Lehman bankruptcy liquidation to provide poor recovery to 100 percent principal protected notes investors says Vernon Healy investor advocacy law firm

Naples, Fla. — Investors holding Lehman 100 percent principal protected notes or other Lehman structured products are now receiving word that their share of the initial Lehman bankruptcy distribution on April 17 amounts to 6 cents on the dollar.

“We’ve been informed by a representative of Wilmington Trust, the bankruptcy trustee that is handling Lehman notes distributions, that Lehman note holders may receive up to 21 cents on the dollar with that amount dribbled out over the next 3 to 5 years through the bankruptcy liquidation process,” said investor rights attorney Chris Vernon, of the Vernon Healy law firm. “In our ongoing efforts to assist investors, we are aggressively pursuing UBS in arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for fraudulent misrepresentations to investors that their Lehman notes were safe and 100 percent principal protected.”

Vernon Healy has aggressively represented investors with more than $13 million in arbitration claims against UBS on behalf of Lehman note holders.

“We believe that this updated information from the bankruptcy trustee will shock those defrauded investors who have not obtained legal counsel yet and have held out hope that the bankruptcy process would provide them with some meaningful recovery,” Vernon said.

Vernon Healy’s advocacy on behalf of Lehman notes investors was featured in an AARP magazine article about the dangers of investing in structured products, which continue to be pitched by brokerage firms to retirees as safe investments. Vernon Healy’s ongoing investigation continues to reveal numerous concerns in relation to the sales of Lehman notes by UBS that have not been addressed by FINRA or federal regulators.

Vernon Healy claims have alleged that UBS fraudulently misrepresented Lehman principal protected notes not only to its brokerage firm clients but also to some of its own financial advisors, who continued to sell Lehman principal protected notes as safe investments to investors well after UBS knew Lehman was in financial trouble.

A second distribution in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy is scheduled for Sept. 30, 2012 and a third distribution is scheduled for March 30, 2013 with semi-annual distribution thereafter. The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in September 2008 is the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history, and it touched off the world financial crisis and most significant economic recession since the Great Depression.

Former CEO Bryan Marsal, who ran Lehman during the bankruptcy, painted a bleak picture for creditors when he told Bloomberg Businessweek that the firm will continue selling assets through 2014 as it tries to raise a total of $65 billion to pay estimated claims of $370 billion.

Bloomberg Businessweek also noted that Enron investors were paid 53 cents on the dollar while average Lehman creditors will receive only an estimated 18 cents on the dollar.

For more information contact:

Chris Vernon
Vernon Healy, attorneys at law
(239) 649-5390
www.vernonhealy.com
www.lehmannotes.com

Investors harmed by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy get mixed messages this week

The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy that shook the financial world in 2008 still has investors who lost billions in the collapse wondering when they will begin to recoup their losses. Two decisions this week – one by a judge and the other by the Lehman Estate – did little to bring clarity to the situation or hope that investors will see a significant portion of their money anytime soon, say securities attorneys at Vernon Healy, the investor advocacy law firm.

In one development, a New York bankruptcy judge cleared the way for Neuberger Berman Group LLC to buy the 48 percent remaining equity interest in that company from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. over five years, generating about $1.5 billion.

In a second development, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. said it would take on billionaire Sam Zell’s Equity Residential in a fight for control of Archstone, the company’s largest real estate asset. After the Lehman collapse, the company owned 47 percent of Archstone and banks held the remaining 53 percent. But the banks sold half their holdings to Zell earlier this month, and Zell is seeking to buy their remaining 26.5 percent. Lehman Holdings will seek permission this week from a bankruptcy judge to exercise its option to match Zell’s offer with a $1.33 billion offer of its own.

While the Neuberger Berman deal injects a significant amount of cash into Lehman Holdings’ coffers, it appears the money is coming in over five years, meaning investors may see a trickle of cash versus a lump sum. Some estimates put the overall recovery for most investors in the 18 to 20 cents on the dollar range. If these estimates are correct, then investors may suffer an 80 percent or more loss of principal from products that UBS represented to be “principal protected.”

“UBS simply deceived my clients and thousands of other investors – as well as many UBS financial advisors – with respect to the principal protection in these products.  This deception was especially egregious given what UBS really knew about Lehman’s financial situation, including the Archstone purchase,” said securities attorney Chris Vernon of the Vernon Healy law firm.

