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PRACTICE AREAS

Litigation Management

Financial institution litigation is complex. Cases range from relatively small individual matters to large class actions involving thousands of persons. The types of claims made against a financial institution can range from “run-of-the-mill” contract disputes to allegations of statutory violations, or fraud related claims. Common forms of litigation brought against financial institutions can involve employment matters (e.g., wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination); consumer complaints (e.g., collection matters, repossession forms and disclosures, payment ordering, loan rates, or fees); or board and management fiduciary duties.

Because many claims made against financial institutions are covered by insurance, the financial institution will be entitled to “panel counsel” hired by the insurer to defend the claim. Panel counsel has two clients—the insurer and the insured. Thus, while panel counsel can defend the financial institution in the case, panel counsel cannot advise on the crucial insurance coverage issues which, in many cases, will drive strategy decisions.  This is particularly true with “wasting” policies, in which the attorney’s fees to defend the case are paid as part of the policy limit.

SW&M is familiar both with the plaintiffs’ lawyers who specialize in pursuing financial institutions, and the types of claims they are asserting. Our constantly evolving knowledge allows us to work with our clients and their panel counsel to develop successful defense strategies. We work closely with panel counsel used by multiple insurance companies (whether CUNA Mutual, FinSecure, Travelers, Lloyds, CNA, or others) to achieve the best results for our financial institution clients at all stages of the litigation process.