Our firm advises and represents clients in a wide variety of adversarial matters. We represent broker-dealers and clearing firms and their associated persons in FINRA arbitrations and related court proceedings. Registered investment advisers engage us in arbitration matters in AAA, FINRA, and other arbitration forums, and in court. Our engagements include customer arbitrations and industry disputes on behalf of both firms and individuals. Our lawyers have appeared in hundreds of such proceedings and have tried more than one hundred to conclusion.
Financial Services Arbitration & Litigation
Our decades of experience provide a perspective and degree of judgment that our clients value in guiding them through difficult disputes. Along the way, we have amassed a substantial body of legal research across many jurisdictions, updated continuously, that allows us to respond quickly and efficiently to claims of every sort. Our lawyers have litigated claims involving just about every type of securities product and we rarely see claims or theories with which we are not already familiar. We also have considerable experience handling intra-industry disputes, clearing disputes, compensation disputes, and broker transition cases. We also regularly represent insurance companies and their brokers and agents in defense of sales practices claims.
- Obtaining judgment and affirmation on appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, finding that Florida’s statute of limitations applies to claims brought in arbitration.
- Obtaining arbitration award in favor of our client, a registered representative defending a claim for breach of a promissory note against a global financial services firm in which our client asserted counterclaims for Form U5 defamation. After 39 hearing sessions over 21 days, a FINRA arbitration panel awarded our client over $12 million, including $500,000 in punitive damages, one of the largest punitive damages awards in a FINRA defamation case, and ordered the expungement of the disclosure from the Form U5.
- Obtaining a directed verdict from a FINRA arbitration panel in a claim by a former registered representative alleging that our broker/dealer client wrongfully terminated his contract. The panel found that the registered representative failed to meet his burden of proof and dismissed his claims prior to the broker/dealer having to present its case-in-chief.
- Defense of broker/dealers in connection with alleged Ponzi schemes perpetrated by former registered representatives, handling both the litigation and regulatory issues and significantly reducing the companies’ exposure on both fronts.
- Obtaining dismissal of securities class action claim alleging violations of federal securities laws in connection with the sale of equity indexed annuities, with ruling that equity indexed annuities are not securities.
- Obtaining dismissal of claims in federal court alleging misrepresentation and breach of contract in connection with sale of $10 million life settlement contract.
- Defense of claims by a minority trade group association of a multimillion dollar claim asserting mishandling of the association’s accounts.
- Defending a broker/dealer against multiple claims brought against the firm and a deceased registered representative.
- Representation of a securities clearing firm against claims stemming from conduct by the introducing broker/dealer’s registered representative.
- Defense of registered representatives and broker/dealers in contractual disputes after the termination of the registered representative.
- Co-counsel in obtaining a $4.2 million arbitration award and complete dismissal of $7.8 million in counterclaims, and subsequent confirmation of the arbitration award over a motion to vacate;
- Obtaining an arbitration award in favor of broker/dealer defending claims by an elderly investor who invested nearly $2 million (representing 80% of his net worth) in one stock. The FINRA arbitration panel denied the claim, apparently concluding that the transactions were all self-directed and the investor had full knowledge of the risks.
- Obtaining pre-hearing dismissals of FINRA claims due to ineligibility;
- Expungement of disclosures from CRD Records/BrokerCheck
Areas of Concentration
- Securities and Financial Services Litigation
- Non-compete & Raiding Litigation
- Partnership Disputes
- Class Action Litigation