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J.P. Morgan vs. Former First Republic Advisors: A Legal Battle Over FINRA Arbitration

The ongoing legal battle between J.P. Morgan Securities and former First Republic advisors has garnered significant attention in the financial industry. At the heart of the dispute is J.P. Morgan’s attempt to block these advisors from pursuing counterclaims in arbitration proceedings before FINRA. This case highlights the complexities of employment disputes within the securities industry and underscores the critical role that securities employment attorneys play in navigating such challenges. Bakhtiari & Harrison’s experienced team of securities employment attorneys is well-equipped to handle these intricate legal matters.

Background of the Dispute

J.P. Morgan Securities is seeking an injunction to prevent 16 former First Republic advisors from pursuing counterclaims against the company in FINRA arbitration. The core of J.P. Morgan’s argument is that these advisors missed the September 5, 2023, deadline set by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for filing claims against First Republic. This deadline was part of the conditions following J.P. Morgan Chase’s acquisition of the bulk of First Republic’s assets during the regional banking crisis.

Additionally, J.P. Morgan contends that the advisors should repay over $90 million in recruiting loans issued by the now-defunct bank. The financial giant argues that because the advisors missed the FDIC deadline, their claims should be invalidated, and they should be barred from seeking a monetary judgment through FINRA arbitration.

Legal Arguments and Counterclaims

Michael Taaffe, the attorney representing the former First Republic advisors, has labeled J.P. Morgan’s lawsuit as “an impermissible attempt to interfere in an ongoing FINRA arbitration.” Taaffe points out that J.P. Morgan had previously made similar arguments in an effort to dismiss the advisors’ action within the FINRA forum, but a full panel of arbitrators rejected those arguments. According to Taaffe, J.P. Morgan is unhappy with the arbitration outcome and is now attempting to sway a federal judge to override the arbitrators’ decision.

The advisors are collectively seeking more than $270 million in claims related to the collapse of First Republic, which far exceeds the $92.4 million that J.P. Morgan alleges they owe in recruiting loan repayments. The first arbitration proceeding is set to begin on May 20.

The Role of Securities Employment Attorneys

Securities employment attorneys play a crucial role in navigating the legal intricacies of such disputes. At Bakhtiari & Harrison, our attorneys are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal support to clients involved in securities employment issues. Our services include:

  1. Arbitration and Litigation Representation: We represent clients in arbitration and litigation proceedings, ensuring their rights are protected and advocating for favorable outcomes.
  2. Regulatory Compliance and Advisory: Our attorneys provide guidance on regulatory compliance, helping clients understand their obligations and navigate complex regulatory environments.
  3. Employment Dispute Resolution: We assist clients in resolving employment disputes, including those related to compensation, wrongful termination, and contractual obligations.
  4. Experienced Legal Counsel: Our team offers experienced legal counsel on a wide range of issues, from contract negotiations to defending against legal claims, ensuring that clients receive tailored advice and support.

Implications for the Financial Industry

The case between J.P. Morgan and the former First Republic advisors underscores the challenges and complexities involved in securities employment disputes. The outcome of this legal battle could have significant implications for how such disputes are handled in the future, particularly regarding deadlines for filing claims and the authority of arbitration panels.

J.P. Morgan’s contention that participating in the FINRA arbitrations would result in unnecessary time and resource expenditure highlights the ongoing debate over the efficiency and jurisdiction of arbitration forums in resolving employment disputes. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of adhering to regulatory deadlines and the potential consequences of missing them.


As the legal proceedings between J.P. Morgan and the former First Republic advisors continue, the expertise of securities employment attorneys remains crucial in navigating the complexities of such disputes. At Bakhtiari & Harrison, our team of experienced attorneys is committed to providing exceptional legal support to clients facing securities employment challenges. We strive to protect our clients’ interests and ensure that they receive the best possible representation in arbitration and litigation proceedings.

For experienced legal advice and support in securities employment matters, contact Bakhtiari & Harrison. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you navigate regulatory challenges and achieve successful resolutions. Visit our website or call us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you.