The Securities Litigation Lawyers at Ascent Law know the complexities in state and federal securities litigation.
We can represent broker-dealers and investors in complex securities cases in Utah. We have the experience and the resources that will work for you. At our office, Securities Litigation if the right thing for you if you need help with private and regulatory securities litigation matters, company representation; help with officers, directors, broker-dealers, registered representatives, investment advisors, and accountants in internal investigations, derivative actions, proxy disputes, FINRA arbitrations, shareholder disputes, Ponzi-scheme litigation, receiverships, partnership disputes, and defense of regulatory enforcement actions involving the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Utah Division of Securities, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
Broker, Advisor and Company Securities Representation
In the business law side of our office, we handle corporate dissolution matters, merger litigation, corporate veil piercing, and shareholder dilution-related litigation.
We handle broker-dealer compliance, non-competition agreements, golden handcuff forgivable loans, and the transfer, sale and/or acquisition of client securities accounts by registered representatives and broker-dealers.
Financial advisers and brokerage firms owe their investment customers a duty of care when giving investment advice and managing an investor’s account.
Investment losses that result from an investment professional’s failure to meet this duty can give rise to a securities arbitration claim for negligence.
Negligence does not rise to the level of willful misconduct (i.e., fraud). Rather, a negligent act falls below the standard that a reasonable, prudent stockbroker or brokerage firm would (or should have) followed under the same circumstances.
In other words, negligence indicates that a broker (or brokerage firm) should have taken some action—or should have refrained from taking some action—to protect an investor against an unreasonable risk of harm.
BROKER CONDUCT STANDARDS
FINRA requires financial advisers to abide by securities industry standards of care that include diligence, loyalty, good faith, and fair dealing. In addition, advisers owe their customers a fiduciary duty, which requires advisers to act in their client’s best interests and not to benefit themselves.
There are also specific obligations that investment professionals owe their customers, including:
• Disclosing material information about investments that are discussed with customers.
• Not misrepresenting or omitting material investment information.
• Abiding by the “know your customer” rule.
• Making suitable investment recommendations.
• Obtaining customer consent before executing a securities transaction.
• Paying appropriate attention to—and taking timely action in—a customer’s account to avoid foreseeable losses.
Broker negligence often extends to the brokerage firm, since firms are required to devise and execute appropriate supervisory policies.
FILING A NEGLIGENCE CLAIM
Investors who lose money due to stockbroker negligence may bring an arbitration claim for the losses suffered.
The investor must show that:
• The broker/brokerage firm owed the investor a duty;
• The broker/brokerage firm breached that duty; and
• The breach of duty resulted in the investor suffering monetary losses.
The misconduct in question need not have been intentional. The alleged misconduct could simply be a matter of the broker or brokerage firm not doing their job the way they should have. If the misconduct was intentional, however, it could be an instance of fraud, which is a more serious offense.
Negligence claims typically accompany more specific misconduct claims, such as overconcentration and unsuitability.
OIL & GAS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP INVESTMENTS
Oil and gas partnerships are often presented to consumers as safe, high-yield investments, but they contain risks and complexities that make them appropriate only for the most sophisticated investors.
Brokers and brokerage firms must ensure that the investments they recommend to clients are suitable, and that their potential risks are clearly explained. Investments must also not be too concentrated in one field such as oil and gas.
If you lost money on an oil and gas limited partnership, the losses may be recoverable though a securities litigation claim.
HOW OIL AND GAS LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS WORK
Oil and gas limited partnerships are investment vehicles for energy projects. Investors in these partnerships provide the capital to acquire, develop, and operate oil and gas wells. In return, the investors are paid cash distributions on a monthly or quarterly basis.
The two major options for retail investors in this sector are private oil and gas limited partnerships and master limited partnerships (MLPs).
Although similar, these investment vehicles have important differences. MLPs, for example, are typically publically traded securities, while oil and gas limited partnerships are sold to a select number of investors. In addition, MLPs are intended to be long-term businesses, while limited oil and gas partnerships are usually only formed for a specific project, and are eventually liquidated.
OIL AND GAS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP RISKS
MLPs and oil and gas limited partnerships present similar risks to investors. These risks include:
• Market instability: Oil and gas markets are unstable. A decline in oil and gas prices can cause significant—or even total—investor losses.
• Investors have no real power: Governance features of oil and gas partnerships can favor management over other investors. Management could possibly make decisions that place their interests first and are detrimental to the interests of limited partners. And if investors want to divest, they may have difficulty liquidating their investment.
• Complexity: Oil and gas partnership vehicles often have layered fees that can cut into investor returns. These vehicles also pose complicated, cumbersome tax issues. The complexity of oil and gas partnerships can make it difficult for the average investor to accurately gauge their true return.
Free Consultation with Securities Lawyer
When you need a Securities Lawyer in Utah, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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