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Financial Services & Banking

FMG's Financial Services & Banking National Practice Section is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who represent financial institutions, as well as financial professionals, in a wide spectrum of transactional, regulatory, and securities matters in both litigated and non-litigated contexts. Our professionals have a comprehensive understanding of the financial services industry and their practice includes a number of sub-specialties including accountants and financial professionals, registered representatives and investment advisors, broker-dealers and Registered Investment Advisors (RIA). FMG's legal team represents financial institutions, their senior executives, brokers and other registered personnel in securities arbitration, litigation and regulatory matters. Our professionals also provide 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 Professionals
Section Chair - Chad Weaver
Section Vice-Chair - Liz Lowery

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 Financial Services & Banking National Practice Section 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. FMG attorneys closely follow changes in the law that directly or indirectly affect the duties and obligations of financial professionals to ensure that the firm's clients receive timely and accurate best practices advice.

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.


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 investment advisors, registered representatives, 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, trade secrets, civil money penalties, orders of suspension, prohibition and removal orders, restitution orders, injunctive relief 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.


Banking and Financial Transaction Litigation

FMG's Banking and Financial Institutions practice group has extensive experience representing banks, investment advisors, broker-dealers, credit unions, and many other federally insured financial institutions, as well as their Directors and Officers.

Our lawyers have represented financial institutions across a wide spectrum of compliance and litigation matters. Our experience has included regulatory and litigation matters with federal agencies such as the FDIC, OCC, FRS, OTS and NCUA. We also represent a variety of financial advisors and professionals in FINRA disputes.

Our attorneys also provide assistance in regulatory applications to the Federal banking agencies, as well as defensive assistance in personal civil liability actions instituted against officers and directors of financial institutions for alleged breaches of their legal duties and responsibilities as officers or directors of such institutions.

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.

Our team of Financial Institution lawyers consists of experienced advocates for bankers and creditors, enforcing their rights in all chapters under the bankruptcy code, banking regulatory matters, and collecting the debts that are owed to banks and financial institutions. Our team also defends claims for wrongful foreclosure and for violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Our clients in this area include financial institutions, as well as businesses, both large and small. Our attorneys represent creditors in all types of collection proceedings, litigating claims to judgments, garnishment, discovering and attaching assets among other services. Our lawyers regularly represent banks and creditors in the following proceedings or actions:

  • Loan Documentation;
  • Loan Workouts and Restructuring;
  • UCC Article 9 Secured Transactions;
  • Mortgages;
  • Foreclosures;
  • Collection Actions;
  • Repossessions; and
  • Regulatory compliance.
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.


Broker Dealer and Investment Advisor (RIA) Litigation/Consulting

FMG's Financial Services & Banking National Practice Section counsels and consults clients throughout the country across a wide range of broker-dealer, investment adviser and operational matters, and also represents clients in disputes before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and state regulators. Our clients include banks; registered investment advisers; independent, regional and national broker-dealers; wirehouse, discount and full-service firms; registered representatives and other registered personnel.

From a litigation perspective, FMG often serves as national counsel for several of the nationa's largest broker-dealers. We routinely defend FINRA members and their registered representatives in customer disputes, involving stocks, bonds, options and mutual funds, as well as auction rate securities and various alternative investments, including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). As part of this representation, we frequently counsel senior executives of financial institutions. Our attorneys also handle expungement proceedings on behalf of registered representatives, initially in arbitration and then upon confirmation in state or federal court. FMG also represents FINRA members and registered representatives in intra-industry disputes, including disputes related to selling agreements, employment practices, promissory notes and trade secrets.

As part of our consulting practice, FMG helps financial institutions develop successful risk mitigation, compliance and supervisory programs, consistent with the institutions' business strategies, to minimize compliance issues, customer disputes and regulatory inquiries, and to avoid enforcement actions. Among other things, our consulting services include drafting policies and procedures (including the content and implementation of supervisory and compliance manuals); developing robust testing, training, surveillance and branch review programs; conducting investigations; performing product due diligence; effectively adopting new regulations; and assisting clients with regulatory examinations.

Overall, FMG's team has deep industry experience having led compliance, supervisory and risk mitigation programs at major financial institutions, working at securities regulators such as the SEC, and serving various corporations and law firms in senior legal roles. This experience and expertise has enabled our team to successfully develop effective programs, interact with regulators and assist firms to meet their business objectives while effectively mitigating risk.


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 attorneys and securities consultants 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.



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.


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.


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.



Our consulting and legal expertise includes the defense of enforcement and/or administrative-related activities with the SEC, FINRA, NYSE and other commodity exchanges, as well as regulatory matters with federal agencies such as the FDIC, OCC, FRS, OTS and NCUA. As such, we successfully defend clients in regulatory inquiries, assisting our clients with responding to requests for information and documents (including 8210 requests before FINRA and Matters Under Inquiry, or "MUIs", before the SEC), regulatory audits, On-The-Record (OTR) examinations, preparing "Wells" submissions, and negotiating Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC) agreements. FMG's lawyers are also experienced in state-related enforcement actions, having represented clients before regulators in numerous states.



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.