Firms To Watch: Financial services litigation

Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP substantially bolstered its contentious financial services practice in December 2020, when it brought on specialist Valerie Hletko from Buckley LLP.

Financial services litigation in United States

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton  handles some of the most high-profile disputes in the financial services sector, with experience representing clients in civil litigation, investigations by regulators and criminal prosecutions. In 2021, the team’s capability to handle prominent matters was demonstrated by its work on class actions and investigations stemming from the collapse of the family office Archegos. Elsewhere, the practice boasts expertise in aiding clients facing allegations of market manipulation, securities fraud, and violation of sanctions. The team’s broad client base includes major domestic and international financial institutions, and it is increasingly engaged by clients from cutting edge sectors such as cryptocurrencies and fintech. The practice is jointly led by Robin Bergen and Giovanni Prezioso, who are based in Washington DC, alongside New York-based Lev Dassin and David Brodsky. The team stands out for its trial expertise, with New York's Victor Hou and DC-based Matthew Solomon both having previously worked as prosecutors, in Solomon’s case as Chief Litigation Counsel at the SEC.

Practice head(s):

Lev Dassin; David Brodsky; Robin Bergen; Giovanni Prezioso

Other key lawyers:

Victor Hou; Matthew Solomon; Nowell Bamberger

Key clients

HSBC

Bank of America – Merrill Lynch

Unicredit

Union de Banques Arabes et Françaises (UBAF)

Goldman Sachs

American Express

BNP Paribas (BNPP)

Citigroup

Work highlights

  • Representing multiple financial institutions in connection with the various criminal regulatory inquiries in the U.S., including from the DOJ, and around the world related to the multi-billion dollar meltdown of the family office of Bill Hwang, Archegos.
  • Representing  the CEO of multibillion-dollar fintech company Ripple, in connection with an SEC investigation of the company and in an enforcement action brought by the SEC in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Represented multiple Citibank entities, including Mexico-based Citibanamex, in class action litigation brought in the SouthernDistrict of New York against Citi and 8 other banks (Santander, BBVA, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Barclays, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse) under the federal antitrust laws for unjust enrichment and for alleged collusion in connection withthe sale of Mexican Government Bonds.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP fields a strong team in the contentious financial services space, representing investment banks, private equity funds and asset management firms in a variety of high-profile disputes. The team remains highly focused on antitrust litigation, where its work includes defending clients accused of anti-competitive practices and the manipulation of rates and markets. The practice is also active in the fintech space, handling high-profile litigation such as the defense of Robinhood in claims stemming from the retail broker-dealer’s actions to restrict trading in volatile securities, such as shares in Gamestop and AMC. Daniel Slifkin is a key figure to note in the team; he is a long-standing figure in the space with deep experience across antitrust and securities litigation. Michael Paskin is another name to note in the antitrust space, while Lauren Moskowitz is noted for her work in RMBS disputes as well as in lawsuits alleging fraud and breach of contract. Elsewhere, Timothy Cameron is recognized for his experience in taking securities disputes to trial. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Slifkin; Michael Paskin; Lauren Moskowitz; Timothy Cameron; Kevin Orsini

Testimonials

‘Cravath has the smartest litigators in the country.’

‘Kevin Orsini is a rock star’

Key clients

American Express Company

Brightwood Capital Advisors, LLC

Dfinity Foundation

Folksam ömsesidig livförsäkring

Goldman Sachs & Co.

GreenSky, Inc.

Morgan Stanley

Nomura International plc

Prudential Financial, Inc.

Robinhood Markets, Inc.

Rothschild & Co SCA

Westpac Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Folksam ömsesidig livförsäkring, Sweden’s largest insurance and financial services company, in an action asserting RICO claims premised upon alleged violations of Swedish financial regulations, fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to murder, as well as claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and New York common law.
  • Represented Goldman Sachs in a breach of contract and fraud action brought by its former client United Natural Foods, Inc. (“UNFI”) relating to the syndication of financing for UNFI’s $3 billion acquisition of SuperValu.
  • Represented Morgan Stanley in litigation brought by SL-x IP S.á.r.l., the parent company of an electronic stock-loan trading platform, and its subsidiaries,  alleging a conspiracy by the defendant banks to boycott SL-x.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

The sizeable financial services litigation practice at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP represents clients in a wide range of high-profile disputes and investigations. The practice is adept at acting for prominent financial institutions in securities disputes; practice head James Rouhandeh has a particularly close relationship with Morgan Stanley and also handles crypto-related claims, a growing area of securities law. Antitrust litigation is another area of focus, with the practice counting a number of prominent banks amongst its clients in this space. The team also boasts notable expertise in government relations, with Angela Burgess and Martine Beamon representing clients facing investigations by the SEC, DOJ and OFAC. The practice is also engaged by clients to conduct internal investigations. All lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

James Rouhandeh

Other key lawyers:

Angela Burgess; Martine Beamon

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

The team at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is widely recognized in the market for its ability to represent prominent clients in high-profile disputes and investigations. In 2021, the practice acted in litigation before state and federal courts, including appearing before the Supreme Court, and was also engaged to handle enforcement proceedings and internal investigations. The team’s sizeable client base includes prominent banks, hedge funds, and private equity funds, and it advises these clients in cases involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud, and market manipulation. The practice is jointly led by Brad Karp, Susanna M. Buergel, Jessica Carey, Andrew J. Ehrlich, Kenneth A. Gallo, Audra J. Soloway and Theodore Wells. Karp serves as chairman of the firm and is amongst the most respected lawyers in this sector, while Buergel, Ehrlich and Soloway co-chair the firm’s securities litigation practice. Daniel Kramer is another key figure in the team, with deep experience in securities litigation including handling antitrust and securities fraud claims. All named lawyers are based in New York with the exception of Gallo, who is based out of the firm’s Washington DC office.

