INDUSTRIES & PRACTICES

tier one talent

Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
APPLYING EXPERTISE AND PERSPECTIVE BORN OF EXPERIENCE.

Overview

For over 35 years, major multi-national and regional institutions have trusted our securities and financial services attorneys to represent them in state and federal court litigation, FINRA arbitrations, CFPB proceedings and other matters around the world.

No business welcomes conflict. But when disputes do arise, our litigators know how to try–and how to win–cases. We excel at litigating and resolving complex, challenging cases. 

Our trial lawyers include former state and federal judges, U.S. Attorneys, SEC trial counsel, CFPB trial counsel, a Watergate prosecutor, a solicitor general and several fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers. This direct experience with the workings of the U.S. judicial and regulatory system provides our clients with a rich understanding of the best avenues to explore in resolving disputes. 

Our litigators have collectively tried hundreds of matters, and their successes have been noticed. U.S. News – Best Lawyers ranked us as a Tier 1 firm for both our national Securities and Commercial Litigation practices.

Securities Litigation + -
Financial Services Litigation + -

Experience

Representative Clients
Our clients come from a wide range of industries, including leaders in financial services, health care and life sciences, energy, agribusiness and technology, as well as major non-profit and government entities. 

Our clients include public and private companies, their officers and directors, national and regional banks, broker-dealers, financial advisors, CFPB "covered persons," accounting firms and municipal issuers. We also have experience representing shareholders and bondholders. Our scope is global: we have represented clients around the world. Our focus is local: our extensive experience with courts and regulators give us unique insights into the mindset of decision makers.

Representative Matters

Shareholder Class Action and Derivative Suits 

  • Represented the executive officers and directors of a major U. S. bank being sued personally by a shareholder alleging that they breached their duties of care and loyalty. We convinced the court to dismiss the complaint with prejudice. 
  • Defended an outside director in significant shareholder litigation. Plaintiff alleged breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty. Case was dismissed without prejudice and plaintiffs’ subsequent effort to amend their complaint was denied. 
  • Defended a large multi-national medical device manufacturer and its current and former directors from shareholder derivative lawsuit. Case dismissed because shareholder failed to show that making a demand for action to the Board would have been futile. 
  • Represented a large human capital management firm against shareholder suit alleging improper manipulation of its financial results following numerous restatements of its financial statements. Complaint dismissed and leave to amend denied. 
  • Defended restaurant chain and certain of its directors against consolidated shareholder class actions alleging breaches of fiduciary dealing and unfair dealings in connection with its merger with dining and gaming company. Case dismissed with prejudice. 
  • Represented a defendant in multi-district putative class action. Matter involved municipal bond issuing municipalities and allegations of claims of conspiracy to rig bids for municipal derivatives in violation of the Sherman Act. Matter resolved on terms favorable to our client. 
  • Represented one of the largest shoe manufacturers in China against shareholder derivative action against its former CEO and his son alleging that the company had published fraudulent financial statements. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed its complaint following oral arguments on our motion to dismiss. 

Government Investigations and Proceedings 

  • Represented a globally-ranked investment company in numerous related investigations. Several investigations were brought by the Office of Thrift Supervision, the NASD, the SEC and the Attorney General for the State of New York. Allegations included claims of late day trading and market timing of mutual fund shares. After an internal investigation, we obtained a very favorable settlement with the OTS without any repercussions for our client’s officers or directors and convinced the NASD, the SEC, and the State of New York to cede to the jurisdiction of the OTC. When our client was sued for damages in a multidistrict, consolidated class action, we obtained a dismissal of the complaint with prejudice. 
  • Defended a high-profile CFO in a securities enforcement action. This investigation involved 10b-5 and other claims. We achieved a hung jury following a month-long trial and a favorable settlement of all claims without the CFO making any monetary payments.
  • Represented a large public company in connection with an SEC investigation following a financial restatement. After a three-year investigation and 25 days of testimony, we convinced the SEC to drop the matter.
  • Represented a national brokerage firm and investment bank for accused of mishandling client accounts. A state Commissioner of Securities sought extensive fines. After an internal investigation, we successfully negotiated with the State and achieved a very favorable settlement.

