Theresa is a partner in the Litigation and Employment practices, and serves as co-chair of the Payment Systems industry team. She handles both employment litigation and counseling, and a wide variety of litigation and compliance issues in the payments industry.
Theresa devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing the acquiring side of the payments industry—including processors, ISOs, and payment facilitators—in a vast array of legal matters that encompass adversarial fights and regulatory and compliance work. Her practice handling disputes includes litigating with merchants over chargebacks, reserves, data breaches and early termination fees. She also 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 is often asked to advise clients on compliance with card brand rules, including complex issues regarding surcharging, convenience fee, and cash discounting programs. She also assists clients with preparing and revising the various contracts necessary to facilitate the acquiring relationship, including merchant agreements, payment facilitator agreements, and sponsorship agreements. And, bringing her experience in defending government investigations of the payments industry to bear, Theresa advises acquirers on underwriting and risk monitoring practices to manage the merchant portfolio.
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, employee benefits, and employment contracts. She has experience before administrative agencies, such as the EEOC 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. Theresa presents regularly on handling the legal aspects of employment-related challenges.
In addition, as a result of her practice in the field of employment law and the payments industry, Theresa has substantial experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. She advises clients on issues of compliance 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 was also awarded for Excellence in Legal Research and Writing and Excellence in the Studies of Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination Law, and Employment and Labor Law. She previously studied piano performance at the University of North Carolina, and has lived abroad in Brazil and Spain.