Practice head(s):

Brad Karp; Susanna Buergel; Jessica Carey; Andrew Ehrlich; Kenneth Gallo; Audra Soloway; Theodore Wells Jr.

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Kramer

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of the market in securities litigation and a strong ability to dive deep or pull back when required.’

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is widely recognized as a preeminent plaintiff-side practice in this space. The practice is particularly active in litigation alleging anti-competitive behavior and market manipulation, where it has acted as counsel in disputes involving markets in stock loans, gold, foreign exchange instruments and US treasuries. In addition to acting in federal court, the practice is also frequently engaged by clients to handle cases before the Delaware Court of Chancery. The team is jointly led by Daniel Brockett, Jonathan Pickhardt and Peter Calamari in New York, and Harry Olivar and Richard Schirtzer in Los Angeles. Calamari continues to be active in representing plaintiffs in litigation related to RMBS, while Brockett leads on much of the practice’s work in rate and market manipulation. Andrew Rossman, also based in New York, is a key name to note in securities litigation, handling claims of breach of contract and fiduciary duty.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Pickhardt; Daniel Brockett; Harry Olivar; Richard Schirtzer

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Rossman

Key clients

Torus Capital LLC; Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System; Orange County Employees Retirement System; Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association; Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association

Rescap Liquidating Trust

Compañía Minera Dayton (“CMD”) and class of investors in gold and gold-related instrument

Allianz GI, Anchorage Capital, the AP funds, BlackRock, BlueCrest, Brevan Howard, CalSTRS, Erste Abwicklungsanstalt, Norges Bank, PFA, PIMCO, Portigon AG, Mass PRIM, and SEI Trust Compa

Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association

Prudential Investment Portfolios 2, f/k/a Dryden Core Investment Fund, o/b/o Prudential Core Short-Term Bond Fund And Prudential Core Taxable Money Market Fund; The City of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority; Darby Financial Products and Capital Ventures International; Salix Capital

The City of Philadelphia

Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund; Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund; MASTERINVEST Kapitalanlage GmbH; Uniqa Capital Markets GMBH; Torus Capital, LLC

Altor BioScience, LLC; NantCell, Inc.; Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong

Edmar Financial Company, LLP Irish Blue & Gold, Inc.

Spencer Roland Bueno and proposed class of investors in VIX-related investments

CWCapital Cobalt Vr Ltd., a Cayman exempted company that issued collateralized debt obligations backed by commercial mortgage-backed securities, including CMBS involving Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village

KKR Credit Advisors (US) LLC (“KKR”); Kearny Investors S.à r.l.; Powell Investors L.P.; Powell Investors II Limited Partnership; Canyon Capital Advisors LLC; EP Canyon Ltd.

Mirae Asset Global Investment

Work highlights

  • Represented a Korean company before the Delaware Court of Chancery, convincing the court to release the client from its obligation to purchase the properties from the Chinese-based seller, financial conglomerate Anbang Insurance.
  • Representing a class of those who entered into stock loan transactions with six major banks that serve as prime brokers of stock loans. Plaintiffs allege the defendants conspired to overcharge investors and maintain the power they hold over the $1.7 trillion annual stock loan market, obstructing the development of electronic exchanges that would result in a more competitive market.
  • Represented corporate and individual clients in litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery arising from NantCell’s acquisition by merger of Altor.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

At Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, the financial service team is noted for its expertise in securities and derivatives litigation, where the practice represents prominent clients in a varied range of disputes. In 2021, the practice was highly active in defending banks in litigation related to their roles as underwriters of initial public offerings. The team has also recently handled a number of cases involving special purpose acquisition companies; a particular specialism of Jonathan Youngwood, who is regularly involved in cases relating to the Investment Company Act. Youngwood co-heads the practice and the firm’s global litigation department alongside Lynn Neuner. Elsewhere, the practice continues to represent prominent banks in antitrust cases, with a particular focus on rate and market manipulation claims, and the team’s work in enforcement and prosecutions includes representing clients facing investigations from the SEC and CFTC. Youngwood and Neuner are both based in New York, where Joseph McLaughlin and Craig Waldman are also names to note in securities litigation. The firm also boasts a strong presence on the West Coast, with James Kreissman a key figure in the Palo Alto office. The team brought on Marc Berger and Martin Bell in New York in June and July 2021, respectively; both partners have substantial governmental experience, with Berger joining from the SEC and Bell from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of NY.

