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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Financial services litigation
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Leveraging the expertise of a sizeable roster of seasoned trial lawyers, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s litigation team is regularly sought out by many of the largest financial institutions to represent them in high-stakes, reputational threatening disputes. Spearheaded by the ‘excellentRichard Clary, the firm continues to act as national co-ordinating counsel to Credit Suisse on its residential-mortgage backed securities (RMBS) litigation and has to date secured the dismissal or withdrawal of claims covering approximately $14.1bn in securities. In only the second RMBS investor case to go to trial, the team defended Credit Suisse against misrepresentation claims bought by Massachusetts Life Insurance Company regarding the offering documents connected to the purchased securities (the matter settled prior to the conclusion of the trial). Clary also continues to represent Credit Suisse in numerous other major and varied pieces of litigation, including a residual case brought against the bank by four hedge funds relating to the historical collapse of Enron and as defendant in a lawsuit filed by US soldiers wounded in Iraq (as well as by the estates of US soldiers killed in Iraq) alleging offences under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Head of litigation Daniel Slifkin has a wealth of experience acting for financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley, which he is representing in several antitrust-related disputes, including in relation to an allegation that it and several other financial institutions boycotted and conspired to block the emergence of Tera Group’s credit default swap (CDS) trading platform. Lauren Moskowitz is also recommended and has had a key role in the aforementioned Credit Suisse RMBS litigation.

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Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s integrated litigation, enforcement and white-collar offering provides financial services clients with a comprehensive service both from a civil and criminal perspective, and in relation to agency-led investigations/enforcement actions and the private litigation which often follows in its wake. James Rouhandeh continues to defend Morgan Stanley in RMBS litigation flowing from the credit crisis with recent successes including the dismissal of a multibillion-dollar fraud and negligent misrepresentation action brought against the bank by Royal Park Investments. As part of his broad-ranging litigation expertise, Edmund Polubinski III regularly handles financial services-related private litigation and enforcement actions/investigations. Polubinski recently successfully secured a motion to dismiss on behalf of Morgan Stanley, as one of several bank defendants, in a high-profile short selling securities litigation and is also currently acting for leading fintech bank Cross River Bank in precedent-setting litigation concerning the viability of marketplace lending. Former federal prosecutor Martine Beamon has significant credibility before the regulators and recently successfully represented a high-frequency trading (HFT) firm in a multi-disciplinary inquiry relating to the HFT industry. Formerly the director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Linda Chatman Thomsen also has vast credibility before the regulators and is well-known for her anti-money laundering (AML) and economic sanctions expertise. Other clients include Clearstream Banking, Intesa Sanpaolo, McGraw Hill and JPMorgan.

Recognized by one client as the ‘ne plus ultra’ of financial services litigation practices, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has a ‘well-established reputation’ representing a broad array of financial services clients facing reputation threatening agency enforcements/investigations and private litigation. ‘Excellent’ team head Brad Karp continues to represent Citigroup across a range of private litigation and regulatory enforcement/investigations including in disputes relating to its RMBS exposure. Recent successes for the bank include successfully resolving the multi-year, multi-agency global AML investigation and successfully securing dismissal by the appellate court in a high-profile precedent-setting $800m holder claim brought against it. The firm has also been involved in numerous market manipulation cases and as well as its high-profile work for Deutsche Bank in Libor matters, also represents Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) as one of the defendants in a putative class action alleging forex rigging. Praised for his ‘prodigious work ethic and practical business sense’, the ‘world classDaniel Kramer has vast experience acting for financial services entities in litigation and agency investigations, and has recently handled numerous high-profile insider trading matters, including the representation of SAC Capital and Steve Cohen in one of the biggest civil insider trading cases ever filed. Richard Rosen and Bruce Birenboim are also recommended.

