Financial Services: Litigation

Overview

Our attorneys handle significant litigation for financial institutions and are familiar with the risks in today’s ever-shifting regulatory and economic environment. With offices coast to coast, our nationally recognized litigation team wins cases and resolves disputes that threaten our clients’ competiveness. We handle arbitrations, mediations, enforcement proceedings, and class actions. We represent financial institutions in disputes with commercial entities, borrowers, third-party vendors and other financial institutions, as well as dealing with federal agencies such as the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and other agencies at the state and federal levels. We also handle litigation arising out of bankruptcy and restructuring work.

BakerHostetler was named a “go-to law firm” for litigation by Corporate Counsel® magazine’s general counsel survey of in-house law departments at the nation’s top companies. Our litigators are former prosecutors, veteran civil trial lawyers, and former enforcement officials from various agencies, and they have credentials that have won them inclusion in Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA as well as fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers. They are nationally regarded for their prelitigation strategies and decisions and their ability to prepare, try, and win cases.

In the increasingly important arena of privacy and data protection, our nationally recognized team has represented more than 50 financial institutions and service providers. We are adept at handling all aspects of privacy- and data security-related litigation. This includes the class actions that may follow a data security incident as well as litigation based on state and federal laws. We have a successful record of obtaining denials of class certification, dismissals, and summary judgments as well as severely limiting clients’ exposure to damages.

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We are recognized globally for our work as lead counsel to Irving H. Picard, SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. To date, on behalf of the SIPA Trustee, our attorneys have led the recovery of more than 62 percent of an estimated $17.5 billion in principal lost in the massive Ponzi scheme. This international Madoff Recovery Initiative has positioned BakerHostetler as a leader in litigation on complex issues related to intricate financial structures.

We understand that business disputes often touch upon many different issues and services. Our multidisciplinary strengths enable our firm to handle any contract, antitrust, business crime, energy, class action, commercial, environmental, intellectual property, construction, securities, or whistle-blower issue you may encounter. Our solution-oriented advice is focused on helping you achieve your business goals, and to that end we are responsive, practical, and efficient.

What we do
  • Appeals
  • Bank product litigation
  • Class actions
  • Commercial litigation
  • Consumer litigation
  • Data privacy
  • EFTA, FDCPA, FCRA, FIRREA, RESPA, TILA, UCC, and UDAAP matters
  • ERISA litigation
  • Mortgage servicing litigation
  • Trust litigation
Those we work with
  • Financial institutions and lenders
    • Superregional and regional banks
    • Thrifts & S&Ls
    • Mortgage lenders
    • Auto lenders
    • Credit-card issuers
    • Student lenders
  • Nonbank and niche lenders
    • Debt funds
    • Insurance companies
    • Healthcare financers
    • Payday lenders
  • Service providers
    • Loan servicers
    • Payment card systems
    • Payment processors

Select Experience

  • Represented a bank in a putative ERISA “stock drop” class action valued at $1.5 billion. The plaintiffs’ consolidated complaint took aim at the bank, its trust oversight committee, and several high-ranking officials, accusing them of concealing the bank’s true financial condition and thus causing the bank’s 401(k) plan participants to purchase company stock at inflated prices. The Sixth Circuit unanimously affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ complaint.
  • Defeated a class certification in a putative nationwide class action brought by an individual borrower alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The plaintiff alleged that the bank and its subsidiary, an affiliated real estate settlement service provider, engaged in kickbacks and fee splitting.
  • Appointed by the U.S. government five times to manage federal monitorships, including critical monitorships for Merrill Lynch and The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.
  • Represented a bank in a commercial class action alleging speculative, excess, and overstated loan interest charges. On behalf of the financial institution, we obtained complete dismissal of putative nationwide and state class actions involving allegedly improper commercial billing practices. Other banks had previously settled parallel claims for eight figures.
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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Partner Cleveland
Associate Columbus
Counsel New York
Associate Cleveland
Partner New York
Partner Denver
Associate Cleveland
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Denver
Partner New York
Partner Seattle
Partner Cleveland
Counsel New York
Staff Attorney Cleveland
Partner Cincinnati
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Cincinnati
Associate Columbus
Partner Seattle
Partner Cleveland
Partner Denver
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Columbus
Partner Columbus
Associate Costa Mesa
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Associate Philadelphia
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cincinnati
Counsel New York
Partner Los Angeles
Partner Cleveland
Associate Cleveland
Partner New York
Partner Orlando
Partner Cleveland
Partner New York
Partner Cleveland
Partner Orlando
Associate Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Associate Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Chicago
Associate Atlanta
Associate Costa Mesa
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Cleveland