M&A Related Litigation 

  • Represented seller of a worldwide pharmaceutical business against claims by the buyer of the business that our client had breached various representations and warranties in the purchase agreement and otherwise defrauded it. Buyer sought damages in excess of $200 million. Following a bench trial, trial judge ruled in favor of our client and plaintiff received nothing.
  • Represented the world’s largest medical device manufacturer in connection with its merger with a Dublin-based health care supplier. Challenges to the transaction were filed in both federal and Minnesota state court with claims that directors breached their fiduciary duties, the disclosures were inadequate and corporate law was violated. We convinced judges in both state and federal court to deny plaintiffs’ motions to enjoin the deal, allowing it to be put to a shareholder vote. Our client’s shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the deal and the transaction was consummated as planned. 
  • Represented a software technology and cloud computing company in a putative class action seeking to enjoin its merger with a major international corporation. We successfully derailed plaintiffs’ efforts to enjoin the acquisition and won a dismissal of their complaint. 
  • Represented a Vancouver-based gold mining company on a federal Williams Act claim brought in federal court in Anchorage. This was part of our client’s successful strategy to fend off a hostile acquisition attempt by the world’s largest gold mining company. 
  • Represented strategic purchaser in AAA arbitration regarding appropriate interpretation of a stock purchase agreement. Three member panel ruled in favor of our client, denied plaintiff’s request for an additional $7.5 million and ordered claimant to pay all of the arbitration fees.
  • Represented a publicly held technology business in connection with its $1.5 billion sale to Oracle. Successfully defended four class action lawsuits brought in connection with the proposed transaction and transaction closed as planned. Plaintiff’s subsequent complaint seeking damages was dismissed with prejudice. 
  • Represented publicly-held publishing company engaging in merger with software developer against two purported class action lawsuits seeking to enjoin stockholder vote on transaction because of alleged deficiencies in proxy materials. Motion to enjoin denied with the Court commenting that some of the plaintiff’s claims “border[ed] on the frivolous.” 
  • Represented publicly-held acquirer against putative class actions seeking to unwind acquisition and hold another shareholder vote. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed case with prejudice shortly before the hearing on our motion to dismiss. 

Broker-Dealer Arbitration and Litigation 

  • Represented a leading financial planning firm against claims asserted by a former franchisee in FINRA arbitration. All of plaintiff’s claims (breach of contract, fraud, intentional interference with a contractual relationship) were dismissed with prejudice following an eight day proceeding.    
  • Represented a revenue development company in litigation and an eight-week jury trial involving RICO violations and accounting malpractice. Claims also involved fraud and conversion. The jury returned a very favorable verdict for our client, entirely dismissing the RICO and accounting malpractice claims.   
  • Defended the financial planning business of large broker-dealer. Allegations of forgery and securities fraud were made. We won the case on a motion to dismiss. The opinion was the first to expressly recognize that the FINRA rules do not apply when a corporation is acting as a financial advisor and not as a broker-dealer. 
  • Represented large financial planning firm in a FINRA arbitration against claims that the financial advisor recommended inappropriate investments and failed to perform sufficient due diligence of a fund sponsor. Claims were dismissed with prejudice. Defended national financial advisor in a FINRA arbitration commenced by former franchisee. Following a week-long arbitration proceeding, the former franchisee’s claims were dismissed in their entirety.    

Banking Litigation    

  • Defended the 5th largest commercial bank in the U.S. against multi-million dollar fraud claims arising out of alleged Ponzi scheme; very favorable result.   
  • Defended a retail company in a putative class action alleging violations of Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Allegations also included common law claims. Case was dismissed.   
  • Defended a national bank against a RICO complaint brought by former owners of residential properties that were in foreclosure. Compliant dismissed for lack of standing. Dismissal confirmed on appeal to the Second Circuit.    
  • Represented a large national bank against claims alleging violations of bank anti-tying laws. Claims also included fraud and breaches fiduciary duty. We succeeded in having the anti-tying claims dismissed on summary judgment. After a four-week jury trial, the court granted our motion for judgment as a matter of law on the fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims.   
  • Defended a large national bank against putative class action alleging that it had improperly force-placed flood insurance on plaintiff’s property. Case was dismissed.  
  • Defended a large national bank against claims brought by national restaurant chain after its utility bill processor went insolvent and failed to pay the chain’s utility bills. Won summary judgment at trial court that was subsequently unanimously affirmed on appeal.    

Mortgage Lending Litigation    

  • Represented multiple entities and individuals accused of fraud in connection with issuance and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities. Favorable settlement in connection with bankruptcy proceedings.    
  • Represented warehouse lender and secondary market purchaser in numerous proceedings related to failed national mortgage company. Favorably settled.   
  • Represented a residential mortgage-backed security trustee in defense of putative class action alleging failure to record mortgage assignments. Prevailed on motion for summary judgment.    
  • Represented a large national lender in a mortgage lending dispute. The lawsuit sought to undo a mortgage transaction on the grounds of alleged fraud and misrepresentation. Case dismissed under Rule 12. 

Arbitrations    

  • Defended a large financial investment firm against former broker’s claims. Broker claimed that he was improperly terminated in connection with sales to unsophisticated individuals of derivatives and sought $10 million. After a 10-day hearing, our client prevailed and the claimant received nothing.    
  • Defended a large financial investment firm in putative class action suit. Allegations of violations of multiple wage and hour and other employment statutes were brought against our client. We removed the case to federal court and had it dismissed with prejudice.    
  • Defended a large financial investment firm against claims of wrongful termination of a franchise. Claims involved alleged false reports of forgery and falsification of financial plans, as well as defamation. Claimant sought millions in damages. The panel ruled in favor of our client on all counts and awarded claimant nothing.

Accolades

Contacts

David Scheffel
Practice Group Co-Chair
Thomas Swigert
Practice Group Co-Chair

Industries & Practices

Government Enforcement & Corporate Investigations
  • Antitrust & Competition Law
  • Banking
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Consumer Financial Services
  • Corporate Governance & Compliance
  • Electronic Discovery
  • Financial Services Regulatory
  • Government Enforcement & Corporate Investigations
  • Investment Management
  • LegalMine Document Review Solutions
  • Mergers & Acquisitions