Brandon Reif

Practice Areas:

Securities Litigation and Arbitration, Securities Regulation and Compliance, Insurance Agents Defense - Property Casualty, Health and Life, Professional Liability Litigation, Labor and Employment, Directors and Officers, Commercial and Business Litigation
Office Locations: California
Tel: (310) 836-4800 Fax: (310) 836-4801


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Brandon S. Reif is the managing partner of the Los Angeles office of Winget, Spadafora & Schwartzberg, LLP and shares responsibility for its management and operations. He is a trial attorney with extensive courtroom experience who has tried cases to verdict. He is also an accomplished dispute resolution practitioner who has settled cases on terms favorable to his clients.

Mr. Reif has been most active representing the securities and financial services industries in lawsuits, arbitration proceedings and regulatory enforcement actions. Mr. Reif has handled hundreds of securities and financial services disputes pending throughout the United States in state and federal courts and in arbitration proceedings before FINRA (formerly NASD and NYSE), AAA and JAMS involving the full range of securities and financial products offered to the public. He defends clients in securities class action cases. He also represents clients with inquiries from the SEC, SROs and state regulators, including routine and cause examinations and regulatory sweeps. He leads dispute resolution efforts in connection with regulatory investigations and enforcement actions brought by the SEC, DOJ, FINRA (formerly NASD and NYSE), CFTC, the OCC and most of the state regulators throughout the nation. When clients are faced with parallel proceedings among regulators and civil litigants, Mr. Reif actively coordinates defense strategies to best serve his clients.

Mr. Reif also has extensive experience in the area of professional liability defense. He defends accountants and auditors, attorneys and law firms, architects and engineers, estate planners, insurance professionals (agents, agencies and issuers) and real estate professionals (auctioneers, agents, brokers, financiers, lenders and escrow officers) in professional negligence, breach of contract and fraud lawsuits. His insurance and estate planning cases oftentimes involve sophisticated issues such as estate plans for ultra high net worth individuals, premium-financed insurance, life settlements, stranger originated life insurance (STOLI), complicated tax preservation strategies and tax-exempt giving plans.

Mr. Reif also has substantial employment law experience representing employees and employers in discrimination, harassment, wage/hour and wrongful termination lawsuits. He has counseled clients in disputes involving promissory notes, non-compete provisions, dissolving business relationships and the "Protocol" for securities industry firms. He conducts internal investigations arising from embezzlement, conversion, employment manual infractions and violations of state and federal law.

Mr. Reif has built a successful business litigation practice representing plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal court lawsuits throughout California. Representative matters include large and complex lawsuits, "bet the company" and "high stakes" litigation, cross-border disputes, international litigation, multi-district litigation and disputes among public and private corporations, partnerships, enterprises, shareholders, individuals and trusts. These cases routinely involve claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, unfair business practices, false advertising and breach of contract.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Reif founded a boutique litigation, arbitration and regulatory enforcement law firm that serviced an institutional, corporate and individual client base. Mr. Reif was also a senior attorney at an international law firm, K&L Gates LLP, and an active member of its Broker-Dealer and Securities Enforcement practice groups. Mr. Reif spent the earlier years of his career with a New York City mid-sized law firm, with the New York Stock Exchange - Office of the General Counsel, and as a clerk to a New York Supreme Court judge.

Mr. Reif is a 1997 graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, where he earned his B.A. in English and Criminal Justice. He attended the University of Miami School of Law, receiving his J.D., cum laude, in 2000.

Mr. Reif is admitted to practice law in California and New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States District Courts for the Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Mr. Reif is an active member of the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Compliance and Legal Division; the Financial Services Institute (FSI); the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS); the California State Bar Association; and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Mr. Reif was named in the Southern California's Super Lawyer Rising Stars® List for years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He has also been ranked AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell™ (the highest honor offered).

Representative Matters

  • Lead defense counsel for securities broker-dealer in federal court securities class action case that resulted in dismissal with prejudice at the pleading stage
  • Defended parties in SEC enforcement action and formal order of investigation involving allegations of insider trading, improper sales practices, inadequate supervision, inadequate risk disclosure and other securities law violations
  • Defended securities firm and registered representatives in auction rate securities case resulting in favorable settlement
  • Defended law firm and attorney in malpractice case resulting in favorable settlement
  • Defended registered representative in FINRA investigation where client was accused of recommending unsuitable fixed income securities and violating FINRA compensation and self-dealing rules. Client absolved of wrongdoing
  • Defended registered representative in FINRA investigation where client was accused of excessively trading and recommending unsuitable fixed income securities for an elderly widowed woman. Client absolved of wrongdoing
  • Defended financial institution in lawsuit with former officer and director over the exercise of stock options. Case resolved on favorable terms
  • Prosecuted breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and Cal. Financial Elder Abuse case involving securities firms and insurance companies that sold equity index annuities, fixed annuities and trust and estate plans to senior citizens. Case included a two week jury trial and resolved on favorable terms
  • Prosecuted FINRA arbitration case for elderly widowed man whose account was traded excessively and sold unsuitable fixed income securities on margin. Award entered for full out-of-pocket losses, treble damages under Cal. Financial Elder Abuse Statute, attorneys' fees and costs. By percentage, one of the largest awards in securities arbitration history
  • Prosecuted cases for nationwide wholesaler for more than one million dollars in debts resulting in favorable judgment and settlements
  • Conducted internal investigation for clients involving improper sales practices and supervisory procedures involving "free lunch" seminars, reverse mortgages, equity index annuities, fixed annuities and trust and estate plans
  • Conducted internal investigation for manufacturing company involving allegations of embezzlement by key employee and improper accounting procedures
  • Conducted internal investigation for public company involving allegations of stock option backdating
  • Conducted internal investigation for financial institution involving allegations of fraud, embezzlement by key employee, inadequate supervisory system, improper accounting and "locking out" key personnel
  • Counseled insurance company in litigation and with compliance procedures involving life settlement and life insurance trust transactions
  • Defended investment advisory firm during SEC "Wells" process involving allegations of improper personal trading by employees, after-hours trading and deficient supervisory system. Client absolved of wrongdoing
  • Defended securities firm in FINRA arbitration involving allegedly unsuitability, overconcentration and active trading of small and mid cap stocks and IRS roll-over claims. Resulted in defense verdict, or less than 10% of claimed damages
  • Defended securities firm in NASD investigation involving sales of different classes of mutual fund shares and compliance with break-point rules
  • Defended securities firm in NASD investigation involving allegations of deficient supervisory procedures involving anti-money laundering laws
  • Defended securities firm alleging federal securities law violations resulting in dismissal under FRCP 12(b)(6)
  • Defended securities firm in NASD arbitration involving unsuitability claim resulting in defense verdict, or less than 2% of claimed damages
  • Defended securities firm and registered representative in NASD arbitration involving unsuitable securities and failure to supervise claims brought by trustees of local university seeking millions of dollars in damages. Resulted in defense verdict, or less than 13% of claimed damages and less than 1% of damages requested at hearing
  • Defended defunct securities firm and disbarred principals in summary judgment motion and at federal court trial brought by SEC involving alleged violations of the federal securities laws
  • Defended insurance company and agent in customer suit involving the sale of annuities. Lead counsel for insurance company at California appellate court hearing
  • Defended insurance company and agent in customer suit involving the sale of annuities. Lead counsel for insurance company at California appellate court hearing

Publications and Presentations