Due to its absence from transactional work in the sector, litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is untrammelled in its ability to bring actions against the major money-center banks and provides an ‘extremely able and analytical’ service to many of the largest institutional investors (including pension funds and hedge funds) in the highest-profile financial cases in the market. ‘Merciless fighters for a client’s cause’, the team is famed for its trial-ready approach and proactivity, which ensures that it also initiates high-profile cases and is not merely involved as an outgrowth of a prior government investigation, indictment, or guilty plea. For example, the team recently effectively acted as a private attorney general when it brought a class action on behalf of investors to recover damages as result of an alleged unlawful conspiracy among numerous banks to block the emergence of exchange trading of interest rate swaps. The ‘vastly experienced and skilled’ Daniel Brockett leads on this matter and is also central to many of the other big-ticket cases brought against Wall Street, including the spate of recent market manipulation cases involving Libor, ISDAfix, treasuries, and sovereign and supranational bonds. The firm has also gained significant market recognition for its plaintiff work in relation to credit crisis-related litigation and recently concluded its representation of Federal Housing Financial Agency (FHFA), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in RMBS cases brought against the majority of the US banking industry. Peter Calamari is also regularly involved in claims involving complex financial products and is representing the ResCap Liquidating Trust in approximately 85 lawsuits seeking indemnity and damages from correspondent lenders arising from the defendant lenders’ sale of defective mortgage loans that resulted in billions of dollars of losses and liabilities for the trust’s predecessor. The ‘smart, knowledgeable and strategic’ Los Angeles-based Harry Olivar ‘bends over backwards to help’ and excels at handling cases involving mortgage-backed securities. ‘A supremely talented trial lawyer’, Andrew Rossman has a ‘deep understanding of complex trading issues’ and is also praised for his cross-examination skills which were described by one client as a ‘work of art’. Philippe Selendy left in January 2018 to set up his own firm.

Deeply embedded into the fabric of the financial services community, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provides ‘hard-nosed, smart and efficient’ representation to major banks, including Bank of America, UBS and Deutsche Bank, across many of the highest-profile pieces of litigation and regulatory actions affecting the industry. The team has handled a raft of antitrust-related financial services matters, including its ongoing representation of JPMorgan in Libor litigation. Having recently secured a favorable settlement for Deutsche Bank for its alleged role in the conspiracy to manipulate prices of supranational, sub-sovereign and agency bonds, the team is currently defending the bank in class actions brought by investors who suffered losses as a consequence of alleged fixing of the US Treasury securities market. The ‘hardworking, well-prepared and knowledgeable’ Jonathan Youngwood is one of the key partners representing Deutsche Bank in the aforementioned US Treasury securities case, and alongside Paul Gluckow represented JPMorgan in private litigation and government investigations regarding the collapse of the auction rate securities market in the aftermath of the credit crisis. The team has also defended numerous financial services entities in RMBS-related disputes, and spearheaded by Joe McLaughlin and of counsel David Woll, recently secured a landmark appellate victory for Countrywide Home Loans. A New York appeals court ruled that bond insurer Ambac cannot use state insurance law to avoid proving loss causation in a suit alleging Countrywide Financial fraudulently induced it into issuing unconditional and irrevocable insurance policies on mortgage-backed securities.Craig Waldman, who excels at representing private equity clients in transaction-related litigation, the ‘smart, charming but tough’ Lynn Neuner and Peter Kazanoff, whose ‘easy going manner belies forceful and strategic thinking’, are also recommended.

