Theresa is a partner and serves as co-chair of the Payment Systems industry team. She is also a member of the Litigation and Employment practices.
Theresa’s payments systems practice encompasses the spectrum of legal needs on the acquiring side of the industry, ranging from regulatory and compliance advice to the transactional aspects of rolling out new products to adversarial fights. A litigator by training, Theresa represents processors, ISOs, and payment facilitators in disputes over chargebacks, reserves, data breaches, and merchant non-solicitation, with lawsuits ranging from one-off merchant fights to nationwide class actions. She has extensive experience handling government investigations of payments companies by the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and state attorneys general. On the compliance and regulatory side, Theresa advises clients on card brand rules, including complex issues regarding surcharging, convenience fees, and cash discounting programs. In addition, bringing her experience in defending government investigations to bear, Theresa advises acquirers on underwriting and risk monitoring practices to manage their merchant portfolios. A significant portion of her practice is devoted to assisting payments clients in rolling out new products by advising on compliance in design and implementation and drafting the foundational contracts needed to forge new partnerships.
On the employment side, Theresa’s experience includes advising and training employers and representing them in a full range of employment litigation, including claims involving discrimination and harassment, wage and hour issues, restrictive covenants, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and employment contracts. She has experience before administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Labor, as well as in both state and federal courts. She also regularly handles workplace investigations involving allegations of discrimination or harassment. An active speaker, Theresa regularly presents on the legal aspects of employment-related challenges.
As a result of her practice in employment law and the payments industry, Theresa has substantial experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. She advises clients on compliance issues in background screening and has handled civil disputes arising out of purported violations of the FCRA.
Theresa graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she was a member of the Georgia Law Review and was honored as Best Notes Editor for 2007-08. She previously studied English and Spanish at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and has lived abroad in Brazil and Spain.