Financial services litigation in United States
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
'Highly responsive and commercially astute', Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is known for representing large financial institutions in a wide range of enforcement and compliance matters initiated by the DOJ and the SEC. Lev Dassin specializes in white-collar criminal defense, complex commercial litigation and cross-border internal investigations, and Victor Hou has an impressively broad practice spanning white-collar criminal defense, securities law and corporate governance, in addition to investigations involving fraud, insider trading and violations of the FCPA. Among their ongoing mandates, Dassin and Hou are representing several financial institutions, including HSBC, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, in civil and criminal investigations brought by global regulators in the US, Europe and Asia regarding manipulation and collusion in the foreign exchange market. Dassin is also representing Citibank in class action litigation in New York, involving claims that the client colluded with several other banks in the sale of Mexican government bonds, in a way that violates federal antitrust laws. Washington DC partner Robin Bergen has a wealth of expertise advising clients in enforcement and investigation proceedings regarding financial products, including residential mortgage backed securities. Giovanni Prezioso specialises in representing financial institutions and corporations in securities enforcement and litigation. David Brodsky acts for corporations and individuals in investigations relating to insider trading, securities fraud and the FCPA. Former partner Meredith Kutler left the firm to join Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in October 2019.
Lev Dassin; David Brodsky; Robin Bergen; Giovanni Prezioso
Other key lawyers:
‘Cleary’s lawyers work as a true team. They are dedicated to actually learning the facts and getting to the bottom of the issue at hand.’
‘The team’s knowledge of the law is extraordinary and tempered by real trial experience.’
‘The group are articulate, thoughtful and extraordinarily collegiate in their approach to solving the most difficult problems.’
Bank of America
Union de Banques Arabes et Françaises (UBAF)
National Westminster Bank
- Counsel to several major financial institutions, including HSBC, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, in investigations by global regulators in the US, Europe and Asia concerning Foreign Exchange (FX) trading, and LIBOR, ISDAFIX and other benchmark rates, as well as in related civil litigation.
- Represented Commerzbank in an investigation by the CFTC related to swap dealer regulatory requirements adopted in the wake of Dodd-Frank.
- Conducting an investigation on behalf of Brazil’s national development bank, BNDES, regarding allegations of corruption in connection with BNDES’s extension of financing to certain companies related to JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker.
- Representing the board of directors of Unicredit in parallel criminal and regulatory investigations conducted by the DOJ, OFAC, and the Federal Reserve, among others, in connection with allegations that the financial institution processed prohibited payments in a non-transparent manner from sanctioned entities in violation of US law.
- Counsel to Union de Banques Arabes et Françaises (UBAF), a French financial institution in connection with an investigation of potential violations of US sanctions by the US Treasury Department’s OFAC, the DOJ and the NYAG.
A true leader in the field, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP represents major investment banks, large regional banks and many other clients in major antitrust-related cases, class actions and a whole host of other critical regulatory disputes. In particular, the team is one of the strongest players in RMBS litigation, an area where Lauren Moskowitz has represented Credit Suisse in over 50 cases over the last few years. In one recent highlight, Richard Clary represented Credit Suisse in the final and successful conclusion of all litigation related to Enron. Daniel Slifkin (an expert in antitrust claims in the financial services space) is representing Morgan Stanley in a series of claims against it alleging collusion to restrain competition by preventing the development of anonymous exchange trading of various complex financial products. Also recommended is Evan Chesler, who has particular expertise defending payment companies in claims arising from alleged breaches of the Sherman Act.
Daniel Slifkin; Richard Clary
American Express Company
- Represented American Express in a coordinated series of putative class actions and individual lawsuits brought by 15 large supermarket and pharmacy chains in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, alleging that AmEx’s “anti-steering” rules in its merchant acceptance agreements violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.
- Representing AmEx in a putative class action lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York brought on behalf of all US persons or entities that do not have an AmEx card and who used an electronic form of payment to purchase goods or services from merchants that accept various credit or charge cards, including AmEx.
- Represented Credit Suisse entities and Pershing in securing the favorable settlement of a lawsuit against several financial institutions that were part of the Enron multi-district proceedings in Texas federal court.
- Defended Deutsche Bank Securities and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) in litigation brought by Stark Master Fund and Stark Global Opportunities Master Fund, ultimately securing dismissals for both banks in Wisconsin federal court.
- Representing Goldman Sachs against breach of contract and fraud claims brought by a former client based on alleged breaches of obligations owed by Goldman Sachs in connection with the syndication of financing for a $3bn acquisition.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is involved in some of the most complex and high-stakes disputes across the financial services industry. The team is headed by James Rouhandeh in New York, whose work includes representing large financial institutions in major RMBS cases and acting for issuers and underwriters in securities litigation arising from IPOs. In the RMBS space, Rouhandeh defended Morgan Stanley in a series of RMBS disputes, managing to secure dismissal of claims with a total value of over $10bn. In terms of public offerings, he successfully defended the lead underwriters of Facebook's IPO in multiple claims under the Exchange Act. Another name to note for securities litigation is Charles Duggan, who acts for corporate issuers, underwriters and D&Os facing allegations of fraud in court proceedings and during investigations. Other key figures include James Windels, who maintains an impressively broad practice spanning credit valuation disputes, antitrust claims and cases involving RICO violations; and Linda Chatman Thomsen, an expert in investigations brought by the DOJ, the CFTC and FINRA, who was previously the first woman to serve as director of the SEC's enforcement division.