Led out of Washington DC by Joseph Barloon and Anand Raman, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s ‘very accomplished’ consumer finance practice regularly handles high-stakes agency enforcement/investigations and private litigation on behalf of a varied mix of clients, which include banks, insurers and credit card companies. Raman recently represented Wells Fargo in high-profile Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) inquiries into the bank’s sales practices and its servicing of student loans. Raman also acted for BancorpSouth in a joint CFPB and Department of Justice (DOJ) fair lending action relating to the bank’s alleged discriminatory mortgage lending practices which denied African-American consumers fair and equal access to mortgages. Barloon is also recommended for his contentious consumer finance expertise and continues to represent online lender CashCall in CFPB-initiated unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP) litigation challenging its online lending model. Outside of the consumer finance arena, Jamie Boucher has particular expertise on AML and sanctions matters; she continues to advise Credit Agricole on its ongoing obligations pursuant to the terms of various settlements following multi-agency investigations into its compliance with US economic sanctions laws. New York-based John Carroll has vast experience representing financial institutions and individuals in financial fraud investigations and is defending a multinational banking and financial services corporation in a DOJ criminal investigation of the company and former employees arising out of the sale of MBS prior to the housing crisis. Spread out across its national network of offices, the firm’s securities litigation practice also regularly handles substantial disputes for financial services entities including UBS which it successfully represented in a three-week bench trial, in what was the first ever repurchase action brought by an RMBS trustee to go to trial. Jay Kasner and Scott Musoff are also recommended.

Uniformly excellent and tough’, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is regularly the first port of call to a wide-ranging array of financial services clients across the gamut of hot-button issues attracting the scrutiny of regulators and in associated follow-on private litigation. Often working closely with regulatory specialists and able to leverage significant knowledge from transactional lawyers at the firm that were engaged on the front-end of deals, the 22-partner financial services team has the critical mass and expertise to handle a tremendous volume of matters for a client base that reads like the great and the good of the industry, including UBS, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. Involved in many of the most significant disputes arising out of the financial crisis, the firm’s role for UBS as lead defense counsel in its collateralized debt obligation (CDO)/RMBS private litigation recently reached a conclusion, when, on appeal, the judge accepted the firm’s argument that Aozora Bank should have investigated sooner and was therefore time barred in its allegations of fraud connected to its investment in a $31m CDO.

Following an appeal brought by Aozora Bank the judge accepting the firm’s argument that the Japanese lender should have investigated sooner and was therefore time-barred in its allegations of fraud connected to its investment in a $31m CDO. The team also recently successfully secured the dismissal, on behalf of Barclays Bank, of a US class action litigation initiated by investors of $2.5bn in American depository shares issued by the bank just months before the financial crisis. The team has been involved in many of the highest-profile market manipulation investigations and private litigation that have dominated the market over recent years, including on behalf of Barclays Bank which it is defending in class action lawsuits involving accusations that it was involved in Libor rigging. The ‘formidableSharon Nelles has been involved in many matters emanating from the subprime mortgage crisis including her work for Moody’s in a DOJ investigation regarding the ratings agency’s methodology for assigning ratings to RMBS and CDOs, as well as in the defense of related consolidated shareholder class action litigation. Richard Klapper, Robert Giuffra, Matthew Schwartz and Justin DeCamp are recommended.

Effectively leveraging the expertise of numerous former government officials - including sanctions and AML expert Katherine Mooney Carroll, who returned to the firm in May 2017 after a stint at the Department of Defense - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘very well integrated’ white-collar, securities enforcement and internal investigations team regularly defends many of the leading financial institutions and multinational corporations across a broad range of sensitive regulatory and criminal matters. The ‘engaged and proactive’ team has handled regulatory investigations and follow-on private litigation regarding alleged market manipulation of numerous benchmarks for several banks, including Goldman Sachs, which it is defending in a consolidated putative class action brought against it and several other institutions alleged to have conspired to manipulate the ISDAFIX benchmark rate. Robin Bergen and Giovanni Prezioso have represented numerous global financial institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, facing multi-pronged agency investigations regarding the structuring and marketing of CDOs, RMBS and CMBS. Himself formerly general counsel at the SEC, Prezioso has tremendous credibility before the agency and is acting for several electronic trading and market making firms in regulatory investigations surrounding many aspects of their businesses’ high-profile matters involving algorithmic trading controls, order-type disclosure and potentially disruptive market activity. Recently promoted partner Nowell Bamberger is regularly involved in cross-border litigation and regulatory investigations.

