York Public Relations, a brand awareness and crisis PR firm dedicated exclusively to financial institutions and fintechs, has formed a strategic alliance with Atlanta-based Stanton Law, a firm specializing in business, employment and transactional law.
As part of the alliance, York Public Relations will work with David Adams, who has represented financial, private equity and non-financial institutions for nearly 20 years. Through the relationship, financial services organizations will now have access to both crisis public relations services and experienced legal counsel to successfully navigate emergencies while adhering to state and federal laws.
“The financial industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in America and must navigate a litany of laws and requirements under the best of times,” said Adams. “But in a crisis, such as a compliance violation or data breach, specialized counsel is critical. It is also critical to manage any reputational damage. With our alliance with York Public Relations, we’re able to offer that critical counsel in difficult circumstances.”
Adams’ experience includes financing transactions, mergers, acquisitions and expansions. He has completed over 70 M&A transactions. Additionally, he counsels his clients on data security, cyber risk and compliance with federal and state consumer financial protection laws and regulations. Adams leads the transaction practice at Stanton Law which includes real estate transactions, financial institution regulatory compliance, state and federal securities law registrations, equity and debt offerings, and problem asset resolution for mid-sized local and regional financial institutions and other businesses.
Adams has published more than 30 articles in a variety of publications including the Fulton County Daily Report, The Corporate Board magazine and a number of banking journals. He has been listed as a Georgia Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and named to GeorgiaTrend magazine’s Legal Elite. In 2014, he was named to the University of Georgia Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40. He is also a graduate of Leadership Georgia. Adams was a member of the Ethics and Professionalism Committee for the State Bar of Georgia and chaired the subcommittee that revised the introduction to the law school programs used by all law schools and every lawyer in the state of Georgia.
“The likeliness of a crisis – whether it’s a cybersecurity attack or a regulatory action – is rising,” said Mary York, CEO of York Public Relations. “Financial institutions must not only have a plan to navigate reputational damage during a crisis, but they must also have sound counsel for legal matters. That’s why we are working with David. He has a proven track-record for supporting and advising his clients on state and federal compliance laws and cybersecurity matters, among other areas within the financial industry. By working together, we’re able to support our mutual clients to the fullest.”
While the likeliness of crises is rising and the legal impact can be severe, there is also a substantial impact to customer retention if not handled well. According to York Public Relations’ latest consumer survey, “The 2020 Financial Institution Crisis Survey,” the overwhelming majority of Americans (84%) would cut ties with their financial institution following certain crises, with the number one deterrent being FDIC/government violations (56%). Data breaches and cybersecurity fraud is also a top crisis that could cause banks to lose customers, with more than 2 in 5 Americans (42%) saying they would leave a bank if it experienced this.