Banco Bilbao Vizcata Argentina
Citigroup Global Markets
Lehman Brothers International
NPB Neue Privat Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland
- Represented The Royal Bank of Scotland in connection with various investigations and claims relating to the mortgage meltdown and residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act.
- Represented Morgan Stanley in over 50 lawsuits arising from the mortgage meltdown and financial crisis of 2007–2008, as well as in connection with Morgan Stanley’s recent settlement with the Department of Justice of claims related to RMBS under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act.
- Represented Morgan Stanley in appeal proceedings concerning a $3.7bn suit brought by Royal Park Investments alleged fraud and misrepresentation in connection with the purchase of RMBS offered or sold by Morgan Stanley.
- Represented the underwriters of Frontier Communication Corp’s concurrent June 2015 offerings of common and preferred stock in a securities class action against them, securing dismissal of the claim.
- Advising former CEO of Danske Bank in connection with a putative securities class action.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP's financial services team is recognized throughout the market for its expertise in large-scale securities and antitrust litigation, and regulatory enforcement proceedings, where the team acts for large banks, investment funds and various other clients. The New York practice group is headed by Brad Karp, whose recent wins include securing the dismissal of a $50m breach-of-fiduciary duty suit in Kentucky against Blackstone and various other hedge funds. Daniel Kramer has an outstanding track record in securities litigation. His recent highlights include working to secure the dismissal of a securities class action against Meridian Bioscience, winning a case for Pretium Resources regarding alleged securities fraud, and representing the independent members of Tesla's board of directors in the SEC's investigation into Elon Musk's proposal to take Tesla private. Susanna Buergel acts for major bank clients including Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, and Audra Soloway is among the market leaders in representing executives and other powerful individuals in securities and fraud claims.
Apollo Global Management
Bank of New York Mellon
Blackstone Alternative Asset Management
Morgan Stanley & Co.
Nomura Securities International
Oak Hill Capital Partners
Oaktree Capital Management
Schorsch, Nicholas S.
State of Qatar
- Successfully defended private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a securities action in the District of Nevada regarding the sale of “timeshare points” by its subsidiary, Diamond Resorts International.
- Represented the Bank of New York Mellon in the successful resolution of a novel putative consolidated class action, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York by ERISA plan participants.
- Acted for The Blackstone Group in a successful appeal of an adverse decision in Kentucky state court concerning a derivative claim.
- Defending Citigroup and certain affiliates in a multi-district litigation filed in November 2015 in the Southern District of New York alleging that Citigroup and various other banks conspired in a group boycott to reduce competition in interest-rate swap trading, raising prices for purchasers of the swaps.
- Acting for Deutsche Bank as lead US counsel in multi-regulator, multi-jurisdictional inquiries concerning the setting of numerous Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs) and in related civil litigations.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Based in New York and Los Angeles, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is perhaps the leading firm in the US for large institutional investors filing claims against banks and other financial institutions, including RMBS disputes and major antitrust cases. Peter Calamari has a remarkable track record in residential mortgage backed securities cases. Trial lawyer Daniel Brockett, also based in New York, has handled several high profile antitrust, securities and commodities cases for plaintiffs, including acting in the Southern District of New York's ISDAfix interest rate benchmark case and the US Treasuries antitrust litigation. Andrew Rossman handles a wide array of complex commercial disputes for a range of clients including private equity firms and hedge funds. In one of his ongoing cases, Rossman is representing KKR in securities litigation arising from Sun Edison's bankruptcy. In 2019 Sandra Moser and Leonid Feller joined the firm's offices in Washington DC and Chicago, respectively. Moser previously served as chief of the DOJ's Fraud department and Feller joined the firm from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, having formerly worked as a federal prosecutor. All named attorneys are based in New York.
Peter Calamari; Jonathan Pickhardt; Daniel Brockett; Harry Olivar; Richard Schirtzer
Other key lawyers:
Lehman Brothers Holdings
ResCap Liquidating Trust
Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System
Spencer Roland Bueno
Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago
Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund
KKR & Co.
Rimrock Capital Management and associated funds
American Precious Metals
Allianz Global Investors
Marvell Technology Group
E*TRADE Financial Corporation
- Representing plaintiffs (Alaska Electrical Pensio Fund, Genesse County Employees’ Retirement System, the County of Montgomery and others) in a very large and complex antitrust class action, alleging that major Wall Street banks conspired to rig an important benchmark for derivatives, known as ISDAfix.
- Representing a large group of major asset managers, hedge funds, pension funds, and other institutional investors, including BlackRock, Brevan Howard, CalPERS, PIMCO, and Portigon, in relation to the pursuit for recoveries for claims relating to manipulation of the foreign exchange market by Wall Street banks.
