Securities Arbitration & Litigation Practice
Girard Bengali’s securities arbitration and litigation practice focuses on representing individuals in three core areas:
BROKERAGE FIRM MISCONDUCT
AND ELDER FINANCIAL ABUSE
AND DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
BROKERAGE FIRM MISCONDUCT AND ELDER FINANCIAL ABUSE
Girard Bengali represents individual and institutional investors in securities arbitrations before FINRA and other forums, as well as in litigation in state and federal court. We are committed to pursuing justice and assisting victims of financial and investor fraud.
We investigate and pursue claims involving a broad range of financial and investment products, including, but not limited to, stocks, bonds, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), private placements, mutual funds, hedge funds, variable annuities, derivatives and commodities.
Girard Bengali’s lawyers have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of investors from national and regional broker-dealer firms for losses incurred as a result of broker-dealer misconduct, unsuitable investment recommendations and proprietary products failures, including violations of securities industry rules and regulations.
Elder Financial Abuse
Girard Bengali has significant experience and expertise with protecting and representing the elderly investing population. With roughly one out of every five Americans 65 years and older being the victim of financial abuse, the elderly are estimated to lose up to $2.9 billion per year from investment scams. These figures are likely lower than the true figures since they only account for frauds that are reported, and seniors are “less likely” to report being scammed. Moreover, financial exploitation of seniors is expected to significantly increase as the U.S. population ages.
In recent years, federal regulators and the State of California have taken important steps to curb elder financial abuse. In fact, anyone aged 65 or older who has fallen victim to financial abuse may be eligible to recover three times their losses as compensation, as well as payment of their attorneys’ fees by the responsible party.
Seniors who have substantial investments or assets can be attractive targets for investment fraud. These individuals may not fully understand the risky nature of their investments or the fees and costs. Elder investors may also be taken advantage of by agents who pressure them into buying inappropriate variable annuities and disproportional amounts of life insurance products.
We Investigate Your Case
We will carefully review and evaluate your brokerage statements, financial background and investment experience to determine whether you have a claim. If you lost a significant portion of your investment or retirement savings, you may have a claim that would entitle you to get some or all of your money back.
As part of our representation of investors and elders who are victims of financial misconduct, we will analyze and investigate your case to determine whether:
- The investments recommended were unsuitable based on your age, risk tolerance and stated objectives.
- The investments were purchased as a result of any misrepresentations or omissions.
- The products or investments were sold without proper due diligence.
Our services include assisting clients with claims for:
- Failure to Diversify
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Fraud and Negligence
- Private Placements
- Embezzlement or Theft
- Employee Stock Options
- Excessive Activity and Churning
- Failure to Supervise
- Unauthorized Trading
- Lack of Due Diligence
- Securities Price Manipulation
- Mutual Fund Fraud
- Margin Trading
- State & Federal Securities Laws
- Misrepresentations & Omissions
- Sale of Unregistered Securities
- Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes
FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT DISPUTES
Girard Bengali represents financial and securities industry professionals in employment-related disputes with broker-dealers, advisory firms and other financial institutions. Our clients include securities-industry professionals, financial advisors, FINRA-registered representatives, registered investment advisors, stock brokers, wealth managers, investment bankers, research analysts, compliance officers, regional and branch office managers.
Girard Bengali’s attorneys have significant experience representing clients in FINRA, AAA, JAMS and other arbitration forums, as well as in state and federal courts throughout the country. We have earned a reputation for our in-depth knowledge of the securities industry and for our aggressive advocacy, effective legal representation and unparalleled service to our clients.
The financial professional employment matters that we handle include:
- Wrongful and Constructive Termination
- Bonus and Compensation Disputes
- Retaliation, Discrimination and Defamation
- Employee Forgivable Loans (EFL), Retention Agreements and Promissory Note Disputes
- Expungement of Forms U4 and U5, CRD and BrokerCheck Information
- Whistleblower Claims
- Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
- Individual and Team Transitions of Employment Between Brokerage Firms
- Broker Protocol Issues
- Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation & Trade Secrets
- Negotiation of Employment Contracts, Bonus Agreements and Promissory notes
- FINRA and SEC inquiries, Investigations and Disciplinary Actions
- Wage & Hour Claims
- Employee Stock Options and Deferred Compensation
- Executive Compensation
- Registration and Disclosure
FINRA/SEC INVESTIGATIONS AND DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
Girard Bengali also represents clients in regulatory enforcement matters initiated by FINRA, the SEC, state securities regulators and other agencies. The firm handles all aspects of regulatory defense, from responding to FINRA inquiry letters, requests for documents and information, on-the-record (OTR) interviews, Wells Submissions, disciplinary hearings and negotiating settlements including FINRA Letters of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent.
The mere initiation of an enforcement action by a securities regulator can cause harm to a client’s reputation or business prospects. Our attorneys engage in proactive discussions with regulators at the earliest stages of the process. We consult with clients to assist them in complying with securities rules and regulations, implementing preventative or corrective measures as appropriate and mitigating regulatory action.