In connection with his securities litigation practice, Larry represents officers, registered representatives, investment advisers, banks and broker-dealers in a wide variety of proceedings in state and federal courts and before self-regulatory organizations such as Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He defends claims arising from transactions in a number of investment vehicles including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, variable products, foreign currencies and structured finance products.
Larry defends banks in actions arising from the sale of debt and equity derivative products. He defends class actions filed against banks, accounting firms, underwriters and corporate officers. Over the past 30 years, Larry has tried numerous cases through award or verdict, and he has defended individuals and firms in dozens of FINRA arbitrations throughout the country involving sales practice issues. His experience in regulatory matters includes representing broker-dealers and individuals in enforcement proceedings, advising clients and performing special compliance audits.
Awards and Rankings
Selected for inclusion in Georgia Super Lawyers (2010-2018)
Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of securities litigation (2013-2019)
“We have represented financial services firms as well as accountants in numerous appeals involving cutting-edge legal issues. These cases established new law, or clarified existing standards, on the professional obligations of our clients. Our trial and arbitration experience includes ‘bet the company’ cases where we successfully defended claims for tens of millions of dollars in damages. Based upon decades of litigating in these fields, we are able to match our experience with the constantly evolving regulatory framework in an effective and cost-efficient manner to best serve our clients.”
Represented a national broker-dealer in more than 200 FINRA arbitrations arising from the dramatic drop in value of proprietary mutual funds.
Won a securities fraud class action lawsuit on behalf of a national bank and affiliated investment company.
Won judgment in favor of a large professional services firm facing allegations of breach of contract, negligence and fraudulent inducement of a contract arising from consulting services.
Obtained a ruling validating a broker-dealer's employment agreements and compelling a dispute with a former broker to arbitration.
Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of claims arising out of bond refinance, and expungement of claims against advisers.
Secured summary judgment for a national accounting firm in a state securities fraud class action for more than $40 million in damages.
Won full dismissal and attorneys’ fees on behalf of a bank defendant in an interest-rate swaps case brought by an international distribution company.
Represented an insurance company in a Georgia Insurance Commission investigation into sales by barred individuals, resulting in no action against the client.
Won on summary judgment for a bank defendant in a state court case brought by customers regarding derivative products.
Achieved a defense award for a broker-dealer after an evidentiary hearing in an NASD customer arbitration involving unauthorized trading of bonds.
Obtained a defense award and full expungement of claims for a broker-dealer and registered representative in arbitration involving allegations of unsuitable recommendations and conflicted research.
Won a favorable settlement for a broker-dealer defendant in a selling-away case involving dozens of Ponzi-scheme investors and an imprisoned former registered representative.
Won a favorable settlement for a broker-dealer in a FINRA arbitration involving claims by Ponzi-scheme investors and fraudulent conveyance claims by the broker-dealer.
Represents and defends a group of underwriters in a putative class action brought on behalf of purchasers of preferred shares in a failed energy company.
Video: Managing the First 90 Days in a Bet-The-Company Case (August 8, 2014)
The fallout from a regulatory investigation, lawsuit, or adverse publicity could threaten the existence of a company if not properly managed. Actions taken during the first 90 days of this process ...
Video: The Positives and Negatives Of Arbitration and Mediation (December 13, 2012)
Alternative dispute resolution is a common feature in many commercial and consumer contracts. Sutherland partner Larry Polk discusses the benefits associated with ADR, as well as drawbacks we need to ...
Video: Getting to Know You: FINRA’s New Suitability Rules (November 13, 2012)
Implemented July 9, 2012, FINRA’s revised Know-Your-Customer and Suitability rules require firms to use reasonable diligence in opening and maintaining every account, and to obtain essential facts ...
“We constantly stay abreast of changes in the statutes, regulations and case law that affect our clients. Over the past decade, it has been particularly important to keep our clients well informed of these changes. In addition to our publications and clients alerts, we specifically tailor in person presentations to clients in light of their business models and continuing education needs.”
Legal Alert: The SEC’s litigation against a firm for allegedly inadequate disclosure of shareholder service fees and 12b-1 fees (January 28, 2019)
During the past several years, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has settled more than a dozen cases where the SEC alleged (with the firms neither admitting nor denying the charges) ...
Legal Alert: The far reach of state law - Nevada proposes fiduciary duty regulations for broker-dealers and investment advisers (January 28, 2019)
Under Nevada law, financial planners owe a fiduciary duty to their clients.1 In accordance with this duty, a financial planner must disclose, at the time advice is given, any gain the financial ...
Legal Alert: The other shoe has dropped - The SEC follows up with firms that didn’t self-report under the share class initiative (December 12, 2018)
The Share Class InitiativeOn February 12, 2018, the Division of Enforcement of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative ...
Legal Alert: Standards of conduct for investment professionals - overlapping protections for broker-dealer retirement customers (October 15, 2018)
The legal standards for broker-dealer firms (BDs) and their representatives, particularly in the retirement market, continue to be in flux. BDs were among those most affected by the promulgation in ...
