Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


Financial Services Litigation Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland has the industry knowledge and trial experience to develop effective strategies in response to new financial services litigation issues.

As markets reeled in recent years, financial services companies found themselves beset by legal, regulatory and business challenges. Federal and state regulators aggressively launched investigations and enforcement actions, and plaintiffs’ attorneys quickly followed with lawsuits. When financial services companies need experienced litigators to battle on their behalf, they turn to Sutherland. Our multidisciplinary financial services litigation team combines extensive experience litigating complex financial services matters with our leading national practice in the sale and distribution of insurance and other financial products.

Sutherland’s breadth spans the financial services industry, including life insurance class actions, unclaimed insurance benefits, retained asset account cases, property and casualty class actions and extra-contractual lawsuits, energy insurance and oil and gas/pipeline business interruption disputes, reinsurance and London insurance market matters, consumer finance class actions, arbitrations and general litigation and representing directors and officers of failed banks and other financial institutions.

Litigators comprise almost one-quarter of Sutherland’s attorneys, and we represent financial services clients in national class actions as well as state and federal courts. The strength of our Litigation Practice Group has grown steadily for more than eight decades. We focus on our clients’ business needs and hone our advice and litigation strategy to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Why Sutherland
Strong industry knowledge.
Our firm has extensive experience in financial services products and transactions, so we are well-positioned to defend litigation involving such products and transactions.

Bench strength. We have a strong team of litigators based in Texas, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and New York, who focus on the financial services industry and have trial experience around the country.

Deep litigation experience. Our financial services litigators handle financial services class actions in federal and state courts; bad faith litigation; interpleader cases; trust litigation, escrow arrangements and garnishments; general contract disputes and alleged statutory violations; loan modifications, bad loans and other matters arising from lender-borrower relationships; bankruptcy litigation, including preference and fraudulent conveyance claims; and management of electronic data discovery in large, complex cases.

Class action focus. We have defended more than 100 putative class actions in the last five years alone in federal and state court and much of our work has focused on insurance and financial services.

Nuts and Bolts
For financial services litigation, we provide the full range of litigation services involving a broad spectrum of matters:

  • Life insurance
  • Property and casualty insurance
  • Unclaimed property and unclaimed insurance benefits
  • Retained asset accounts
  • Oil and gas, pipeline and business interruption insurance
  • Reinsurance
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
  • Consumer finance
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act
  • Truth in Lending Act (TILA)
  • Consumer Finance Protection Bureau audits
  • Lender-borrower disputes

Take Action
Sutherland develops litigation strategies designed to allow financial services clients to reach their business goals. We understand that it’s not about going to trial—it's about getting clients back to business.

Selected Experience
Sutherland represents more than 20 insurers in unclaimed property litigation in West Virginia.
In litigation against more than 50 life insurance companies, the West Virginia state treasurer alleged that insurers have an affirmative duty to search for information about possible deaths of policyholders and to seek out potential claimants. Sutherland attorneys are defending many of these cases and playing a key role in the litigation.

Sutherland wins summary judgment in RICO case brought against a major insurance company.
Sutherland defeated class certification and then won a summary judgment in a RICO case brought against a major insurance company. Plaintiffs accused the insurer and its subrogation counsel of having engaged in a scheme to wrongfully file lawsuits against and collect money from purportedly innocent owners of vehicles involved in accidents with the defendant's insureds. Plaintiff did not appeal.

Class action status is denied in case against Sutherland client accused of violating California consumer lending laws.
When Sutherland’s client, a payday lender, was accused of violating various state laws, our attorneys successfully argued against granting class action status.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

The Division of Investment Management Clarifies Certain Positions Regarding the Applicability of Rules 3-09 and 4-08(g) of Regulation S-X to BDCs
Steven B. Boehm,Cynthia M. Krus,John J. Mahon,Harry S. Pangas, October 25, 2013
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Division of Investment Management recently published written guidance (see link below) on rules that require that certain financial information be included pertaining to unconsolidated subsidiaries to portfolio companies of business...

Payment Processors as CFPB "Chokepoints"
Keith J. Barnett,B. Knox Dobbins,Robert J. Pile,Marc A. Rawls,Lewis S. Wiener, October 11, 2013
This is how senior officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or the Bureau) referred to payment processor Meracord, LLC and its owner and CEO upon the October 3, 2013 announcement of a consent judgment imposing a $1.376 million joint and several civil money penalty. The penalty,...

CFTC Issues No-Action Relief and Interpretive Guidance Related to SEFs
James M. Cain,Jacob Dweck,Daphne G. Frydman,Catherine M. Krupka,David T. McIndoe, October 03, 2013
As the date for compliance with swap execution facility (SEF) registration requirements approached, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the CFTC or Commission) issued a number of no-action letters and interpretive guidance regarding the obligations of market participants, intermediaries,...

The SEC Issues Formal Guidance Involving Financial Information Requirements for Certain Portfolio Companies of BDCs
Steven B. Boehm,Cynthia M. Krus,John J. Mahon,Harry S. Pangas, October 03, 2013
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Investment Management recently published formal guidance (see link below) applying rules that require the inclusion of certain financial information on unconsolidated subsidiaries to portfolio companies of business development companies...

Acquisitions of Insurers by Private Equity Firms Under Heightened Regulatory Scrutiny
, September 20, 2013
In recent months, the New York Department of Financial Services (the DFS) has raised concerns over the perceived trend of private equity firms and other investment companies acquiring insurance companies, particularly those that write fixed and indexed annuity contracts.