A recognized leader in the financial services sector, Locke Lord has a long history of meeting the unique litigation needs of financial institutions and non-bank financial services companies around the globe. Our litigators possess a sophisticated understanding of the financial services industry and our clients’ objectives. We collaborate closely with our team of corporate and regulatory lawyers who advise an array of financial institutions on financing, corporate, transactional, regulatory, consumer protection and workout matters.
We defend our clients against a wide variety of statutory and regulatory claims including the following:
Our team has extensive experience in all aspects of financial services litigation, including early resolution through motions to dismiss, resolution via summary judgment based on, e.g., preemption, exportation, constitutional grounds, or other substantive grounds, opposition to class certification, related bankruptcy issues, arbitration, as well as trail and any ensuing appeal.
Locke Lord lawyers are known not only for protecting our clients against the evolving regulatory and litigation risks, but also for anticipating industry trends and issues. Our lawyers are recognized authorities in this field – frequently publishing and presenting on topics related to financial services litigation – and we bring this depth of experience to our clients as trusted advisers.
Banks and Financial Institutions
From global financial institutions to community banks and non-bank financial service providers, our clients depend on Locke Lord to provide essential guidance in today’s complex financial environment.
Our lawyers have defended class action claims based on allegations of actuarial impropriety, churning, unsuitability and alleged securities law violations, including claims based upon insider trading, market manipulation, accounting fraud, improper revenue recognition, inadequate recordkeeping, improper changes to non-guaranteed and guaranteed contractual provisions, breaches of fiduciary duties, failure to disclose material information, false disclosures and control-person liability for financial institutions.
We routinely defend banks, mortgage companies, retail credit card issuers, insurance companies, financial information providers, credit bureaus, investment banks, securities brokers, auto dealer associations and other creditors in consumer finance class actions involving allegations including consumer fraud, consumer protection and privacy regulations and RICO violations.
We have a strong reputation for representing clients in ″bet the company″ cases, as our experience permits us to quickly grasp the salient legal and factual issues and develop a successful defensive strategy. Our creative preliminary motion practice has led to early dismissal or nuisance-value settlements of many cases. Our litigation teams have helped our clients win a host of class action dismissals and summary judgments and have achieved favorable non-class based settlements after asserting credible challenges to class certification.
Locke Lord lawyers represent our financial services clients in bankruptcy courts throughout the United States as secured and unsecured creditors. We serve as counsel for committees of secured and unsecured creditors. Our bankruptcy and financial services lawyers work together to represent lenders with loan workouts, debtors in possession, financing, bankruptcy protection planning and debtor bankruptcies. We also represent institutions serving as trustees for bonds and other debt instruments when the users or borrowers have defaulted and sought protection under bankruptcy laws.
We regularly conduct internal investigations on behalf of public companies, special committees, hedge funds, Multilateral Development Banks, and financial services companies. Our deep understanding of the federal securities laws and the regulatory framework affecting registered parties allows us to focus quickly on the heart of the matter at issue. We handle non-public investigations and counsel clients on issues such as insider trading, financial statement fraud, accounting fraud, violation of director or trustee fiduciary duties, and other regulatory requirements. We understand the demands upon boards of directors and management teams and seek to find resolutions that protect appropriate business interests. We also counsel clients – with the wisdom of experience – as to any disclosure obligations to the public or to regulators.
When the stakes are high, banking and financial services institutions turn to Locke Lord. Our litigation experience in this field is as broad and varied as the industry itself, having represented clients in a wide array of legal controversies, including pioneering victories in usury, lender liability and bank powers cases.
Mortgage Lenders and Servicers
For decades, Locke Lord has enjoyed a reputation as one of the preeminent firms representing the mortgage industry. We have wide-ranging experience representing mortgage originators, correspondent lenders, mortgage servicers and investors for both forward and reverse mortgage products. Our litigators have defended national and regional consumer lending and servicing clients in individual and class action lawsuits brought under a variety of state and federal consumer protection statutes, including cases involving mortgage fraud, predatory lending, elder abuse, and unfair and deceptive acts and practices statutes. Our cases take us to nearly every state in the nation. We have also handled numerous appeals that have significantly assisted the industry, in both cases that we handled in the trial court and cases where we were hired to handle an appeal after a bad result in the lower court.
Our lawyers provide comprehensive counseling, advice and representation to domestic and international financial institutions on transactional, legislative, regulatory and litigation-related matters. We provide regulatory counseling and advice on the numerous federal lending statutes and regulations, including
In addition, we assist clients with review and revisions of mortgage documents and disclosures to comply with such statutes and regulations on the federal and state level. We also defend clients in regulatory investigations, including subpoenas, CIDs, and litigation, and assist clients with internal investigations, including any necessary self-reporting and remedial actions.
Our clients range from national and community banks to money-center financial institutions and include
We defend securities brokers in court against claims involving retail sales practices, supervision, market manipulation, trading and marketing strategies, and regulatory compliance. Our lawyers have extensive experience in representing clients in a variety of broker-dealer related disputes before arbitration panels of the FINRA (formerly NASD), NYSE and American Arbitration Association. We represent clients in arbitration proceedings involving claims of churning, unsuitability, improper margin practices, unauthorized trading, failure to supervise, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. We have also represented broker-dealers in fee disputes and breach of contract and employment matters between broker-dealers and registered representatives.
For the past few years, there has been an increase in litigation between borrowers who are unable to pay their debts and their student loan lenders and servicers. Lenders and servicers have become litigation targets as borrowers seek incentives to minimize their payment obligations. Locke Lord lawyers help lenders and servicers navigate the patchwork of legal requirements that define and confine their industry.
We have significant experience defending student loan servicers in complex as well as loan-level litigation matters involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the dischargeability of student loans in bankruptcy proceedings.
In a ruling that has industry-wide significance, a Locke Lord team led by Daron Janis (Boston), Scott Hastings (Dallas) and David Foster (Austin) obtained a judgment in favor of Freddie Mac before the Texas Supreme Court, which preserved equitable subrogation for Texas home-equity loans.
Hugh Balsam (Chicago), Tom Cunningham (West Palm Beach) and Tara Trifon (Hartford) obtained a judgment in favor of their client U.S. Bank in an appeal from a dispute over whether a bank was required to conduct a face-to-face meeting with a mortgage borrower before initiating foreclosure proceedings.
A Locke Lord team successfully obtained an order in a Florida trial court denying a borrower’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees following an argument that the plaintiff lacked standing to foreclose.
In 2012, our Financial Services and Litigation lawyers in Hartford obtained a dismissal of all claims asserted against a bank in a federal court matter involving student loans.
On behalf of our client, a bank that has brought a loan default action, Edwards Wildman lawyers in Providence and Boston defeated defendants’ two motions to dismiss filed on jurisdictional grounds in the US District Court for the District of Rhode Island.