Recently bolstered by the arrival of numerous federal prosecutors and senior regulatory staff, such as Patrick Stokes who joined in September 2016 having previously been senior deputy chief of the DOJ’s fraud section, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP provides a cohesive service to a broad range of financial services clients across the spectrum of agency investigations/enforcement actions, white-collar mandates and private litigation. A key differentiating factor from many of the firms referenced in the ranking is the team’s ability to leverage its market-leading appellate and administrative law practice to provide an unparalleled offering to clients seeking to challenge agency enforcement actions on appellate review. Led by Theodore Olson and Helgi Walker, the firm had a high-profile success before the DC Circuit for PHH Corporation in a challenge to the constitutionality of the CFPB. This high-profile matter followed on in quick succession from another major challenge of agency actions when Eugene Scalia persuaded the district court to revoke the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) designation that MetLife was a non-bank SIFI. Seasoned trial lawyer Lawrence Zweifach has significant financial services-related litigation expertise and is regularly involved in matters proceeding on numerous fronts, including civil and criminal investigations and pursuant civil litigation. Zweifach has represented UBS in various overlapping global regulatory and criminal investigations and litigation related to the forex market including the negligence-based settlement it reached with the SEC relating to the sale of structured notes linked to a proprietary forex trading strategy. Alongside Aric Wu, Zweifach also continues to represent a major international bank which is the subject of novel Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA)-related mortgage fraud investigations brought by the members of the Mortgage Fraud Task Force. Former federal prosecutor Joel Cohen excels at handling both civil and criminal investigations/litigation for financial institutions and their top executives; he is currently acting for the global head of a major European bank in a DOJ Libor investigation. Arthur Long is also recommended.

Anchored from Washington DC and New York, plus its presence in California, Arnold & Porter has the strength-in-depth and expertise to handle the full gamut of disputes affecting retail, commercial and investment banks, including those relating to consumer lending and mortgage securitizations, both from an agency enforcement/investigation and civil litigation perspective. David Bergman has significant trial expertise at a federal and state court level; he recently successfully secured summary judgment for HSBC (subsequently affirmed at appellate level) dismissing breach of contract claims brought by Shearman Originator LLC which alleged a violation of servicing obligations in connection with more than $70.5m loans. As well as his ongoing work on appeal for Charles Schwab in litigation relating to the best execution of equity trades for its customers, San Francisco-based Gilbert Serota also regularly handles work for Wells Fargo and its board of directors in class action and derivative lawsuits. Howard Cayne has an excellent reputation in the market for federal pre-emption defences, and has employed this to good effect in numerous pieces of litigation on behalf of the FHFA. Richard Alexander is also recommended. Other clients include VISA, JPMorgan Chase, Atlantic Security Bank and York Capital.

Strengthened at the beginning of 2017 by the return of both Mary Jo White and Andrew Ceresney following high-profile stints at the SEC, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP benefits from a ‘real insiders’ knowledge’ of the inner workings of the regulatory agencies and is therefore able to provide ‘excellent and insightful’ advice which is rooted in real world expertise across both agency investigations/enforcement actions and follow-on private litigation. Benefiting from considerable in-house banking and government prosecution experience, Matthew Biben is a safe pair of hands in relation to sensitive white-collar regulatory defense and private litigation matters; he recently acted as co-counsel alongside consumer finance expert Courtney Dankworth for Santander’s subprime auto lending division in an Attorney General investigation into its auto-lending and dealer management practices. Bruce Yannett and Sean Hecker recently concluded the negotiation of non-prosecution agreements (NPA) for Union Bancaire Priveé and HSZH Verwaltungs in relation to the DOJ’s Swiss bank programs, while David O’Neil continues to represent a Swiss bank executive in relation to the investigations.

