San Francisco Securities Attorneys
SLG built its reputation advising and representing investors, institutions, and financial professionals in complex securities matters. SLG was founded in 2003 by Alan Sparer after 20 years with a large San Francisco law firm, and its lawyers have a combined 80-plus years of experience serving clients in litigation matters.Investor Representation.
SLG’s investor practice serves a diverse group of high net worth investors, including individuals, family partnerships, trusts, probate estates, and family offices. The cases SLG has litigated or negotiated involved complex financial instruments such as collateralized debt obligations, auction rate securities, swaps, inverse floating rate securities, private equity, and venture capital investments. Building on expertise Mr. Sparer began developing in the late 1980’s, SLG has helped clients recover over $200 million in lost or illiquid investments. SLG is currently the lead counsel in a class action seeking to recover losses relating to the Oppenheimer California Municipal Bond Fund, which lost over 40% of its value in 2008, making it the worst performing single state municipal bond fund in history.Securities Regulatory Actions.
SLG’s securities regulatory practice consists in representing financial professionals, including registered investment advisors, brokers, and investment fund managers who face potential adverse action from the SEC, FINRA, or State regulators. Investment advisors are subject to increasingly strict oversight in areas such as pay-to-play agreements, referral fees, cybersecurity risk management, and valuation of illiquid or alternative investments. The SEC is making a concerted effort to conduct examinations of investment advisors and funds that previously escaped regulatory oversight. State regulators, such as California’s Department of Business Oversight, also are expanding their audit activities directed to financial advisors who are subject to state oversight under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Securities regulatory audits and investigations demand a practical approach. SLG provides a thorough and forceful defense while engaging in a dialogue aimed to produce an efficient and informal resolution. SLG has successfully resolved alleged violations of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, the U.S. Securities Acts, and state Blue Sky laws. If litigation is required, SLG has the expertise and breadth of personnel to effectively prosecute or defend class, consolidated, and derivative actions, as well as individual federal and state court proceedings and arbitrations.Business and Trust Litigation.
SLG lawyers have decades of experience litigating complex disputes arising from the sale and valuation of businesses and corporate assets, misappropriation of trade secrets, business fraud and theft, insurance coverage for environmental injuries and business torts, and professional liability of health care providers, architects, and lawyers.
SLG also has significant experience representing beneficiaries and trustees in trust and probate disputes arising from the investment or disposition of family assets. We are acutely sensitive to the personal relationships that may be at stake and the value of crafting solutions and acting in a manner that preserves those relationships while obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients.
SLG also has experience investigating and resolving problems that emerge from individual family and multi-family offices. Wealth management through a family office arrangement can be effective and convenient, but it also creates the opportunity for undisclosed conflicts of interest, mismanagement, and occasionally outright fraud. SLG is experienced in evaluating family office arrangements and working with families or their advisors to solve problems and resolve disputes on a confidential basis, or by means of arbitration or mediation, if appropriate.Real Estate Litigation.
SLG regularly represents individuals and businesses faced with complex real estate-related issues. Real estate projects, financing, or investment structures can result in mixed questions of real estate and securities law that require a familiarity with state securities regulations as well as real estate laws. SLG’s expertise in the securities arena offers a breadth of experience and a perspective that can be critical to finding cost effective solutions. In addition, SLG’s lawyers have experience addressing environmental, land use, and historical preservation issues that may arise from real estate development activities.Fee Arrangements.
SLG offers alternative and contingent fee arrangements, including blended hourly and contingent rates, results-based billing, and fixed fee engagements. Its hourly fees are generally one-third less than rates at large firms in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.