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FINRA awards couple $6.8 million in dispute over financial planning practice

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2022 | Financial News

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel ruled in favor of a Raymond James Financial Services executive and her husband in a dispute over their purchase of a financial planning practice, Financial Advisor reports.

FINRA issued an arbitration award to Theresa Stone, a business development consultant with Raymond James, and Shawn Waked, a certified financial planner who joined the firm in 2017. The case stemmed from the couple’s 2019 purchase of Summit Investment Group, a Raymond James affiliate in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In January 2021, Stone and Waked filed a Statement of Claim against Jane Terry, the former owner of Summit Investment Group, and two employees, Kathleen Alexandrea Kerr and Timothy James. The couple cited multiple causes of action, including fraud/fraudulent inducement; negligent misrepresentation; breach of contract; breach of contract – intended third-party beneficiary; breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; breach of duty of loyalty; and solicitation of clients.

Terry, Kerr and Rivera denied the allegations and filed a counterclaim two months later with causes of action that included breach of contract; negligent misrepresentation; and hostile work environment.

After considering the pleadings, the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing, the arbitration panel denied the counterclaim and decided that Terry, Rivera and Kerr were severally liable in the case. They were ordered to pay $6.8 million in compensatory damages to Stone and Waked. No explanation was given for the arbitrators’ decision.

Handling financial services disputes requires counsel with a significant understanding of the industry, the laws, rules and regulations that impact our clients and the forums in which disputes are adjudicated. At Lewitas Hyman, our attorneys’ unparalleled litigation experience comes from leveraging their industry-specific knowledge developed from working at firms such as Morgan Stanley, UBS Financial Services and EVEREN Securities, serving as outside counsel for some of the world’s largest law firms, and through prior affiliations with the SEC. For more information about our arbitration and litigation services, please contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655-6002 or through our online contact form.