And the current Lehman contest with Zell over control of Archstone, while possibly viable for a healthy company is questionable in light of the bankruptcy, Vernon said.

“Lehman made a bad business decision in acquiring Archstone. Given the number of retail clients of UBS and other firms caught up in this bankruptcy as unsecured creditors,  Lehman should be focused on liquidating assets and distributing the proceeds to my clients and other unsecured creditors rather than extending the time that Lehman structured note investors have to wait to recoup what they can from the bankruptcy,” Vernon said.

Christopher Vernon represents investor clients with more than $10 million in losses due to the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. Vernon’s investigation into Lehman structured products has been featured in AARP magazine.

Contact for media inquiries.

Chris Vernon
Vernon Healy
239-649-5390
www.vernonhealy.com

UBS fraudulently hawked Lehman principal protected notes to clients,Vernon Healy investor claim states

Naples, Fla. — UBS fraudulently misrepresented Lehman principal protected notes in a heavy sales push to its brokerage firm clients at a time when it was systematically shedding its own Lehman debt behind the scenes in advance of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, according to a claim filed today by the nationwide investor advocacy law firm Vernon Healy.

Holders of Lehman notes have been left standing at the back of the line with unsecured creditors in the Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy despite the fact that UBS marketed the notes as safe and principal protected, according to the claim. UBS sold an estimated $1 billion in Lehman principal protected notes to main street investors who are now holding virtually worthless paper, according to the claim.

Vernon Healy filed close to a half million in claims today on behalf of two UBS clients who assert that they were fraudulently sold Lehman structured products that UBS touted as safe and “principal protected.” The law firm has filed close to $12 million in Lehman notes arbitration claims on behalf of investors before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Vernon Healy’s investigation was featured in AARP magazine in an article about the dangers of investing in so-called structured products, which have been increasingly sold by brokerage firms to retirees in recent years as safe investments.

UBS provided misleading and fraudulent marketing and training material to its own sales force of financial advisors who were encouraged to push sales of Lehman structured products to main street investors, the claim states. Behind the scenes, UBS was propping up the financially faltering Lehman with loans and charging Lehman high interest rates, a situation that demonstrated Lehman’s desperation and poor credit worthiness, the claims assert.

“As a creditor of Lehman, UBS was in a unique position to assess Lehman’s increasing financial difficulties.  However, despite its knowledge of Lehman’s financial situation, UBS failed to warn its financial advisors or its clients of the increasing risk posed by Lehman structured products,” a claim today filed by Vernon Healy on behalf of an investor states.

Vernon Healy is seeking significant punitive damages on behalf of investors in light of UBS’ gross malfeasance, the claim states. UBS made lucrative profits on its predatory lending strategy to a desperate Lehman at a time when it was making enormous profits on fees and commissions by deceptively selling mom-and-pop investors. UBS told these investors that as a worst case scenario their principal investment would be protected, the claims state.

For more information about Vernon Healy’s nationwide investigation of Lehman notes, see the firm’s web site lehmannotes.com

The securities attorneys at Vernon Healy represent individuals and businesses in disputes involving all manner of financial fraud and negligence including related to Lehman notes, structured products, non-traded REITs, hedge funds, fund of funds, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, tax shelters and other products.

For more information, contact:
Chris Vernon, attorney at law
Vernon Healy
(239) 649-5390
www.vernonhealy.com
www.lehmannotes.com

SEC Warns Investors of the Dangers of Structured Products

Almost three years after the historic bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the Securities and Exchange Commission shows concerns that investors continue to be unaware of the potential risks of investing in structured products.

Just last month, the SEC issued a notice reminding investors to carefully review the terms, risks, fees, and other not-so-apparent disclosures before deciding whether to invest in structured products.

Structured products in general continue to be marketed as safe investments with attractive rates of return.  This sales pitch was invalidated when investors who purchased Lehman structured notes through UBS suffered dramatic losses in their portfolios as a result of these investments.

The SEC warns in its regulatory pronouncement that even though these products often have reassuring names like “principal protection” or “absolute return,” investors could still stand to lose all of their money.  This is the case because structured notes are usually nothing more than unsecured loans to the issuer of the note and have the potential to lose all of their value if the issuer goes bankrupt. In other words, financial institutions effectively borrow money from Main Street investors with no collateral and on terms favorable to the borrower.

