Investors experience losses in their portfolios, often as a result of market or economic conditions. However, losses may be the result of the wrongful conduct of brokerage firms, investment advisors, banks, and other financial professionals.
Bernstein Liebhard is focused on representing high net worth investors, who have incurred losses due to fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, negligence and other forms of misconduct. We aggressively pursue relief in arbitration proceedings on behalf of our clients, as these claims are typically subject to mandatory arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) or the American Arbitration Association.
Claims by investors against stockbrokers, investment advisors, and financial planners often fall into certain well-recognized categories. The most common investor claims are:
- Misrepresentations and omissions – the investment professional misrepresents or omits material facts necessary for the customer to make an informed investment decision.
- Unsuitable investment recommendations – the investment professional makes decisions that are inconsistent with the customer’s financial needs, investment objectives, financial ability to incur the risk associated with a particular investment, or knowledge or understanding of the risk associated with a particular investment.
- Over-Concentration – the investment professional concentrates a customer’s investments in one particular investment, type of investment, or industry sector, thereby failing to diversify the customer’s portfolio.
- Excessive trading or “Churning” – the investment professional engages in frequent trading to generate commissions to the detriment of the customer.
- Breach of fiduciary duty – the investment professional fails to act in the best interest of his/her customer, such as by failing to fully disclose all risks associated with the investments he/she is recommending.
- Failure to execute trades – the investment professional fails to execute a customer order or fails to execute a customer order in a timely manner.
- Unauthorized trading – the investment professional purchases or sells a security in a customer’s account without first obtaining permission.
- Negligence – the investment professional falls to follow the standard of conduct established to protect investors against unreasonable risk of harm.
- Breach of contract – the investment professional fails to comply with the terms of the brokerage agreement executed by the customer.
- Margin account abuse – the investment professional trades on margin – with borrowed money from the brokerage firm or professional – without the customer’s knowledge or authorization, or without explaining the risks associated with margin trading.
- Failure to supervise – the brokerage firm fails to supervise its brokers’ or investment professionals’ compliance with the securities laws and the rules and regulations of the securities industry.
Our attorneys are dedicated to representing individual and institutional victims of financial and securities fraud, breaches of duty, and other broker, adviser, and financial firm misconduct. We understand securities law, investment firm practices, and complex investment transactions, and will apply our knowledge and understanding to develop legal strategies that maximize the recovery of investment losses.