- Pursuing a class action to recover damages suffered by investors in interest rate swaps (IRS) due to an alleged conspiracy by eleven large Wall Street banks to block the emergence of innovative new IRS trading platforms.
- Representing several investment funds managed by KKR and Canyon Partners as opt-out plaintiffs in connection with suits arising from their purchase of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of SunEdison 6.75% Series A perpetual convertible stock at or around the August 18, 2015 stock issuance.
- Representing various plaintiffs (including Fund and Prudential Core Taxable Money Market Fund and The City of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority) in claims arising from major banks’ manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's financial services department has core strengths in securities litigation and derivative actions. Of particular note, the team has recently been involved in multiple standout matters for Deutsche Bank. Jonathan Youngwood is acting for the bank in class actions concerning alleged manipulation of the market for US Treasury securities, and John Terzaken (working alongside Youngwood) is representing Deutsche in a class action in New York alleging collusion with several other banks to fix prices in the Mexican bond market. Paul Curnin regularly acts for clients in securities and derivatives litigation and in connection with government and internal investigations. Other key figures include Joseph McLaughlin, a key advisor to large corporates and investment banks in commercial and securities litigation, with recent highlights for JP Morgan Securities and Petrohawk Energy Corporation and its directors; and Susannah Geltman, who routinely handles litigation and ADR concerning shareholder derivative actions and RMBS, and also has extensive experience of regulatory investigations.
Paul Curnin; Jonathan Youngwood
The Blackstone Group
Countrywide Financial Corporation
Deutsche Bank Group
Fairfield Greenwich Group
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Morgan Stanley & Co.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank
- Representing TCF Financial Corporation in shareholder litigation challenging TCF’s merger with Chemical Financial Corporation.
- Obtained dismissal of securities litigation related to the acquisition of PharMerica.
- Represented Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co., and its CEO Jane Buchan, and Prisma Capital Partners and its CEO Girish Reddy in a derivative action.
- Advised Hovnanian Enterprises on regulatory inquiries related to activities in the credit default swaps markets.
- Defending JPMorgan in LIBOR-based financial instruments antitrust litigation.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
With a team that includes several former federal prosecutors and senior regulatory staff, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is well-equipped to handle multi-jurisdictional agency investigations and oppose enforcement actions, utilizing its network of offices in London, Paris and New York. Arthur Long primarily advises banks on compliance with critical legislation, such as the Bank Holding Company Act, the Volcker Rule and the Federal Reserve Act. Matthew Biben advises individuals and organizations on complex and diverse regulatory and enforcement matters, including internal and agency investigations. Washington DC-based Stephanie Brooker represents clients in white-collar trials, covering sanctions, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering disputes, and Joel Cohen handles a high volume of civil and criminal trials in federal and state courts, relating to the FCPA, insider trading, securities fraud and many other related areas. Eugene Scalia recently left the firm to serve as the Trump administration's Secretary of Labor. All named attorneys are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
Matthew Biben; Stephanie Brooker; Arthur Long
Other key lawyers:
Global Head of Treasury at Société Générale
- Represented one of the largest global banks in defense of French criminal charges brought against 14 managers of a prominent French private equity firm, a prominent French lawyer and the bank.
- Representing the Global Head of Treasury at Société Générale in connection with an investigation by the DOJ and CFTC concerning alleged LIBOR reporting by European banks.
Latham & Watkins LLP leverages its international reach to represent major financial institutions and accounting firms in internal and government investigations, enforcement actions and all kinds of civil litigation. A key figure in the Washington DC office is Andrew Clubok, whose diverse caseload includes securities class actions, shareholder derivative lawsuits and commercial litigation and arbitration. In an ongoing matter, Clubok is representing a syndicate of banks, led by Goldman Sachs and Citibank, in federal and state class actions regarding alleged violations of securities laws. Richard Owens, who previously served an assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York, represents large corporates and individuals in criminal and regulatory proceedings and also advises corporates on internal investigations. Trial lawyer Joseph Serino is particularly adept acting for companies in securities and antitrust litigation.
Andy Clubok; Richard Owens; Joseph Serino
Goldman Sachs (Asia)
British Bankers’ Association
Citigroup Global Markets
Stifel, Nicolaus & Company
Deloitte & Touche
Samba Financial Group SJCS
- Represented Western Union in investigations by the Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, United States Attorney’s Offices for the Central District of California, the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, and the Southern District of Florida, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
- Represented UBS in a three-week bench trial in the New York Supreme Court regarding a breach of contract claim.
- Represented a syndicate of banks, led by Goldman Sachs and Citibank, which served as underwriters for the IPO of Gridsum Holdings, in parallel state and federal class actions asserting similar violations of federal securities laws.
