Whether your dispute arises in a traditional brokerage firm relationship or through private banking and wealth management at full-service financial institutions, Shook, Hardy & Bacon can help resolve issues involving investment clients and current or former employees. Our attorneys have substantial experience in securities litigation, with an emphasis on disputes involving broker-dealers, registered representatives, investment advisors and financial planners.

Investment Disputes

When it comes to investment disputes, we have defended claims relating to, among other things:

  • suitability
  • churning
  • unauthorized trades
  • undisclosed compensation
  • inadequate due diligence
  • conflicts of interest
  • discretionary trading
  • negligent misrepresentation
  • securities fraud

Our group also has experience with larger multi-party suits involving Ponzi schemes, compliance with anti-money laundering statutes and regulations, and the Securities Investor Protection Act.

We have handled cases from every perspective – representing courtroom defendants, broker-dealers and financial advisors in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) proceedings, and regulated persons and entities subject to oversight. Our attorneys also serve as FINRA arbitrators. Shook’s experience in all related areas gives our clients valuable insight into any dispute resolution proceeding.

Employment Disputes

Shook attorneys have resolved the unique type of employment disputes that arise in the securities and wealth management context, including:

  • enforcement of covenants not to compete,
  • protection of trade secrets,
  • claims for breach of fiduciary duty,
  • claims of unfair competition, including raiding claims,
  • claims of departing financial advisors who seek to invalidate employment-related promissory notes, and
  • expungement of CRD records.

Attorneys in our Broker-Dealer Dispute Resolution Practice also have extensive experience counseling clients regarding compliance with the Protocol for Broker Recruiting.

Representative Matters

The attorneys in Shook’s Broker-Dealer Dispute Resolution Practice have successfully handled broker-dealer and wealth management matters such as the following:

  • Defended a major broker-dealer and its financial advisor in a FINRA arbitration relating to a $40 million fraud perpetrated by the client’s registered investment advisor.
  • Represented major broker-dealer in raiding and misappropriation of trade secrets case involving the departure of over 50 registered representatives nationwide. The appellate ruling upholding an injunction in favor of our client established controlling law on the enforcement of post-termination contracts.
  • Served as panel public arbitrator in $50 million anti-money laundering claim against a clearing firm arising from a Ponzi scheme.
  • Defended a bank that maintained accounts used by a financial planner in a $10 million Ponzi scheme.
  • Defended major broker-dealer and employee against multimillion-dollar arbitration claim for negligence.
  • Handled hundreds of matters for major broker-dealers relating to the recruitment and departure of registered representatives.
  • Represented an arbitration claimant in a $1 million dispute concerning the suitability of an entire investment portfolio, rather than the suitability of a particular investment.
  • Managed a registered investment advisor’s response to an SEC subpoena that required the review of more than one million records, after which the SEC advised our client that it would not be the target of further investigation.
  • Defended multiple registered representatives in arbitration of employment claims filed by former broker-dealer employer.