Chicago115 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60603
TEL: +1 312 577 1300
FAX: +1 312 577 1370
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Steptoe's Chicago office includes seasoned representatives of the firm's commercial litigation, insurance, intellectual property, and white-collar litigation practices. Its lawyers serve clients in Chicago and the Midwest as well as a wide range of national and global entities.
Financial Markets/Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation Practice
Our experienced professionals are repeatedly engaged by clients in the investment, brokerage, banking, and insurance and reinsurance sectors across the United States and overseas to handle disputes in a wide range of substantive legal areas, including:
- Employment and Trade Secrets
- Financial Guaranty
We provide comprehensive counseling and advocacy solutions to leading members of the financial services industry, including investment banks, securities brokerages, hedge funds, investment advisors, and other prominent financial institutions.
We have broad and deep litigation experience representing our clients in private actions and civil enforcement proceedings in federal and state trial and appellate courts throughout the country, as well as arbitrations and administrative proceedings before all the major SROs and the SEC.
These disputes range from shareholder and consumer class actions to disputes between SRO member firms (including NYSE, NASD, and CBOE members), the defense of derivative actions, and employment and customer-initiated disputes.
Regulation and Compliance
Our substantial experience with complex industry issues including market manipulation, market-timing and mutual fund switching, broker recruiting and unfair competition laws, failure to supervise, trade routing and order execution, financial reporting, and clearing broker liability allows us to help our clients respond to routine and surprise regulatory inspections, inquiries, and investigations.
We provide counseling and compliance advice on cutting-edge regulatory initiatives, including antitrust challenges to trading practices; recordkeeping for and production of electronic communications; and customer privacy, anti-money laundering, and related issues under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, and the USA PATRIOT Act.
Employment/Trade Secret/Competition Law
Our in-depth knowledge and understanding of the securities industry—combined with our experience handling a broad range of employment issues—make us distinctively qualified to represent brokerage firms in employment disputes. We handle those cases in state and federal courts and arbitration forums across the United States.
We have established a national reputation for successfully representing brokerage firms in unfair competition cases, including trade secret and restrictive covenant controversies.
We also represent brokerage firms in wrongful discharge, employment discrimination, and deferred and other compensation-related disputes.
In addition, we advise our clients on compliance with employment-related laws and regulations affecting the securities industry. Our counseling addresses matters such as employee handbooks and employment agreements, confidentiality agreements, non-competition restrictions, and separation-and-release agreements.
Given our international and US trial experience representing insurers, reinsurers, and insurance professionals in litigation and arbitration, we know the comparative insurance/reinsurance laws of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Bermuda. We can help international insurers/reinsurers to prepare their officers and employees to give evidence in arbitration and litigation.
Our engagements have involved claims of breach of the duty of utmost good faith, international jurisdictional disputes, insurance/ reinsurance contract interpretation, claims integration disputes, late notice of claims or circumstances likely to lead to claims, choice of law/applicable law disputes, insurance/insurance insolvency issues, professional negligence claims, and professional privilege defenses.
Financial Guaranty/Credit Default Swap & Suretyship
We represent insurance and reinsurance companies in financial guaranty, credit default swap, and suretyship disputes in state and federal courts in the United States, Bermuda, and the United Kingdom. Our engagements have involved disputes over credit default events under credit default swap contracts and related reinsurance contracts, disputes over the scope of payment bond coverage, and disputes involving sub-surety obligations. We have handled numerous such cases arising under United States and English law.
We help clients develop, exploit, and defend their intellectual property to produce enduring competitive advantages and provide practical advice and innovative strategies to clients in a wide range of industries.
With substantial experience in patent and trademark litigation, as well as with matters related to trade dress, trade secrets, copyright, licensing, and false advertising, we are actively involved in counseling clients on intellectual property protection and enforcement issues and in managing US and international intellectual property portfolios.
We have handled matters in all phases of federal court litigation, including ex parte seizure, temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, trial, and appellate proceedings, and we have litigated in courts throughout the US, before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and before the Supreme Court. We also have experience with “rocket docket” litigations in Wisconsin and Virginia.
White-Collar Criminal Defense
Steptoe’s White-Collar Criminal Defense practice, named a “White Collar Group of 2011” by Law360 and recommended in the 2012 edition of the Legal 500 US guidebook, represents individuals and corporations in some of the most noteworthy cases in the country involving allegations of:
- Accounting and securities fraud
- Corporate misconduct
- Healthcare fraud
- Public corruption
- Money laundering
- Price fixing
- Environmental crimes
- Export control violations
- Government contracting fraud
Our Chicago-based white-collar team is headed by the former deputy chief in the Financial Crimes and Special Prosecution section of the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.