Mayer Brown routinely handles high-value RMBS cases, in addition to disputes falling under the Anti-Terrorism Act and various criminal enforcement matters. Mark Hanchet focuses on commercial litigation, securities litigation and regulatory enforcement, and has a remarkably strong track record defending banks against alleged violations of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Christopher Houpt, who jointly leads the practice with Hanchet, represents major domestic and international banks in high-stakes litigation. Recently, he acted for Société Générale in three putative class actions involving the LIBOR scandal, and was also retained by The Bank of New York Mellon in RMBS litigation. Debra Bogo-Ernst leads the firm's consumer and class action practice, where she she represents domestic and international corporations in litigation proceedings and enforcement actions. The team also benefits from the work of appellate lawyers such as Andy Pincus, who has experience representing bank clients in anti-terrorism claims.
Mark Hanchet; Christopher Houpt
Bank of Montreal
The Bank of New York Mellon
- Represented a bank and subsidiary mortgage company in proposed nationwide class action pending in the Northern District of Illinois challenging the banks’ compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) with respect to telephone calls and texts placed to the banks’ consumer and mortgage loan customers.
- Represented bank and subsidiary mortgage company in proposed nationwide class action pending in the Northern District of California challenging the propriety of servicers charging repeat property inspections on a monthly basis for borrowers in default and defeated class certification and obtained summary judgment in 2016, which was upheld on appeal by the 9th Circuit in 2018.
- Won complete summary judgment for BNY Mellon in a long-running suit in Oklahoma federal court, American Fidelity Assurance Company v. BNYM (W.D. Okla.).
- Argued the case of Siegel v. HSBC (2018) after it was dismissed before the Second Circuit, which affirmed the decision on August 8, 2019.
- Represented domestic and non-US client entities in three high-profile actions by US servicemen killed or injured in Iraq involving claims that the bank violated the Anti-Terrorism Act and obtained two dismissals in 2019.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's DC team is frequently retained by major financial institutions to advise on enforcement proceedings and litigation before the DOJ and CFPB, as well as in courts throughout the country. Of recent note, Anand Raman represented Freedom Debt Relief in a case before the CFPB in which the Bureau alleges that the client's practices constituted a violation of the prohibition of Unfair, Deceptive and Abusive Acts or Practices, the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rules. Other names to note include counsels Austin Brown, who specializes in consumer protection, and Darren Welch, noted for his knowledge of fair trading legislation.
- Represented the nation’s largest debt settlement provider, Freedom Debt Relief, in litigation with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
- Represented online lender CashCall and its owner J. Paul Reddam for several years in dozens of federal and state enforcement actions and consumer class-actions.
- Represented Wintrust in an enforcement proceeding by the Federal Reserve Board alleging that the company engaged in unsafe and unsound practices in connection with misconduct by a former CFO at one of the company’s subsidiary banks.
- Represnted Credit Acceptance Corporation in litigation by the Mississippi Attorney General alleging that the company provided high-risk, unaffordable financing to car-buyers and engaged in aggressive collection practices, in violation of the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has acted for clients in criminal investigations and enforcement actions, and also has a strong reputation in derivative litigation, securities class actions and antitrust-related claims. Contacts in the New York team include Nicolas Bourtin, Sharon Nelles, David Braff and Samuel Seymour. Richard Klapper is also recommended.
Arnold & Porter brings together financial services specialists in Washington and New York to handle litigation relating to consumer lending, mortgage securitizations, antitrust and the False Claims Act. The firm is also particularly active in securities matters, including SEC investigations, enforcement actions and class actions concerning alleged securities fraud. Financial services practice head David Freeman has notable expertise advising domestic and foreign banks, broker-dealers and investment firms on compliance with securities law, federal commodities laws and SRO rules. James Herschlein and Kenneth Chernof co-chair the firm's litigation practice, and specialize in securities enforcement and antitrust litigation, respectively. Veronica Callahan has experience representing private equity funds, public issuers and underwriters in SEC and PCAOB enforcement actions. Another name to note in the securities space is Gilbert Serota, who has defended bank clients in a huge variety of criminal and commercial matters. David Bergman handles complex commercial disputes in federal and state courts, and domestic and international arbitration. Associate Kathleen Reilly is an active up-and-comer in the practice group.
David Freeman; James Herschlein; Ken Chernof
Atlantic Security Bank
Capmark Financial Group
Fred Alger & Company
Fulton Financial Corporation
York Capital Management
- Represented Atlantic Security Bank and other large financial institutions in avoidance actions related to the Bernard L. Madoff and Fairfield Sentry insolvency proceedings pending in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
- Represented Charles Schwab & Co. in a 10b-5 securities class action alleging that Schwab failed to properly disclose the manner in which it routed customer equity trades to UBS pursuant to an agreement entered into between Schwab and UBS.
- Represented RSM US, a national audit, tax and consulting firm, in a commercial dispute brought by MVC Capital. MVC sued RSM in New York Supreme Court for malpractice and negligence arising from MVC’s alleged reliance on a clean audit opinion issued by RSM to one of RSM’s clients, G3K Displays.
- Defended ACP X, and affiliates and individual principals in a New York AG investigation and GBL Section 354 action relating to alleged violations of the Martin Act by the General Partner of a private equity fund.