Practice head(s):

Lynn Neuner; Jonathan Youngwood

Other key lawyers:

Joseph McLaughlin; Craig Waldman; James Kreissman; Marc Berger; Martin Bell; Susannah Geltman; Simona Strauss

Testimonials

‘I had one matter I worked with the firm on. The quality of the team assembled and the personalized approach to my particular situation was impressive’

‘My team was lead by Simona Strauss. Her knowledge of this area of law, the key stakeholders involved, and my individual position on the matter were differentiated. Her personal attention to the case was much appreciated.’

‘Pinnacle of the profession. As good as it gets in complex securities cases.’

‘Jonathan Youngwood is a star. Smart and strategic.’

 

Key clients

The Blackstone Group, L.P.

Brighthouse Financial, Inc.

Countrywide Financial Corporation

Deutsche Bank Group

Goldman Sachs

JPMorgan Chase

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.

ProAssurance Corporation

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

Velocity Financial

Work highlights

  • Represented Deutsche Bank in dismissal of a proposed class action alleging banks colluded in Mexico bond market.
  • Represented JPMorgan Chase in litigation involving the alleged manipulation of LIBOR.
  • Represented a medical payments company in SPAC-related Delaware Chancery case and securities class actions.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

The financial services litigation practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP specializes in acting for clients facing investigations and prosecutions by regulators. The team’s work encompasses matters involving both wholesale banking and consumer finance, acting in cases brought by regulators including the CFPB, SEC, CFTC and FTC, as well as the DOJ and state-level prosecutors. The practice counts prominent banks and asset managers amongst its clients, and also acts for fintech and cryptocurrency companies in novel disputes with regulators. Stephanie Brooker and Kendall Day jointly lead the team, with Brooker based in New York and Day working out of the firm’s Washington DC office. Brooker and Day previously worked as prosecutors and lead the team’s cases involving alleged Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering violations. Arthur Long is another name to note in the New York office; he has deep experience in financial services regulation and provides advice both on compliance and enforcement. Former practice co-head Matthew Biben left the firm in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Brooker; Kendall Day

Other key lawyers:

Arthur Long

Key clients

Deutsche Bank AG

Citizens Bank, N.A.

Binance Holdings Limited

Goldman Sachs

Toyota Financial Services

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has a varied financial services litigation practice, encompassing securities disputes, allegations of anti-competitive behaviour and market manipulation, and investigations by regulators including the SEC and CFTC as well as the DOJ. The team’s securities litigation work includes handling securities fraud claims related to IPOs and direct listings as well as RMBS litigation. In the antitrust space, the practice acts in claims of rate and market manipulation; in one prominent case, the team is representing the Saudi National Bank in litigation alleging that the bank attempted to manipulate the Qatari Riyal as a part of ongoing diplomatic tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The team is led by Andrew Clubok, who works across the firm’s New York and Washington DC office, and Douglas Yatter and Joseph Serino, who are both based in New York. Clubok leads on securities litigation, with long-standing expertise in the space, while Yatter focuses on derivatives regulation and previously worked as an trial attorney at the CFTC. Serino is a highly experienced trial lawyer with expertise across corporate and commercial litigation. Richard Owens is also based in New York and is recognized for his work in investigations and white-collar crime prosecutions.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Clubok; Douglas Yatter; Joseph Serino

Other key lawyers:

Richard Owens

Key clients

UBS

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

Citigroup

Saudi National Bank

Walworth Investments

Royal Bank of Canada

Riverstone Holdings LLC

Coinbase

Andreessen Horowitz

Stifel

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown is well-regarded for its work in cross-border financial services litigation, handling derivatives and securities litigation as well as disputes in the consumer lending space. Anti-money laundering and Anti-Terrorism Act disputes are a particular focus for the team, which represents prominent banks in civil claims and regulatory enforcement proceedings in this space. The firm’s work in this area includes Mark Hanchet‘s defense of HSBC in two high-profile ATA claims related to allegedly providing banking services to groups and individuals with links to Mexican drug cartels and Islamist terrorist organizations. Elsewhere, Lucia Nale and Debra Bogo-Ernst handle consumer finance class actions in state and federal court, including matters related to mortgage lending. Christopher Houpt focuses on litigation involving structured finance and leads the team’s work on RMBS disputes, with Matthew Ingber another name to note in this area. Hanchet, Ingber and Houpt are based in New York, while Nale and Bogo-Ernst work out of the Chicago office.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hanchet; Christopher Houpt

Other key lawyers:

Lucia Nale; Debra Bogo-Ernst; Matthew Ingber

Testimonials

‘Very experienced team (legally and practically), excellent knowledge also in the business areas. very effective, quick response.’

‘Experienced and successful commercial litigators who know how to think big picture strategy to develop a plan that achieves the client’s needs, and execute on it. Mayer Brown litigators understand the need to achieve resolution quickly and efficiently where possible. They staff matters leanly and avoid overbilling. We have had repeated success in numerous big-ticket cases by relying on Mayer Brown’s strategic approach.’

Key clients

HSBC Bank

Société Générale

Bank of Montreal

Citibank, N.A. and Citigroup Inc.

