Add a bookmark to get started

Margo H. K. Tank

Partner
US Co-Chair, Financial Services sector
Co-Chair, Financial Regulation and Technology
About

Margo Tank is the US Co-Chair of DLA Piper’s Financial Services Sector and Co-Chair of the Financial Regulatory, Payments and Digital Group. She advises commercial enterprises, financial institutions, and technology companies on the full spectrum of legal and regulatory matters related to the use of electronic signatures and records to conduct business online or via mobile devices in compliance with the US Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), various UCC Articles enabling digital transactions, including Article 9-105, and globally. She also advises businesses on the use of smart contracts and blockchain technologies, and on laws enabling money transfers and remittances, including virtual currencies and other emerging payments mechanisms. Margo also advises on matters related to privacy and data security, and the use of artificial intelligence, including under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and on other consumer protection laws, such as the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) and federal and state unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAP/UDAAP) laws.

Margo began her legal career as counsel to the US House of Representatives, Committee on Banking and Financial Services. An early advocate for the financial services industry's acceptance and implementation of electronic signatures, she served as counsel to the Electronic Financial Services Council and assisted the group draft and lobby for the federal ESIGN Act, and is currently counsel to the Electronic Signature and Records Association, where she works to further electronic financial services policy before Congress and federal regulators. She also is counsel and co-reporter for Standards and Procedures for Electronic Records and Signatures (SPeRS). She is a member of the American Bar Association's Business Law Section and the Committee on the Law of Commerce in Cyberspace, is on the xDTM Standard Board of Governors and is a legal member participant in the Digital Chamber of Commerce's Smart Contracts Alliance.

Margo is ranked in Chambers Fintech 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 and was named to the National Law Journal's list of Technology Trailblazers. She continues to be ranked in Legal 500 Fintech. She has written books, articles and surveys on electronic signatures, smart contracts, virtual currency, privacy, financial services websites and mobile apps and more. She co-authored eight editions of Thomson Reuter's The Law of Electronic Signatures and Records (2012-2021), and three editions of Standards and Procedures for Electronic Signatures and Records (SPeRS), a compilation of guidelines, procedures, checklists and strategies for developing systems to create, deliver, sign, manage and transfer legally enforceable electronic records and signatures in commercial and consumer transactions. 

Other notable publications include: Enabled by Lenders, Embraced by Borrowers, Enforced by the Courts: What You Need to Know About eNotes, MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. (2018); Smart Contracts – 12 Use Cases for Business & Beyond – A Technology, Legal & Regulatory Introduction, Digital Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Deliotte (2016); Electronic Retail Installment Sales Contract in California, The Review of Banking & Financial Services, Volume 33 No 12 (2017).

Bar admissionsDistrict of ColumbiaMaryland

EXPERIENCE

  • Assisted with the development and legal review of hundreds of platforms for e-disclosure delivery, e-notarization, e-signing and evaluating capability in connection with originating, selling and securitizing electronic negotiable instruments and/or electronic chattel paper
  • Representation of money services businesses in connection with structuring alliances, obtaining money transmitter licenses and various acquisitions and due diligence
  • Representation of virtual currency exchanges and crypto businesses in connection with various regulatory matters, including SEC investigations
  • Advised national companies on privacy, data security and cybersecurity matters, including breach response and FTC enforcement matters 
Education
  • J.D., Drake University 1992
    with honors
    Order of the Coif
  • B.A., University of Vermont 1985

Awards

  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for 2023
  • Chambers FinTech
    • 2022 - Band 2, USA FinTech Legal: Data Protection & Cyber Security
    • 2022 - Band 3, USA FinTech Legal: Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies
    • 2019-21 - Band 2, USA FinTech Legal: Data Protection & Cyber Security
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • 2021 - Leading Lawyer, Fintech
    • 2020 - Leading Lawyer, Fintech
    • 2019 - Recommended, Fintech
    • 2019 - Recommended, Commercial Deals & Contracts
    • 2019 - Recommended, Cyber Law (including Data Privacy and Data Protection)
  • Margo Tank was named as a Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer for 2022
  • Named "Top 50 Women Leaders in Law of 2022" by Women We Admire
  • Named to the National Law Journal's 2019 list of Technology Trailblazers
  • 2015 Cornerstone Award, Electronic Signatures and Records Association
  • 2009 "Mortgage Banking Technology All-Star" by Mortgage Banking Magazine

