Financial Services


In this highly regulated industry, it is important to know that your lawyers are familiar with the issues you face. Ulmer’s litigation and business attorneys in the financial services industry practice concentrate their time and attention on the kinds of crises you see on a daily basis. Our lawyers are experienced in a wide-range of financial services issues and often work in close collaboration with clients’ internal counsel to develop customized and budget-driven approaches to resolving matters both inside and outside of the courtroom. Whether your matter involves business issues or litigation, we bring together the right skill set to address your unique issues in a cost-effective manner.

Ulmer provides a full range of legal services to its clients in the financial services industry. The firm brings to bear decades of experience and exceptional depth and breadth of financial services expertise. Our attorneys keep current on the problems facing the financial services industry through hands-on projects for a diverse range of clients, including:

  • Banks;
  • Bank holding companies;
  • Broker-dealers;
  • Futures commission merchants;
  • Introducing brokers;
  • Trading advisors;
  • Mortgage brokers;
  • Investment companies, managers, and advisors;
  • Insurance companies;
  • Credit card and payment system companies;
  • Trust companies;
  • Motor vehicle finance companies;
  • Thrift institutions;
  • Credit unions;
  • Trustees;
  • Private equity funds; and
  • Other diversified financial services companies.

Our Financial Services & Securities Litigation Group is national in scope, representing some of the largest and most well-known institutions in the country in broker-dealer, commodities, futures, employment, consumer banking, and self-directed IRA custodian litigation, on matters ranging from FINRA arbitrations, to SEC administrative proceedings, to federal and state court class actions. We regularly counsel institutional and individual clients in financial regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings at the federal and state levels. We also advise financial clients on data privacy and security training and compliance, and handle the regulatory and litigation fall-out resulting from data breaches.

In addition to our litigation capabilities, our business attorneys have counseled clients on forming, merging, and acquiring full-service and limited purpose banks, savings associations, and holding companies, and in establishing branches, agencies, and subsidiaries. We have advised clients in successfully developing and introducing a wide array of financial products and services including fund transfers, electronic payments, payment processing systems, credit and debit cards, and internet-based credit programs.

In a new post to Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner blog, Ulmer Partner Alan Wolper discusses a recent SEC settlement and how it proves that it can be easy for an investment advisor to get into trouble by simply doing nothing. To read the full post, click here.

June 1, 2021 – Last Friday, FINRA announced in a press release that it has withdrawn from SEC consideration its proposed rule changes regarding the expungement process. The proposed rule changes were dramatic, which we highlighted in webinars and on our blog, and included: Creating a special roster of arbitrators to...

January 14, 2021 – The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to review a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision that could alter the landscape of class action litigation under Rule 10b-5. The issue in Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement Sys., Case No. 20-222, 2020 WL 7296815...

Earlier this month, the SEC approved the first of several rule changes that FINRA has proposed for the process governing the expungement of customer complaints from a broker’s record. The approved rule change will make it significantly more expensive for brokers (and their broker-dealers) who are seeking expungement. Brokers will...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Frances Floriano Goins I am fairly certain that at least every once in a while, you appreciate hearing from someone a bit less snarky than me.  If so, then you’re in luck!  Please enjoy this post from my partner, and my co-leader of Ulmer’s...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Heidi E. VonderHeide Heidi is my go-to destination for all things Reg BI.  Here’s a quick, but really helpful, update from her. –  Alan This week OCIE issued twin alerts relating to the upcoming implementation of Reg BI. A lot of the statements are...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Forced to sit at home under government-ordered decree, and having finished binge-watching Season 3 of Ozark and Season 4 of Money Heist on Netflix, what’s left to do except prey upon scared investors – particularly seniors – who have been watching the...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I think that most lawyers who handle arbitrations, no matter what side of the table they occupy, would agree that one of the most important components of the case – perhaps the most important – is the selection of the arbitrators who comprise the...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Heidi E. VonderHeide Heidi continues to stay on top of developments relating to Reg BI. – Alan Just in case you’ve not yet seen them, both the SEC and FINRA, over the last week or so, have released a series of documents that touch, partly or entirely,...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Christopher D. Seps Between the usual holiday season madness and a recent trial, I have been a little tied up lately. Happily, Chris Seps has stepped up with this excellent piece on Reg BI. – Alan   My young boys will sometimes chase me...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper As I have mentioned before, several times, PIABA is deathly concerned with the fact that sometimes customers who prevail in arbitrations are unable to collect their awards, which typically happens when the respondent firm and/or the RR leaves the industry (thus eliminating...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Last year, for the first time, FINRA produced a statistical report designed to provide some perspective on the firms that comprise its membership. I blogged about it, and concluded at the time that the report basically demonstrated the following: FINRA is still mostly...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I have written a few times about FINRA’s ceaseless interest in bringing cases against registered reps who fail to update their Form U-4 in a timely manner to disclose the fact that a tax lien has been filed against them. Or several...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Once again – twice again, actually – FINRA has used Rule 8210 as a cudgel, beating the poor unfortunate recipients of the “request” for documents and information into submission, or worse. This has got to stop. The first case is a repeat...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I read an article this week in Investment News with the following headline: “Brokerage Customers Winning More FINRA Arbitration Cases.” As a guy who defends customer cases, I was naturally intriguied by this. According to the article, “brokerage customers who do file...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Rightly or wrongly, I don’t know much about cryptocurrencies or digital coins. But that’s ok. What is worrisome, on the other hand, is that I am increasingly concerned that FINRA doesn’t either. And while my own ignorance will have exactly zero impact...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Stephen G. Nesbitt has been appointed to the Board of Trustees for ProKids, a nonprofit organization based in Cincinnati that mobilizes the community by training and supporting volunteers to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect. ProKids’ mission is to secure...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to share that Partner Amanda Martinsek has been named to Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2019 list of “Women Worth Watching,” an award that energizes, inspires, and recognizes women who have demonstrated high levels of leadership. “Amanda is incredibly deserving of recognition for her dedication to...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper FINRA loves to tout its supposed intent to bring meaningful cases, cases that matter to the investing public, rather than enforcing “foot faults,” as it has been accused of doing over the years. My own experience with FINRA suggests that while it...

