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Financial Services Litigation (Commercial and Consumer)

Our clients say they retain our team for many reasons but three top the list: First, our litigators draw on attorneys from across the firm to help us on substantive issues in industry-specific matters so, for example, if our client has a complex case involving an oil and gas deal, we add an energy lawyer to the litigation team. Second, we deploy aggressive litigation tactics, but know when to use a more diplomatic approach. Third, clients appreciate that we have prevailed in a diverse range of intricate, high-stakes cases.

Here are a few examples:

  • Highly technical asset forfeiture case. In this case for one of our large financial institution clients, the US Attorney’s Office froze assets of the borrower while the government investigated allegations that the borrowers, a compounding pharmacy, had strayed outside the legal parameters of the industry in running its business. Among the assets frozen were corporate jets, which served as collateral for the loan. In dealing with officials in Washington, DC and locally in multiple states, our litigators secured a release of the collateral, which allowed the bank to sell the airplanes and use the proceeds of that sale to pay off the loans. 
  • Defending a community bank against a class action lawsuit with civil rights implications. In this action involving Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Fair Lending Act violations, the attorney for the plaintiffs tried to classify all of the loans in the financial institution as one class. Using our strategic regulatory knowledge and federal court litigation skills, we prevented that from occurring, narrowed the focus of the class and ultimately negotiated a settlement that allowed our client to quickly resolve the dispute.
  • Defending a D&O insurer of a publicly traded bank in a class action securities matter. The case was brought by investors seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for alleged fraud arising from inappropriate omissions and inaccurate disclosure and establishment of the bank’s loan loss reserve. We were able to earn our client a favorable outcome.
  • Estate and trust litigation. We advise fiduciaries, beneficiaries and third parties on all aspects of estate and trust disputes. These types of disputes, which frequently involve financial institutions, family, friends, and longstanding personal relationships, often require a particular sensitivity and strategy in representing clients and navigating issues.

Summary

We know that when banks and financial institutions become involved in litigation it significantly interferes with their day-to-day operations. In understanding the overall litigation landscape, we assemble a customized team of attorneys with the right kind of regulatory knowledge, business litigation and appeals experience for each particular matter. Then we mobilize quickly, effectively and efficiently to resolve disputes so our clients return to what they do best – run their institutions and serve their customers.

Our attorneys have tried and litigated high-profile, multi-million dollar and multi-jurisdictional cases throughout the United States. We cultivate and maintain professional relationships with judges and court officials in the various courts and policy makers and regulators in governmental agencies, enhancing our ability to represent both large sophisticated financial institutions in complex cases and mid-market and community banks in smaller but equally important matters.

When we get a case we immediately review it and build a team by matching the right attorneys with the right experience and skill sets across our footprint. This allows us to streamline the entire litigation process to provide the clients timely and efficient counsel.

Defining Strengths

We have a strong team of attorneys who handle commercial litigation, class-action litigation, mortgage litigation, consumer financial litigation that involve the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Procedures Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Lending Act, Truth in Lending Act, Real Estate Procedures Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and other statutory and regulatory laws and rules. We also represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in complex estate and trust litigation, including will contests, trust disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, undue influence claims, disputes involving business valuation and control, challenges to investment decisions and results, guardianship and conservatorship actions, Cy pres/trust modification and trust reformation actions, disputes involving charitable trusts and foundations, and more.

Our many significant representations include:

  • Defending a Wall Street investment bank and its general securities representative in an unsuitability, "dram shop" claim brought by an investor seeking more than $30 million in NASD and federal court proceedings.
  • Representing a corporate registered investment advisor and three of its officers against claims by its client alleging unsuitability pursuant to federal and state securities laws as well as claims of breach of fiduciary duty, deceptive trade practices and common law fraud.
  • Defending a major accounting firm against a $700-million claim of professional liability and fraud relating to audit work performed for a publicly traded company, which was liquidated in bankruptcy court.
  • Defending a bank and one of its officers in a lawsuit alleging negligence and seeking a declaratory judgment and damages related to loan secured by real property.
  • Representing special litigation administrators and trustees in various estate contests and trust disputes in estate of high profile celebrity whose estate has been litigated in probate court for over ten years.
  • Representing various charitable entities and foundations with financial interests in estate and trust distributions.