Reed Smith Shaw & McClay announced on Thursday the hiring of Grant Mitchell for its 95-lawyer office here.

The firm said this addition is a significant expansion for its consumer financial services group/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act team. Mr. Mitchell previously was the leading Respa regulator in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

As a senior attorney at HUD, Mr. Mitchell was responsible for overseeing the federal real estate compliance law, which can impose either criminal or civil penalties.

Last year Respa covered $1.4 trillion to $1.5 trillion of real estate transactions, including purchase loans, refinancings, and junior lien transactions.

Reed Smith group chairman Len Bernstein said that many financial services clients have been hit with Respa-related class actions so that compliance issues have become vital to the firm.

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