NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Singer Deutsch LLP, a national securities and employment law firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles, announced today that a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel in New York City has awarded its client substantial compensatory and punitive damages in one of the first arbitration decisions involving a Form U-5 claim since the New York State Court of Appeals ruled in Rosenberg v. Met Life that statements by employers in Form U-5 filings are subject, per New York law, to an absolute privilege in libel actions.
On July 26, 2007, a plaintiff represented by Singer Deutsch in a legal action against Barclays Capital was awarded a full 2005 bonus as well as significant punitive damages. The plaintiff was a former Collateral Analyst within Barclays Capital's Investment Banking Division. Equally as important, the arbitration panel also expunged the language on the plaintiff’s Form U-5 Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration based on an explicit finding of defamation.
The plaintiff’s claims emanated from Barclays Capital’s February 2006 U-5 filing and its failure to pay a bonus in early 2006 for Calendar Year 2005. The plaintiff was represented by John Singer and Michael Deutsch of Singer Deutsch LLP; lead counsel for Singer Deutsch was John Singer. Mr. Singer was a securities litigator with Proskauer Rose LLP in New York and Los Angeles prior to forming Singer Deutsch with Mr. Deutsch in 2003. Barclays was represented by Sullivan and Cromwell.
The plaintiff worked for Barclays within its Investment Banking Division for two and a half years before being terminated in January 2006, approximately two weeks before 2005 bonuses were paid. In connection with the termination, which related to an email which Barclays accused the plaintiff of falsifying, Barclays filed a Form U-5 with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) noting that the plaintiff engaged in “gross misconduct.”
“A negative comment on a U-5 form, which is made available to the public in order to protect investors, will stick to a securities professional for the rest of his or her career, essentially hindering that person's ability to make a living in the industry,” said John Singer. “The only way to correct a defamatory U-5 and move on with your career is to bring a legal action to have the form expunged.”
In mid-2006, the plaintiff, via counsel, Singer Deutsch, commenced an arbitration proceeding before FINRA (formerly the NASD) seeking an expungement of the language from the U-5, payment of the 2005 bonus, and additional damages emanating from the punitive nature of Barclays' actions. The plaintiff argued that the email was not falsified; rather, it was contended that two separate emails had simply been combined into one for a personal record.
In July 2007, a three-day hearing was held at FINRA in New York City. The panel presiding over the case concluded that Barclays defamed the plaintiff on the U-5, rejecting the notion that the email was intentionally falsified. In addition to expunging the defamatory language from the plaintiff’s U-5, the panel awarded the plaintiff a full bonus for 2005 and substantial punitive damages as well.
The arbitration decision against Barclays Capital was the latest in a long line of U-5 and bonus cases which Singer Deutsch has successfully brought on behalf of investment bankers, traders, brokers, analysts, compliance officers, wholesalers, and other securities industry personnel against Wall Street brokerage firms and investment banks.
About Singer Deutsch
Singer Deutsch LLP is a full-service securities, commodities, and employment law firm with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. The firm was founded in 2003 by Georgetown Law School alumni John Singer and Michael Deutsch. Singer Deutsch’s clients include individual investors, brokers, traders, investment bankers, analysts, financial advisors, hedge fund and private equity executives, and other securities professionals. In addition, the firm’s employment law practice provides services for plaintiffs outside the securities industry.
The firm can be found online at http://www.SingerDeutsch.com.