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Financial Services & Transactions

FMG's Financial Services practice group is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who represent financial institutions, as well as financial professionals, in a wide spectrum of transactional, regulatory, and litigation-related matters. Our professionals understand the financial services industry and their practice includes fiduciary litigation and counseling in emerging areas of law such as data security and privacy issues, financial elder abuse, and guidelines issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The group's Partners have represented clients ranging from community banks to money-center financial institutions, including commercial banks and savings institutions, finance companies, credit card issuers, trust companies, investment advisors, broker-dealers, credit unions, mortgage originators, and insurance companies, in the areas shown below. Our team includes former in-house counsel, CPA's SEC officials, and chief compliance officers who have decades of experience in all aspects of financial services CTA matters.

Financial Services and Transactions Professionals

Accountants & Financial Professionals

FMG represents accountants and financial professionals in cases involving:
  • Professional negligence claims
  • Tax and IRS issues
  • Audit review and deficiencies
  • Accusations involving competency and conduct
  • Discipline as the result of regulatory action by the SEC or FINRA
  • Peer review reporting
  • Denials of licensure
  • Citation defense
  • Administrative hearings
Our Professional Liability Practice Group has represented directly and through insurers accountants and other financial professionals throughout the country including court, arbitration, regulatory actions, as well as actions before professional boards. FMG's team includes attorneys who are CPAs and consultants with experience as chief compliance officers at some of the nation's largest financial institutions. They have a thorough understanding of accounting principles and financial practices that most attorneys do not.

Our team couples their knowledge of the law with decades of practical industry experience to effectively navigate our accountant and financial services clients through their disputes.

It is not unusual for accountant and financial professional malpractice actions to include claims against other professionals in the same matter. Our attorneys also are experienced in working with other defense counsel, and often as lead counsel, to coordinate an effective group defense in complex actions. Our goal always is to achieve the best possible outcome in the most cost effective manner. FMG's team works closely with our clients and their insurance provider to specifically design the optimum defense and strategy for the best result in each matter.

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Arbitration & Trial Practice

FMG's lawyers also aggressively defend financial institutions and financial professionals in securities litigation, shareholder derivative lawsuits, and lender-liability actions brought in both commercial and consumer contexts, and in both individual and class actions. Our attorneys have defended residential mortgage lenders, loan servicers, and other creditors in lawsuits filed by consumers involving claims such as wrongful foreclosure, wrongful repossession, predatory lending practices, fraud, conversion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and alleged violations of federal and state laws such as the FDCPA, FCRA, RESPA, TILA, HAMP, ECOA, and UDAP.

Our lawyers also have represented some of the nation's largest financial institutions and residential mortgage lenders in wrongful foreclosure litigation, and have recently helped redefine applicable law to protect lenders' ability to non-judicially foreclose. Additionally, we have enforced the rights of commercial bankers and creditors in judicial and nonjudicial proceedings, including foreclosure of real and personal property, deficiency actions, foreclosure confirmation proceedings, bankruptcy cases, and all types of collection proceedings including litigating claims to judgment, garnishment, and discovering and attaching assets.

We also provide extensive guidance to boards of directors regarding their fiduciary duties, disclosure obligations, and special litigation committees. FMG represents fiduciaries across a full range of matters, including trust administration, asset investment and diversification, conflicts of interest, trustee removal, and breaches of various fiduciary duties. The depth of our experience includes representation of an ERISA Plan and its Trustee in the successful recovery of millions of dollars of pilfered funds, as well as the aggressive defense of officers and directors of financial institutions for alleged breaches of their fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and/or the duties to protect trust assets through maintenance of appropriate insurance.

Our Partners also have extensive experience and expertise representing a variety of registered financial advisors, broker-dealers and other professionals in FINRA disputes and arbitrations, including customer complaints and non-compete/non-solicit lawsuits.

We also have defended matters concerning memorandums of understanding, supervisory agreements, cease and desist orders, civil money penalties, orders of suspension, prohibition and removal orders, restitution orders, and orders terminating FDIC deposit insurance coverage.

In addition, the attorneys at FMG have represented financial institutions in matters involving general liability, labor and employment issues, commercial litigation, contract disputes, and insurance disputes, including issues relating to coverage questions, D&O insurance, E&O insurance, and procurement of insurance by brokers and agents.

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Benefit Plans & Fiduciary

Employers increasingly face lawsuits and regulatory challenges over benefits options they offer employees. Our attorneys have successfully handled the wide array of claims you may face including claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), cases of alleged errors or omissions, improper denial of plan benefits and suits for breach of fiduciary duty. We regularly represent plan fiduciaries and their underwriting insurers in cases brought by plan participants, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.

Our Fiduciary attorneys handle cases throughout the country claiming improper denial or change (especially reduction) of pension or welfare benefits, administrative error, improper advice or counsel, wrongful termination of a plan, failure to adequately fund a plan, prohibited transactions, failure to make required plan contributions, conflict of interest, imprudent investment of assets or lack of investment diversity, imprudent choice of insurance company or mutual fund, or third-party plan administrator or other service provider. We are highly expert in representing employers facing demands for payment of multi-employer pension plan contributions.

Our experienced attorneys ensure you will have industry knowledge and courtroom expertise to defend the inevitable challenge over your 401(k), profit-sharing plan or employee stock option plan (ESOP), defined benefit plan, or welfare plans such as health, accident or disability plans. FMG attorneys will evaluate your case promptly and give you the ability to resolve a case early or, if needed, to vindicate your position before a judge or jury.

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Broker/Dealer & FINRA

FMG's Agents and Brokers Practice Team has defended cases throughout the country including National counsel for several of the nation's largest broker/dealers. Our clients include banks, broker-dealers, wirehouses, discount and full-service firms. We routinely defend FINRA members and their registered representatives in customer disputes, involving stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, as well as auction rate securities, REITs, and options. Our attorneys have also handled expungement proceedings on behalf of registered representatives. Our firm has also represented FINRA members and registered representatives in intra-industry disputes, including disputes related to selling agreements, employment practices, and promissory notes.

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CFPB

Our professionals closely follow the procedures and guidelines being issued by the CFPB created under the Dodd-Frank Act, and advise clients on the agency's increasing regulatory activities.

Also, break out "insurance coverage and bad faith" as separate section from professional ability and include the following drop downs under insurance coverage.

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Data Security

FMG lawyers have extensive experience in developing policies, procedures and controls to minimize the risk of a security breach and ensure that processes are in place to minimize operational damage should a breach occur.

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Employment Practices

Our Financial Services team works closely with FMG's employment law practice team in all aspects of employment claims including contract disputes, gender discrimination cases, trade secrets confidential information cases, employee raiding claims, wrongful termination, and pay disputes.

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Regulatory/Enforcement

Our experience includes regulatory matters with federal agencies such as the FDIC, OCC, FRS, OTS and NCUA, as well as enforcement and/or administrative-related activities with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the NYSE and other commodity exchanges. FMG's lawyers also are experienced in state-related enforcement actions, and have represented clients before regulators in numerous states including California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.

Our lawyers defend regulatory audits and provide guidance and advice regarding audit deficiencies, including the preparation of compliance manuals.

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Transactional

Our lawyers represent banks and creditors in commercial and real estate lending matters, including loan documentation in secured and unsecured transactions, loan workouts and restructuring, UCC Article 9 Secured Transactions, and construction lending.

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