- Represented AIG in an insurance coverage dispute pending in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's New York practice group routinely acts for clients in highly sensitive regulatory matters, agency enforcement actions and follow-on litigation. The department is staffed by several lawyers with experience in senior agency positions, including former SEC chair Mary Jo White. Deputy presiding partner of the firm Bruce Yannett is noted for his expertise defending global financial institutions in FCPA matters and other DOJ investigations, and Courtney Dankworth is the firm's go-to consumer financial services attorney. Also recommended are Mary Beth Hogan, who represents clients in regulatory investigations and enforcement actions brought by the DOJ, the CFPB and other industry bodies; and Andrew Ceresney, who previously served in a senior law enforcement role at the SEC, and defends financial institutions in a wide range of white-collar and civil law proceedings. Matthew Biben left the firm for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in August 2019.
Mary Beth Hogan; Andrew Ceresney
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Silicon Valley Bank
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Union Bancaire Privée
J&T Banka and Postova Banka
- Representing MetLife, and certain of MetLife’s present and former officers and directors in connection with a putative shareholder class-action lawsuit pending in the Southern District of New York challenging MetLife’s practices with regard to payment of death benefits and escheatment of unclaimed death benefits.
- Successfully defended six insurers (The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Prudential Financial, TIAA, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, John Hancock, and AXA Financial) in a qui tam lawsuit filed against them in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York alleging over $14.5bn in damages.
- Represented Prudential in an ERISA litigation pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania regarding the establishment of retained asset accounts to settle benefits for life insurance proceeds paid under two group life insurance plans.
- Representing Czech banks J&T Banka and Postova Banka in a RICO action pending in the Southern District of New York arising from a purported fraudulent investment scheme and self-dealing transactions by an alleged client of the bank’s related to commercial and residential real estate portfolios in Europe.
- Achieved an important victory for Swiss bank Pictet & Cie in the New York Commercial Division in a case with implications for foreign banks with correspondent accounts in New York.
Goodwin's financial services team focuses primarily on defending consumer class actions, but also has experience in RMBS litigation, disputes arising from M&A and SEC matters relating to public offerings. Washington DC partner Thomas Hefferon is a leading consumer financial services litigator, boasting a track record of success in complex consumer class actions, multi-district disputes and government investigations. Hefferon has also built a strong reputation as an appellate lawyer in the consumer financial services industry, having tried dozens of cases for defendants. New York partner Richard Strassberg acts for defendants in white-collar cases, as well as SEC enforcement proceedings and FCPA investigations; he is currently acting for John Stumpf, former chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo, in litigation arising from payments allegedly offered to regulators for the settlement of certain other allegations against the bank. Also recommended are Anthony Fiotto, who specializes in representing private equity firms and venture capital funds in securities litigation, and James McGarry, a name to note for multi-district class actions in the banking space. All named attorneys are based in Boston unless otherwise stated.
Thomas Hefferon; Anthony Fiotto; James McGarry
Other key lawyers:
Ashish Aggarwal (former JPMorgan Analyst)
Bank of America
BNP Paribas Securities Corp.
John Stumpf (former Chairman & CEO of Wells Fargo)
Matthew Martoma (former SAC Capital Advisors Portfolio Manager)
PHH Home Loans
Royal Bank of Canada
RBC Capital Markets
Royal Bank of Scotland Group
- Acting for Quicken Loans in the defense of a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Represented BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas Securities Corp. in a series of putative class actions and two individual actions in the United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois.
- Representing Ocwen Financial Corporation in a claim filed by the CFPB, tag along actions filed by the Florida Attorney General and Massachusetts Attorney General, as well as four related regulatory actions.
- Represented Citigroup and several of its wholly-owned subsidiaries in commercial litigation arising under an option in a hedge fund (the Elmrock Opportunity Master Fund I) purchased in the residual value of an undivided interest in a nuclear power facility pursuant to a sale and leaseback transaction.
- Defended Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager, against criminal and SEC allegations that Martoma participated in the largest-ever insider trading case, resulting in over $276m in gains and avoided losses.
Based primarily in the firm's Chicago office, Kirkland & Ellis LLP's financial services team specializes in representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the SEC, FINRA, the CFPB and other regulators. Moreover, the practice group also benefits from the firm's expertise in M&A and shareholder derivative litigation, and its deep knowledge of the regulatory challenges facing fintech clients. Zachary Brez, based in New York, advises companies and individuals on issues relating to complex financial products, FCPA matters, anti-money laundering and economic sanctions. Chicago-based commercial litigator Gabor Balassa has expertise in claims involving accounting malpractice, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. In DC, Erica Williams focuses on SEC and DOJ investigations, drawing upon her experience as the former deputy chief of staff at the SEC.
Appian Capital Advisory
The Blackstone Group
GPLS Servicing Agent
JC Flowers & Co.
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe
- Successfully defended Appian Capital Advisory, a UK-based private equity fund, on a lawsuit filed by a competitor, Arias Resource Management, in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, in an attempt to disrupt the launch of Appian’s first $1bn+ international private equity fund.