But the problem is far more severe. Main Street investors are not only tricked into making unsecured loans to financial institutions; those institutions also charge investors hidden costs and fees in the process.  Put differently, it is like having somebody borrow money from you and then having that person charge you a fee for accepting your money.

The SEC acknowledges that “even if the [structured notes] sales material suggests otherwise….structured notes can have hidden or imputed costs, which in some cases may be relatively high.” The SEC also recognizes that these costs generally “are not transparent to investors.”

Another component of the structured notes highlighted by the SEC in its regulatory pronouncement is the fact that in many instances, investors can find themselves tying up their principal for many years and during this time not receive any profit. Investors could bind their money “for upwards of a decade with the possibility of no profit on [their] initial investment….and, in the meantime, inflation could erode [the investors’] purchasing power.,” according to the SEC.

This scenario continues to occur because structured products are just too complicated for ordinary investors to understand and evaluate and too profitable for Wall Street.  Furthermore, the potential return on structured products’ investments varies significantly based on the method the issuer uses to calculate gains or losses. Investors can find a useful illustration of one of these methods (shark fin payouts) in the SEC structured products warning.

In sum, structured products continue to be investment vehicles financial institutions utilize to get unsecured loans from Main Street investors; are packed with hidden fees and costs; and are designed in such a way that the odds are greatly stacked in favor of financial institutions.

Vernon Healy is a Naples, Florida law firm that represents investors with more than $10 million in Lehman notes claims, including Yield Optimization and 100% Principal Protected Notes and has conducted an extensive nationwide investigation on structured products. Vernon Healy’s investigation of structured products was featured earlier this year in AARP Magazine. The attorneys at Vernon Healy collectively have more than 30 years of experience representing investors who are victims of stock fraud and stock losses due to misconduct. Vernon Healy securities attorneys are experienced in securities arbitration and assist clients in recovering losses caused by all manner of financial fraud and negligence.

For more information on whether you have a claim involving a structured product, contact the Vernon Healy law firm at 239-649-5390 or Toll Free at 877-649-5394 or email info@vernonhealy.com

Lehman Principal Protected Notes Investor Awarded $2.2 Million in FINRA Arbitration

In another clear signal that Lehman Notes investors may be able to recoup their losses, a FINRA Arbitration Panel sided this week with a wealthy couple who bought Lehman “100% principal protected” notes and other Lehman structured notes from UBS.

Even better news for investors who have suffered Lehman losses is FINRA’s ruling that UBSmust not only buy back the notes at their original cost from Thomas and Christine Motamed, but it must also pay six percent interest dating back to April 2008, when UBS sold the couple $2.2 million in Lehman products.

The Motameds bought $1.65 million worth of Lehman “100% Principal Protection Absolute Return Barrier Notes” and $550,000 of “Return Optimization Securities” weeks after the Bear Stearns collapse and less than six months before Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

Chris Vernon, whose law firm Vernon Healy has represented investors with nearly $10 million in Lehman notes losses thus far, said UBS has aggressively sold Lehman products to investors seeking a safe haven for their money.

“It is for this reason that the term “Principal Protected” is such an effective and deceptive sales tool to describe structured notes such as the Lehman notes sold by UBS,” Vernon said.

Vernon also said UBS used investors such as the Motameds as a source of funding to shore up failing Lehman Brothers.

“By the latter half of 2007 and well before the 2008 sale involved in the Motamed case, the credit crisis was well underway and Lehman’s stock price fell,” Vernon said. “At the same time, Lehman’s credit default swap (“CDS”) spread — the cost to insure a loan to Lehman against default – increased dramatically.  Both the stock and loan insurance price trends continued through the February – June 2008 time period, when UBS sold Lehman notes to the Motameds.”

UBS pitched Lehman notes as “safe” investments in which investors’ principal investment would be protected from losses, even after warning signs surrounding Lehman’s faltering financial outlook had already begun to surface within securities industry circles that included UBS, according to Vernon Healy’s investigation.

The so-called “principal protected” notes as well as other structured notes promoted by UBS, were in fact risky, unsecured loans to Lehman Brothers, according to multiple claims filed by Vernon Healy on behalf of investors. These risks were realized when Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy in September 2008 left investors such as the Motameds, who held Lehman notes and other Lehman structured products, standing at the back of the line with other unsecured creditors.

