Seth Lipner recognized as a “SuperLawyer”
2021, 2022 and 2023
About the Firm
Deutsch & Lipner is a law firm that was formed in 1985. Its principals have over seventy years experience practicing extensively in securities arbitration and related litigation. Since its inception, Deutsch & Lipner has represented clients across the country, against virtually every major and regional financial services company, in both arbitration and the courts, in cases involving churning, inadequate disclosure, failed due diligence, unauthorized trading, improper execution, stock manipulation, theft and unsuitability. Deutsch & Lipner has a reputation for dogged advocacy and a willingness to go to trial on meritorious cases. That approach to practicing law – all too rare in today’s sign-em-up-then-settle legal culture, inures to the benefit of all of Deutsch & Lipner’s clients.
Deutsch & Lipner is representing two former clients of Merrill Lynch broker William “Bill” King. Mr. King took excessive risk in client portfolios, including selling put options, and recommending leveraged closed end bond funds (BlackRock and Nuveen) in place of municipal bonds. These risky investments caused our moderate-risk clients to lose upwards to 30% in 2022. Mr. King abandoned his job in 2023, was put on suspension by Merrill Lynch, and is reportedly under investigation.
Deutsch & Lipner is representing investors who were sold preferred stock in First Republic Bank by Wells Fargo. First Republic was taken over by the federal government in 2023, and their preferred stock became worthless. Recommendations to buy the preferred stock of a single company, especially in concentration, are unsuitable for our risk-averse clients. Brokers often misrepresent initial public offerings of preferred stock (called “syndicate preferred”) as superior to secondary market preferred, and they sometimes wrongly state that there is no commission on these initial public offerings. Preferred stock is known to be highly interest-rate sensitive, so investors who bought this perpetual security lost money even in they didn’t own First Republic or Silicon Valley Bank.
Deutsch & Lipner represented two victims of UBS’s “YES” options program. The program, which purported to be a way for investors to earn modest extra returns, was risky, and investors lost millions in 2020. Options are rarely appropriate investments for ordinary investors.
Areas of Practice
Investment Advisor Cases
Churning and Excessive Fees
Defective Investment Products
Broker Defamation and Whistleblower Cases
In 2015, Deutsch & Lipner won what we believe is the first arbitration involving a U.S. investor who bought Puerto Rico municipal bonds. The award of nearly $100,000 was more than 3 times the investor's out-of-pocket loss. Deutsch & Lipner is currently prosecuting and/or investigating similar incidents at Stifel & Nicholaus, Merrill Lynch, Ameriprise and other financial services firms.
In 2014, Deutsch & Lipner won over $5.3 million in Dulin v. UBS (including $1 million in punitive damages), also arising from UBS’s improper marketing of Principal-Protected Notes.
In 2013, Deutsch & Lipner defeated JP Morgan in a case, brought on behalf of an ultra-high net worth international investor, alleging failed execution of an order to liquidate securities held in that investor’s account.
In 2013, Deutsch & Lipner, together with its co-counsel Robbins Geller Rudman, settled Luther v. Countrywide for $500 million. The case was the first class action ever brought (it was started in 2007) involving Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities ("RMBS").
In 2010, Deutsch & Lipner won five arbitration awards against UBS for its sale of Lehman Brothers’ so-called Principal Protected Notes, and another against UBS for its sale of Fannie Mae (FNM) preferred stock.
In 2005, Deutsch & Lipner won over $1 million in an arbitration against Merrill Lynch on behalf of a former employee of United Parcel Service based on inappropriate investment advice.
In 2004, Deutsch & Lipner recovered over $1 million from the prominent investment advisory firm Neuberger Berman based upon mismanagement of client investments
Deutsch & Lipner in the News
A Rise in Requests From Brokers to Wipe the Slate Clean
By SUSAN ANTILLA
June 10, 2013
“People are starting to use BrokerCheck the way they use TripAdvisor,” said Seth E. Lipner, a professor of law at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College...“No broker wants these red flags on their record.”
Ex-UBS Broker Wins $5.3 Million on Withheld Lehman Information
By Kevin Dugan
April 9, 2014
“UBS always tried to impress upon the reps their wonderful due diligence and that they looked into this and blessed each of these issuers” whose products they recommended, said Seth Lipner, a lawyer at Deutsch & Lipner in Garden City, New York, who represented Dulin. “What the arbitrators explain in their award is that the senior people at UBS knew that Lehman’s financial position was increasingly precarious and they stifled the information flow to the reps. And the reason they did it was it would have been bad for business.”
Wrong Package – UPS Retiree Cites Merrill Broker In $3.2M Loss
By Roddy Boyd
December 19, 2005
"Arthur Weyrauch’s lawyer, Seth Lipner, told The Post [his Merrill Lynch broker] led a concerted effort by Merrill to aggressively pursue the risky trades in order to cash in on the value locked up in stock held by the former UPS executives."