The Bank of New York Mellon

Morgan Stanley and Invesco

Banque Pictet

Work highlights

  • Represented HSBC in an Anti-Terrorism Act lawsuit brought by families of victims of an Al Qaeda terror attack in Afghanistan, alleging that HSBC provided banking services to Iranian and Saudi financial institutions that the plaintiffs say have ties to terrorist financing.
  • Represented CitiMortgage, Inc. in proceedings before the Ninth Circuit, when the Court unanimously affirmed the district court’s granting of summary judgment in a nationwide class action that challenged CitiMortgage’s notarization practices.
  • Represented Société Générale in litigation alleging that the bank engaged in a conspiracy to manipulate the Yen LIBOR rate.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter’s financial services litigation team handles securities and consumer lending class actions, internal investigations, and enforcement proceedings brought by a range of regulators. The team’s work in securities and derivatives is led out of the firm’s New York office by Veronica Callahan, Aaron Miner and Kathleen Reilly, who represent clients in civil litigation and SEC proceedings. The team’s consumer lending work includes acting for Visa in a number of antitrust lawsuits brought by merchants and consumers related to ATM and interchange fees. In addition to its specialist financial services litigators, the firm’s white-collar crime practice is regularly engaged on government investigations in this space. The overall practice is led by David Freeman, who serves as head of financial services, and complex litigation co-chairs James Herschlein and Kenneth Chernof . Chernof and Freeman are based in New York, while Herschlein is based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

David Freeman; James Herschlein; Ken Chernof

Other key lawyers:

Veronica Callahan; Aaron Miner; Kathleen Reilly

Key clients

Charles Schwab

York Capital

M&T Bank

Mizuho Financial Group

Westpac Banking Corporation

VISA

RSM US LLP

JPMorgan Chase

Special Board Committee of Western Union

AIG

Work highlights

  • Advising RSM US LLP in connection with RSM’s response to an SEC enforcement subpoena as well as subpoenas issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Securities Division and the NJ Bureau of Securities, relating to RSM’s audit of GPB Holdings II and affiliated entities.
  • Representing Visa in nationwide putative class actions and individual suits by merchants, including a number of the nation’s largest retailers challenging the default interchange fees set in the Visa (and MasterCard) systems as well as other system rules.
  • Advising the special committee of the board of the Western Union Company charged with reviewing and investigating shareholder demand letters alleging breaches of directors’ and officers’ duty to oversee anti-money laundering and fraud compliance related to the cross-border transfer of fund.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a varied practice in the contentious financial services space. The practice is adept at handling investigatons and prosecutions by a range of regulators, including the DOJ, OFAC, Federal Reserve, SEC, and state-level regulators. The team is also frequently engaged on class actions related to consumer lending practices, as well as securities litigation. The practice’s securities litigation work includes handling high-profile cases, such as representing Robinhood in a class action lawsuit arising from its payment for order flow practices, as well as novel cases involving the issue of whether cryptocurrencies are securities under US law. Mary Beth Hogan and Andrew Ceresney co-chair the overall litigation department; Hogan is frequently engaged on a wide range of sensitive investigations, while Ceresney has past experience serving in-house at the SEC and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and is well-regarded for his securities litigation expertise. Maeve O’Connor is another highly-regarded securities litigator, and Bruce Yannett focuses on white-collar crime and regulatory enforcement. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Mary Beth Hogan; Andrew Ceresney

Other key lawyers:

Maeve O’Connor; Bruce Yannett

Key clients

Capital One

Prudential Financial

J&T Banka, A.S. and Postova Banka, A.S

Robinhood Markets

Paypal Holdings

Wells Fargo

Resolution Life

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

JP Morgan & Chase

Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC

AIG

Goodwin

Goodwin‘s financial services litigation team handles a range of disputes in the consumer lending space, including acting in investigations by federal and state regulators. The team is particularly active in the mortgage space, where it represents clients facing allegations of violating the Fair Housing Act, the False Claims Act and CFPB regulations. Key figures in the practice include Thomas Hefferon, who has deep experience in this space, and Brooks Brown, who works on a wide variety of consumer finance matters including alleged breaches of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The team was bolstered in January 2021 by the addition of Allison Schoenthal from Hogan Lovells US LLP. Schoenthal now leads the consumer finance practice in New York and acts for a number of prominent banks in this space, with a focus on mortgage-related cases. Schoenthal and Hefferon co-lead the team alongside James McGarry and Matthew Sheldon, who has a sizeable client base of mortgage lenders. Hefferon, Brown and Sheldon are based in Washington DC, while Schoenthal and McGarry are based in New York and Boston, respectively.

Practice head(s):

James McGarry; Thomas Hefferon; Allison Schoenthal; Matt Sheldon

Other key lawyers:

Brooks Brown; Sabrina Rose-Smith

Key clients

Quicken Loans

Ocwen Financial

Fifth Third Bank

Guaranteed Rate

Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc.

KeyBank

LoanCare

CIT Bank

Coinbase

Work highlights

  • Represented Ocwen Financial Corporation, one of the largest mortgage loan account servicing companies in America, in defending litigation filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and several state consumer regulatory agencies.
  • Representing Quicken Loans, LLC, the nation’s leading lender, in various consumer finance litigation and government enforcement matters, including serving as Quicken’s national counsel for Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

At Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the financial services litigation practice handles a range of complex disputes in the area, from market manipulation and fraud investigations to litigation related to M&A. The team represents clients facing investigations across consumer finance, securities and derivatives, with experience in cases involving the SEC, CFTC, DOJ and CFPB. The practice’s governmental relations expertise is further demonstrated by its recent work for a number of CEOs of prominent banks in helping them to prepare for congressional oversight hearings. Mark Filip is a former federal judge and offers deep experience in defending clients in government enforcement proceedings, while Sandra Goldstein and Zachary Brez are noted for their work in securities and M&A litigation. Goldstein and Brez are based in New York, while Filip works across the Chicago and Washington DC offices; Reginald Brown is another name to note in DC and further bolsters the firm’s expertise in regulatory enforcement proceedings.