Vernon said Wall Street’s practice of dumping bad products on Main Street investors continues despite condemnation of this practice in decades past.

“Wall Street firms periodically use their own clients – including many fixed income investors – as a dumping ground for defective products they cook up in their home offices and then pitch worldwide to their financial advisors and clients,” Vernon said.

This practice continues because it is so profitable for brokerage firms such as UBS to engage in these unsavory practices, Vernon said. But his larger concern is that the current structured product version of this practice simultaneously enables the financial industry to borrow billions of dollars from main street investors with no collateral. As a result, the brokerage firms not only profit from creating and selling these structured notes, they also effectively receive loans from their own clients on terms so favorable that professional lenders would never consider them.

Vernon Healy is a Naples, Florida law firm that already represents UBS investors in Florida and multiple other states in the U.S.  Vernon Healy’s ongoing investigation of Lehman structured note sales in the United States has now expanded to sales of Lehman structured notes in Europe as well as the sales of other types of structured products sold in the U.S, such as “reverse convertibles,” which UBS refers to as “Yield Optimization Notes.”

The attorneys at Vernon Healy have decades of experience representing investors who are victims of stock fraud and stock losses due to broker fraud and brokerage firm fraud and misconduct. Vernon Healy securities attorneys are experienced in securities arbitration and business litigation and assist clients in recovering losses caused by all manner of financial fraud and negligence.

Contact
Vernon Healy
Christopher T. Vernon, attorney at law
Susan R. Healy, attorney at law
http://www.vernonhealy.com
http://www.lehmannotes.com
(239) 649-5390
Toll Free: (877) 649-5394
email: info@vernonhealy.com

Lehman’s bankruptcy exposed wrongdoing of other Wall Street Players

On the two year anniversary of its collapse and bankruptcy filing, many contend that Lehman Brothers hid the full extent of its problems from the outside world until the bankruptcy.  While this may be true with respect to main street investors, don’t let Wall Street fool you into thinking that its major players didn’t see it coming.

One example of Wall Street’s detailed knowledge of Lehman’s problems well in advance of its bankruptcy involves the Union Bank of Switzerland, commonly known as UBS. This is significant to us as retail investors because UBS, like some other financial institutions on Wall Street, used this knowledge to its own advantage rather than protect its own clients or the investing public.

Although it would be impossible to detail all of what UBS knew about Lehman in this short commentary, some of what we have pieced together during our investigation is detailed below. This intimate knowledge that UBS had of Lehman was due to its relationship as a lender of short term and collateralized loans to Lehman.

In 2007, UBS discussed a possible merger with Lehman.1  During that period, more than 75 percent of Lehman’s overall equity —more than $100 billion— was concentrated in risky mortgage and real estate assets. So large was the amount of Lehman’s illiquid assets during this period that Lehman employees referred to their balance sheets as “dead assets schedules.”2  During this period, UBS also became aware that Lehman’s credit default swap (“CDS”) spread — the cost to insure a loan to Lehman against default — increased dramatically.

Throughout this same period, UBS was heavily recommending and selling “structured notes” issued by Lehman to its own clients. Although “structured notes” are very complicated products not understood by many financial advisors, much less retail investors, these products are for the most part unsecured and illiquid medium term loans to Lehman.

While urging its own client base to effectively loan money to Lehman on an unsecured basis through illiquid structured notes, UBS was using its own firm money to make fully collateralized short term loans to Lehman, charging outrageously high interest rates.  These Repo 105 loans by UBS to Lehman are now the focus of an SEC investigation of Lehman.3   UBS was able to charge such high interest rates on these loans because it was aware of Lehman’s severe financial problems and resulting desperate need for the Repo 105 loans. 4

Through the spring of 2008, UBS continued to capitalize on Lehman’s problems by charging Lehman shocking rates of interest for fully collateralized short term loans.5   Simultaneously, UBS continued to profit from the recommendation and sale of Lehman “structured notes” – which were loans to Lehman by UBS clients that were unsecured, longer term, and far less appealing in terms of likely returns than the “Repo 105” loans that UBS was making to Lehman.

