Hilliard Lyons ordered to pay $560,000 FINRA arbitration award
In September, 2017, a FINRA arbitrator panel sitting in St. Louis, Missouri issued a $550,000 binding arbitration award against brokerage firm Hilliard Lyons, a FINRA registered broker dealer. The award included $100,000 in punitive damages pursuant to State Farm v. Campbell, a 2003 United States Supreme Court case. The panel also added nearly $20,000 in recoverable costs.
The underlying matter involved an investment in Breitburn Energy, an oil and gas operator that filed for bankruptcy in 2016. The customers brought claims for suitability, alleging that the account was over concentrated in Breitburn shares, which resulted in substantial losses. FINRA member firms are obligated to properly diversify customer accounts, and to make recommendations which are consistent with a client’s risk tolerances and investment objectives.
After a four day arbitration hearing in September, 2017, the arbitrators rendered their decision and awarded the Claimant $450,000 in compensatory damages, with the remainder being punitive damages and costs.
As a result of this award The Law Office of David Liebrader has opened an investigation into Hilliard Lyons aka J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC for their sales of Breitburn Energy limited partnership and other oil and gas investments.
Hilliard Lyons is a Kentucky corporation, established in 2008, and since then, they have been the subject of 33 regulatory events and 31 arbitrations. The broker in the matter, Michael Barnett remains employed with Hilliard Lyons, and his FINRA broker check report lists two customer complaints.
FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure section 12904 governs the issuance and payments of awards. Key provisions of the rule are that the award may be entered as a judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction, after a motion to confirm the award is filed pursuant to state or federal law. Furthermore, unless the applicable law directs otherwise, all awards rendered under the Code of Arbitration Procedure are final, and are not subject to review or appeal. Grounds for overturning binding FINRA arbitration awards are extremely limited. Hilliard Lyons Securities has thirty days to pay the award, or to seek to have the award vacated.
If you are the victim of investment fraud, or if you have lost money investing in Breitburn Energy or other risky securities with Hilliard Lyons please call The Law Office of David Liebrader at (702) 380-3131 for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights and options. Our firm takes cases on a straight contingency fee, with no money up front, and no money owed unless there is a recovery.
There is no charge for the initial consultation, so call (702) 380-3131 today to speak with an experienced securities attorney who will fight to recover your losses.
The Law Office of David Liebrader practices exclusively in the field of investment loss recovery. For the past 23 years, we have dedicated our law practice to assisting investors who have been victims of investment fraud via fraudulent and unsuitable investment transactions. During that time we have recovered money for over one thousand individuals, pension plans, trusts and companies. The recoveries we have obtained via judgments, awards and settlements on behalf of our clients exceed $40,000,000.