Other key lawyers:

Mark Filip; Sandra Goldstein; Zachary Brez; Reginald Brown

Key clients

Blackstone

Brookfield Asset Management

The Carlyle Group

Citigroup

Goldman Sachs

HGGC, LLC

JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Ovation Partners

Owl Rock Capital Group

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Robinhood Markets

Transunion

Wells Fargo

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is highly active in representing banks in class actions, including defending clients accused of involvement in fraud and ponzi schemes as well as violations of consumer finance law. The mortgage sector is a particular focus for the team, as it handles securities and consumer class actions in this area; it has also recently been engaged on a number of cases related to COVID-19 relief programs. Michael Kraut and Susan DiCicco lead the team, with Elaine McChesney another name to note; all three are based in New York and have broad contentious financial services experience. In Chicago, Kenneth Kliebard is recognized for his work on consumer class actions.

Practice head(s):

Michael Kraut; Susan DiCicco

Other key lawyers:

Elaine McChesney; Kenneth Kliebard

Testimonials

‘Dispute resolution in the financial services sector is unique — the deals are unique and so the conditions to closing and other issues are unique, so you really need to know the space, which Morgan Lewis does.’

 

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP stands out for its work in complex, high-profile international financial services disputes. The team is very active in prosecutions and follow-on class action lawsuits related to market manipulation, including representing both banks and individual traders in cases related to the alleged manipulation of LIBOR. The practice is also engaged to handle regulatory investigations into claims of ‘spoofing’ in the derivatives market. The team frequently acts in disputes with international elements, such as representing the ad-hoc board of PDVSA appointed by the Venezuelan opposition in litigation related to PDVSA’s bond offering. The New York-based practice is led by Barry Sher, the firm’s global head of litigation, who focuses on antitrust and securities disputes. Anthony Antonelli is another name to note in the antitrust space, while Kenneth Breen and John Nowak lead on investigations and prosecutions involving alleged white-collar crime.

Practice head(s):

Barry Sher

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Antonelli; Kenneth Breen; John Nowak

Key clients

Barclays Bank PLC, Barclays Capital Inc., Barclays Services Limited, Barclays Capital Securities Ltd.

BDO Capital & Investment Corporation

BofA Securities, Inc.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Credit Suisse

DBS Bank Ltd.

Goldman Sachs

GE Asset Management

Matthew Connolly, the former supervisor of the Money Market Desk at Deutsche Bank

Morgan Stanley & Co. International PLC

PETRÓLEOS DE VENEZUELA, S.A. and PDVSA PETRÓLEO, S.A.

Royal Bank of Canada

Steward Partners

Barclays Bank PLC, Barclays Capital Inc., Barclays Services Limited, Barclays Capital Securities Ltd.

BDO Capital & Investment Corporation

BofA Securities, Inc.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Credit Suisse

DBS Bank Ltd.

Goldman Sachs

GE Asset Management

Matthew Connolly, the former supervisor of the Money Market Desk at Deutsche Bank

Morgan Stanley & Co. International PLC

PETRÓLEOS DE VENEZUELA, S.A. and PDVSA PETRÓLEO, S.A.

Royal Bank of Canada

Steward Partners

Work highlights

  • Representing Barclays Bank PLC and certain of its affiliates in a putative class action lawsuit accusing Barclays, and more than 30 other financial institutions, of being involved in a global, decade-long conspiracy to fix prices and restrain competition in the $9 trillion SSA bond market.
  • Representing Barclays Capital Inc. in a putative class action lawsuit filed in April 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The deal value is estimated to involve trillions of dollars in trades. The odd-lots market in 2018 alone is alleged to have USD7.91 trillion in trading volume.
  • Representing RBC in litigation accusing RBC and two dozen other financial institutions of being involved in a multi-year conspiracy to fix prices and restrain competition on sales of bonds issued by government sponsored entities (GSEs).

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP‘s financial services litigation practice is highly active in a range of disputes in this space, with a particular focus on antitrust and securities class actions as well as investigations by FINRA and government regulators. The team’s work in securities disputes includes defending banks facing claims for their roles as the underwriters of IPOs and debt offerings. The practice additionally acts for major banks in antitrust actions involving allegations of manipulation of markets in securities as well as rates. In the governmental relations space, the practice handles investigations and prosecutions for banks, broker-dealers and individuals in the financial services sector, providing counsel to clients on investigations by FINRA, SEC, CFTC, and DOJ. The team is led by Adam Hakki and Richard Schwed in New York alongside Patrick Robbins in San Francisco. Hakki handles the firm’s antitrust cases and is also active on investigations, while Daniel Lewis focuses on securities class actions; Grace Lee is another name to note in this area, with both lawyers also based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Adam Hakki; Richard Schwed; Patrick Robbins

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Lewis; Grace Lee; Agnès Dunogué

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Barclays

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.