Bylines

  • "The issues pertaining to crypto regulation go beyond the SEC," Börsen-Zeitung, 11 Nov 2021
  • "The Gathering Storm," Commercial Dispute Resolution, 29 Sep 2020
  • "Blockchain regulation: Speedbumps, roadblocks and superhighways," Cointelegraph, 3 Sep 2020
  • "Remote Online Notarization is Here to Stay," American Bar Association, 23 July 2019
  • "Banking Law Committee Journal - Summer 2019," American Bar Association
  • "Lawyers learn new tricks," The Big Issue, February 2019
  • eSignature and ePayment News and Trends, 30 Nov 2018
  • eSignature and ePayment News and Trends, 26 Oct 2018
  • Obtaining remote payment authorizations from customers: are you in compliance?, 26 Oct 2018
  • eSignature and ePayment News and Trends, 14 Sep 2018
  • Remote notarization: authentication requirements, by US state, 14 Sep 2018
  • Electronic Signatures: The element of intent in the digital environment, 23 Jul 2018
  • eSignature and ePayment News and Trends, 23 Jul 2018
  • Is your website ADA compliant? A brief look at the current legal status, 29 Jun 2018
  • eSignature and ePayment News and Trends, 29 Jun 2018
  • Audit logs: key to enforceable electronic signatures, 28 Jun 2018
  • eSignature and ePayment News and Trends, 24 May 2018
  • May a power of attorney be electronically executed?, 24 May 2018
  • eSignature and ePayment News and Trends, 2 May 2018
  • A short primer on applicable US eSignature laws, 2 May 2018
  • In long-awaited TCPA case, DC appellate panel vacates material sections of FCC's 2015 TCPA order, 2 May 2018
  • "'Reasonable security': A moving target," Cyber Security: A Peer-Reviewed Journal Vol. 2, No 1 December 21, 2017
  • "Smart Contracts: Is the Law Ready?" Chamber of Digital Commerce, September 2018
  • "eSignature and ePayment News and Trends," May 2, 2018
  • The Law of Electronic Signatures, 2018 Edition, Thomson Reuters
  • "Electronic Retail Installment Sales Contract in California," The Review of Banking & Financial Services, Vol. 33 No 12 December 2017 
  • "Enabled by Lenders, Embraced by Borrowers, Enforced by the Courts: What You Need to Know About eNotes," MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., September 8, 2017
  • "The Secret Sauce for Electronic Records: System Audit Logs," April 2017 
  • "ADA Compliance for Financial Institutions in the Crosshairs," Law360, March 2017 
  • "Smart Contracts – 12 Use Cases for Business & Beyond – A Technology, Legal & Regulatory Introduction," Digital Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Deliotte, December 2016 
  • "Digital Documents: Financing Paperless Transactions," The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Study, March 2015 
  • "Special Considerations For Perfection Opinions Covering Electronic Chattel Paper As Collateral," Journal of Equipment Lease Financing, Spring 2015
  • "Consumer Financial Services Answer Book 2016," Practicing Law Institute, October 1, 2014
  • "Look Before You Invest: Bitcoins, Virtual Currencies, Emerging Payment Products, and Regulatory Compliance," JD Supra Law News, November 2013 
  • "A Brief Guide to Using Electronic Signatures in Securities Transactions," Practical Compliance and Risk Management for the Securities Industry, July 2013
  • "What emerging Payment Providers Can Learn from Liberty Reserve and Mt. Gox," Payments Journal, July 2013 
  • "Planning for Accessibility when Developing Financial Services Websites and Mobile Apps," American Bar Association Consumer Financial Services, June 20, 2013
  • "NACHA's Guidelines for Bill Payments Via QR Codes," E-Finance & Payments Law & Policy, April 2013 
  • "Federal Regulators Issue Guidance on Social Media and Mobile Privacy," Law Journal Newsletters, April 2013
  • "Is Regulatory Uncertainty an Impediment to Mobile Payments?," Payments Journal, January 23, 2013
  • "E-Signatures: Zulkiewski v. American General Life Insurance Company," E-Commerce Law Reported, Dec 2012 
  • "Paperless Transactions: The Competitive Edge", The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Study, 2007 
  • "Requirements Pertaining to the Electronic Delivery of Required Documents," The Investment Lawyer, Vol. 14 No 5 May 2007 
  • "eMortgage Implementation Considerations," Electronic Banking Law and Commerce Report, Vol. 11, No 6, July 2006 
  • "It's the Message, Not the Medium! Electronic Record and Signature Rules Preserve Existing Focus of the Law on Content, Not Medium of Recorded Land Title Instruments," The Business Lawyer, Vol. 60, No 4 August 2005 
  • "SPeRS - Standards and Procedures for electronic Records and Signatures," Electronic Financial Services Council, 2003

