Richard P. Eckman is a partner in the Wilmington office of Pepper Hamilton LLP. He is a finance and transactional lawyer and from 2003 to 2015 was chairman of the firm’s Financial Services Practice Group, which includes over 40 lawyers practicing in the areas of investment management, commercial and consumer financial services, public finance and affordable housing.
Mr. Eckman’s transactional practice focuses on representing financial institutions, corporations and other entities in complex financing transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, asset securitizations and other lending and venture transactions.
As a result of his background in banking, Mr. Eckman has in-depth experience and knowledge of financial services companies. He represents many financial institutions and lenders in a broad array of areas, including commercial lending, consumer finance, mortgage banking, insurance, trust matters, outsourcing and operational issues. He also represents a number of institutional trustees in Delaware business trust transactions.
Mr. Eckman also has an active practice representing non-depository institutions and specialty finance companies, and service providers in compliance matters, payment system issues, strategic transactions, government investigation and enforcement actions. He is an active speaker and writer on the activities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other regulators, and their implications for the industry.
He represents financial institutions and non-regulated entities, including marketplace lenders in many areas, including consumer finance, small business lending, merchant cash advance and co-branding relationships. He also represents many clients in dealing with payment issues including dealing with FINCEN and state money transmitter statutes. He specializes in helping non-bank lenders and their service providers in designing and launching online lending platforms and businesses that operate on a national basis. He also has represented a number of American Indian tribes in launching online lending businesses.
Active in politics early in his career, he was campaign manager for Pete duPont’s 1976 successful gubernatorial campaign and was legislative counsel in the Washington office of Congressman Thomas B. Evans, Jr. (R Delaware) from 1977-1979. He also was one of the drafters of Delaware’s landmark Financial Center Development Act that attracted over 25 financial institutions to Delaware, many of whom he represents. He was chairman of the Commercial Law Section of the Delaware Bar Association from 1989-1991 and of its Banking Law Committee from 1984-1992.
He has been counsel to the Bank of Delaware, now PNC Bank; was a founder of and vice president and general counsel for The Chase Manhattan Bank (USA), N.A.; and was a director and secretary of FCC National Bank, the national bank subsidiary of Bank One Corporation now part of JPMorgan Chase, headquartered in Wilmington. Mr. Eckman is a fellow in and former regent of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and a member of the Lawyers Committee of the Consumer Bankers Association. He is also an adjunct professor at the Villanova University School of Law where he teaches financial institution law. He is active in and held leadership positions on the Consumer Financial Services Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association and served as editor-in-chief of its e-newsletter.
Mr. Eckman was a founder and president of the Delaware Entrepreneurs’ Forum. He is a member of the board of directors of the Delaware Innovation Fund, a nonprofit seed and preseed venture capital fund, and was chairman of the board of Early Stage East, Inc., a nonprofit that sponsors venture fairs in the Mid-Atlantic region. Mr. Eckman also is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Payment Systems Law.