Inconsistent and uncertain regulatory environments in an evolving borderless world economy pose enormous challenges to banking and financial services companies. Around the globe, plaintiffs’ counsel and regulators are targeting the financial services industry with consumer protection claims, shareholder suits and government enforcement actions. Customers are also utilizing alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation. Given this regulatory thrust and unprecedented access to litigation, it is more important than ever for you to have a legal partner with the experience and expertise to protect your interests.
Recognized litigation capabilities backed by industry experience
Banking and finance are in our blood. We are recognized as a leading financial services law firm in the United States, counseling more than 300 financial institutions across the country.
While our attorneys include some of the most experienced and respected trial lawyers in the country, we are particularly skilled in issues unique to our financial services clients—including practice before all applicable regulatory authorities.
Savvy defense against government lawsuits and other enforcement actions
Our litigators draw on the deep experience of our banking and regulatory lawyers for innovative defense strategies. Over the years, we have handled complex and novel issues arising under the statutes and regulations governing the financial services industry. We have defended, and are currently defending, numerous covered entities in enforcement actions throughout the United States.
Our national scope brings us into frequent contact with in many states (including the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), formerly the Department of Business Oversight (DBO), and we constantly interact on compliance and expansion matters with federal regulators at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and similar institutions.
We carry out internal investigations of alleged misconduct in the areas of securities law and financial reporting on behalf of corporations, boards of directors and board committees. We defend companies and their officers and directors, as well as others, in securities class actions, shareholder derivative suits and private securities litigation in federal and state courts around the country. Our lawyers represent corporations and individuals in investigations and enforcement proceedings before the SEC and state regulators. We handle arbitration matters before FINRA and other industry regulatory authorities. And we represent corporate clients in litigation involving merger parties as well as shareholder litigation involving fiduciary duties and disclosure issues.
Effective negotiators. Aggressive litigators.
We provide aggressive and effective representation at all stages of disputes. Our primary goal is to quickly resolve your problems, preferably before a lawsuit has been filed. When that's not possible, we zealously represent you throughout the case, including through appeal, where necessary. Our skill in the courtroom is well-known to our adversaries; as a result, we are often able to obtain favorable outcomes for our clients before a costly trial.
Who we work with
We represent virtually every type of financial institution. Our clients include:
- Commercial banks
- Domestic and foreign financial holding companies and bank holding companies
- State and federal savings institutions
- Savings and loan holding companies
- Representative and agency offices of foreign banks
- Investment banks
- Venture capital funds
- Private equity funds
- Insurance companies
- Leasing companies
- Industrial loan companies
- Specialty finance companies
- Trust companies
- Credit unions
What we do
- Antitrust and unfair competition
- Corporate investigations and white collar defense
- Class actions
- Employment and labor
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Money laundering
- State attorneys general
- Shareholder derivative suits
Recent Success Stories
- When a leading nationwide real estate services company discovered previously undisclosed side-letter agreements with potentially significant accounting and financial reporting implications, its board of directors retained us to conduct an internal investigation and handle related issues. We completed a thorough and swift internal investigation; reported to the board; and counseled the company through public disclosure, restatement of prior financial statements, remedial measures and interaction with the SEC. In a short period of time, the company was able to put the matter behind it and move forward with a minimum of regulatory scrutiny—and no enforcement activity or shareholder litigation.
- When a regional bank holding company needed the flexibility to implement a reverse stock split, it sought shareholder authorization to do so through a special shareholders meeting. Within days, a shareholder plaintiff filed suit in federal court, alleging that the related proxy statement contained inadequate disclosures regarding the proposed reverse stock split. The complaint asserted representative and class action claims, and the plaintiff also applied for a temporary restraining order to stop the shareholder vote and to set an expedited hearing on a preliminary injunction. The board turned to us, and we filed opposition papers two days later. Two days later, the court denied the plaintiff's application in its entirety, allowing the company to go forward with its shareholder meeting, where the proposal to authorize the reverse stock split was approved, thus providing the company with the necessary flexibility to ensure its survival and recovery.
- When stock option backdating issues first arose, the claims relating to Monster Worldwide Inc. emerged as among the largest and highest-profile. The chairman and CEO of Monster engaged us to defend him in federal securities and ERISA cases, in federal and state shareholder derivative cases and company claims, and in related Department of Justice and SEC investigations and proceedings involving alleged stock option backdating. In all of these separate matters, Manatt skillfully obtained very favorable settlements and complete closure.
Members of our Securities Litigation and Arbitration team have also represented:
- A director of Comverse Technology Inc. in federal shareholder derivative actions raising federal securities claims and related state law claims involving alleged stock option backdating. (In re Comverse Technology, Inc. Derivative Litigation)
- Viacom Inc. and its directors and officers in federal securities class action, federal ERISA class action and Delaware shareholder class action asserting breaches of fiduciary duties of loyalty and disclosure relating to exchange offer and split-off of Blockbuster Inc. Obtained dismissal of all securities claims (504 F. Supp. 2d 151), dismissal of ERISA claims (2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85831), and dismissal of all Delaware fiduciary duty claims (2008 WL 308450, aff'd 965 A.2d 676).
- A corporate client in a complex criminal case involving allegations of securities fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. Won acquittal following a four-month trial. (U.S. v. Phillips)
- A CEO of an Internet-based company in defense of securities fraud claims arising out of a corporate merger transaction. Obtained dismissal in district court, affirmed by Ninth Circuit. (Scognamillo v. Credit Suisse First Boston LLC, et al.)
- A CFO of a technology company in a securities fraud class action. Obtained dismissal in district court. (In re Network Associates, Inc. Securities Litigation)
- A Canadian graphics chip maker and directors and officers in a state court shareholder derivative action involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and insider trading. Obtained dismissal of claims based on Canadian law (under "internal affairs" doctrine) and voluntary dismissal of the remaining claim. (Carmona v. Ho, et al.)
- A Silicon Valley software company and directors and officers in a state court shareholder derivative action relating to IPO pricing and underwriter allocation of IPO shares. Settled on extremely favorable terms. (Yabroff v. Jaswa, et al.)
- An accounting firm and NASD member subsidiary in a major employment dispute involving a registered representative in arbitration and state court litigation. Obtained a defense award and recovered substantial damages on a counterclaim regarding trade secret misappropriation. (Belinsky v. Burr, Pilger & Mayer, LLP)