February 8, 2012
In a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") Arbitration Statement of Claim filed in December 2009, Claimant UBS alleged breach of a promissory note dated September 11, 2007, as a result of Respondent Gregoriou's failure to repay amounts allegedly owed. Claimant UBS sought $1,000,955.89 in compensatory damages plus interest, costs, fees and expenses. In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between UBS Financial Services Inc., Claimant, vs. Pericles Gregoriou, Respondent vs. David Bigler, Angel Alvarez, Daniel Perron, Pat Fleming, Paul Walker and Richard Suss,Third Party Respondents (FINRA Arbitration 09-07223, February 3, 2012).
Respondent Gregoriou generally denied the allegations and asserted various affirmative defenses. Additionally, Respondent asserted various causes of action, including fraudulent inducement and unjust enrichment, against the Third Party Respondents. Respondent sought $3,240,000.00 in compensatory damages plus costs, fees, and expenses.
Because Third Party Respondent Perron was not a member or associated person of FINRA and did not voluntarily submit to FINRA jurisdiction, the FINRA Arbitration Panel made no determinations with respect to Respondent Gregoriou's claims against Third Party Respondent Perron.
Prior to the hearing, Respondent Gregoriou dismissed with prejudice his claims against Third Party Respondents Fleming and Alvarez.
The FINRA Arbitrtion Panel found:
- Respondent Gregoriou not liable.
- Claimant UBS and Third Party Respondents Bigler, Suss and Walker not liable on all of Respondent Gregoriou's claims.
Bill Singer's Comment
UBS files an arbitration claim seeking over $1 Million and after more than two years of likely negotiating and then contesting the charges, the brokerage firm comes up with zippo. It's not as if we're discussing a case involving a balance of five figures or even a modest six figure case. This one was for big bucks.
Change the name of the employer from UBS to Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, or Wells Fargo and you have the template for many similar arbitrations that have been litigated and will be litigated in years to come.
Rarely a week goes by that I don't get a phone call from some similarly situated registered representative - albeit concerning disputed amount well under a million - and we go through the conversation about the chances of winning, the downside of losing, and the time and costs involved. It would be hard to imagine that facing a demand for the repayment of a million dollars that Respondent Gregoriou anticipated such a dramatic victory.
Hats off to Gregoriou's lawyer, Paul A. Lieberman, Esq., Stark & Stark Law Firm, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.