University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1977, With Distinction

University of Iowa, B.A., 1974, With Distinction, With Honors
 - Phi Beta Kappa 

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Photo of Frank A. Taylor
Frank A. Taylor
Director; Shareholder
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Frank Taylor is head of the firm’s Financial Markets Group and has more than 35 years of experience in complex financial markets litigation, class actions, regulatory investigations, enforcement proceedings and market conduct examinations. Frank has defended clients in some of the financial services industry’s most significant cases. To date, he has served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 class actions and has tried more than 350 matters to verdict, judgment or award in 42 states before federal, state and arbitration forums. Frank focuses his practice in counseling and representation of firms in various financial markets; complex litigation and arbitration in the financial markets; alternative dispute resolution; class action defense; regulatory investigations, enforcement proceedings and market conduct examinations; antitrust; and complex business disputes.

Frank is widely respected among major financial, investment and insurance companies throughout the United States. He has solid experience representing firms and individuals in enforcement proceedings brought by regulatory, self-regulatory and various state bodies; judicial actions brought by state attorneys general; and legislative actions. His clients include insurance companies, fund managers, registered investment advisors, independent broker/dealers, futures commission merchants (FCMs), brokers and brokerage firms, credit associations, underwriters, investment firms, hedge funds, issuers of collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs), and manufacturers and issuers of financial instruments.

Consequently, he has been influential in a number of "firsts" in this area, including assisting in the creation of the first derivatives program and the first investment advisory program offered by a Wall Street firm. He later successfully defended both firms in the first class actions and enforcement proceedings related to these programs. Frank was also the lead in the first roll-up of limited partnership interests into a master limited partnership, and the first registration of the conversion of limited partnership interests into publicly traded common stock.

Regulatory Investigations
Frank has conducted numerous regulatory and internal investigations, and handled complex financial services litigation involving cases of first impression in arbitrability of disputes, short swing profit disputes under Section 16, breach of contract in purchasing company shares, hedge fund and direct investment issues, fraudulent misrepresentation, sales by unregistered individuals, suitability issues related to the sale of insurance products, breakdown or lack of compliance controls within a firm, theft by officers, insider trading, front-running, Ponzi schemes, ERISA and selling away of non-existent interests.

He has just concluded work in one of the largest municipal bond trading mark-up cases brought by FINRA. Frank also served a broker/dealer in an action brought by FINRA for alleged record-keeping violations by the broker/dealer. Although the fine is one of the largest levied by FINRA, the broker/dealer was able to maintain business continuity.

Frank worked with a broker/dealer to avoid litigation and regulatory scrutiny after the broker/dealer's president posted improper statements about a publicly traded competitor of the broker/dealer's parent, while selling short the competitor's common stock.

Securities Fraud
The Keating case is one of the largest securities fraud cases to be taken to trial. Frank was lead trial and liaison counsel for the investment banker defendant in the civil litigation consolidated under multidistrict litigation rules in Arizona federal court. Frank also represented the investment banker defendants in state and federal regulatory investigations, as well as the investment banks’ officers, who were targeted in federal criminal investigations. Under Frank’s counsel, these cases were resolved during trial for less than .005% of claimed damages. Nearly 50 million pages of documents were produced, 127 parties named as defendants, and seven tracks of depositions were held. Frank secured the only summary judgment granted a defendant in the action. His client was “winning” five to one on a shadow jury when the client settled the matter for less than 0.00025% of alleged damages. 

Frank also served as lead trial counsel to a primary underwriter for interests offered by Petro-Lewis Corporation, one of the largest securities case brought to trial, and one of the largest Ponzi schemes in the United States. 

As lead trial counsel, Frank has defended registrants and underwriters in over 100 class actions involving direct investments, tenancy in common interests, pharmaceutical companies, technology companies, real estate, oil and gas, food and other ventures.  These are some of the types of cases in which Frank has served and is serving as lead counsel. 

He served as lead counsel for a New York investment bank that raised some $2.2 billion in private and public limited partnerships, of which $4 million was returned to the investors. Total case cost for the resolution eighty actions brought in connection with this failure and the various regulatory inquiries was approximately 0.01% of damages. No regulatory sanctions were levied. 