The ‘knowledgeable and strategic’ team at Goodwin has a ‘very strong reputation’ for consumer finance matters and continues to be active in many of the most significant enforcement actions, investigations and litigation in the sector. As well as his regular work on behalf of Bank of America, ‘excellent strategistThomas Hefferon has been involved in numerous high-profile CFPB-related matters, such as on behalf of Ocwen Financial in the defense of litigation filed by the CFPB (and accompanying actions brought by both the Florida and Massachusetts attorneys general) challenging its loan servicing practices. Notably this matter has garnered particular industry attention as it is one of the most aggressive enforcement actions taken by the regulator against a mortgage loan servicer and as part of Hefferon’s defense the team is arguing an important administrative law issue in its assertion that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured since it vests too much unfettered power in the hands of the CFPB's director and the bureau itself. David Permut regularly handles mortgage-related litigation and recently successfully secured summary judgment for Bank of America in a putative class action alleging that it had violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in connection with its captive reinsurance arrangements. Grant Fondo and Richard Strassberg continue to represent the former CEO of Wells Fargo in high-profile class action and derivative litigation regarding the bank’s sales practices. Brian Pastuszenski is praised for his ‘informed and practical advice’.

Leveraging its heavyweight general commercial litigation reputation, and also calling upon the expertise of practitioners within the firm’s government and internal investigations team, Kirkland & Ellis LLP provides a ‘top-notch’ service to clients that include Hercules Capital, Deloitte Tax and Citigroup Global Markets as a result of its ‘excellent understanding of the law and ability to create innovative arguments and develop case strategy’. The firm’s added credibility on the appellate front following the recent absorption of Bancroft PLLC has also led to some notable financial services-related mandates. Paul Clement, the former US solicitor general and previously a partner at legacy firm Bancroft, secured a notable victory on behalf of HSBC when the appellate court blocked the release of the bank’s money laundering report which had been prepared under a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). Other recommended partners include Mark Filip, Robert Kopecky and Neil Eggleston, who recently returned to the firm following a tenure as White House counsel to President Obama. Former director of enforcement at the SEC Robert Khuzami left the firm in January 2018 to take up the position of deputy US attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Strengthened by numerous lateral hires over the past 12 months, such as Joseph Serino and Eric Leon from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Nicholas McQuaid and Leslie Caldwell from the government, where McQuaid served as deputy White House counsel and Caldwell was assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s criminal division, Latham & Watkins LLP is increasingly well-equipped to handle big-ticket finance-related disputes proceeding across numerous fronts, including regulatory enforcement actions and private litigation. The ‘very practicalJeff Hammel is ‘well-informed and thoughtful across a wide range of issues affecting financial institutions’ and alongside Richard Owens continues to represent the British Bankers’ Association in the US litigation relating to its alleged role in Libor manipulation. Together with William Reckler and lawyers from the firm’s German offices, Owens was a pivotal member of the team that represented Deutsche Bank in the high-profile DOJ investigation into alleged fraudulent behaviour relating to the bank’s sale of RMBS in the lead up to the financial crisis. Miles Ruthberg is noted for his defense of accountancy firms. Kathryn Ruemmler is also recommended.

Leveraging the expertise of lawyers in the US and across the most significant global financial locales of London, Frankfurt, Paris and Hong Kong, Mayer Brown has particular strength in cross-border matters, including the extraterritorial application of US law to global financial institutions, forum non-conveniens and personal jurisdiction grounds for dismissal, and foreign data protection and bank secrecy laws. Mark Hanchet regularly handles work for well-known foreign banking institutions such as HSBC, which he represents as one of the defendant banks accused under the Anti-Terrorism Act of helping Iran process billions of dollars in transfers and finance terrorists who attacked American military personnel serving in Iraq. Matthew Ingber has gained an excellent reputation in the market, particularly for his work on behalf of securitization trustees in litigation brought against them alleging a failure to adequately protect the interests of the noteholders. In a market-defining matter and one which has huge ramifications for other bank trustees going as it does to the very essence of their corporate trust business model, Ingber successfully represented Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM) in a four-week bench trial (the first case to proceed to trial among the dozens pending against RMBS trustees) brought against it by insurance company Western & Southern. Christopher Houpt is also noted for his structured finance litigation expertise and had a key role in the aforementioned BNYM litigation. Steven Wolowitz continues to represent Société Générale in class action litigation surrounding its alleged role in Libor market manipulation. Lucia Nale is recommended for consumer finance-related litigation.

