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Financial Services Litigation

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Banks and financial institutions across the country know they can count on Baker Donelson to be more than just their law firm.

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Featured Experience

Represented regional national bank in various individual and class action suits seeking in excess of $100 million damages for imposition of checking account fees, which resulted in judgment in favor of the bank. 

Saved a national bank over $25 million when a high-profile commercial real estate developer sought to rescind a $40 million interest rate swap and obtain lost profits associated with modifications to a hotel that the plaintiff contended were necessitated by the bank's refusal to extend a letter of credit. Court granted motion for summary judgment and affirmed in Fifth Circuit.

2013

Won case in favor of large Tennessee bank on claims for the conversion of negotiable instruments. This decision overturned a 1995 Tennessee Court of Appeals decision to the contrary. Under the former rule of law, the bank was obliged to defend itself against a $700,000 claim. Plaintiffs won only $200,000 at the earlier trial and the result of this case eradicated that ruling. 

Practice Overview

Overview

Banks and financial institutions across the country know they can count on Baker Donelson to be more than just their law firm. We are committed to the banking and financial services industry, and partner with our clients to defend against a broad range of actions. We provide our clients with a multi-disciplinary team of attorneys who have class action and individual action trial experience in state, federal and bankruptcy courts across the country, including complex litigation involving allegations of mortgage fraud, predatory lending, breach of fiduciary duties and regulatory violations relative to loan origination and servicing.

Our trial lawyers regularly handle the full range of complex disputes covering all areas of business and operations, such as lender liability, alleged violations of corporate trust, loan recovery, consumer finance and regulatory litigation, and are recognized for their work by publications like Chambers U.S.A. and Best Lawyers in America. In 2014, U.S. News – Best Lawyers ranked Baker Donelson among the top firms nationally in banking and finance litigation, as well as in bankruptcy litigation and in bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights. Specific experience includes:

  • Lender liability, including allegations of negligent and/or fraudulent lender practices
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Breach of contract and enforcement of loan documents
  • Preference litigation
  • Fraudulent transfers
  • Lien avoidance
  • Secured and unsecured creditors' rights
  • Forfeiture and setoff
  • Dischargeability matters
  • Issues relating to letters of credit
  • Interest rate swap agreement litigation, including the appropriateness of contractual interest rates and other charges
  • Personal and real property foreclosures and receiverships
  • Equitable subordination
  • Real estate loans and title litigation
  • Lawsuit and counterclaims brought against financial institutions and servicers

We also offer deep experience and commitment in representing the mortgage lending and servicing industry, including the representation of mortgage lenders, servicers and investors in bankruptcy, default and other contested litigation and REO of single-family and multi-family residential properties as well as commercial properties.

In addition, we have represented a number of banks, bank officers and directors in a wide variety of bank closings, failures, reorganizations and FDIC litigation.  We routinely represent the interests of financial institution clients before various local, state and federal administrative and regulatory agencies, and maintain a public policy practice that monitors and interacts with the legislative branches of local, state and federal government in a wide variety of circumstances.

Representative Matters
  • Represented regional national bank in various individual and class action suits seeking in excess of $100 million damages for imposition of checking account fees, which resulted in judgment in favor of the bank. 

  • Saved a national bank over $25 million when a high-profile commercial real estate developer sought to rescind a $40 million interest rate swap and obtain lost profits associated with modifications to a hotel that the plaintiff contended were necessitated by the bank's refusal to extend a letter of credit. Court granted motion for summary judgment and affirmed in Fifth Circuit.

  • Won case in favor of large Tennessee bank on claims for the conversion of negotiable instruments. This decision overturned a 1995 Tennessee Court of Appeals decision to the contrary. Under the former rule of law, the bank was obliged to defend itself against a $700,000 claim. Plaintiffs won only $200,000 at the earlier trial and the result of this case eradicated that ruling. 

  • Counsel to both publicly traded companies and privately owned companies in internal corporate investigations and "whistleblower" situations.

  • Defended financial institution in federal jury trial against allegations of fraud, resulting in judgment in favor of client.

  • Obtained defense verdict in a breach of contract action tried to a jury in federal court in which the plaintiff had sought $2 million in earnout payments allegedly due under an asset purchase agreement.

  • Successfully represented a leading financial institutions against individual and class-wide claims brought on behalf of mortgagors in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in both Louisiana state and federal courts, obtaining involuntary dismissals in eight separate cases.

  • Retained by national banking and financial services company to assist with internal investigation of a borrower real estate development company; uncovered widespread instances of mortgage fraud and insurance fraud for report to authorities.

  • Won directed verdict for community bank for $15 million against borrower and guarantors for breach of promissory notes and guarantees.

  • Obtained summary judgment for a national bank in a data breach case in the Northern District of Alabama. Plaintiff's identity was stolen and alleged it was because the bank caused a breach by not encrypting a loan application sent via a PDF Attachment to an email. We defended the case on issue of proximate cause; the court agreed and granted summary judgment.

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of a bank despite the bank being in default and having admitted all allegations contained in the Complaint. Also successfully prevailed on the issues of causation and damages.

  • Obtained the dismissal of a malicious prosecution action brought against a regional bank based on statutory immunity afforded to banks for voluntary disclosures of potential violations of law to governmental authorities.

  • Successfully resolved claims brought by RTC/FDIC against various officers and directors for the alleged breach of fiduciary duty and related misconduct after the failure of a major Louisiana savings and loan bank.

  • Obtained the dismissal of a Kentucky merger bank and its holding company from suit in Louisiana state court alleging negligence by the bank in accepting numerous fraudulent items over an extended period, which facilitated a massive embezzlement scheme.

  • Successfully defended a financial institution against claims from Ponzi-scheme victims alleging $20 million in damages based on the bank's failure to implement and enforce anti-money laundering procedures and comply with the Bank Secrecy Act.

  • Secured dismissal of fraud claims filed against capital markets division of national banking institution arising out of plaintiffs' purchases of interest rate swaps to hedge interest rate risk on bonds issued to finance commercial real estate projects.

  • Obtained summary judgment for a national financial institution in a lawsuit alleging multiple violations of the Right of Financial Privacy Act.

  • Successfully represented a financial institution in a suit brought by the Department of Justice relating to federal student loan program.

  • Successfully represented national bank in shareholder derivative action against bank and investors and officers alleging mismanagement, fraud and breach of duties.

  • Lead counsel for national lending institution in multi-million dollar contract dispute against a major municipality.

  • Served as chief trial counsel in $2 million litigation arising from defaults of a bankrupt corporation. 

  • Represented national collection agency in Consumer Protection Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act consumer fraud claim; favorable settlement reached and concluded after class notification. 

  • Obtained dismissal of claim against bank seeking damages in excess of $10 million based upon alleged conspiracy in assisting executor of estate in misappropriating estate assets. 

  • Represented state and national banks in obtaining dismissal of class action claims seeking damages in excess of $130 million for violation of federal and state law arising out of banks' charging insurance premiums in connection with automobile loans. 

  • Represented financial services company in putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and violation of Consumer Protection Act, resulting in retroactive arbitration clause in consumer agreement being enforced. 

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I have such a personal and professional comfort with them. I trust them with anything.

Assistant General Counsel at a financial services company

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