Brent A. Burns has represented investors and national broker-dealers in diverse matters related to litigation, and financial regulatory and employment law issues.
Mr. Burns has represented individual and institutional investors in claims involving breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, mismanagement, fraud, suitability, unauthorized trading and churning.
Mr. Burns has extensive experience representing both employers and employees regarding recruiting practices and litigation, specifically:
- Advising brokers of best practices to avoid litigation before they resign
- Negotiating on behalf of brokers with new prospective employers
- Advising brokers regarding their employment contracts and non-competition/non-solicitation agreements
- Advising broker-dealers on best practices when hiring a prospective broker
- Advising brokers and negotiating the resolution of outstanding promissory notes
- Obtaining temporary restraining orders against former employees preventing them from using employer’s trade secrets, or defending against such actions.
Mr. Burns has performed internal investigations of several stock loan departments, and has represented those firms and their current and former employees in FINRA Regulatory, FINRA Enforcement Division and SEC investigations.
Employment Arbitration and Litigation
Mr. Burns has represented traders, brokers and senior managers regarding bonus disputes, severance packages, and forfeiture-for competition clauses for unvested stock.
Mr. Burns has also represented and advised clients in a wide variety of commercial litigation matters including:
- Defending a regional broker-dealer in a securities class action;
- Representing fund of funds in litigation regarding their investments;
- Representing minority shareholders in a dissolution of a closely held corporation;
- Defending a former officer of a company who created a competing firm, against allegations of breach of employment agreement, fiduciary duty, etc.
Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Burns had worked at a boutique firm for the former head of litigation at PaineWebber, at a one hundred attorney firm in Chicago , and as in-house counsel at Prudential Securities. Mr. Burns gained additional experience as an equities trader and has held Series 7, 55 and 63 licenses.
Mr. Burns represented institutional and individual investors regarding their investment in the Bear Stearns High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Hedge Fund which blew up in spectacular fashion during the summer of 2007 marking the beginning of the current world-wide financial crisis.
Mr. Burns represents and advises investors who have suffered losses related to Bernard Madoff’s confessed Ponzi scheme.
Mr. Burns represented Prudential Securities and its brokers in dozens of industry arbitrations where he defended the firm against allegations stemming from the sale of limited partnership interests invested in energy, real estate, air craft leasing, technology and other sectors.
Areas of Practice
- Securities Arbitration
- Financial Services Employment Law Arbitration and Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- New York
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
- Not a member of the State Bar of California
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)
- SRO Committee Member – reviewing and, when necessary, commenting on proposed new rules and regulations by self regulatory organizations like FINRA which will impact investors.
- Legislation Committee Member – monitoring pending federal and state legislation of significant interest to investors and, when necessary, preparing written responses.
- The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Lax & Neville, LLP
- Davidson & Grannum LLP
- Nixon Peabody LLC (f/k/a Ungaretti & Harris, LLP – Chicago)
- Prudential Securities, Inc.