Capital Markets and Financial Services

Overview

Friedman Kaplan has deep experience in civil and criminal litigation, internal and external investigations, and transactions involving both firms and individuals in the capital markets and financial services industries. Our attorneys know how to speak the language of traders, brokers, and bankers, and they are equipped to understand and analyze the legal, factual, and economic issues involved in even the most complex transactions and financial products. They also are skilled at communicating effectively and clearly about these highly complex matters to non-industry audiences such as judges, arbitrators, mediators, and juries.

The firm represents a wide variety of institutional clients, including inter-dealer brokers and investment funds including hedge funds, funds-of-funds, and private equity funds. Although the firm also represents a number of banks and broker-dealers, we regularly handle matters in which our clients are adverse to such institutions. We also represent individuals including C-suite executives, officers, directors, partners, and principals at a broad range of firms. Unlike many firms, which specialize in either plaintiff- or defense-side work, Friedman Kaplan is equally adept representing both plaintiffs and defendants in litigation, which increases our insight when working on either side.

Friedman Kaplan also handles employment arrangements for highly compensated financial services professionals, on behalf of both employees and employers, at all stages of the employment relationship, including hiring, promotion, and separation. Additionally, we advise and provide training to financial services professionals on various legal and compliance issues, including on insider-trading and other securities laws and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters.

Selected Experience

  • We represented Wells Fargo & Co. and Wachovia in connection with a multibillion-dollar dispute with Citigroup arising out of the acquisition of Wachovia by Wells Fargo during the financial crisis.
  • Over the course of nearly a decade, we represented two hedge funds pursuing claims against the Republic of Argentina to recover on defaulted bonds.  Our clients recently finalized a settlement with the Republic in which they recovered approximately $1.3 billion. The litigation involved novel issues of contract, creditor and judgment enforcement law, and their intersection with the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. 
  • We are representing Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in defense of a class action lawsuit alleging conspiracy to set the ISDAfix benchmark rate.
  • We represented Caesars Entertainment in defense of litigation by second-lien bondholders and other creditors alleging that capital markets transactions intended to deleverage the company violated the terms of certain bond issuances and the Trust Indenture Act.
  • We served as counsel to the Special Litigation Committee of PNC Bank in connection with its investigation of shareholder derivative claims alleging that the bank’s directors and officers made false and misleading financial disclosures and failed to maintain sufficient operational controls. The claims were dismissed based on the Special Committee's report and recommendation.
  • Following the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, we represented clients both in affirmative claims against the Lehman estate and in defense of claims by the Lehman estate regarding derivatives transactions involving issues such as an alleged defective termination (by the client’s predecessor counsel) and valuation methodologies.
  • We represented two municipal bond hedge funds in connection with litigation against their prime broker challenging margin calls that led to the funds' collapse.
  • We represented a Canadian pension fund in connection with a dispute regarding derivatives trades in which the fund's counterparty, a major US investment bank, had defaulted. 
  • We represented a major private equity fund in connection with a substantial number of investments and exit transactions in the People’s Republic of China, and in connection with the IPO of one of the companies in which our client invested.
  • We represented a major bank in connection with litigation against two brokerage firms and certain of their officers and employees related to brokers’ collusion with a trader employed by our client to mismark the bank’s positions in natural gas options. 
  • We represented Guggenheim Partners, LLC in connection with a dispute with UBS AG related to a $400 million revolving credit facility which UBS attempted to discontinue following the financial crisis.
  • We represented a high-level executive of Merrill Lynch in a FINRA arbitration regarding the terms of his departure from the bank. The matter resulted in a settlement of several million dollars for our client. 

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