How outrageous was UBS’s behavior? By way of example, while still selling Lehman structured notes to its own clients, UBS charged the now “desperate” Lehman an interest fee of $186 million on a very short term and fully collateralized multi-billion dollar loan.6  If this short term loan return were annualized, it would equate to a return to UBS of more than 150 percent annual interest on the loan. As one of Lehman’s own employees said in early 2008, “Everyone knows 105 is an off balance sheet mechanism so counterparties are looking for ridiculous levels” to try to squeeze Lehman .7

Although the collateral and return disparities between the loan deals that UBS made for its clients and the loan deals that UBS made for itself are very troubling, it was the liquidity disparity that became especially significant in the summer of 2008 leading up to Lehman’s bankruptcy.  Specifically, UBS clients holding the Lehman structured notes recommended by UBS were effectively unable to sell or liquidate these notes until they matured. In contrast, over the summer of 2008, UBS significantly reduced its weekly Repo 105 loans it had made to Lehman.

For the foregoing reasons, the Lehman bankruptcy in September of 2008 had a far greater impact on UBS’s clients than on UBS itself.  When Lehman declared bankruptcy, UBS investors who had invested in Lehman structured notes were left standing at the back of the line with the unsecured creditors in the Lehman bankruptcy and will likely recover little of their original investment. In contrast, after the Lehman bankruptcy announcement, UBS issued a press release8 regarding its limited exposure due to its loans and other transactions with Lehman. Based on our investigation, it appears that while UBS was systematically shedding its own exposure to Lehman debt, it was continuing to develop and pitch Lehman structured notes with so-called principal protection to its own client base.

UBS’s public statement earlier this year that the Lehman Bankruptcy Report does not show that the “counterparties such as UBS acted inappropriately” is dubious. The Lehman Bankruptcy Report was designed to look into the activities of Lehman, not other financial institutions on Wall Street, like UBS. In reality, the Lehman Bankruptcy Report represents further evidence that firms such as UBS took advantage of the Lehman situation for their own benefit, while utterly failing their own clients.

Christopher Vernon is a Naples based attorney with the law firm Vernon Healy.  He advocates for the rights of investors throughout the United States and abroad—both in and out of the courtroom and arbitration hearing room. Mr. Vernon currently holds an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell, has been repeatedly recognized by his peers in The Best Lawyers in America, and has also been consistently recognized in the Florida editions of the Super Lawyers publication. Mr. Vernon has spoken at both national securities and national trial attorney conventions and has also conducted continuing education in the U.S. and abroad for CPAs, CFAs, CFPs, investment professionals, board certified business litigation lawyers and board certified trust and estate lawyers. Mr. Vernon has also provided training for and been retained as an expert by government agencies on securities matters.

———–

  1 See Lehman Brothers Examiners Report dated March 11, 2010, Volume 8, Page 52
 2 Lehman Brothers Examiners Report Volume 3, Page 842
3 See “SEC Homes In on Lehman, ‘Funds of Funds’.” The Wall Street Journal. September 10, 2010
4 See Lehman Brothers Examiners Report Volume 3, Page 880 Footnote 3382
 5 Id.
6 Id. (reference to email LBEX-DOCID 3207903)
7 Lehman Brothers Examiners Report Volume 3, Page 881
See UBS Press release from September 16, 2008

ARS and Lehman Brothers Principal Protected Notes sales pushed by UBS: A double dose of disgust

Vernon Healy’s ongoing investigation of the sale of Lehman Brothers structured notes by UBS is turning up evidence consistent with the allegations of wrongdoing made by New Hampshire securities regulators against UBS.

The Vernon Healy investigation and the claim from securities regulators reveal a pattern of behavior by UBS that shows that the firm aggressively marketed Lehman Brothers principal protected notes and other Lehman structured notes to its own clients despite Lehman Brothers’ precarious financial position.  In one of the claims filed so far this year by Vernon Healy, the law firm alleges that UBS committed similar misconduct involving both auction rate securities and structured notes, including Lehman structured notes, much to the misfortune of main street investors.

Vernon Healy filed the claim on behalf of a surgery assistant who experienced mishandling of her retirement nest egg when UBS built her a retirement account that consisted of auction rate securities and structured notes backed by the financial sector.

Vernon Healy does not believe this is a unique situation within the UBS system.