- Represented Blackstone and a number of its affiliates in disputes brought in the US and Italy arising out of a 2013 sale and leaseback of properties in Milan, Italy.
- Served as national counsel for GPL Servicing Agent (GPLS) and GPLS’ owner, Victory Park Capital Advisors, as well as other GPLS and Victory Park affiliates, in multiple state attorneys general and putative consumer class actions concerning so-called “rent-a-tribe” and “rent-a-bank” enterprises used to facilitate alleged payday lending schemes.
- Represented JC Flowers in disputes arising out of the purchase of HSH Nordbank, by a German state-owned bank (Landesbank) that was once one of the world’s largest shipping financiers.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's financial services practice has wide ranging expertise in the consumer financial services industry, where it acts for clients in CFPB proceedings relating to lending, US capital and liquidity requirements and Basel III requirements, among other issues. The firm is also active in RMBS litigation, competition law disputes and matters falling under the TCPA. Of recent note, Boston-based Elaine McChesney acted alongside Kenneth Schacter in defense of Bank of America against allegations that it participated in a Ponzi scheme, with claims totaling $3bn. Robert Brochin in Miami has a strong track record in consumer class actions, spanning unfair trade practices, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and many other areas, and Michael Kraut represents major banks in civil litigation and government investigations. Named lawyers are based in New York unless noted otherwise.
Michael Kraut; Elaine McChesney
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith
Bank of America
Deutsche Bank National Trust Company
- Representing Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated in a class action pending in federal court in Maine, in which the plaintiff purports to represent a class of out-of-state residents who invested in 529 education plans offered by the State of Maine and managed by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
- Successfully defended Bank of America in the largest Ponzi scheme litigation in history.
- Represented BNY Mellon in a class action filed against it in less than two months prior to the scheduled trial date.
Shearman & Sterling LLP represents major financial institutions in benchmark rate cases, RMBS litigation and investigations and enforcement actions. Adam Hakki acts for numerous major investment banks in securities cases and investigations brought by the DOJ, SEC and FINRA. Among his recent wins, Hakki successfully defended Bank of America Merrill Lynch against a claim alleging collusion in the manipulation of the London Silver Fix. San Francisco-based Patrick Robbins represents D&Os, companies and employees in antitrust litigation, securities fraud, FCPA disputes and various other white-collar crime cases, and Richard Schwed is also recognized for his experience in investigations and disputes relating to antitrust and securities law. Agnès Dunogué is another of the firm's securities specialists; she represents Barclays and Nomura in a series of RMBS cases, and recently secured a victory for Citigroup in a securities class action. Adam Schwartz and counsel Sara Raisner joined the firm in 2019 from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and FINRA, respectively. All named attorneys are based in New York.
Adam Hakki; Patrick Robbins; Richard Schwed
Bank of America
Bank of Montreal
Bank of Nova Scotia
- Represented the underwriters of various securities offerings by SunEdison and TerraForm Global, one of SunEdison’s “yieldcos”, in connection with multiple individual and class action lawsuits filed at the end of 2015 and 2016.
- Represented the underwriters (Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank and numerous others) of the Alibaba IPO in connection with securities class action litigation.
- Successfully represented Nikko Asset Management, its former chief executive officer, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings in stock-option plan litigation.
- Successfully represented Mizuho Bank as the defendant in federal class actions in Japan, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Virginia.
- Acted for Bank of America in a putative class action in the Southern District of New York, alleging billions of dollars in damages and treble damages.
Buckley LLP's Washington-based financial services team represents clients in matters before the the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the CFPB, including consumer class actions. Further, the team has expertise acting for clients in investigations relating to mortgage practices and cases concerning alleged redlining discrimination. Benjamin Klubes frequently represents financial institutions in investigations and examinations by the CFPB, the DOJ, the FTC, and numerous other industry regulators; he also acts for clients in private class action litigation involving the Fair Housing Act and Equality Credit Opportunity Act. Other names to note include CFPB specialist Michelle Rogers, and Valerie Hletko, who focuses on fair lending issues, and represents clients in civil litigation and class actions in the consumer financial services sector. Andrea Mitchell , Douglas Gansler, Benjamin Oslon, Antonio Reynolds and Tina Tchen left the practice in 2019 for various in-house and private practice roles; though James McGuire joined the San Francisco office in 2020 from Morrison & Foerster LLP.
‘What makes the group unique is their ability to match our diverse interests and need for quick action with subject matter experts that can efficiently apply legal concepts in a business setting. There are few firms that can pivot and deploy resources in order to effectively manage any type of crisis.’
‘Michelle Rogers stands out because she is so well-rounded in her abilities. She is not only knowledgeable about the rules, but she understands the history of the industry, how important the audience is for any form of communication, and she has an unbelievable ability to frame an issue so that negotiations are focused on the right matters.’
CBC Mortgage Agency
Cedar Band of Paiutes
USAA Federal Savings Bank
Green Tree Credit
PHH Mortgage Corp.