Ulmer Partner Richard Hamilton was featured during the June 7 episode of “Nightly Business Report,” a national news program produced by CNBC that airs on PBS. Offering his insider perspective as a former attorney in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Hamilton was interviewed regarding the Justice Department’s antitrust probe of Google and...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Christopher D. Seps I heartily endorse this post from my colleague, Chris, who’s been quiet of late.  It says a lot about FINRA, in terms of how it deigns to spend your assessment money, how fairness in the Enforcement process can be completely illusory, and...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Reading Reg Notice 19-17 makes me think of the legal arguments that I’ve recently read regarding whether a president can be found guilty of obstructing justice if the actions in question were taken out in the open, for everyone to see. Here, FINRA’s proposed...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I apologize for all the posts this week, but I am traveling and am in a different time zone, so I am awake at hours when, ordinarily, I would be asleep, giving me time to muse.  Anyway, given that, I will not...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know that over my last few posts, I have been talking about an increasingly visible effort by FINRA to turn its regulatory eye from rogue brokers – who have been an...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I told you two weeks ago in my blog post that this would happen. I told you that when Robert Cook announced the topics to be taken up at the February/March FINRA Board meeting in Boca Raton, he slipped and used the new phrase...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Michael A. Gross Does FINRA have jurisdiction over me? This is a question that I regularly field at the outset of regulatory engagements. My answer differs depending on a number of factors, including the nature of a person’s role and duties at a firm, his...

Ulmer Partner Alan M. Wolper was recently interviewed by PLANADVISER in an article entitled, “B/D Attorney: Don’t Be Distracted by FINRA Examination Priorities Letter.” Wolper provided his insights into the recently published FINRA 2019 priorities list, which he thinks is interesting, but ultimately not all that informative when it comes...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper In what has become an annual, but hardly exciting – I mean, it’s not like anxiously awaiting the day that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training – tradition, with the turning of the calendar to the new year, FINRA has...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper About a year ago, the SEC offered investment advisors the unique opportunity to report themselves to the SEC if they sold mutual funds to their clients that offered a lower priced share class than the class actually selected by the advisor,...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper What exists at the point where PIABA’s transparent self-interest in getting paid and FINRA’s historical lack of transparency about who is actually driving its agenda regarding arbitrations? This: a late December decision by FINRA to propose a rule that prohibits non-lawyers from...

Representative Experience

Our recent experience includes the following:

  • Litigating all types of financial services matters, including consumer cases, financial privacy, data breaches, credit reporting, federal preemption, UCC, securities and commodities fraud claims, electronic delivery of consumer financial services, credit discrimination, residential and commercial real estate, secured lending, deposit products, structured products and derivatives, and payment systems.
  • Defending national broker-dealers and futures commission merchants against claims of negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and forgery, unsuitable investment recommendations, unauthorized trading, churning, failure to supervise, and improper margin borrowing.
  • Helping clients to successfully develop and introduce a wide array of new financial products and services including fund transfers, electronic payments, payment processing systems, Internet-based credit programs, credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, prepaid cards, and motor vehicle sale assistance programs.
  • Representing firms and management in employment disputes, including financial institutions in the prosecution of claims against former bank employees who were bound by confidentiality agreements and were actively soliciting customers.
  • Assisting clients in complying with the full range of financial services laws and regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, as well as the Bank Holding Company Act, the International Banking Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, and many other statues affecting the financial services industry.
  • Advising financial institutions on data privacy and information security requirements and training.
  • Representing financial services clients before federal and state regulatory agencies in response to examination and enforcement proceedings.
  • Representing financial clients with respect to professional liability claims, including professional liability claims against outside-counsel law firms involving tax and pension plan advice.
  • Counseling clients on forming, merging, and acquiring full-service and limited purpose banks, savings associations, and holding companies.
  • Representing clients in establishing branches, agencies, and subsidiaries.
  • Developing, reviewing, implementing, and maintaining compliance policies, procedures, guidelines, and programs.
  • Assisting clients and their affiliates with compliance audits and training before, during, and after regulatory examinations.
  • Assisting clients with issues surrounding the privacy and security of information and compliance with the full range of federal, state, and international information privacy and data management laws and regulations.
  • Providing corporate governance training and strategic planning assistance.