“This double whammy of it coming to light that UBS misled investors about auction rate securities and soon thereafter coming to light that UBS also misled investors about structured notes has created a sense that UBS has effectively betrayed both its clients and undercut the credibility of its own financial advisors — some of whom have now left the firm in disgust,” investor rights attorney Chris Vernon said.

The Vernon Healy claim on behalf of the investor described above alleges that UBS urged the investor to buy auction rate securities after UBS already knew that the auction rate securities market was deteriorating and similarly urged the investor to buy Lehman and other structured notes from the financial industry after it knew that Lehman and the financial industry were having problems.

The claim filed by New Hampshire securities regulators alleges something similar. In that filing, regulators accuse UBS of failing to warn investors about the potential risks of its structured investment products once Lehman Brothers began to experience financial problems.

Vernon Healy, based in Naples, Florida, represents investors nationwide who are victims of stock fraud and stock losses due to negligence and misconduct. Vernon Healy securities attorneys are experienced in complex financial litigation, including FINRA arbitration. The firm is currently representing multiple Lehman structured product investors in FINRA arbitration.

Lehman Brothers attempts to convert Archstone REIT deal debt

According to Reuters, Lehman Brothers is continuing its efforts to convert some of the $5 billion plus debt obligation from its 2007 leveraged buyout of Archstone Real Estate Investment Trust (Archstone REIT) into the equivalent of preferred stock and extend the repayment date on the balance of the debt.

As mentioned in an earlier commentary I wrote on the Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy Examiner’s Report and the Repo 105 issue, this REIT deal was a bad one for Lehman Brothers. Industry insiders such as UBS and other firms knew it overexposed Lehman’s balance sheet to the vagaries of the already precarious real estate market.

Most investors in Lehman Brothers Principal Protected Notes that were sold in the U.S. by firms such as UBS and Raymond James, and abroad by firms such as Citi and Credit Suisse, are looking to recover their losses through both claims against the sellers of these defective products and through mitigation efforts.

Claims against sellers include class action participation for smaller investors and FINRA arbitration for investors with more significant losses like those represented by our firm. Mitigation efforts by investors include  efforts to recover a likely small portion of investors’ Lehman notes investment through either filing claims in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy proceeding — for those willing to wait — or investigating possible sales of these notes on what now might be an now-emerging secondary market. Exploring the possibility of selling on a secondary market is for those who wish to recoup funds sooner than the bankrupcty timetable and are willing to recoup less than they might ultimately receive through the Lehman bankruptcy.

A cross section of Vernon Healy’s clients who have filed FINRA arbitration claims involving Lehman structured notes includes baby boomers, a teacher, a hospital employee, wealthy retirees, and a charitable foundation and reveals how aggressively and indiscriminately that firms such as UBS were encouraging their financial advisors to recommend Lehman Structured notes to their client base. Vernon Healy filed a $1 million arbitration claim against UBS on behalf of an investor in February and an $800,000 claim against UBS on behalf of another investor in March.

Investor wins again in Lehman note arbitration case against UBS

Lehman structured note investors have reason to celebrate again. With the latest Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration ruling announced last week, UBS customers who lost money on Lehman Brothers principal protected notes are now five for five, with the decisions going against UBS and in favor of the customers in every reported case.

In the latest reported arbitration award, the FINRA panel awarded more than $400,000 and to a pair of investors who bought Lehman Brothers structured notes, including principal protected notes, from UBS in early 2008.

These notes were among $1 billion worth of Lehman products that UBS sold to U.S. investors, according to a UBS statement to Bloomberg.

Other brokerages, including Raymond James and Credit Suisse, also pushed Lehman structured products to their clients.  The products are now virtually worthless following theLehman bankruptcy in September 2008.

This FINRA ruling and growing number of big and small investors lining up to recover losses fromUBS underscores the gross negligence UBS demonstrated when it pushed the now nearly worthless Lehman structured products on unwitting investors. It also reveals the growing momentum for those wronged investors who choose to seek legal counsel in attempting to recover their losses from UBS.

Vernon Healy began filing claims against UBS on behalf of investors in early 2009 and has filed almost $2 million in Lehman note arbitration claims against UBS on behalf of investors in the past 2 months alone.

A significant number of individual investors represented by Vernon Healy have had Lehman principal protected note losses in excess of $500,000. The international media have recognized Vernon Healy’s investigative efforts involving Lehman notes and individuals from overseas, especially from the U.K., are contacting Vernon Healy to assist them in pursuing UBS in connection with the sale of Lehman structured notes in Europe.

