“In financial services, if you want to be the best in the industry, you first have to be the best in risk management and credit quality. It’s the foundation for every other measure of success. There’s almost no room for error.” –John Stumpf, former Wells Fargo CEO
The financial services sector is a sophisticated industry where legal strategies must recognize more than just the law—but also the complex and multilayered pressures imposed by financial regulators, business objectives, reputational concerns, and credit risk. Our financial services lawyers have dedicated themselves to understanding the industry. We have become trusted advisors to our clients and thought leaders for the financial services legal market.
Some of the world’s largest institutions rely on our firm for constant counsel, in the courtroom, in the boardroom, and before regulators. The firm also represents smaller and middle-market institutions. We leverage our considerable experience for the benefit of smaller investors, banks, and credit unions who often require regular lending or other transactional support, but who less often require legal support to prosecute claims or resolve disputes. In those cases, the depth of our industry coverage means all of our clients receive superior representation grounded in a complete understanding of the terrain.
Our lawyers have finance and banking backgrounds and some served as general counsel to banks and other companies. We exceed the minimum requirements for professional education and we often present CLEs and in-house programs to industry professionals on topics involving depositary, operational, lending, securitization, and other matters. Some of our lawyers have developed a focus on discrete issues such as “rogue bankers”—how to prevent, address, and defend against disputes involving alleged wrongdoing by financial services employees.
Our Financial Services clients include some of the largest and most respected companies in the industry:
- Comerica Bank
- First National Bank
- Hancock Bank
- Hancock Holding Company
- JPMorgan Chase
- McGriff, Siebels & Williams, Inc.
- PlainsCapital Bank
- Regional Acceptance Corporation
- Regions Financial Corporation
- Regions Bank
- Sheffield Financial
- Truist Bank
- Trustmark National Bank
- Wells Fargo
- Whitney Bank
- Represented bank in appeal to Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, defending trial victory for lead bank on a $35 million participated loan facility. Following oral argument, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the judgment, writing that the trial court applied the correct standards and rightly found that the plaintiff loan participant failed to prove any damages.
- Successfully defended super-regional bank in federal court against claims brought by a loan participant. Plaintiff sought approximately $10 million in damages resulting from the alleged breach of a participation agreement involving a failed mixed-use development in Northwest Florida. Although the court issued summary judgment against the bank on breach of contract, after a five-day trial, the court entered a “take nothing” judgment, resulting in a complete victory for the bank.
- Successfully defended and prosecuted claims for a large retail bank in multi-party dispute following failed loan syndication that involved dozens of claims against co-lenders, brokers, law firms, and an investment bank.
- Successfully represented bank syndicate in accounting malpractice claims against regional accounting firm in failed loan syndication, resulting in a substantial recovery for the syndicate.
- Successfully represented bank in claims against a law firm for professional negligence arising from the bank’s role as documentation agent.
- Ongoing representation of financial institutions in defense of bank privileges, including privileges owned by regulators, related to Confidential Supervisory Information, Suspicious Activity Reports, and others.
- Won significant discovery ruling from federal court that analyzed privileges arising from Suspicious Activity Report regulations and applied the privileges to protect thousands of pages of sensitive bank documents from production in Ponzi scheme litigation seeking to hold bank liable for aiding and abetting securities fraud.
- Frequent management of communications with federal and state regulators on a variety of topics, including compliance and supervisory issues and enforcement defense.
- Directed and conducted internal investigation at Top 20 bank to assess allegations of internal fraud.
Depositary & Operational
- Successfully represented large retail banks in Checking Account Overdraft multidistrict litigation, resisting class certification and building leverage that resulted in lowest known pro-rata settlement figure achieved in the MDL.
- Achieved early dismissal of ADA class action claims related to ATM accessibility.
- Successful prosecution of claims on behalf of super-regional bank in landlord-tenant dispute that implicates bank CRA obligations.
- Routine representation of banks in operational disputes, including claims arising under UCC Articles 3 (negotiable instruments), 4 (deposits & collections), and 4A (funds transfers).
- Achieved dismissal with prejudice of federal qui tam—false claims act—complaint that alleged fraudulent management of a $16 billion commercial loan portfolio.
- Obtained securities fraud and RICO judgments in excess of $100 million, which ultimately led to the imprisonment of two defendants.
- Successfully defended a multi-million dollar lender liability (failure to lend) claim by establishing fraud in connection with the claimant’s loan application.
- Represented lenders and funds in securities fraud matters related to various junk bond offerings.
- Successfully defended lender in Bank Tying Act case.
- Successfully defended class certification in a novel borrower suitability case at the beginning of the Great
- Successfully defended a casino lender in a declaratory judgment action where a patron claimed that a multimillion dollar gaming debt violated Texas public policy.
- Successfully defended a financial institution in a forged endorsement check case involving hundreds of checks,resulting in de minimus settlement on the eve of trial.