Paul Hancock

is recognized as a preeminent expert in civil rights matters, such as those arising under the federal Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Voting Rights Act and related state consumer protection laws prohibiting deceptive, unfair and abusive practices.

Paul’s expertise in fair lending dates back to his service in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he led the Department’s fair-housing and fair-lending enforcement program, and extends up through the present, with his significant representations of clients seeking to comply with fair and responsible lending requirements, engaging in federal and state regulatory examinations, and defending acts and policies in enforcement or legal actions. His practice in recent years has focused particularly on the financial services industry, and has included representation of the industry’s largest and smaller members, as well as major trade associations, before all levels of the federal judiciary (including the Supreme Court) in complex litigation and before federal and state agencies.

Following over 20 years of service enforcing civil rights legislation at the Department of Justice, Paul served in the Florida Attorney General’s Office and is remembered for arguing for the Florida Attorney General before the Florida Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court in the presidential voting recount lawsuit in 2000 (Bush v. Gore). Building on that experience in private practice, he has broad experience coordinating with state officials in Florida and around the country on a variety of regulatory issues.

As both a former prosecutor and current defense lawyer, Paul’s practice emphasizes the fair, even-handed and effective enforcement of civil rights laws, and in addition to his defense of industry clients, he has pursued this objective through pro bono representation of civil rights plaintiffs on diverse issues of national importance such as school desegregation, religious freedom for prison inmates, housing discrimination, public accommodations discrimination, and voting discrimination. Paul currently serves as co-president of the Civil Rights Division Association (CRDA), an organization composed of former employees (and also open to current employees) of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.