Avant of Colorado
Avant PB SPV
Carrington Capital Management
Caliber Home Loans
Tidewater Finance Company
- Represented CBC Mortgage Agency, CBC Corporation and the Cedar Band of Paiutes in the federal district court of Utah against HUD, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery.
- Represented clients in the investigations that resulted in the first three enforcement actions announced in January 2019 under recently appointed Director of the CFPB Kathleen Kraninger.
- Represented eight of the 16 servicer defendants and served as lead defense counsel for the servicer defendant group.
- Represented Exeter Finance in connection with an industry-wide, joint investigation by the Massachusetts and Delaware Attorneys General.
- Advised a bank on a wide range of BSA/AML issues that banks commonly face.
Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP
Boutique litigation firm Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP, based in New York, acts for a wide range of banks, funds and sovereigns, predominantly in litigation arising from the mortgage crisis. Key figures in the team include founding partners Michael Shuster and Richard Holwell, who have experience of a wider range of financial services disputes, including RMBS claims, antitrust class actions, bankruptcy disputes, and regulatory investigations. Brendon DeMay and Vincent Levy are also recommended.
Fielding several partners who previously worked in senior roles at the SEC and CFTC, Jones Day's financial services department specializes in representing clients in RMBS litigation, major antitrust cases, cryptocurrency disputes, and various regulatory investigations. 'Smart and well-informed', Jayant Tambe has expertise in litigation involving securities and complex financial products. Another key name in this space is Kelly Carrero, who acts for financial institutions, corporations and individuals in litigation involving RMBS and commodities derivatives. Howard Sidman and junior partner Mahesh Parlikad are also recommended. Brett Barragate chairs the firm's financial markets group for the Americas.
Jayant Tambe; Brett Barragate
‘The team has a proven ability to handle highly complex matters and to think ahead in terms of strategic priorities. along with the ability to engage specialists throughout the firm when needed.’
Wells Fargo Bank
Wells Fargo Securities
- Defended Wells Fargo in its capacity as securities administrator and master servicer of Natixis Real Estate Capital Trust 2007-HE2 RMBS, against counterclaims and third-party claims asserted by defendant mortgage loan seller/sponsor in an RMBS putback suit.
- Represented Wells Fargo in connection with a putative class action lawsuit filed by ERISA plan trustees for breach of fiduciary duty in failing to oversee servicers, including Ocwen, and failing to enforce those servicers’ duties for servicing securitized mortgage loans.
- Represented a number of defendants, including Wells Fargo, involved in structuring, managing, and underwriting collateralized debt obligations, in connection with claims asserted by Loreley Financing companies, the investment arms of the German bank, IKB.
- Successfully defended mortgage lender Quicken Loans against a suit brought on behalf of RMBS investors in a trust in New York state court.
Based in Los Angeles, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP's financial services team represents clients in enforcement actions and regulatory investigations, matters involving unfair and deceptive trade practices, and in litigation across the country arising from consumer finance class actions. Boasting over thirty years of practicing experience, Stuart Richter represents clients in class and mass action litigation encompassing all types of financial products, including mortgage loans, credit cards and auto loans. Gregory Korman has a strong track record of representing banks, credit unions and other clients in consumer class actions. Also recommended is Claudia Callaway, who represents banks, credit card issuers and mortgage servicers in disputes before the CFPB, FTC and state agencies.
Atalaya Capital Management
Everest Business Funding
- Acted for real estate developer CIM Group in a disputes arising from a mixed-used residential condominium and retail development in downtown Los Angeles.
- Represented and is currently representing more than 50 banks and credit unions in a series of class action lawsuits filed in various courts around the country concerning overdraft fees.
- Represented EBF in Maryland state court in relation to allegations by Rapid Advance that EBF’s financing of a small business that had an outstanding loan from Rapid constituted tortious interference.
Morrison & Foerster LLP has significant experience in consumer class actions, and also represents clients in investigations and regulatory enforcement actions at state and federal level. Michael Miller represents clients in a range of state and federal claims, including antitrust cases, class actions, and cases under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Also recommended are David Fioccola, who represents clients in commercial disputes and consumer class actions, both in litigation and arbitration; and Natalie Fleming Nolen, who has experience of antitrust litigation, consumer class actions and state-led investigations. James McGuire left the firm to join Buckley LLP in January 2020.
David Fioccola; Michael Miller
Other key lawyers:
Natalie Fleming Nolen; Tiffani Figueroa
- Represented an American multinational investment bank and financial services company in an MDL proceeding.
- Represented an American multinational investment bank and financial services company in a putative nationwide consumer class action pending in DC federal court.
- Represented a corporation providing computer-assisted legal research in a number of individual and class action lawsuits around the country relating to its information services products.
- Obtained a favorable settlement for a large US bank holding company in a putative nationwide class action lawsuit challenging overdraft fees charged on debit card transactions for a San Francisco-based ride-share services company.
- Represented a large US bank holding company in a putative nationwide class action lawsuit challenging the client’s assessment of non-sufficient funds (NSF) and overdraft (OD) fees on transactions for which the account holder lacked sufficient funds to pay.