While it is better known for its financial services M&A excellence, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz also has significant capability in relation to high-stakes regulatory enforcement actions/investigations and follow-on private litigation. Past highlights have included assisting Bank of America on the negotiation of its $8.5bn settlement to resolve multibillion-dollar put-back claims by investors in more than 500 MBS issued by Countrywide, as well as representing JPMorgan Chase in the $19bn litigation brought against it by the trustee for the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s failed firm. John Savarese, David Anders and Jonathan Moses are all recommended.

The ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ team at Buckley Sandler LLP sets the ‘gold standard’ for handling consumer finance regulatory disputes, either in the context of agency enforcement actions and investigations or private litigation. A regular adversary of the CFPB, the firm has handled work across the gamut of industries, products and practices and achieved a raft of noteworthy victories since the agency’s inception in 2011. As well as handling agency-led enforcement actions and investigations, Matthew Previn is regularly engaged in class action litigation and continues to represent JPMorgan Chase in multiple class actions throughout the country, including recently concluding a class action mortgage settlement for the bank in litigation following on from a CFPB Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) investigation. The ‘smart and savvy’ Michelle Rogers is a key member of the team that also includes the ‘highly thought of’ Benjamin Klubes, ‘outstanding litigator’ Valerie Hletko, Jonice Gray Tucker and Andrew Schilling. Co-founder Andrew Sandler retired in March 2018.

Utilising the resources of general commercial litigators who have substantial financial services experience, as well as a strong capability on the white-collar criminal defense front and internal investigations, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is well-placed to represent banks, insurance companies, private equity firms and broker-dealers across the gamut of regulatory investigations, enforcement actions and private litigation, both from a civil and criminal perspective. The ‘extremely knowledgeableStephen Juris is ‘adept in his development of strategies with the bounds of the law and is realistic and upfront about possible outcomes’. Scott Luftglass is also recommended.

The ‘small but very sophisticated’ practice at New York-based litigation boutique Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP has continued to gain market share since its foundation in 2012 and provides a ‘high-quality service’ directly to financial services clients as well as through referral work from other law firms. Spearheaded by the ‘trial-ready and unflappable’ Michael Shuster, the firm is recognized as being ‘at the top of its field in pursuing repurchase claims on behalf of securitization investors and trustees against banks’ and continues to act for US Bank and Wilmington Trust in the prosecution of RMBS putback claims against Lehman across more than 150 RMBS trusts. The ‘brilliant, collaborative, knowledgeable and experienced’ Shuster is also representing VISA in an antitrust class action and also recently prevailed in a Second Circuit argument on behalf of holders of Argentine debt. Daniel Goldberg ‘displays impressive judgment and courtroom presence’ and Vincent Levy ‘can tackle the toughest legal issues and explain them in clear compelling briefs’.

Led out of New York by Jay Tambe, Jones Day’s five-partner team provides a ‘high-quality service’ to financial institutions in many significant financial crisis-related disputes. Tambe and Laura Sawyer represent Lehman Brothers (Estate) in numerous matters and recently guided it to a settlement (after 17 days of trial) in the defense of litigation brought by hedge fund QVT arising from the termination of over 850 derivatives transactions following Lehman’s bankruptcy. Lauded for its ‘formidable understanding of industry practices and familiarity with market participants’, the team has developed an excellent reputation for its work advising bank trustees in RMBS-related trustee litigation. The firm represents several clients in this space including Wells Fargo, which it is defending in three putative class actions filed by institutional investors. Boston-based Matthew Martel has a ‘deep understanding and appreciation of trustee issues and is particularly adept in navigating highly complex issues which require an understanding of and ability to develop/manage relationships with relevant counterparties’.