Synchrony Financial

Mizuho

Credit Suisse

Evercore

Cantor Fitzgerald

BNP Paribas

Goldman Sachs

Jefferies

Citigroup

Allen & Co., LLC,

William Blair & Company LLC

UBS Securities LLC

Cowen and Company LLC

UniCredit S.p.A.

Zuercher Kantonalbank

JMP Securities LLC

Morgan Stanley

TD Securities

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Representing purchasers of the ProSharesShort VIX Short-Term Futures ETF in a securities class action following the February 2018 collapse of the VIX.
  • Represented Barclays, Mizuho, Morgan Stanley, TD Securities, and other underwriters in a case brought by purchasers of Synchrony Financial’s (“Synchrony”) December 1,2017 $1 billion offering of 3.950% senior notes.
  • Represented the underwriters of the IPO of Domo, Inc. in a putative securities class action in Utah state court on the basis of a Federal Forum Provision.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

The financial services litigation practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP specialises in consumer finance disputes, with a particular focus on representing financial institutions facing allegations of violating fair lending laws. The team is regularly engaged by clients to handle interactions with regulators such as the CFPB, the FTC and the DOJ; their work includes representing clients facing investigations as well as acting for banks under consent orders. In addition to its work at the federal level, the practice also acts for clients in litigation with state attorneys general across the US. Anand Raman leads the practice from Washington DC and is highly experienced in this space; he is particularly noted for his work on cases involving the analysis of lending data.

Practice head(s):

Anand Raman

Ballard Spahr LLP

Ballard Spahr LLP is widely recognized by peers for its expertise in the consumer lending space. The practice is highly active in government relations matters, representing clients facing investigations by federal regulators as well as by state-level attorneys general and regulators across the country. The team is also regularly engaged by clients to handle class actions, with particular focuses on student lending matters and alleged breaches of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The firm’s compliance and litigation practices are integrated, with Christopher Willis, Mark Furletti and Daniel McKenna leading the combined consumer financial services group. Alan Kaplinsky and Stefanie Jackman are also key figures in the team, with Jackman focused on debt collection and Kaplinsky specialising in matters involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Kaplinsky, Furtelli and McKenna are based in Philadelphia, while Jackman and Willis are based in Atlanta.

Other key lawyers:

Alan Kaplinsky; Stefanie Jackman

Testimonials

‘The team is collaborative in coming up with effective legal advice and strategies that are cost effective.’

‘Dan McKenna is very focused and attentive to his clients, incredibly responsive, and also willing to partner on pro bono and other initiative. His strategies are well thought out and effective and he is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Discover Financial Services

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA, or FedLoan)

Comenity Bank

American Bankers Association

Consumer Bankers Association

Conduent Education Services

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Capital One

Citibank

Progressive Finance

Buckley LLP

Buckley LLP‘s work in financial services litigation includes acting in matters involving high-profile issues in this space, including discrimination in lending, fees practices and excessively high interest rates. The team represents banks, non-bank lenders and fintech companies in disputes including class actions and qui tam actions brought under the False Claims Act; it also has a highly active government enforcement practice, handling matters involving the CFPB, the FTC, and other state and federal authorities. In the firm’s Washington DC office, practice head Benjamin Klubes has great experience in the full range of consumer financial services disputes, with Jonice Gray Tucker also recognized for her varied practice. The firm also has a presence on the West Coast; in San Francisco, James McGuire focuses on class actions in this area, while Fredrick Levin is the key figure in Los Angeles. Michelle Rogers, Joshua Kotin and Katherine Katz departed the firm in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Klubes

Other key lawyers:

Jonice Gray Tucker; James McGuire; Fredrick Levin

Testimonials

‘Buckley is unique because of the experience they bring to the table. They have been in the trenches and know the people involved at various levels and a number of different regulators. They provide practical advice to their clients and in a way that makes it easier for inhouse lawyers to convey to executive management.’

‘Buckley LLP is extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of financial services and FinTech. Their attentiveness and responsiveness is second to none. They treat their clients better than any other law firm I’ve experienced to date and are always ready to help.’

Key clients

CMG Mortgage Inc; Flagstar Bank

First Hawaiian Bank; MidFirst Bank; Bank of the West

PNC Bank, National Association

loanDepot.com, LLC

Capital One

Opportunity Financial, LLC

Prosper Marketplace, Inc.

Opportunity Financial LLC

Caliber Home Loans, Inc.

Ygrene Energy Fund, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Caliber Home Loans in litigation with its mortgage servicing platform provider, Sagent, alleging that Sagent threatened to cut-off Caliber’s access to its servicing data for all its 660,000 active loans and 500,000 inactive loans upon learning that Caliber intended to transfer its business to another provider.
  • Represented CMG Mortgage, Inc. and Flagstar Bank in RMBS litigation filed by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
  • Represented several banks and financial institutions in putative class action lawsuits in federal district courts around the country in which purported agents claim to be entitled to a percentage of origination fees lenders earned in connection with processing Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan applications.