Seminars

  • Speaker, "MBA/ALTA Digital Closing and eMortgage Boot Camp," August 2020 
  • Speaker, "Can I Close My Loan Over Zoom?," Women in Housing & Finance Webinar, May 27, 2020
  • Speaker, "eNotes and the Role of the MERS eRegistry: Guidance from Attorneys for Attorneys Webinar," MERS and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, March 25, 2020
  • Speaker, "MBA webinar - Remote Online Notarization State-of-Play," February 27, 2020
  • Speaker, "eNotes, eClosings, and eVaults," Structured Finance Conference, February 25, 2020
  • Speaker, "FinTech 2020 and beyond: eContracts and Asset Backed Securities Webinar", DLA Piper, February 12, 2020
  • Speaker, E-Signatures and Electronic Loan Documentation in Real Estate Finance, Stafford Publications Webinar, February 20, 2018
  • Speaker, Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coindesk, Smart Contract Legislation Webinar, Feb 27, 2018
  • Speaker, "e" Signatures & Tamper Evident Seals MISMO Webinar, March 15, 2018
  • Speaker, "Legal and Regulatory Update," Electronic Signatures and Records Association Spring Member's Meeting, May 9, 2018
  • Speaker, "eSignatures, Blockchain and Smart Contracts, Oh My! The New Landscape for Digital Transactions," Clear Law Institute Webinar, May 31, 2018
  • Speaker, "Building a Foundation of Knowledge: Communicating the Viability of eNotes to Your Legal Team," MERS User Conference, June 20, 2018
  • Speaker, "eNote Considerations, Legal Enforceability and Industry Adoption," February 28, 2018
  • Speaker, "Getting Started With ESIGN," ESRA eSignRecords 2017 Annual Conference, November 15, 2017
  • Speaker, "eSignatures and ADA," ESRA eSignRecords 2017 Annual Conference, November 15, 2017
  • Speaker, "What's New in ESIGN," ESRA eSignRecords 2017 Annual Conference, November 14, 2017
  • Speaker, "Mitigating Risk: Recent Developments in ADA Accessibility Compliance," National Association of Federal Credit Unions Live Webcast, November 9, 2017
  • Speaker, "Going Paperless: The How – and Why – of Offering Digital Mortgages," Inside Mortgage Finance Webinar, September 14, 2017
  • Speaker, "Preparing for Digital 2," MERSCORP User Conference, June 9, 2017
  • Speaker, "Responding to Legal and Regulatory Challenges in an Evolving Payments Environment," TRANSACT, May 10, 2017
  • Speaker, "Digital Mortgages," Mortgage Bankers Association's Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, May 9, 2017
  • Speaker, "Tech Talk: Fintech, Regtech, Blockchain and Bots," Mortgage Bankers Association's Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, May 9, 2017
  • Speaker, "E-Mortgages: Electronic Signatures & Tamper Evident Seals," MBA Webcast, April 19, 2017
  • Speaker "Ready, Set, Go! Prepare for the Evolution to 'e'," National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference & Expo, March 28, 2017
  • Speaker, "2017 ESRA Winter Meeting: ESIGN and Blockchain - Legal and Regulatory Update," March 2, 2017
  • Speaker, "PRIA Winter Symposium: Blockchain Q&A," February 23, 2017
  • Speaker, "Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference: Overcoming the Final Hurdles to Digital Mortgage," January 24, 2017
  • Speaker, "Clear Law Institute: Contract Law and E-Signatures," January 13, 2017
  • Speaker, "eSignlive Webcast: Legal and Regulatory Update on Electronic Mortgage Closings," November 8, 2016
  • Speaker, "ESRA's eSign Records 2016: The Latest in Regulations & Law," November 2, 2016
  • Speaker, "Mortgage Bankers Association 2016 Annual Convention & Expo: Overcoming the Final Hurdles to Digital Mortgage," October 24, 2016
  • Speaker, "National Title Solutions Forum: eSignatures, eNotaries, eOdometer Panel," October 13, 2016
  • Moderator, "ABA's Housing Finance Subcommittee Panel: Fintech and Housing Finance: The State of the eMortgage," September 9, 2016
  • Speaker, "ESRA Summer Meeting," August 3, 2016
  • Speaker, "AssureSign Webinar: eSignature: The Cornerstone of Digital Transformation," June 30, 2016
  • Speaker, "DocuSign Momentum '16 General Counsel Summit: Mobile Devices: Do's and Don'ts," April 5, 2016
  • Panelist, "Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act Drafting Committee," April 2, 2016
  • Speaker, "2016 ESRA Winter Meeting," February 24, 2016
  • Speaker, "2016 Financial Partners, Inc. Legal Consortium: Electronic Signatures," January 19, 2016
  • Speaker, "American Bar Association Consumer Financial Services Winter Meeting 2016: eMortgages - Opportunities and Challenges," January 12, 2016
  • Speaker, "eSignRecords 2015," November 17, 2015
  • Speaker, "National Association of Federal Credit Unions Webinar: E-Sign - Electronic Records and Signatures for Risk Management," October 7, 2015
  • Speaker, "InsideCounsel Webinar: E-Signature Legal FAQs," September 22, 2015
  • Speaker, "Electronic Signatures and Records Association Summer Members Meeting," August 11, 2015
  • Guest, "Block Chain Summit," May 25, 2015
  • Speaker, "Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals Great Lakes Regional Chapter Education Day: ESIGN 101 (For the Uninitiated and the 'Old Hands')," May 15, 2015
  • Speaker, "Electronic Signature & Records Winter 2015 Member Meeting," February 25, 2015
  • Speaker, "Equifax Webinar: Leveraging eSignatures for Better Compliance in Mortgage Lending," January 27, 2015

