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Eight Former Credit Suisse Advisers Seeking Deferred Compensation Won a $9M Award in FINRA Arbitration

On November 5, 2021, a team of eight 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 Hutchinson et al. vs. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, FINRA No. 16-02825. The team is 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.

The advisors worked in Credit Suisse’s Chicago branch  and were terminated without cause when the firm closed its US private bank. As it did with respect to almost every one of more than 300 advisers, and in each and every one of the deferred compensation cases filed against it, Credit Suisse took the position that the advisors voluntarily resigned and forfeited their earned deferred compensation when Credit Suisse closed their branch and eliminated their positions. The FINRA Panel unanimously found that Credit Suisse terminated each of the advisors without cause, breached their employment agreements, and violated the Illinois Wage Act.  The Panel ordered Credit Suisse to pay the eight advisors more than $9 million in compensatory damages, interest, statutory penalties, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Eight FINRA arbitrations against Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC have now gone to award, including six brought by Lax & Neville LLP. See Hutchinson et al. vs. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, FINRA No. 16-02825; Galli, et al. v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, FINRA No. 17-01489; DellaRusso and Sullivan v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, FINRA No. 17-01406; Lerner and Winderbaum v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, FINRA No. 17-00057; Finn v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, FINRA No. 17-01277; and Chilton v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, FINRA No. 16-03065. All eight FINRA arbitration panels, three New York Supreme Court Commercial Division Judges (Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC v. Finn, Index No. 655870/2018 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2019); Lerner and Winderbaum v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Index No. 652771/2019 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.), Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC v. DellaRusso and Sullivan, Index No. 657268/2019 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.)), and a unanimous panel of the New York Appellate Division have found for the advisers and ordered Credit Suisse to pay the deferred compensation it owes them.

Lax & Neville LLP has won more than $20 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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