"There is no brighter mind in the retail industry."NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay
WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation today announced the retirement of Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan, a veteran lawyer and lobbyist who has guided the retail industry through legal, legislative and regulatory battles over credit card fees, bankruptcy law, privacy issues and other topics for more than two decades.
“Whether you’re appealing to the Supreme Court, testifying before Congress or meeting at the White House, Mallory is the lawyer you want by your side,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “There is no brighter legal mind in the retail industry, and nobody understands the complexities and nuances of the issues he follows better than he does. He has been indispensable to me as a trusted advisor and I am sorry to see him go.”
“Working in the retail industry has given me the opportunity to play an exciting part in some of the most interesting issues of our day,” Duncan said. “Retail isn’t just stores and shopping. It’s about the economy, jobs and public policy issues that run the gamut from taxes to trade. I’ve spent the biggest part of my career representing retailers, but a large part of that is improving retailers’ ability to serve everyday consumers. I’d like to think I’ve helped restore the alignment of Main Street retailers and their customers against unfair practices that threaten them both.”
Duncan will leave NRF at the end of August but will continue to provide counsel on payments and other issues as a consultant.
“Mallory informed me earlier this year of his intention to retire at the end of the summer, and we have been actively engaged in searching for his successor,” Shay said. “We expect to make an announcement soon.”
Duncan joined NRF as general counsel in 1994. As such, he is responsible for all of NRF’s legal affairs, both directly and through coordination of outside counsel. As a member of the NRF executive team, he helps execute the federation’s strategic mission of advocacy, communications and education on behalf of the industry. He also manages the NRF General Counsels Forum, which is made up of chief legal officers at many of the nation’s best-known retail companies.
Duncan is best known as one of the retail industry’s leading voices for reform of credit card industry fees, rules and practices to make the card industry more transparent and competitive, an area where he has played a significant role since the mid-1990s. The announcement of his retirement comes after NRF’s recent victory in convincing the House to drop efforts to repeal reform of debit card swipe fees. In recent years, Duncan headed NRF’s legal challenge of the Federal Reserve’s 2011 cap on debit card swipe fees as too high and another legal action that said a record-setting $7.25 billion settlement with banks over credit card swipe fees in 2012 was too low. Both cases went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which let the debit swipe cap stand but returned the credit card case to the trial court for additional proceedings.
Prior to joining NRF, Duncan served as senior counsel in the Washington office of J.C. Penney, where he advised the company on state and federal legislative and regulatory issues. He was previously a senior attorney in the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, where he wrote the commission’s Policy Guidance on Civil Penalties, and was an associate at the law firm of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan. The Los Angeles native is a graduate of Pomona College and Yale Law School.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.