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Financial Services

Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell lawyers have represented a variety of companies in the finance industry. These include banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies, stock brokerages, and investment funds. We guide these entities through complex litigation matters arising from the conduct of their core business or in connection with their activities as investors. We have a particularly strong practice in class actions cases, having handled cases involving securities fraud, "blast" faxing, pricing and service charges, customer service and quality pledge programs, and employment.

In addition to our strong class actions practice, WTO lawyers have handled other claims for financial services entities, including disputes related to:

  • Professional liability
  • Directors' and officers' liability
  • Lender liability
  • Securities fraud
  • Investigations
  • Broker-dealer liability
  • Commercial contracts
  • Employment
  • Trademarks
  • Collections

Client Wins

Won an appeal in the 10th Circuit for two mortgage brokers in a noncompete case against a leading financial institution, affirming a district court's prior denial of preliminary injunction.

Client Wins

Defeated a preliminary injunction sought by a former executive seeking to launch a competing business and take nearly $200 million in investments with him.

Client Wins

Won an arbitration award for $2.9 million, including punitive damages, for an investment fund in a dispute involving the acquisition of an oil field services company.

Client Wins

Obtained summary judgment for a commercial lender in a multimillion-dollar loan default lawsuit.

Client Wins

Represented a company and individuals in a three-year litigation invovling alleged trade secrets violations.


  • Won a jury verdict in a $12 million commercial dispute involving breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, and embezzlement claims in a two-week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. WTO won dismissal of the corporate waste claim before the jury began deliberations, and the jury found that WTO's client did not embezzle money.
  • Achieved favorable settlements for an investment management company in a dispute with investors regarding alleged misrepresentations, conflicts of interest, and improper fees, including claims of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
  • Won an appeal in the 10th Circuit for two mortgage brokers in a noncompete case against a leading financial institution, affirming a district court's prior denial of preliminary injunction. The plaintiffs had alleged that their former employees—WTO's clients—had breached noncompete and trade secret agreements when they left the company.
  • Won a trial verdict as co-counsel for a large financial services provider in a $75 million dispute over the company's allegedly excessive fees.
  • Negotiated landmark settlement for a New Jersey bank in "true lender" litigation brought by the State of Colorado that threatened the viability of the multibillion-dollar fintech consumer lending industry.
  • Defeated a preliminary injunction brought by a former investment executive who sued to nullify a noncompete and launch a competing firm by taking 50 clients representing $200 million in investments. Collaborating with another law firm, WTO showed in a two-day, federal court hearing that the former executive did not meet the requirements for injunctive relief. The Court agreed and denied the motion.
  • Won an arbitration ruling for $2.9 million, including punitive damages, for an investment fund misled into overpaying for an oil field services company based on misrepresentations made during the sale and omissions made during settlement negotiations regarding the sale.
  • Served as trial counsel in a multimillion dollar tax shelter trial involving what was once one of the largest investment banks in the United States. Successfully moved in limine to preclude and limit the scope of the expert testimony proffered by the plaintiff.  The case concerned the interpretation of a decades-old bilateral tax treaty and the interplay of that treaty with U.S. tax laws and regulations.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a commercial lender resulting in an award of more than $2.5 million, including interest and legal fees, relating to an LLC's default on a condominium development loan.
  • Represented an investment company in litigation against a former executive officer who alleged, inter alia, breach of contract and violations of the Colorado Wage Claim Act.
  • Represented a private equity company and three individuals involved in the distressed debt industry in a case asserting a multimillion-dollar damage award for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. The three-year litigation was complex and contentious, involving claims asserting substantial trade secret violations, as well as fiduciary duty, contract, and other tort claims.
  • Defended an investment advisory firm in Cook County, IL against a $10 million professional negligence claim. After a two-week trial, the jury found for the defendant.
  • Secured appellate affirmance of the dismissal of a commercial case involving a bank's leasing division and allegations of consumer fraud.
  • Successfully defended a financial services firm in a five-day trial in Richmond, Virginia, involving claims of breach of contract, fraud, and unjust enrichment.
  • Represented large multinational document services company and large accounting firm in connection with investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding alleged accounting irregularities.
  • Successfully defended a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in Colorado against a national financial institution accused of discriminating in its lending practices based on national origin.
  • Represented the plaintiffs and a certified class in a multimillion-dollar class action involving securities fraud, conspiracy, and breach of fiduciary duty claims against an investment advisor, broker dealer, and private placement annuity issuer.
  • Represented a large financial investment firm in connection with claims against a former broker in connection with alleged fraud, fiduciary duty and negligent supervision claims.


Scott S. Barker
Senior Counsel
P. 303.244.1824
F. 303.244.1879
View Bio
Carolyn J. Fairless
Co-Managing Partner
P. 303.244.1852
F. 303.244.1879
View Bio
Michael T. Williams
Co-Managing Partner
P. 303.244.1867
F. 303.244.1879
View Bio

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