Based on the investigation by Vernon Healy, it appears that UBS even misled its own financial advisors regarding the safety of the Structured Notes, including the Lehman Principal Protected Notes, that UBS so heavily promoted.

Vernon Healy is currently representing multiple Lehman structured product investors in FINRA arbitration.

For more information, contact

Vernon Healy
Christopher T. Vernon, attorney at law
Susan R. Healy, attorney at law
http://www.vernonhealy.com
http://www.lehmannotes.com
(239) 649-5390

Toll Free: (877) 649-5394email: info@vernonhealy.com

Investors around the globe still living a Lehman Brothers nightmare

Just over a year ago, investors first faced the waking nightmare of 150-year-old global finance giant Lehman Brothers making the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. It was the first domino to fall in the chain of events that gave rise to a worldwide recession.

A year later, the fallout from the bankruptcy continues around the globe. While investors, including ones represented by Vernon Healy, are in various stages of seeking to recoup their losses through arbitration and the courts, governments facing pressure from those who suffered losses are likely to make a stab at regulatory changes to keep future investors from suffering the same fate.

In the U.S., UBS and others such as Raymond James sold investors Lehman structured notes promoting them as low risk and safe, but those structured products ultimately proved worthless in the wake of the Lehman collapse. The misery for these investors is shared in Asia by those who unwittingly bought similarly risky products called High Notes 5 and Lehman Minibonds through DBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Investors from Singapore are now following the lead of their American counterparts and have recently begun filing multi-million dollar lawsuits against the firms that sold them these risky products. Some 10,000 small investors, many of them retired and risk averse, bought Lehman products that exposed them to far more financial danger than they knew.

It is worth noting by investors in Lehman structured notes that, at this point, authorities have found evidence of wrongdoing against the banks in Singapore that sold these other “low risk” Lehman products.

Alongside the lawsuits, these Singapore investors are petitioning the government for regulatory change, and insiders say there will likely be political fallout for the ruling party if there is none. But as in the U.S., these measures would be too little too late for small investors whose life savings have been wrecked following the Lehman collapse.

In the U.S., debate is now raging in Congress and on Wall Street about what form regulatory change should take to insure that future investors are not unknowingly exposed to financial risk.

Of note is the fact that securities regulators at FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Association, formerly the NASD) warned brokerage firms as early as 2005 to provide accurate information to investors when selling structured products like Lehman Notes.

Among the proposals is an agency whose job it would be to look out for small investors and to spot products, such as Lehman structured notes, that are at best unsuitable, or inappropriate, for them.  The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency is facing stiff opposition from the financial industry despite efforts this week by proponents of such an agency to scale back the scope of its mission.

The financial industry balks at the power of the agency and says it would kill creativity in the financial sector and put undue burdens on small business that offer credit to their customers. There are already some signs that discontent with big government and pressure on Congress from financial industry lobbyists could stymie any effort for meaningful change.

It will be interesting to see the final form of an agency aimed at protecting financial consumers, should it survive the political battle.

Vernon Healy is a Naples, Florida based law firm that assists investors nationwide in recovering significant losses caused by all manner of financial fraud and negligence in both court and arbitration.

The firm is aggressively investigating abuses by brokerage firms and representing multiple Lehman structured product investors in FINRA arbitration, among them:

— Private investors who thought a comfortable retirement lay ahead. They now live with massive losses thanks to investments in Lehman Principle Protected Notes recommended by brokers who failed to adequately disclose risk.

— A charitable trust that lost more than $900,000 in Lehman products. The trust’s representatives were led to believe the Lehman products had protected the principle investment. The losses have endangered this trust’s support of environmental causes, the arts and youth programs.

— A couple who sold their successful business and planned to retire and live on investment income from the proceeds of the sale. The couple lost $650,000 of their principle to bad investments, some of which were made without the couple’s permission and included Lehman backed products. URL:

For more information, contact:
Christopher T. Vernon, attorney at law
Susan R. Healy, attorney at law
http://vernonhealy.com/
http://www.protectinginvestors.com
(239) 649-5390
Toll Free: (877) 649-5394
email: acostanzo@vernonhealy.com