Led out of Chicago by David Bohan and Christian Kemnitz, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP handles litigation and regulatory investigations across the spectrum of financial products, from exchange-traded securities, options, futures and funds, to the most sophisticated over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives executed across both public and dark, fully electronic venues. Bohan is ‘very able’ at handling cases involving complex financial products and recently successfully defended a group of registered market makers at both trial and appellate levels against accusations that it conspired to cheat smaller options traders out of stock dividends. Los Angeles-based Stuart Richter excels at handling consumer class actions and continues to represent 20 credit unions and three banks in a series of class action litigations spread throughout the country alleging the improper charging of overdraft fees. Clients include UBS, Citibank, 3Red Trading and JPMorgan Chase.

Unfettered in its ability to act in litigation adverse to financial institutions by virtue of its absence of a transactional practice, disputes and investigations boutique Kobre & Kimstands out above the bar as a "go-to firm" when the government forces clients into litigation’. Benefiting from a ‘bench of partners who maintain a depth of knowledge of financial markets and know their way around a courtroom’, the firm ‘works well solo or with co-counsel as it brings a sustained level of momentum and intensity into highly charged litigation’. ‘Respected by the defense bar and clients’, founding partner Michael Kim has a ‘strategic mind and works a courtroom with total control and perfection’. Alongside Danielle Rose, Kim represented a government agency in its successful pursuit of multibillion-dollar securities claims against a major Wall Street bank. Miami-based Andrew Lourie ‘has the technical knowledge to rip into balance sheets and analyze complex derivatives transactions while possessing sophisticated defense skills to defeat the best of government cases’. Co-founder Steven Kobre is also recommended.

Co-headed by New York-based Michael Kraut and Boston-based Elaine McChesney, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s ‘highly collaborative and creative’ team has the strength-in-depth to handle a significant volume of private litigation and agency enforcement actions/investigations, irrespective of geographical location. Praised for his ‘excellent understanding of the contractual role of the trustee’, Kraut has a strong reputation handling securitization-related disputes and is ‘adept at navigating difficult issues with adverse counterparties’. Firm chair Jami Wintz Mckeon handles consumer finance-related class action litigation and investigations, and represents some of the world’s largest banks in mortgage and credit card regulatory and litigation matters. As part of his broad-ranging litigation expertise, Kenneth Schacter regularly handles work for financial services clients; he is representing Bank of America in a putative class action arising from the TelexFree Ponzi scheme. Chicago-based Kenneth Kliebard and San Francisco-based John Rosenthal are also recommended. Other clients include Saxon Mortgage Services, Dexia Bank and Merrill Lynch.

Jointly led by David Fioccola and James McGuire from New York and San Francisco respectively, Morrison & Foerster LLP is particularly noted for its ‘excellent work’ defending financial institutions accused of consumer finance-related misdemeanours including issues related to violations of federal and state unfair and deceptive actions and practices statutes. Alongside Elizabeth Balassone, McGuire recently successfully secured summary judgment on behalf of Capital One Auto Finance in a case which clarified the law relating to the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. Other highlights include Fioccola and Jessica Kaufman’s recent success for Nordstrom in the dismissal of a suit alleging deceptive practices related to its credit card fee disclosures.

