Agents & Brokers Liability
Incomplete coverage. Gaps in coverage. Lower limits than requested. Material misrepresentations on the insurance application. Bad advice on giving notice of potential claims. There is no shortage of claims insurance producers may face when a customer gets hit with a lawsuit for which there is no coverage, or with a declaratory judgment complaint from its insurer.
And that’s only one side of the spectrum. Insurance agencies and producers regularly face claims from the insurance companies for whom they place policies. Material misrepresentations on the application, again. Exceeding binding authority. Wrongful retention of premiums. Breach of agency agreements.
Against a backdrop of Illinois law that is not quite as developed as it is in the legal malpractice arena, we’ve navigated these waters with efficiency and considerable success, finding ourselves often at the forefront of legal developments that impact insurance producers and agencies in the operation of their businesses. We even helped write the newest book on risk avoidance for insurance producers and their agencies.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority – FINRA as it is more commonly known – is akin to a foreign jurisdiction for most lawyers. They don’t understand its rules, they can’t comprehend its idiosyncrasies. But we have been defending stock brokers, registered representatives and broker-dealers against customer- and industry-based claims for years, and those rules, those idiosyncrasies, are second nature to us.
Whether the claim comes from a customer complaining of fraud, unsuitability or churning, from an industry competitor alleging unfair competition or tortious interference, or a dispute between a registered representative and a broker-dealer over commissions or parting ways, our reputation within the security industry is such that we are on the short-list of law firms the industry looks to when it needs defending.
Outside of claims for damages, we represent registered representatives when Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) comes calling with an investigation arising out of customer complaints. From the initial § 8210 letter from FINRA, through the OTR process, and beyond any resulting Wells notice, we have protected the industry from reprisal.
And when the dust from a claim settles and the conditions warrant, we represent registered representatives in expungement proceedings to remove meritless complaints from their Central Registration Depository.