Within the financial services industry, Farella represents businesses that manage money, including banks; payment cards and technology, insurance, and finance companies; venture capital, private equity, investment funds and individual managers, and crypto currency enterprises; and more. They rely on Farella’s expertise in practice areas of critical importance to the industry and the firm’s understanding of specific challenges facing their clients in these areas.
Banking and Finance
Many of our clients are closely-held companies or individuals who use private equity and venture capital to expand their business interests. From early-stage to pre-IPO, we advise on and help structure investment capital deals that enhance companies’ values. Likewise, we represent private equity, venture capital, and corporate investors in negotiating and documenting investments in companies at any stage of development. We work with investors and their portfolio companies on appropriate management structures and exit strategies, including sales to strategic buyers and public offerings.
With an emphasis on secured transactions, we advise borrowers and lenders in commercial and real estate single loan, portfolio, and other structured financing transactions and the sale or acquisition of financial assets.
For financial institutions, venture capital funds, crypto currencies, and more, we provide advice on insurance coverage issues, the placement of programs for these complicated entities, and methods for maximizing insurance recovery. For example, we recently helped a venture capital client navigate claims from various investors and regulators to maximize proceeds and assisted another client that specializes in incubation, early stage, and growth company investments in resolving various insurance problems related to the financial difficulties of their portfolio companies.
White Collar Crime and Securities Fraud Investigations
Our white-collar crime team has extensive experience conducting internal corporate investigations for audit committees and boards and advising on the myriad of complex and sometimes conflicting issues that arise for companies in the financial services industry. Often, we represent individuals—current or former officers, directors or employees of banks—who are subjects of such investigations.
In Securities and Exchange Commission fraud cases, we represent defendants in civil class actions, SEC investigations leading to civil enforcement cases, and grand jury investigations leading to criminal charges. We provide early assessment of civil, administrative, and criminal exposure to develop a coordinated defense and help clients navigate high-stakes decisions. Our early approach strategy frequently reduces the likelihood that one proceeding will have serious and unalterable repercussions on the direction and ultimate outcome of parallel investigations and filings.
In cases of financial fraud, international arbitration, antitrust, contract disputes, and consumer claims, often in class actions or agency litigation, our lawyers are known for developing novel theories. In a recent example, our team obtained the dismissal of a U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) $300 million fraud action against a former adversary in a “blockbuster” decision which, for the first time, found no Dodd Frank CFTC general fraud jurisdiction.
As crypto currency evolves, it presents some of the most challenging legal questions and high-risk issues in the regulatory and insurance areas. In one case, we defended a leading crypto currency and blockchain company against claims that its initial coin offering (ICO) was an unregistered security and as such the management liability carrier denied coverage based on the “securities offering” and “prior claim” exclusions. Our successful arguments reversed the claim and resulted in significant recovery for our client.
In other work, we advised on reputable sources and transactions for funding with crypto, represented a client being investigated by the SEC for allegedly touching crypto assets as a third party, and won a major victory in a Commodities Futures Trading Commission claim in the 9th Circuit that, if upheld, will have a major impact on regulatory enforcement in the crypto area.