With expertise on both the East and West coasts, O'Melveny & Myers LLP has a ‘strong offering’ both in private litigation and regulatory enforcement actions/investigations for a wide range of financial services clients, including retail and consumer banks, credit card companies and insurers. The firm’s sweet-spot, however, lies in relation to its mortgage expertise both on behalf of bank and non-bank originators and servicers. In this space California-based co-head Elizabeth McKeen is highly regarded and recently successfully represented Ocwen at first instance and on appeal as a defendant in a RICO class action alleging that it conspired with Altisource to fraudulently assess unnecessary monthly property inspection fees to delinquent borrowers. Alongside Danielle Oakley, McKeen has represented Fannie Mae in numerous class actions including litigation arising under the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act; the action alleges that the secondary market mortgage financing provider lacks reasonable procedures to assure the maximum possible accuracy of information contained in consumer reports, failed to provide plaintiffs access to their credit files, and failed to meet the statute’s reinvestigation requirements. San Francisco-based Randall Edwards regularly handles privacy and data security-related litigation for financial services clients including Visa. Washington DC-based co-head Brian Boyle is also recommended, in particular for his ERISA litigation expertise.

Benefiting from robust capabilities on both East and West coasts, as well as in Houston and Chicago, Paul Hastings LLP is able to provide a strong service to financial services clients across a significant range and volume of financial services litigation irrespective of location. New York-based Douglas Flaum co-heads the firm’s securities litigation practice and along with Shahzeb Lari recently successfully defended ACA Financial Guaranty against claims that it failed to disclose its true exposure to sub-prime CDOs when it underwrote bond insurance on securities issued by Retirement Housing Foundation. Global litigation chair Barry Sher regularly handles financial services-related disputes and, alongside Jodi Kleinick, recently successfully represented FIM Advisors in securing the dismissal of a purported class action brought by investors in two funds (which were feeder funds to Bernard Madoff Investment Services) managed by Kingate Management who suffered losses as a result of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Other clients include Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

Under the leadership of the ‘excellentAdam Hakki, Shearman & Sterling LLP has been involved in many high-profile regulatory investigations/enforcement actions and private litigation over recent years. Noted by one client as the ‘pre-eminent class action litigator in the market’, Hakki has been involved in a slew of antitrust-related matters for core client Bank of America, including as a defendant in interest rate swaps class action related to its alleged conspiracy with other banks to prevent the establishment of exchange-like trading platforms, and its role as an alleged co-conspirator in the manipulation of the forex market. Richard Schwed is also recommended and had a key role in the aforementioned matters.

Leveraging its reputation as a litigation powerhouse, Williams & Connolly LLP provides ‘high-quality’ and ‘trial-ready’ representation to an impressive roster of clients that includes Barclays, UBS and Fifth Third Bank across the gamut of private litigation and agency-led enforcement actions. Ryan Scarborough and John Villa have a ‘wealth of litigation experience’ and are representing TCF National Bank in the first litigated CFPB enforcement action to be brought against a bank relating to its alleged violation of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. Beth Stewart has handled numerous matters for Bank of America and, along with Enu Mainigi, has a pivotal role on behalf of its Countrywide subsidiary in defending claims brought by Ambac related to its insurance of Countrywide RMBS. Praised for his ‘unmatched breadth of knowledge and experience’ and ‘excellent ability to address key factors and succinctly identify the pertinent issues’, Brendan Sullivan regularly handles financial services-related litigation as part of his broad ranging commercial litigation offering. ‘Experienced’ trial lawyer Dane Butswinkas is also regularly involved in financial services litigation, while Rachel Rodman has an excellent pedigree for handling consumer finance disputes.

Benefiting from the expertise of some ‘real industry thought-leaders’, as well as a plethora of former high-ranking government officials, WilmerHale provides ‘timely and knowledgeable advice’ to financial services clients facing high-stakes regulatory investigations and enforcement actions. ‘Excellent at handling consumer finance matters’, the team is representing student loan company Navient in bet-the-company litigation brought by the CFPB alleging that it harmed student loan borrowers throughout the repayment process. Anjan Sahni is representing Bank of America in a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigation into possible violations of the Commodity Exchange Act in connection with the bank’s trading and clearing of interest rate swaps. Former director of enforcement at the SEC, William McLucas has tremendous credibility before the regulator and is regularly involved in high-profile private litigation as well as SEC probes.

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