Financial Services

Our Financial Services attorneys represent retail banks, commercial and investment banks, credit unions, credit card issuers and lenders, investment funds and money managers, private equity and venture funds, broker-dealers, directors and officers, insurers and reinsurers, and other corporate entities in the full gamut of legal and regulatory issues attendant to the financial services industry. We have an in-depth understanding of modern financial markets and banking, and are positioned to provide strategic litigation advice and advocacy to meet clients’ business and legal goals.

Cozen O’Connor defends clients in civil litigation brought under laws and regulations governing retail banking, commercial and investment banking, wealth management, and securities. We also protect clients in governmental investigations and enforcement actions initiated by federal and state regulatory agencies, including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Reserve Board (FRB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board (PCAOB), and others.

Retail and Commercial Banking Litigation

Our retail and commercial banking litigators have vast experience with both the legal and business sides of financial services operations and take a tactical and holistic approach to litigation.  We represent both traditional and nontraditional financial services providers — from national and international financial institutions to local/regional banks and lenders and internet-based or app-based providers and start-ups. Our clients include retail and commercial depository institutions; credit, debit, and prepaid card issuers; payment processors; auto-finance companies, including both traditional and high-end leasing companies; mortgage lenders and servicers; student loan lenders and servicers; debt collectors and buyers; and fintech and other technology companies.

We litigate cases involving the full range of retail and commercial financial products, including credit card disputes; prepaid and debit card disputes; checking-related disputes, such as embezzlement and forged or unauthorized endorsements; Uniform Commercial Code Article 3 and Article 4 matters; merchant disputes; privacy, data, cybersecurity, and identity theft disputes; bankruptcy-related litigation, including preference and avoidance actions; predatory lending practices; and wrongful foreclosure matters.

Our team defends financial institutions, creditors, servicers, and collection agencies against claims alleging violations of federal and state consumer protection statutes, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (FCCPA), Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA), California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Rees-Levering Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA), California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

Other Service Areas

  • Real estate and collateral-backed loan litigation
  • Fraud and breach of duty litigation
  • Internal investigations
  • Enforcement defense (SEC, FINRA, FRB, FDIC, CFPB, PCAOB, DOJ, and state agencies)
  • Securities arbitrations
  • Broker-dealer counseling

Our Financial Services attorneys understand that it is critically important to provide clients with both optimal service and cost predictability. Accordingly, we align ourselves with our clients’ interests by using strategically sound fee structures and efficient staffing of high-level legal talent. With the resources and geographic reach of a large national firm, Cozen O'Connor can respond quickly to clients’ needs while providing unparalleled value. We believe in structuring every representation with a mind toward fostering lasting client relationships. 



California Brings Licensing and Oversight to Consumer Debt Collectors [Alert]

November 02, 2020

Brett D. Watson discusses the DCLA, one of several new consumer protection bills recently enacted in California, including the state’s “mini-CFPB,” otherwise known as the California Consumer Financial Protection Law.

California Court of Appeal Holds Banks Owe Depositors No Duty to Monitor Other Depositor’s Accounts [Alert]

June 30, 2020

Brett D. Watson discusses the California Court of Appeal's decision in Kurtz-Ahlers v. Bank of America.

Expect an Uptick in Employee Embezzlement Following COVID-19 Lockdowns [Alerts]

June 25, 2020

Brett D. Watson discusses why small businesses could experience an uptick in embezzlement post-COVID-19, how to prevent it, and how banks can insulate themselves from liability.

COVID-Driven Commercial Litigation – What Businesses Can Expect

May 08, 2020

Adam Schlatner and Michael de Leeuw discuss potential COVID-19 related litigation, based on what is already happening and the legacy of other downturns.

NYS DFS Releases Emergency COVID-19 Regulation on Mortgage Forbearances and Financial Fee Waivers [Alert]

March 26, 2020

Stuart Shorenstein, Katie Schwab, Jamie Ansorge, and Evan Preminger discuss EC 202.9, requiring New York state-regulated financial institutions to provide mortgage forbearance for residential properties located in New York for 90 days and to eliminate ATM fees, overdraft fees, and credit card late payment fees.

NJ Case Bolsters The Limitations Defense Against SEC

January 02, 2018

Joseph Dever and Matthew Elkin, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Practice, co-authored, " NJ Case Bolsters The Limitations Defense Against SEC," for Law360.

In The News

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 Practice Areas Nationwide, 121 Practice Areas Regionally

November 04, 2021

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 practice areas nationwide and 121 practice areas regionally.

Cozen O’Connor Continues its West Coast Expansion, Adding Three Veteran Southern California Litigators to its Los Angeles Office

March 04, 2020

Thomas Lombardi, Devin Donohue and Brett Watson — from one of southern California’s leading litigation boutiques Lombardi & Donohue — have joined the firm as members.

Share Class Settlements won’t Kill 12b-1 Fees but Resuscitation Comes Through Disclosure

March 21, 2019

Joe Dever was quoted in Regulatory Compliance Watch's article about the state of advisers receiving 12b-1 fees for placing clients in certain mutual fund share classes.


Michael B. de Leeuw

Vice Chair, Business Litigation

(212) 908-1331

John J. Sullivan


(212) 453-3729

Brett D. Watson


(213) 892-7938



Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 Practice Areas Nationwide, 121 Practice Areas Regionally

November 04, 2021

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 practice areas nationwide and 121 practice areas regionally.

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