He has been practicing securities and commercial litigation law in New York for over 30 years.
John has extensive experience in trying large and complex financial fraud cases on behalf of investors worldwide, including winning the largest arbitration award ever against Goldman Sachs, and in 2020 winning summary judgment before trial and successfully resolving a $26 million federal court case against indenture trustee U.S. Bank arising from a fraudulent tribal bond offering.
His clients have included ultra high net worth and high net worth individuals, pension funds, family offices, hedge funds, funds of funds, endowments, non-profits and other institutions in claims against brokerage firms, investment and private banks, investment advisors, hedge funds and other financial companies.
In financial industry employment matters, John has represented CEO’s and other executives, traders, investment bankers, financial advisors, and hedge fund and private equity executives, in disputes with employers and issues with regulators.
John served as a member of the prestigious FINRA National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC)
from 2012-15, an advisory body to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The NAMC makes recommendations to FINRA regarding rules, regulations and procedures that govern the conduct of arbitration, mediation, and other dispute resolution matters.
New York Super Lawyers, a publication of The New York Times Magazine, has named John as one of New York’s top Securities Litigation attorneys every year since 2012.
As a leading authority on securities and financial fraud, Mr. Rich has been quoted in the New York Times, Barrons, American Lawyer and Law 360 on various securities law issues and has lectured on Securities Arbitration at the Practicing Law Institute, Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Institute for International Studies. He has also authored several articles, including “Changing Business Models May Adversely Affect Investors’ Legal Remedies” (N.Y.L.J. April 11, 2019); “Tips on Retention, Preparation and Presentation of Experts in Securities Arbitration,” Practicing Law Institute, Securities Arbitration 2011; “Should Wealth of the Claimant be a Factor in Securities Arbitration,” and “Customizing the Arbitration,” published in Securities Arbitration Hot Topics 2011, Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
John’s Success on Behalf of Investors
John and his team have won some of the largest arbitration awards ever recorded, including the largest award ever rendered against Goldman Sachs. It was a $21 million FINRA arbitration award on behalf of the Creditors’ Committee of the Bayou Hedge Fund run by convicted fraudster Sam Israel. The 18-day hearing generated a 100% recovery of the compensatory damages requested. The award was confirmed by Judge Rakoff of the SDNY and upheld on appeal by the Second Circuit
. The award is one of the very few if not the only win in court or arbitration by investors against a clearing firm or prime broker related to a hedge fund ponzi scheme based on fraudulent transfer theories. John also litigated and successfully resolved claims made by Goldman in bankruptcy court related to the FINRA award.
John and his team in 2020 won summary judgment before trial and successfully resolved a $26 million federal court case against U.S. Bank arising from fraudulent tribal bond offerings in which the bank was indenture trustee. In prevailing on summary judgment, John and his team secured one of the few court decisions establishing that disregard of “know your customer” and anti-money laundering regulations can be used to prove that an indenture trustee was negligent in releasing offering proceeds to fraudulent operators overseas.
John and his partner Ross Intelisano were co-trial counsel in the Engel, et al. v. Refco commodities Ponzi scheme case at the National Futures Association (NFA). The 100-day group arbitration on behalf of 13 individuals and family run businesses generated against a $43 million award in 2001, which at the time was the largest collected arbitration award ever rendered on behalf of public customers against a brokerage firm and a rare win for investors alleging wrongdoing by brokerage firm’s clearing operations.
In 2016, John and his team won $10 million in damages for an upstate New York family and defeated a $6 million counterclaim related to a customer debit in a FINRA arbitration award against a clearing firm for its actions related to an RIA. The Montfort v. CL King award after 44 days of arbitration hearings was confirmed in court and paid.
In December 2009, John and his team won a $3.4 million arbitration award on behalf of Racetrac Petroleum (the 31st largest private company in the US) against Bear Stearns related to the High Grade Structured Credit Strategies hedge funds which blew up in July 2007 and was the first major sign of the financial crisis. It was the first and only victory by any High Grade investor and was rendered after the criminal acquittals of portfolio managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin. John his team later resolved a group arbitration on behalf of 13 investors from around the world who had lost over $40 million in the funds.
John and his team resolved a $15 million dispute on behalf of a fuel and heating oil company against MF Global related to the purchase of OTC derivatives, including swaps and options, pursuant to an ISDA agreement. The case was litigated in court in New York as well as in two FINRA arbitrations.
John and his team successfully represented numerous investors in group claims against investment advisors and banks for failing to do proper due diligence in their recommendation of Bernard Madoff-related feeder funds.
John was co-counsel representing a large investor in connection with a $40 million court proceeding against Frank Gruttadaria, Lehman Brothers and S.G. Cowen, arising from a massive securities fraud perpetrated by Gruttadaria which came to light in 2001.
John’s successes on behalf of Employees
In 2019, John and his team won two separate $3 million FINRA awards in cases in Atlanta against Credit Suisse on behalf of former Relationship Managers (what CS calls their brokers) for failing to pay them earned deferred compensation and bonuses. One of them, the Firstman v. CS case, was heard over 16 days of arbitration hearings and the award included interest, attorneys’ fees and costs.
John and his team won a $2.8 million FINRA arbitration award on behalf of renowned recruiter Jeff Bischoff against UBS for failure to pay owed compensation. The award was much greater than the compensatory damages requested.
John’s legal background and education
John, Ross Intelisano and Daniel Katz formed Rich, Intelisano & Katz, in 2011. John and Ross were partners in Rich & Intelisano, LLP from 2003 to 2011. John began practicing securities and general commercial litigation at Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1982, and was in private litigation practice in New York City from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to August 2003, when Rich & Intelisano, LLP was formed, John was of counsel to the law firm of Eppenstein and Eppenstein, where he tried multi-million dollar securities and commodities arbitrations.
John was born and grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1955. He received his law degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1981, where he was Editor-In-Chief of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He received a B.A. from Santa Clara University in 1978, cum laude.
Mr. Rich is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1982, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (1982), Eastern District of New York (1983) and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (2011).