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP

Litigation boutique Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP handles a broad range of disputes in the financial services sector, acting for banks, payment companies and individuals. The team’s work in the antitrust space includes acting for Visa in a number of cases related to swipe fees, and it is also active in securities litigation with a particular focus on RMBS disputes. The practice is led from New York by Richard Holwell alongside accomplished trial attorneys Michael Shuster and Daniel Goldberg. Holwell previously served as a federal judge in the Southern District of New York, where he presided over a number of high-profile securities fraud claims. Shuster and Goldberg both have strong records of representing prominent clients in high-stakes court proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Richard Holwell; Michael Shuster; Daniel Goldberg

Other key lawyers:

Brendon DeMay; Vincent Levy

Key clients

Visa Inc.

Valassis, a MacAndrews & Forbes company

Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo)

HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

Travelport Worldwide Limited

Aenergy S.A.

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)

Chubb

Vigilant Insurance Co. and Federal Insurance Co.

TIG Insurance Co.

Work highlights

  • Represented Visa in dozens of antitrust actions over payment card “swipe fees” that collectively seek billions in damages and request fundamental changes to Visa’s business model.
  • Represented Valassis Communications, a MacAndrews & Forbes portfolio company, as the plaintiff in a massive antitrust jury trial involving the ‘in-store promotions’ market.
  • Representing Chubb in nationwide litigation with manufacturers and distributors of opioids, and national pharmacy chains that sold opioids, over insurance coverage for over 3,000 lawsuits brought by governmental entities across the country.

Jones Day

Jones Day is well-regarded in the market for its work in RMBS litigation, where it represents a number of prominent banks, as well as for handling antitrust suits involving manipulation of markets in rates, securities and derivatives. Jayant Tambe and Brett Barragate lead the team from the firm’s New York office. Tambe is noted for his work in the derivatives space, where he previously handled a large number of disputes for major financial institutions. Howard Sidman is also based in New York and has considerable experience in the RMBS space.

Practice head(s):

Jayant Tambe; Brett Barragate

Other key lawyers:

Howard Sidman; Kelly Carrero; Matthew Martel; David Adler

Testimonials

‘Exceptionally skilled team who have a deep understanding of our market and business.’

‘Keen understanding of risk issues that affect our business and ability to collaborate with other firms who represent other trustee institutions where our interests are aligned. Commitment to our institution by managing potential conflicts and regular engagement in trade groups to understand market dynamics. Able to work with a diverse group of internal stakeholders. Matthew Martel and David Adler are stand-out partners.’

 

Key clients

Wells Fargo

BNP Paribas

J.P. Morgan

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Representing Wells Fargo in alleged fraud claims against several defendants, including Wells Fargo, involved in structuring, managing, and underwriting collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).
  • Defending Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan and other parties in a class action related to the Flint Water Crisis, a major environmental and public health event.

Katten

Katten represents both national and regional banks as well as credit unions in consumer lending disputes, including acting in cases challenging fees practices and alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The team handles cases for clients in both state and federal courts, and also acts in the defence of banks facing allegations of aiding and abetting fraud, including ponzi schemes. Gregory Korman leads the team and is noted for his work in class actions, with Stuart Richter also recognized for his work representing a range of financial institutions in litigation. All named lawyers are based in Los Angeles.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Korman

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Richter

Testimonials

‘Their experience in handling overdraft fee-related class actions is unparalleled.’

‘In addition to his experience, Stuart Richter possesses excellent strategic instincts and strong business acumen.’

 

Key clients

1st Source Bank

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

Alliant Federal Credit Union

Bank of Hawaii

BBVA USA

Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Centier Bank

City National Bank

Community Bank

Ent Federal Credit Union

First Interstate Bank

HSBC and HSBC Bank USA

Investors Bank

Liberty Bank

People’s United Bank

Redstone Federal Credit Union

Republic Bank

United Community Bank

Valley National Bank

Sunflower Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising several banks and credit unions on class action cases filed in Montana, California, New York and Florida alleging the financial institutions improperly processed signature debit card payments so that fees were assessed even though the customer’s balance was sufficient to pay when the transaction was initiated.
  • Advising several banks and credit unions in class action cases filed in federal courts in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, New Mexico, Washington, Alabama and Oklahoma alleging the financial institutions charged overdraft fees for transactions that did not actually overdraft customer accounts by using customers’ available balance to determine overdrafts.
  • Advising several banks and credit unions on class actions filed in state and federal courts in Alaska and New York and in state courts in Washington, Florida, Kentucky and Indiana alleging these financial institutions improperly charged fees for payments that were resubmitted after being rejected.

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster is particularly focused on class actions in the consumer payments space, where it represents prominent payment providers facing allegations such as anti-competitive behaviour. The team’s work elsewhere in consumer finance litigation includes handling claims alleging violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and state-level limits on interest rates. David Fioccola leads the team and also serves as co-chair of the firm’s class actions and mass tort practice group, with deep experience in these areas. Nancy Thomas, Michael Miller and Grant Esposito are other key partners in the practice. Fioccola, Esposito, and Miller are based in New York, and Thomas is based in Los Angeles.

Practice head(s):

David Fioccola

Other key lawyers:

Nancy Thomas; Michael Miller; Grant Esposito

Testimonials

‘Attentive, creative and collaborative.’

 

Key clients

Elevate Credit Inc. and Wheels Financial Group LLC dba Loanmart

DHI Group, Inc.

