Barry A. Abbott

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7988 |

Areas of Practice

Barry Abbott is a nationally-known corporate, financial institutions, payments and e-commerce lawyer. He is a pioneer in e-commerce lending matters and has represented established companies and startups (including crowdfunding, peer-to-peer and gaming companies) in all aspects of their Internet and e-commerce businesses.

Barry has provided legal counsel to many of the largest institutions and corporations in the U.S. and abroad. In this connection, Barry was involved in developing the legal documents for the first equity line product (for Crocker Bank in the late 1970s), was principally responsible for developing all legal documents for the first major reverse mortgage program (for Transamerica HomeFirst in the late 1980s), was the original legal counsel who helped organize the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) and served as General Counsel to the REX Group, which developed the first true home owner-occupied option investment product and marketplace.

Barry has been named by The Best Lawyers in America® for his expertise in Banking and Finance Law, Corporate Law, Financial Services Regulation Law and Insurance Law. He has also been named as Seattle’s “Best Lawyer of the Year” for 2014 and 2015 in Financial Services Regulatory Law and as a “Northern California Super Lawyer” in Business/Corporate Law by Super Lawyers® magazine. Barry is an elected Fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, a professional association of lawyers particularly skilled and experienced in handling consumer financial services matters.

Professional Experience

  • Arnold & Porter LLP (and predecessor, Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, P.C.)
    • Of Counsel (2006-2013)
    • Director (1994-2006)
  • The REX Group, Chief Legal Officer, Director of Government Relations and Corporate Secretary (2006-2009)
  • Morrison & Foerster LLP
    • Partner (1983-1994)
    • Associate (1977-1983)

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States


  • University of Florida College of Law (J.D., with honors, 1975)
    • Order of the Coif
  • Stanford University (M.B.A., 1977)
  • Dartmouth College (A.B., magna cum laude, with high distinction in history, 1972)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Practice Group and Specialty Team Memberships

  • Business
  • Cannabis
  • Finance and Banking
  • Financial Institutions
  • FinTech
  • Insurance
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Mortgage and Consumer Finance
  • Privacy and Data Security
  • Private Investment Funds
  • Startups and Emerging Companies

Representative Matters and Clients

  • Represented client in large pension cash flow purchase business and merchant advance business with product design and negotiation with state regulators
  • Advised and provided all documentation for new crowdfunding site for small business financings
  • Negotiated, documented and filed all regulatory applications for client’s acquisition for control of a $650 million bank holding company located in California
  • Provided all federal and state payment advice to major national gaming company
  • As principal outside corporate counsel for The Bar Association of San Francisco, merged two of its affiliated 501(c)(3) corporations
  • Negotiated and documented $21 million C-Round and $115 million private fund financings as Chief Legal Officer of The REX Group
  • Drafted all documentation for the first national reverse mortgage product
  • Developed documentation for first multistate true home equity option contract program
  • Reorganized Greenpeace in the United States
  • Organized The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) and The Mono Lake Committee
  • Served as principal outside counsel for a major independent medical research foundation


  • “Puget Sound Area Should Get in on the FinTech Revolution,” Puget Sound Business Journal, Co-author (October 2016)
  • “Out-of-State, Non-Bank Financing Becomes Available for Washington State Licensed Marijuana Businesses,” Lane Powell White Paper, Co-author (June 24, 2016)
  • “Banks and the EB-5 Program: Look Before You Leap,” Issues and Answers magazine, Washington Bankers Association, Co-author (September/October 2014)
  • “New Product Development — A Big Challenge and a Potentially Big Reward,” Western Banker magazine, Western Independent Bankers (May/June 2014)
  • “Five Legal Topics for Washington Bankers to Consider This Fall,” Issues and Answers magazine, Washington Bankers Association, Co-author (September/October 2013)
  • “CFPB Report Indicates Impending Regulation of Overdraft Practices,” Consumer Finance Law Quarterly Report, Vol. 67, Nos. 1-2 (2013)
  • “The Nuts and Bolts of a REX Agreement,” Consumer Finance Law Quarterly Report, Vol. 6, No. 2, (Summer 2007)
  • “Financial Privacy and the California Experience,” Annual Review of Banking and Financial Law, Vol. 23 (2004)
  • “The Financial Modernization Act: The Dawn of a New Era,” Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Spring 2000)
  • “Privacy and the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” The Review of Banking and Financial Services, Vol. 13, No. 22 (December 17, 1997)
  • “The Truth in Lending Act After 15 Years:  Its Goals and Its Limitations,” Oklahoma City University Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring 1984)
  • “A Proposal to Revise the Forms of California Summons,” Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 1. (September 1981)
  • Truth in Lending: A Comprehensive Guide, Prentice-Hall Law & Business, Co-author (Out of Publication)

Speaking Engagements

Barry is a frequent lecturer on corporate, commercial and financial institution law for numerous organizations, and previously was an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

  • “Our Current Regulatory Environment and Cannabusiness,” Lane Powell’s Commercial Law Developments Seminar, Co-presenter (December 15, 2016)
  • “Introduction to Marketplace Lending,” Lane Powell’s Commercial Law Developments Seminar (December 17, 2015)
  • “Consumer Traps for the Unwary Commercial Lender,” Lane Powell’s Commercial Law Developments Seminar (December 12, 2013)
  • “International Seminar on Consumer Litigation in Japan, the U.S. and China: Class-Action and Cross-Border Lawsuits,” The Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Tokyo, Japan (March 2012)
  • “Fair Lending and Property Insurance Access,” Co-chair, American Bar Association National Institute (March 1995)


  • Named Best Lawyers® Seattle Financial Services Regulation Law Lawyer of the Year (2014, 2015, 2017)
  • Named by The Best Lawyers in America®, Banking and Finance Law, Corporate Law, Financial Services Regulation Law, Insurance Law (2005-2018)
  • Named as a “Northern California Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers® magazine, Business/Corporate
  • AV Preeminent® in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™

Professional and Community Activities

  • Former Member, Federal Reserve Board Consumer Advisory Council and Chairman of its Consumer Credit Committee (Washington, D.C.)
  • Fellow and former Board Member and Officer, American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers
  • Member, Conference on Consumer Finance Law, Governing Committee
  • Member and former Committee and Subcommittee Officer, American Bar Association, Consumer Financial Services Committee and Banking Law Committee
  • Member and former Section, Committee and Subcommittee Officer, State Bar of California, Business Law Section, Financial Institutions Committee and Insurance Law Committee
  • Fellow, The Royal Society of Arts (London)
  • Former Board Member and Committee Chair, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Former Board Member and Officer, Barristers Club of San Francisco