Another example is In re Patterson Securities Litigation brought in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota. The Court dismissed actions brought against Briggs client Patterson Companies, Inc., and certain of its officers and directors involving alleged violations of the Exchange Act, ERISA and Minnesota statutes. The original claim stemmed from a drop in the price of Patterson’s common stock that resulted in a $1.6-billion market loss. Frank was lead counsel for the Patterson defendants. 

Frank obtained a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) dismissal of an action brought against a broker/dealer in the Eastern District of Michigan involving the sale of Ponzi scheme interests called the Ed May Deals. This is the largest Ponzi scheme in the Eastern District of Michigan. Although the SEC and FINRA made inquiry, no actions were brought. Frank and his team then defended over 200 arbitrations, with a total case cost of less than 0.01% of clawback damages.  

Frank is serving as lead trial counsel in In re Caribou Coffee Company, Inc. Securities Litigation pending in Minnesota state court. He served as lead trial counsel, as well, for Pepsi Americas in some eleven actions arising out of the acquisition of that company by PepsiCo. 

Insurance Products
Frank’s experience with major insurance companies dates back to the failures of Baldwin-United Corporation (where he represented an underwriter of Baldwin-United in regulatory investigations and class actions) and Executive Life Insurance Company (which manufactured and distributed annuities and life insurance products supported by debt instruments underwritten by Drexel Burnham), through the present.

Today, his practice involves representing well-recognized insurance product manufacturers in complex litigation and regulatory matters, and workouts involving sales of suitable products to the elderly, market timing, vanishing premiums and general suitability issues. As lead trial counsel, he settled an action involving some $21 billion variable annuities with over $1 billion of account value allegedly sold to suspect classes for less than 0.009% of the alleged damages. He has also worked closely with senior insurance executives who have testified before various legislative bodies, including the U.S. Congress. He is currently working on a matter in the California state court involving the sale of universal life policies through the alleged use of home equity to fund the acquisition. This action was dismissed three times by the federal court. 

Frank has defended several different manufacturers of insurance products in actions brought by the state Attorney General involving the alleged sale of products to suspect classes. 

He has worked with several insurance manufacturers in individual and multi-state investigations. 

Commodities Fraud
As lead counsel in one of the largest commodities fraud case brought by the CFTC, private litigants and the U.S. attorney general, Frank represented the largest wholesaler in the case and succeeded in having the actions dismissed with no charges brought.

Tax Fraud
In the largest tax fraud action brought in Minnesota, the former CEO of Katun Corporation was found guilty of intentionally omitting millions of dollars in income on his federal income tax returns. This case resulted in an ongoing investigation by the IRS, Criminal Investigations and the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Frank represented a potential target for which litigation and charges were avoided.

Frank is well versed in RICO actions, since actions brought against insurance product manufacturers typically sound in RICO. Frank represented a Wall Street firm in the largest Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) brought against a client for misrepresentation, theft and fraud.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Frank has experience with a variety of alternative dispute resolution techniques including arbitration, mediation, early neutral evaluation and conciliation, as well as formal arbitrations and court enforcement of arbitration awards. Often clients are able to achieve fast, equitable resolutions to complex business disputes and Frank has advised clients regarding ADR use and feasibility, as well as represented them in ADR proceedings.

Complex Litigation
Frank has authored numerous articles related to the financial services industry and is a frequent lecturer for continuing legal education programs. He is a former adjunct professor for William Mitchell College of Law.

While in law school, Frank served as the notes and comments editor of the Iowa Law Review.

Honors & Awards

  • Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation
  • Chambers USA
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers
  • Who's Who in America
  • Leading American Attorney 
  • Preeminent Rating
  • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association


Professional Affiliations

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, 1986-Present, Member, Compliance and Legal Division 

Association of Life Insurance Counsel, Member

Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Member

Iowa State Bar Association, Member

Nebraska State Bar Association, Member

New York State Bar Association, Member

American Bar Association, Member

Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Member

New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Member 

Federal Bar Council, Member

Various state and federal courts