Legal Alert: The SEC’s proposed rules on the standards of conduct for investment professionals-a quick guide to what you need to know (April 26, 2018)
On April 18, in a 4-1 vote, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) proposed a comprehensive rule set governing the standards of conduct applicable to broker-dealers and ...
The Final Rule: Next Steps After Vacatur (April 5, 2018)
The nationwide vacatur of the Department of Labor “investment advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on March 15, 2018, does not bring an ...
The Final Rule: DOL Fiduciary Rule Affirmed and Revoked (March 21, 2018)
During the week of March 12, two federal appeals courts separately upheld and vacated the DOL fiduciary rule under the Administrative Procedure Act, and DOL suspended enforcement of the rule pending ...
Legal Alert: Highlights from the SIFMA AML and Financial Crimes Conference (February 22, 2018)
On February 12-13, 2018, members of the securities industry, regulators and financial crime experts met in New York City at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) ...
Legal Alert: A view from an SEC regional office on examination findings (February 1, 2018)
On January 11 and 19, 2018, the Fort Worth, Texas Regional Office (the Office) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) hosted conference calls during which the Director and Associate ...
The Final Rule: Considerations and Analysis of the DOL’s 18-Month Transition Period Extension (November 29, 2017)
By a notice published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2017, the Department of Labor extended from January 1, 2018, until July 1, 2019, the date for compliance with the full conditions in its ...
The Final Rule: DOL’s Expanded Definition of Investment Advice Fiduciary Under ERISA and Revised Complex of Exemptions (April 12, 2016)
Just less than a year since its proposal, and just more than six months after receiving thousands of pages of commentary, petitions and hearing testimony, the Department of Labor finalized its ...
2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (November 24, 2015)
The Litigation Practice Group of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has published “2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” This publication reflects important changes to the Federal ...
FINRA’s Updated Arbitrator’s Guide Introduces Significant Changes to Expungement and Discovery Procedures (May 14, 2014)
Securities Arbitration Commentator
Earlier this year, FINRA updated its Arbitrator’s Guide to include language in three main areas. The new language (1) addresses electronic discovery in more detail; (2) provides additional guidance ...
Expungement Games: A Closer Look at PIABA’s Study and FINRA’s Response (December 2013)
Securities Arbitration Commentator
On October 18, 2013, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) issued a “study” criticizing FINRA’s expungement procedures. This “study” has been cited by several members of Congress ...
Expungement Is Difficult - Don’t Make It Worse (October 22, 2013)
In “Expungement is Difficult - Don’t Make it Worse,” Sutherland partners Bryan M. Ward and S. Lawrence Polk discuss the expungement process for arbitrators, stemming from FINRA’s “Notice to ...
Welcome to the Party? FINRA Invites Investment Advisers to Utilize its Arbitration Procedures (December 3, 2012)
Investment Adviser Association Newsletter
Understanding FINRA's Suitability Rules: Possible Enforcement Actions (July 11, 2012)
On Wall Street
Understanding FINRA's New Rules: Knowing-Your-Customer and Practical Considerations on Suitability (July 10, 2012)
On Wall Street
Ready or Not, Here Comes FINRA's New Rules on Suitability (July 9, 2012)
On Wall Street
Getting to Know You: Getting to Know All About FINRA's New Suitability & Know-Your-Customer Rules (April 2012)
The Wall Street Lawyer
Georgia Business Litigation (2014)
American Lawyer Media
In Georgia Business Litigation published by American Lawyer Media, contributing authors Sutherland Partner Larry Polk and Associate Suzanne Bertolett provide a comprehensive overview of securities ...
“Our group speaks frequently at conferences and publishes often, sharing with our clients and friends the latest developments in securities regulation and enforcement.”
FINRA Arbitration and Enforcement Actions (July 1, 2014)
Insured Retirement Institute Government Legal & Regulatory Conference
Sutherland Partner S. Lawrence Polk presents “FINRA Arbitration and Enforcement Actions” at the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) Litigation Forum, Washington, DC. The session provides a ...
FINRA Arbitration and Enforcement Actions (June 18, 2013)
Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) Litigation Summit, Government Legal & Regulatory Conference
Sutherland invites you to register now for the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) Litigation Summit on June 18 as part of IRI's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.For the third year, Sutherland is ...
2013 Georgia ACC Value Challenge (April 25, 2013)
On April 25, 2013, Sutherland will host the third annual ACC Georgia Value Challenge to hear from corporate counsel and law firms who are at the forefront of the changing legal environment. This full ...
Careful What You Wish For: The Positives and Negatives of Arbitration and Mediation (November 9, 2012)
The Network of Trial Law Firms’ From Trouble to Trial to Triumph CLE
On November 9, 2012, Sutherland Partner S. Lawrence Polk is speaking at The Network of Trial Law Firms’ From Trouble to Trial to Triumph CLE in San Diego, California. Larry’s presentation, Careful ...