Based in New York, California and Washington DC, O'Melveny & Myers LLP's financial services team is particularly well known for its involvement in mortgage lending matters, consumer financial services litigation, and various large-scale regulatory investigations. Washington DC partner Brian Boyle acts for financial services companies in various class actions and mass torts, including ERISA and RICO disputes. Newport Beach-based Elizabeth McKeen has a strong track record in class actions and False Claims Act cases. 'Thoughtful and strategic' partner Pamela Miller, based in New York, is noted for her ability to defend banks and insurance companies against allegations of fraud, including Ponzi schemes, securities fraud, and corporate and accounting fraud. 'Brilliant regulatory strategist' Danielle Oakley (also in Newport Beach) acts for banks and other financial institutions in consumer litigation and regulatory enforcement actions.
Brian Boyle; Elizabeth McKeen
‘The team deploys strategies that make class actions and enforcement actions go away. They have pioneered banking preemption defenses in situations not commonly recognized by others. They have also adapted class-action defense strategies that originated in other areas to financial services subject matter with surprising success.’
Bank of America
Toronto Dominion Bank (TD Bank)
Capital One Financial Corporation
JP Morgan Chase
Ocwen Financial Corporation
- Secured summary judgment victory in February 2019 for longtime client Fannie Mae in Banneck v. Federal National Mortgage Association, a putative class action seeking penalties against the company.
- Acted as Bank of America’s counsel in a putative class action challenging the imposition of stop payment fees on some of the bank’s customer deposit accounts.
- Defended JP Morgan Chase & Co in a False Claims Act qui tam suit concerning Chase’s participation in the US Treasury Department’s Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”).
- Served as legal counsel to Bank of America in connection with a putative class action asserting breach of contract claims and claims under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) in connection with the bank’s assessment of cash advance fees on credit card purchases of cryptocurrencies.
- Defended TD Bank against a putative class action asserting claims that the bank improperly charged multiple non-sufficient funds fees (NSF Fees) on individual payment transactions.
Paul Hastings LLP
From its offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago, Paul Hastings has represented financial services companies in private litigation and agency investigations throughout the US. New York-based Barry Sher co-chairs the firm's global litigation practice. Anthony Antonelli, also based in New York, is a name to note for white-collar crime investigations and regulatory enforcement proceedings targeting CEOs and other high powered individuals.
Based in Washington DC, Williams & Connolly LLP's litigation-focused team represent clients in a broad array of disputes and civil and criminal investigations brought by the DOJ, CFPB, FDIC and the Federal Reserve, among other industry regulators. John Villa is well-regarded for his track record of defending law firms in legal malpractice cases, which is complemented by his expertise in securities litigation. 'Outstanding attorney and strategic thinker' Ryan Scarborough is a key contact for community bank directors and officers involved in FDIC claims arising from the financial crash; he is also well known for representing large financial institutions in enforcement proceedings. Dane Butswinkas has defended financial institutions in cases ranging from financial product litigation to hedge fund activity to bond and mortgage market cases. Junior partner Beth Stewart specializes in securities litigation and enforcement actions, and is also has experience in professional liability suits. Partners Lisa Blatt and Sarah Harris joined the firm in January 2019 from Arnold & Porter and the Department of Justice, respectively.
Dane Butswinkas; John Villa
‘Williams & Connolly is an excellent litigation firm, both in terms of defending their clients, but also helping clients avoid costly litigation.’
‘The firm has very high academic standards in their hiring practices and do a great job of exposing newer attorneys to important assignments in order to gain valuable experience early in their careers, all the while being mentored by very experienced, senior partners.’
‘Ryan Scarborough is one of the most intelligent, articulate, competitive and experienced attorneys I have ever had the pleasure of working with.’
First Federal Bank of Kansas City
The Carlyle Group
Bank of America
HSBC Bank USA
Galaxy Entertainment Group
Primary Residential Mortgage
TCF National Bank
- Represented a mutual bank and certain of its directors in connection with a class action lawsuit filed by depositors seeking to hold them liable for not distributing to depositors excess capital that had been built up over more than a century.
- Secured judgment fully exonerating The Carlyle Group in a $2bn action filed against it in the Royal Court of Guernsey arising out of the collapse of Carlyle Capital Corporation. In April 2019, that judgment was affirmed on appeal by the Court of Appeal of Guernsey.
- Served as lead trial counsel to Bank of America 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.
- Served as lead trial counsel to Bank of America in Waldrup v. Countrywide, a class action filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California.
- Secured dismissal in favor of HSBC Bank USA in a half-billion dollar action filed against it in the New York state court, and is defending the judgment on appeal.
WilmerHale's financial services practice is perhaps best known for its expertise in enforcement proceedings. Washington DC-based William McLucas (former director of enforcement at the SEC) acts for a wide variety of clients in relation to various corporate and market crisis situations, and also represents them in SEC investigations. Lori Martin in New York focuses on litigation and enforcement proceedings targeting hedge funds, broker dealers and investment advisers.