Vonage

Work highlights

  • Representing small-dollar lenders in actions challenging interest rates as unconscionable per the California Supreme Court’s ruling in De La Torre v. CashCall. To avoid their agreement to arbitrate disputes on an individual basis, plaintiffs seek public injunctive relief in accordance with the California Supreme Court’s ruling in McGill v. Citibank.
  • Representing DHI Group, Inc. and Dice Inc. in a putative class action alleging that the company’s online employment recruiting platforms make it a “consumer reporting agency” under the FCRA. Successful settlement currently in class administration.
  • Represented Vonage in litigation brought by a former channel partner who alleges that Vonage breached the agreements between the parties by, among other things, wrongfully clawing back commission payments, failing to adequately support the partner, and wrongfully terminating the agreement.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

With offices on both coasts, O’Melveny & Myers has a broad consumer finance litigation practice capable of representing established lenders and fintech startups in disputes involving both state and federal legislation. In Newport Beach, Elizabeth McKeen handles litigation alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act related to the CARES Act, as well as a number of claims made involving the FHA-Home Affordable Modification Program. McKeen is also active in discrimination claims, representing lenders accused of race and age discrimination. Elsewhere, New York-based Pamela Miller represents banks accused of fraud and breach of contract. In addition to acting in class actions, the practice is also engaged by clients to represent them in regulatory investigations and enforcement.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth McKeen; Pamela Miller

Other key lawyers:

Danielle Oakley

Key clients

Fannie Mae

Toronto Dominion Bank (T.D. Bank)

TransUnion

Wells Fargo

J.P. Morgan Chase

CIT Bank

Capital One Financial Corporation

Ocwen Financial Corporation

Visa

Work highlights

    Williams & Connolly LLP

    Williams & Connolly LLP has a broad contentious financial services practice, with experience across consumer finance and securities law. The practice’s work in consumer finance disputes includes handling class actions, such as disputes related to COVID-19 relief programs, and litigation brought by the CFPB. Elsewhere, the team represents financial institutions and individuals in enforcement proceedings related to alleged fraud and violations of anti-money laundering laws. Dane Butswinkas and John Villa jointly lead the team, with Enu Mainigi and Ryan Scarborough also names to note. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

    Practice head(s):

    Dane Butswinkas; John Villa

    Other key lawyers:

    Enu Mainigi; Ryan Scarborough

    Testimonials

    ‘The Williams & Connolly LLP team are professional, knowledgeable, and have the requisite experience to represent any Financial Services institution in a number of legal topics. They collaborate well and utilize technology and resources to facilitate information requests.’

    ‘My company has worked with Ryan Scarborough for the last couple of years and find him to genuinely caring, exceptionally bright, and very knowledgeable. His demeanor and style puts his clients at ease but he also is able to ensure his client’s needs are met.’

    ‘Williams & Connolly is the absolutely best litigation firm in the US. For a complex, difficult problem, they know how to get to a legal position which provides an excellent outcome for the client. They are excellent at dealing with government entities and cutting through the headaches of government bureaucracy and winning. They are not inexpensive but worth every penny with their outcomes for their clients.’

    ‘Primary you are working with a partner or partners with associate support. Other firms generally have the associates do most of the work. With Williams and Connolly the partners are doing the primary work, reading all the documents and are the most knowledge about the details. They bring tremendous value to complex situations because you are tapping into very knowledgeable and seasoned legal minds.’

    Key clients

    Fifth Third Bank

    Bank of America

    Heartland Financial

    Bank President Harry Calcutt

    Progrexion Holdings, Inc.

    Fifth Third Bank

    Bank of America

    Heartland Financial

    Bank President Harry Calcutt

    Progrexion Holdings, Inc.

    Work highlights

    • Represents Fifth Third Bank in litigation brought by the CFPB alleging unfair and abusive acts and practices in connection with allegedly unauthorized account openings.
    • Representing Bank of America as lead trial counsel on behalf of its Countrywide subsidiary against claims of fraud and breach of contract in connection with 30 mortgage-backed securitizations insured by Ambac Assurance Corporation.
    • Representing Heartland Financial in defending against two putative class actions alleging that the banks improperly charged fees to their customers.

    WilmerHale

    WilmerHale‘s financial services litigation practice is adept at representing clients in consumer class actions, including in litigation alleging fraud and violations of the Truth in Lending Act and state-level consumer protection laws. Beyond its work in the consumer lending space, the practice also defends banks accused of wrongdoing in securities and derivatives markets such as spoofing. Noah Levine and Jamie Dycus, both based in New York, are the key figures in the team, while Franca Harris Gutierrez chairs the overall financial institutions practice from Washington DC. David Lesser departed the firm in June 2021.

    Practice head(s):

    Franca Harris Gutierrez

    Other key lawyers:

    Noah Levine; Jamie Dycus

    Testimonials

    ‘This team is willing to partner with in house counsel and the business. They are open to others ideas and collaborate well.’

    ‘The individuals are focused on supporting the client and assisting the client in getting the job done. Franca Harris Guiterrez and Jamie Dycus stand out as partners who make sure they get the job done at all costs.’

    Key clients

    JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    Fannie Mae

    TD Bank Group

    JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    Bank of Nova Scotia