Getting to Know You: FINRA’s New Suitability Rules (September 14, 2012)
FINRA CLE SuperCourse
Securities Considerations (December 5, 2011)
National Business Institute Seminar: Entity Selection: Beyond the Basics
Sutherland Partner S. Lawrence Polk is speaking at the National Business Institute: Entity Selection: Beyond the Basics Seminar on December 5, 2011, in Atlanta, Georgia. Larry will present ...
Investor Lawsuits: Defending Against Claims Arising From Loan Modifications and Mortgage-Backed Securities (October 27, 2009 - October 28, 2009)
4th National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement
Sutherland Partner S. Lawrence Polk is speaking at the American Conference Institute (ACI) 4th National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement, October 27-28, 2009, at the ...
The Recent Debt Crisis and How It is Affecting FINRA Arbitration (June 2, 2009)
Sutherland Partner Larry Polk is presenting The Recent Debt Crisis and How It is Affecting FINRA Arbitration during a Litigation Teleconference.
Sutherland Securities Symposium (April 21, 2009)
Sutherland Partners James M. Cain, Susan S. Krawczyk, S. Lawrence Polk, Brian L. Rubin and W. Mark Smith are speaking at a Securities Symposium on April 21, 2009, in Boston, Massachusetts. This ...
What You Need to Know About FINRA Arbitration (March 31, 2009)
Sutherland Partner S. Lawrence Polk is speaking on a Webinar: What You Need to Know About FINRA Arbitration, which will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2009, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. FINRA’s ...
In the News
New FINRA Rule to Have ‘Detrimental Impact’ on Arbitration Process (March 4, 2015)
ThinkAdvisor and AdvisorOne
Sutherland Partner S. Lawrence Polk is quoted in articles for ThinkAdvisor and AdvisorOne regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of the Financial Industry Regulator Authority’s ...
Finra board eyes raising arb fees to increase arbitrator pay (December 4, 2013)
Finra is considering raising the fees related to pursuing an arbitration claim against a brokerage firm in order to increase the pay for people who hear the cases. Arbitrators’ honoraria is one of ...
All-Public Finra Arb Panels get Big Boost with SEC Rule (September 19, 2013)
Arbitration panels made up entirely of people without financial industry ties are likely to become the norm in customer cases against brokerage firms under a new rule. On September 18, 2013, the ...
30 Eversheds Sutherland (US) Attorneys Named 2018 Georgia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (February 23, 2018)
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce that 25 of its attorneys based in Georgia have been selected as top attorneys in the state by Super Lawyers . Additionally, five attorneys have ...
Four Eversheds Sutherland Attorneys Named Lawyer of the Year; 80 Lawyers Recognized in 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (August 15, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that four attorneys have been selected as “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective fields by The Best Lawyers in America, and 80 attorneys have been ...
31 Eversheds Sutherland (US) Attorneys Named 2017 Georgia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (February 21, 2017)
ATLANTA-Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce that 27 of the firm’s attorneys based in Georgia have been selected as top attorneys in the state by Super Lawyers. Additionally, four ...
Six Sutherland Attorneys Named Lawyer of the Year; 81 Lawyers Recognized in 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (August 15, 2016)
ATLANTA and WASHINGTON-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that that six attorneys have been selected as “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective fields by The Best Lawyers in ...
32 Sutherland Attorneys Named 2016 Georgia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (February 19, 2016)
ATLANTA-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that 31 of the firm’s attorneys based in Georgia have been selected as top attorneys in the state by Super Lawyers. Additionally, one ...
Five Sutherland Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”; 82 Lawyers Recognized in 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (August 17, 2015)
ATLANTA and WASHINGTON-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that five partners have been selected as “Lawyer of the Year in their respective fields by The Best Lawyers in America, ...
33 Sutherland Attorneys Named 2015 Georgia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (March 2, 2015)
ATLANTA-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that 31 of the firm’s attorneys based in Georgia have been selected as top attorneys in the state by Super Lawyers. Additionally, two ...
Three Sutherland Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year,” 83 Lawyers Recognized in 2015 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (November 3, 2014)
ATLANTA and WASHINGTON-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that three partners have been selected as “Lawyer of the Year in their respective fields by The Best Lawyers in America, ...
43 Sutherland Attorneys Named 2014 Georgia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (February 18, 2014)
ATLANTA-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP today announced that 36 of the firm’s attorneys based in Georgia have been selected as top attorneys in the state by Super Lawyers. Additionally, seven ...
125 Sutherland Attorneys Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in 2013 (May 28, 2013)
ATLANTA and WASHINGTON (May 28, 2013) - Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP announced today that 119 of the firm’s lawyers were chosen as top attorneys and Rising Stars by Super Lawyers. The designations ...
Member, Securities Litigation Subcommittee, American Bar Association
Member, Compliance and Legal Division of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
Member, Southeastern Regional Board of Directors, Anti-Defamation League
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