Financial Services

Civil Litigation
White Collar & Investigations
Regulatory & Compliance

With the passage of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Consumer Protection Act in 2010, the landscape for financial services companies and their employees has dramatically changed. The heightened regulation and scrutiny has put financial services companies and their employees at increased risk for regulatory enforcement actions and related civil and criminal litigation. Representing clients in investigations and litigation involving the financial services industry has long been a core practice of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.

Before the wave of litigation brought about by the recent recession, Zuckerman Spaeder was actively advising clients and litigating cases related to mortgage-backed securities stretching as far back as the bank failures during the savings and loan crisis in the 1980s. Most recently, the firm has represented executives of both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in matters related to mortgage-backed securities and related derivatives. Our attorneys have also represented the principals and officers of various banks, accounting firms, insurers, and mortgage servicers in regulatory investigations and enforcement actions by banking regulators and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

We are adept at representing both individual executives and financial ‎institutions such as banks, mortgage companies, and hedge funds in a range of litigation and regulatory actions.

Experience Highlights

Zuckerman Spaeder has extensive experience representing individual and institutional clients in the financial services industry in a wide range of civil litigation matters. We represent clients in federal and state courts across the country as well as in arbitration proceedings before the American Arbitration Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Our clients have included individual officers and directors, banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions.

Financial services executives may find themselves facing civil actions as a result of regulatory enforcement actions. We defend individual officers and directors against civil claims brought by regulatory agencies, securities class actions, and shareholder derivative suits. We also frequently represent individuals in related litigation to require directors and officers (D&O) insurers to advance defense costs.

Our institutional clients have included banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions. In addition to defending financial services companies against civil claims brought by regulatory bodies, we represent them in disputes with customers and competitors, bankruptcy proceedings, and a range of other civil litigation.

With a team of veteran civil litigators experienced in bankruptcy and restructuring, securities litigation, tax, and real estate, we have the capability to guide clients through the thicket of litigation resulting from the financial crisis and other disputes and regulatory actions.


For individuals and companies in the financial services industry, regulatory compliance issues can often lead to government investigations, grand jury investigations, and criminal prosecutions. Allegations may include securities violations, accounting fraud, tax fraud, late trading, and insider trading, to name a few. Zuckerman Spaeder’s nationally recognized white collar practice is well-equipped to defend clients facing these types of charges.

Our team includes many trial-ready litigators with experience as federal prosecutors. Because we frequently represent clients in parallel proceedings encompassing regulatory, civil, and criminal components, we are sensitive to the need to consider each case’s impact on the other.


The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the regulatory scrutiny of the financial services industry. In the wake of the national housing market collapse and recession, Congress enacted the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Consumer Protection Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was formed, adding even more federal oversight of the industry. Zuckerman Spaeder’s attorneys have decades of experience representing individuals and institutions in the financial services industry before regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and other federal agencies.