (the other ABA)'s Banking Law Committee. He began his legal career stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, following law school at New York University and his undergraduate degree from Rutgers College.

John Court manages the Regulatory Affairs Department and is responsible for overseeing all of BPI’s legal and regulatory advocacy initiatives. Previously, Mr. Court served as Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel for The Clearing House Association, a predecessor organization to BPI. Prior to joining The Clearing House in 2012, Mr. Court spent 10 years in private practice advising clients on various financial regulatory and enforcement matters, most recently as a member of the Financial Institutions Regulatory and Enforcement group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Mr. Court holds a B.A. from Cornell University and J.D. from George Washington University School of Law. Assisted by exceptional vice-chairs, he just completed a long tenure as co-chair of the Legislation & Regulation Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Banking Law Committee.

The general counsels of some of Washington’s leading banking associations will offer insights on what concerns their members and what they expect from the agencies in the months ahead.