Articles Posted in Employment

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On April 18, 2023, four more former Credit Suisse investment advisers represented by Lax & Neville LLP won a FINRA arbitration award against Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC for unpaid deferred compensation. See Simon Clarke, Mitchell Riesenberger, Jose Rodriguez-Villalobos, Jeremy Seidman v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, FINRA No. 20-02093. Lax & Neville has tried nine arbitrations resulting in awards of more than $35 million to 30 former Credit Suisse advisers.

The Claimants, Simon Clarke, Mitchell Riesenberger, Jose Rodriguez-Villalobos, and Jeremy Seidman, are now among the numerous former Credit Suisse advisors who have successfully brought claims for their portion of the over $200 million of deferred compensation that Credit Suisse refused to pay its advisors when it closed its US private bank in 2015, violating the advisers’ employment agreements and the firm’s own deferred compensation plans. Credit Suisse took the position, as it has with hundreds of other former investment advisers, that the Claimants voluntarily resigned and forfeited their deferred compensation. A three-arbitrator panel awarded Claimants compensatory damages, including prejudgment interest, in the amount of $2,862,019.32. The FINRA Panel recommended expungement of Claimants’ Forms U-5, the termination notice a broker-dealer is required to file with FINRA. As with hundreds of their colleagues, Credit Suisse falsely reported that Claimants’ “Reason for Termination” was “Voluntary.” The FINRA Panel recommended that the “Reason for Termination” be changed to “Termination without cause.”

Lax & Neville LLP has won more than $35 million in compensatory damages, interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees on behalf of former Credit Suisse investment advisers. To discuss these FINRA arbitration Awards, please contact Barry R. Lax, Brian J. Neville, Sandra P. Lahens or Robert R. Miller at (212) 696-1999.

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Major bracket Wall Street banks have only recently institutionalized substantial retirement packages for senior advisors to sunset out with very few restrictions. Inheriting advisors who care to take over these books of businesses face an enormous opportunity to convert these books, yield a solid short-term return, and a terrific long-term opportunity to own and grow these books.

However, for these inheriting advisors, the rules associated with the restrictive covenants, the non-solicitation clauses, and the timeframe to yield any return differ substantially at Merrill’s CTP program from those at Morgan Stanley’s FAP program, Wells Fargo Summit Program, and UBS’s Alpha Program.

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The legal nuances behind making a move to a new firm partner intimidate many an advisor, but it’s time to move past that block. In this first episode in Advisor Talk’s Legal Perspective Series, Elite Consulting Partners CEO Frank LaRosa is joined by Brian Neville, Founding Partner of Lax & Neville, to provide insight and context to listeners as to best legal practices when making a transition.

In particular, this episode focuses on client solicitations when making a move. Topics covered by Frank and Brian include:

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