Media Mentions

Margo Tank and David Whitaker's recent article on the law governing digital mortgage notes is cited in the Treasury Department's new report, A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities • Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation, July 2018.

  • Quoted, "Uniformity will be critical to RON adoption," MBA Annual Conference, October 21, 2020
  • Quoted, "‘Wet’ Ink Signatures Requirements May Fade After Coronavirus (1)," Bloomberg Law, April 10, 2020
  • Quoted, "COVID-19 May Boost E-Signature Adoption in Reluctant Mortgage Ecosystem," Law.com, April 2, 2020
  • Quoted, "Digital Divide: US Government's Mandated E-Signature Adoption Hitting Roadblocks," Law.com, August 1, 2019
  • Quoted, "FinCEN Flexes Muscle With 1st P2P Crypto Exchanger Case," Law360, April 19, 2019
  • Quoted, "The Digital Mortgage Ecosystem: Lenders, Investors and Custodians Ready for the eNote Transition," eOriginal Blog Post, October 27, 2016
  • Quoted, "Go from Zero to eClosing Superhero in 5 Steps," Mortgage Lending Compliance Alert, August 22, 2016
  • Quoted, "Compliance: Increase Efficiencies, Make Borrowers Happy with eClosings," Mortgage Lending Compliance Alert, July 15, 2016
  • "Global xDTM Standard Empowers European Organizations to Make the Digital Transformation with Trust and Confidence," xDTM Standard Association Board of Governors, June 28, 2016
  • Quoted, "Court Wins Set Important Precedent for Paperless Mortgages," National Mortgage News, May 20, 2016
  • Quoted, "Distrust of Vendors Raises Questions on Data Security, Regulatory Compliance," Legaltech News, April 5, 2016
  • Quoted, "Why the CFPB is About to Ramp Up Cyber Enforcement," Bloomberg BNA, March 3, 2016
  • Quoted, "Dwolla Fined As Tough Regulator Takes First Data Security Action," PaymentsCompliance, March 3, 2016
  • Quoted, "CFPB Turns Focus From Consumer Harm in Data Security Debut," Law360, March 3, 2016
  • Quoted, "Dwolla Action Opens New Territory for CFPB: Attorneys," Credit Union Times, March 3, 2016
  • Quoted, "The Great Balancing Act: Payments Regulation Today," PaymentsCompliance, February 4, 2016
  • Quoted, "Paperless Automation Key to Lender Compliance and Competition," National Mortgage News, December 28, 2015
  • Quoted, "A Tale of Two Investments: Blockchain Enjoys the Best of Times," Mobile Payment Magazine, November 12, 2015
  • Quoted, "Company Needs Dictate Which E-Signature Solution to Use," Bloomberg BNA, October 8, 2015
  • Quoted, "300+ Organizations Endorse xDTM Digital Transaction Management Standard," March 10, 2015
  • Quoted, "Outlook 2015: Finance Tech: Cybersecurity, Payment Processing, Virtual Currency, Patents," Bloomberg BNA, January 27, 2015
  • Quoted, "If You Opt to Use E-Signatures, Mind These Compliance Pointers," IA Watch, January 8, 2015

Connect

Phone

+1 202 799 4170
(Work, Washington, DC)