Experience

  • Represented a bank in a putative ERISA “stock drop” class action valued at $1.5 billion. The plaintiffs’ consolidated complaint took aim at the bank, its trust oversight committee, and several high-ranking officials, accusing them of concealing the bank’s true financial condition and thus causing the bank’s 401(k) plan participants to purchase company stock at inflated prices. The Sixth Circuit unanimously affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ complaint.
  • Defeated a class certification in a putative nationwide class action brought by an individual borrower alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The plaintiff alleged that the bank and its subsidiary, an affiliated real estate settlement service provider, engaged in kickbacks and fee splitting.
  • Appointed by the U.S. government five times to manage federal monitorships, including critical monitorships for Merrill Lynch and The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.
  • Represented a bank in a commercial class action alleging speculative, excess, and overstated loan interest charges. On behalf of the financial institution, we obtained complete dismissal of putative nationwide and state class actions involving allegedly improper commercial billing practices. Other banks had previously settled parallel claims for eight figures.
  • Representing a federally insured bank in a matter involving a novel banking product being offered to consumers. We represent the bank in five parallel putative nationwide class action lawsuits initially filed in federal courts, now consolidated in a single action. The lawsuit is the first of its kind and raises complicated issues of first impression in a highly regulated area of law overseen by a number of agencies and regulations, including usury, TILA, and EFTA.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a statewide consumer class action seeking to hold the client, a large regional bank, liable under the Uniform Commercial Code and Ohio common law in connection with a Ponzi scheme involving unregistered securities orchestrated by a third party.
  • Represented the only defendant bank to obtain a summary judgment in a multiparty lawsuit. The litigation was brought by a software company’s former CEO and largest shareholder, who made allegations against the bank that it engaged in collusion and conspiracy to loot the company in its role as a senior lender in a multilayer financing structure. The win eradicated a claim for $20 million in compensatory damages and unspecified amounts in punitive damages sought by the plaintiff.

Recognition

  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, we were named to the 2018 BTI Client Service 30 for the fourth consecutive year.

News

Publications

Memberships

  • Affiliate member of the Ohio Bankers League (OBL) (2016-2018)

Blog

In The Blogs

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Financial Services Blog
Unique challenges for commercial landlords posed by large-scale retailer bankruptcies
By Lars H. Fuller
July 2, 2018
(Excerpted from “Retail Bankruptcies – Protections for Landlords,” Practical Law Journal, May 2018, by Lars Fuller) Due to increasing competition from online sellers, recent years have seen a dramatic uptick in Chapter 11 bankruptcy...
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Financial Services Blog
Ground Leases: Some Basics, Some Specifics and How to Make Them Financeable
By Eben P. Clark
June 29, 2018
Ground leases are fairly common but sometimes overlooked property interests. A succinct but adequate definition of a ground lease was articulated by Herbert Thorndike Tiffany (Tiffany on Real Property § 85.50 [3d ed.]) as follows: [A]n...
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Financial Services Blog
Supreme Court Holds That a Statement About a Single Asset Can Be a Statement Respecting a Debtor's Financial Condition
By Eric R. Goodman
June 25, 2018
The Supreme Court held that a statement about a single asset can be a “statement respecting the debtor’s financial condition” for purposes of determining the application of the exception to discharge set forth in Section 523(a)(2) of the...
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Financial Services Blog
Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Over Application of Section 546(e) to Transactions Involving Conduits
By Adam L. Fletcher, Eric R. Goodman
May 31, 2018
The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc., 138 S.Ct. 883 (2018), held that transfers made by or to entities that are not “financial institutions” or other covered entities fall outside the...
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Financial Services Blog
Congress Passes Repeal of CFPB Guidance on Indirect Auto Lender Liability for Discriminatory Lending
By M. Mitchell Oates
May 16, 2018
The U.S. House of Representatives voted last Tuesday to reject a 2013 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) bulletin that provided guidance regarding liability for discrimination in indirect auto lending. The same measure passed the...
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