Firm News

Seyfarth’s Boston Securities Litigation Team Secures $45 Million FINRA Arbitration Win For C.L. King

12/19/2018

BOSTON (December 19, 2018) – Seyfarth Shaw LLP successfully secured a complete defense verdict in a FINRA arbitration seeking over $45 million for C.L. King & Associates, Inc., a full-service investment bank and self-clearing broker-dealer, in one of the largest and most complex FINRA arbitrations involving a clearing firm in recent years. After 52 days of evidentiary hearings in Atlanta, a three person panel of FINRA arbitrators ruled in favor of C.L. King and its founder and CEO, denying all of the claims by a former customer.

The Claimant, a family holding company in Georgia sued for over $40 million in losses, as well as interest, attorneys’ fees and punitive damages, alleging that C.L. King, as the custodial and clearing broker for an independent investment adviser, failed to prevent significant investment losses and took additional actions that contributed to those losses. The Claimants called numerous witnesses, including many of C.L. King’s employees and former employees, advisers to the family company, as well as multiple experts on liability, FINRA rules and customs, and damages. The hearings were conducted in multiple week sessions totaling 52 hearing days that spanned over a year. Closing arguments lasted four hours each side and took over two days to complete. The panel also received a post-hearing briefing on several complicated issues regarding state law fiduciary issues and securities preemption. The full decision can be found here.

In May 2017, Seyfarth successfully secured a complete defense verdict in a FINRA arbitration seeking over $68 million for C.L. King. After 39 days of evidentiary hearings in San Diego, a three person panel of FINRA arbitrators denied all of the claims by a former customer against C.L. King.

The Seyfarth Litigation team was led by Boston partner Christopher Robertson and included associate Dallin Wilson in Boston. In addition to the trial team, Seyfarth lawyers Jason Priebe (Chicago), Ryan Tilot (Chicago), and Andrew Stark (Boston) assisted in the case, with additional support from Will Lugo (Boston) and Douglas Rooney (Boston).