GRSM's professional liability attorneys have vast knowledge and understanding of auditing and accounting principles making them well equipped to defend against all types of liability claims including those based upon financial reporting, tax work, and business consulting. Our attorneys have successfully litigated cases in the state and federal court systems in civil and bankruptcy courts at the trial and appellate levels.
Our clients range from sole practitioners to large accounting firms to their insurance carriers. Our accountant malpractice attorneys fully understand the technical nature of accounting claims and the standards to which the industry must adhere. They also stay updated on changes in GAAP, GAAS, and relevant tax laws necessary to defend our clients.
Representative matters include:
- alleged errors and omissions;
- fraud relating to the provision of accounting services;
- breach of fiduciary duty;
- failure to audit financial statements properly;
- loss of independent status;
- failure to detect embezzlement;
- poor tax advice or errors in consulting;
- failure to prepare tax returns properly;
- failure to advise a client of suspected fraud;
- failure to advise a client properly on the tax consequences of an estate (or negligently preparing tax advice);
- failure to advise a client as to whether it should file for bankruptcy (and ensuing malpractice for doing it incorrectly);
- failure to administer distributions or miscalculating distributions properly for a charitable foundation;
- failure to administer a company's trust account properly (in which a partner was stealing clients' monies);
- failure to file tax returns timely and/or file for extension;
- improper selection, installation, and implementation of accounting software; and
- failure to follow accounting standards properly in preparing audits (which resulted in lack of cross-checks) resulting in continuing fraud by a wrongdoer (i.e., bookkeeper, CFO, management member, board member, et al.).
Additionally, we have represented accounting clients in securities suits, including class actions, and accountants before professional boards with respect to licensing, client disputes, and ethical issues.
We believe that many claims can be avoided by assisting our clients in properly managing the risks of the accounting profession. To that end, a key component of our practice is counseling accounting firms on loss prevention strategies, including the proper use of engagement letters and client contracts, file management and conflict checks, and professional liability policies and coverage issues. We assist accountants when subpoenaed as witnesses and/or custodians of records in third-party litigation as these are often, but not always, precursors to a claim.
GRSM's broker-dealer group has well-proven experience with the complete range of regulatory and market issues facing full-service, discount, and online broker-dealers, as well as broker-dealer affiliates of insurance companies, hedge funds, banks, and other diversified financial services companies that offer investment management and brokerage services. The group also has a strong track record in handling associated parallel proceedings, concurrent private claims, class actions/multijurisdiction cases, and criminal investigations.
The FINRA arbitration defense team works closely with the firm's securities transactions lawyers, but the defense team is strategically comprised of trial lawyers because success in FINRA arbitrations depends on attorneys with the ability to present witnesses and evidence to a "jury" of arbitrators who are not exclusively securities professionals. The group's trial experience includes complex sales practices and consumer fraud actions for unregulated life, health and disability insurance products, which involves similar legal theories and issues.
Insurance Brokers and Agents
GRSM has represented insurance brokers and agents in a wide variety of actions alleging errors and omissions involving various types of insurance policies. The lawyers who represent insurance brokers and agents have acquired extensive experience representing primary, excess and life insurers, and claims management organizations in negligence, fraud and bad-faith actions.
The attorneys in the Professional Liability Defense Practice Group have defended hundreds of legal malpractice cases over many years. The firm has represented legal professionals ranging from some of the largest law firms in the country to sole practitioners involving a wide variety of legal specialties and underlying claims and transactions.
The group is well qualified to handle sensitive issues of confidentiality and the impact of the case on the lawyer's ongoing practice. The group's lawyers have the experience necessary to recognize when the matter should be resolved as soon as possible and to successfully defend cases and recover fees owed to the legal professional.
Real Estate Brokers and Agents
GRSM has represented national and local real estate brokers and agents in actions involving negligence, fraud, and contractual issues. The firm's attorneys have extensive experience in commercial and residential matters as well as representing real estate professionals before administrative boards and agencies such as the California Board of Realtors and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. GRSM has represented brokers and agents involved in trade secret and business competition actions. The firm has the additional advantage of having experienced real estate transactional attorneys who can offer on-the-spot answers to sophisticated real estate-related issues.
Back to Top
Back to Professional Liability Defense Overview