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SECURITIES AND INVESTMENT LITIGATION

Since the downturn in the economy, more people than ever before are looking for someone to blame for the poor performance of their portfolios and are filing suits against those who issue, manage and buy and sell securities and other investments.

It is important to have experienced counsel working to protect you against such claims. Our attorneys are as effective in front of an arbitration panel as they are in front of a judge, regulatory body or jury. We have extensive experience in the state and federal trial and appellate courts and have litigated cases in 16 states.

Our Securities/Investment Litigation team routinely handles matters, such as:

  • Defense against claims of improper broker conduct
  • Representation in investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by regulatory agencies, including the SEC and State Securities Commissions and SROs
  • Defense against "unsuitable investments" claims

Our litigators have extensive experience in securities class actions, including:

  • The defense of a former general counsel of one of the country’s largest commodities brokers in numerous securities class actions and related insurance coverage litigation arising from the failure to disclose a $400 million account receivable in a bond offering and initial public offering
  • Defense of the former chief executive officer of one of the world’s largest health care companies in securities class action litigation arising from the company’s restatement of financials following a corporate acquisition
  • Defense of a large insurance company in a nationwide securities class action arising from the sale of securitized insurance products

We have defended clients against numerous claims of the most common types, as well as unusual claims arising out of different types of investment products and markets. We defended securities and commodities brokerage firms against claims that employees and/or clients of the firm were engaged in market manipulation schemes. We have defended a securities firm against claims that the firm improperly secured institutional business through complex kickback schemes involving soft-dollar arrangements with investment advisors.

Our attorneys counsel brokerage firms concerning both regulatory and liability issues arising from situations in which employees were alleged to have defrauded investors through fictitious private securities transactions conducted away from the brokerage firm. In appropriate cases, we work with clients to devise strategies to preemptively resolve potential claims for damages and reduce regulatory compliance penalties.

Furlong, et al. v. Appiant Technologies, Inc., et al.

Thompson Coburn defended a group of officers and directors of Appiant Technologies in a securities fraud action. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri by a group of investors who purchased secured convertible debentures and warrants in Appiant, a public company. The investors claimed that Appiant and the other defendants violated federal securities laws, as well as the securities laws of Missouri, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and Maine, by failing to disclose investment risks known to the defendants. The defendants moved to dismiss, citing, among other grounds, the investors’ failure to plead with specificity any untrue statement of material fact or omission of material fact, or any facts giving rise to a strong inference that the defendant acted with the required state of mind. The judge granted the motions to dismiss.

Class Action Dismissals for Scottrade, Inc.

We secured orders of dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted in separate class action suits filed against Scottrade, Inc. The suits were unrelated and separately filed in California and Michigan state courts. Each asserted various state law theories of recovery based upon allegedly false advertising by Scottrade, and each was plead in an effort to avoid removal. The California case was successfully removed based on the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act, and the Michigan case was successfully removed based on the Class Action Fairness Act. Following removal, each case was dismissed, with prejudice, on Scottrade's motion.

Alex Herman, Secretary of the United States Department of Labor v. Mercantile Bank of St. Louis, N.A., et al.

Mercantile Bank was the trustee of the Lenco, Inc., a closely held Missouri corporation, Employees’ Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Mercantile, acting as trustee of the ESOP, sold the ESOP’s Lenco stock to an individual. This individual, with this purchase and several others, was able to acquire all of Lenco’s stock. Lenco’s ESOP committee immediately replaced Mercantile as trustee of the ESOP. The new trustee bought back all Lenco stock for the ESOP. Several years later, Lenco experienced financial problems and filed for bankruptcy, resulting in the ESOP losing the vast majority of its funds. The Secretary of Labor brought suit against Mercantile, alleging ERISA violations for the ESOP buy-back of Lenco stock because Mercantile failed to prevent it. Following a bench trial, the District Court entered judgment for Mercantile. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed.

Partner
New York

John draws on his more than 30 years of litigation experience to represent a wide variety of clients in federal and state trial and appellate courts.

John draws on his more than 30 years of litigation experience to represent ...

John Amato
Partner
Dallas

Katie represents clients before bankruptcy courts, federal and state trial courts, arbitration panels and appellate courts nationwide.

Katie represents clients before bankruptcy courts, federal and state trial ...

Katharine Clark
Senior Counsel
St. Louis

Tom practices in the firm’s Business Litigation area, conducting trials in federal and state courts, and arbitration forums.

Tom practices in the firm’s Business Litigation area, conducting trials in ...

Tom Douglass
Partner
Dallas

Jenny is an experienced and strategic trial lawyer focusing her practice on health care, social justice, white-collar fraud and complex commercial litigation.

Jenny is an experienced and strategic trial lawyer focusing her practice on...

Jennifer Ecklund
Partner
St. Louis

Larry is a business litigator resolving complex cases involving shareholder rights, business valuations, fiduciary duty claims, and other contract and business disputes.

Larry is a business litigator resolving complex cases involving shareholder...

Larry Friedman
Partner
Chicago

David is Co-Chair of the Firm's Corporate and Securities Practice Group.

David is Co-Chair of the Firm's Corporate and Securities Practice Group.

David Kaufman
Partner
St. Louis

John handles complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts across the nation.

John handles complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts acro...

John Kingston
Senior Counsel
St. Louis

Kent has spent much of his career representing financial services clients of the Firm, particularly securities brokers and dealers, investment advisors, investment compan...

Kent has spent much of his career representing financial services clients o...

Kent Knickmeyer
Partner
New York

Steve represents financial institutions, businesses and constituencies in major commercial disputes, with a particular focus in lender liability cases, fraud-based invest...

Steve represents financial institutions, businesses and constituencies in m...

Steven Mandelsberg
Partner
St. Louis

Mark represents clients across a broad spectrum of industries, including the energy, telecommunications and financial services sectors.

Mark represents clients across a broad spectrum of industries, including th...

Mark Mattingly
Partner
St. Louis

Jan is a former United States Attorney with extensive trial experience who represents companies and individuals in major litigation and regulatory actions.

Jan is a former United States Attorney with extensive trial experience who ...

Jan Paul Miller
Partner
New York

Zachary delivers practical, tactical, and experienced advice to corporate, lending, and fiduciary clients with respect to all phases of litigation, alternate dispute reso...

Zachary delivers practical, tactical, and experienced advice to corporate, ...

Zachary Newman
Partner
Chicago

Backed by a 30-plus-year career on the legal and regulatory side of financial markets, Rick is an insightful advisor to trading firms, brokerage firms, trade execution fi...

Backed by a 30-plus-year career on the legal and regulatory side of financi...

Rick Reibman
Senior Counsel
St. Louis

Sherri is a trial attorney with experience in a wide variety of civil litigation in state and federal courts.

Sherri is a trial attorney with experience in a wide variety of civil litig...

Sherri Strand