Formerly a litigation partner in one of the largest and most highly esteemed law firms in the region, Scott has been recognized by Super Lawyer Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Lawyers in Cleveland” and the “Top 100 Lawyers in Ohio,” and has received numerous other professional accolades.
Scott’s practice focuses exclusively on representing broker/dealers, life insurance carriers and other financial institutions and professionals in litigation, arbitration, regulatory enforcement defense, recruiting matters and structuring practice buy/sell transactions.
Corporations also regularly engage Scott to assist them with internal investigations, and to represent them in high-value commercial litigation matters involving contract disputes, tortious interference, fraud and other business claims.
Securities Litigation Defense
One of the most experienced securities litigators in Ohio, Scott regularly represents Fortune 500 financial institutions, broker/dealer organizations, investment advisory firms and their employees in cases involving:
- Securities and shareholder litigation in multiple jurisdictions;
- FINRA customer arbitration claims involving suitability allegations, unauthorized trading and other sales practice violations;
- FINRA intra-industry business disputes;
- FINRA employment disputes involving wrongful termination, defamation, Form U4/U5 expungement demands and whistleblower retaliation claims; and
- Customer arbitrations and/or civil litigation involving life insurance policy disputes
Securities Enforcement Defense
Securities broker/dealer firms, Registered Investment Advisors and independent financial advisor group practices regularly hire Scott to represent them or their employees when regulators are investigating allegations of misconduct. Individual financial advisors also regularly seek Scott out to represent them when their firm is refusing to defend them, or when they find a need for separate, independent advice. Scott’s practice in this area runs the gamut, assisting clients in responding to:
- FINRA Letters of Inquiry;
- FINRA Notices of Investigation;
- FINRA Disciplinary Proceedings;
- SEC Investigations;
- SEC Enforcement Actions; and
- Responding to investigations from state insurance and securities regulators.
Securities Industry Recruiting and Transition Issues
Scott is one of the most experienced attorneys in the country in dealing with the legal issues that arise when financial advisors move from one firm to another. In recent years Scott has facilitated the transition of over 400 practices, from individuals with modest books of business to large groups with more than a half-billion dollars of assets under management. Having helped advisors from more than 50 different firms successfully move their books of business to a new broker/dealer, Scott knows how to anticipate and address the broad range of issues that arise in transitions:
- Analysis of restrictive covenants in employment contracts
- Protocol for Broker Recruiting issues
- Form U4/U5 language disputes and expungements
- Forgivable loan/promissory note disputes
- Advisor team breakups and disputes
- Evaluation of pending employment offers
- Negotiation of signing/retention bonuses
Financial Advisor Practice Transactions
Clients often hire Scott to assist them in negotiating and structuring deals for the purchase or sale of an advisor’s practice in connection with retirement or succession planning.His experience in this area includes:
- Practice acquisitions
- Practice sales
- Producer group deals
- Practice mergers
- Valuation issues
- Continuity agreements
- Acquisition financing issues
- Succession planning
As member of his former firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice, Scott regularly assists corporations, their boards and officers in conducting internal investigations of fraud, accounting misconduct, embezzlement, and other business-related wrongdoing.
Outside of work, Scott is also very active in Cleveland’s civic affairs, particularly in the Jewish Community. He has served as an officer or trustee of several different community organizations, including serving as President of the Cleveland chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and received an award from City Year recognizing him for his years of volunteer service.
Boston University School of Law, J.D., with honors (1995); International Law Journal, Managing Editor
Columbia University, B.A. (1992)
Supreme Court of the United States
State Bars of New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Ohio
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court for Northern District of Ohio
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan