- Financial Institutions
- Cybersecurity & Technology Team
- White Collar Defense & Regulatory Enforcement
- Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1979
- Northwestern University, B.A., 1976
Bar & Court Admissions
- State of Illinois
- State of California
- U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois (including Trial Bar)
- U.S. District Court - Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court - Southern District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals - 7th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals - 8th Circuit
W. Scott Porterfield
Scott is the co-chair of the Firm’s Litigation Group and a partner in the Financial Institutions Group. Scott focuses his practice on general commercial litigation, including: bank regulatory and enforcement matters; defending directors and officers of failed banks in FDIC actions; commodities and securities regulatory enforcement and civil actions; professional liability claims; directors and officers liability insurance matters; and employment and restrictive covenant matters. Scott also has experience in contract, trademark and telecommunications cases.
Scott coordinates the Firm’s financial institutions related litigation and enforcement work. He has litigated enforcement actions brought by the FDIC, the OCC and state bank regulators. Scott has also defended banks in appraisal and valuation cases.
Scott advises corporate boards on internal investigations and conducts such investigations. He also works with corporate boards to ensure that claims are covered by directors and officers liability insurance.
Scott has served as a court-appointed receiver at the request of the SEC in a case of fraud by a private equity firm. Securities and Exchange Commission v. AA Capital Partners, Inc.
- In April 2016, Scott and partner Alison Leff obtained summary judgment in favor of American Metro Bancorp, Inc. on all counts of plaintiffs’ complaint alleging federal and state securities laws violations. The court ruled that the plaintiffs’ claims, which arose from their purchase of Company stock through a private placement memorandum, were time-barred and dismissed the case with prejudice. Kim v. Am. Metro Bancorp, Inc., No. 14 L 001740 (Cir. Ct. Cook County).
- In March, 2016, Scott and Nick Callahan obtained the dismissal of two class actions filed in St. Louis, Missouri after the publicly-announced merger of First Busey Corporation and Pulaski Financial Corp. The two class actions challenged the disclosures in the joint proxy statement and prospectus released by First Busey Corporation and Pulaski Financial Corp. The plaintiffs also sought to enjoin the respective special shareholder meetings of the two companies that were scheduled for the purpose of voting on the proposed merger. In representing the acquirer, First Busey Corporation, Scott filed a motion to dismiss the first class action. As a result of the motion, the plaintiff in that first suit voluntarily dismissed First Busey. The plaintiff in the second class action also dismissed First Busey after seeing the motion to dismiss the first action. Patel v Douglass, et. al, No. 16SL-CC00406; and Daub v Douglass, et. al, No. 16SL-CC00582.
- In January, 2016, Scott and partner Alison Leff obtained a favorable result in a stockholder appraisal involving some former shareholders of Bank of Coral Gables (Florida). The shareholders voted against the sale of Bank of Coral Gables to First American Bank Corporation and exercised their dissenters’ appraisal rights under Florida law to obtain the fair value of their stock in Bank of Coral Gables. Scott and Alison filed a declaratory judgment action on behalf of First American Bank Corporation in the Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County against the dissenting shareholders for a judgment that the fair value of the stock of Bank of Coral Gables was less than the merger price offered and paid by First American Bank Corporation. The case was resolved with a payment to the dissenting shareholders that did not exceed the merger price offered by First American Bank Corporation. First American Bank Corporation v Lopez-Cantera, et. al, No. 15-005175-CA-01.
- In July 2015, Scott obtained a favorable settlement and dismissal of a suit for a former director of Integra Bank in a suit brought by the FDIC. Federal Deposit Insurance Company v Vea, et. al, No. 3:14-cv-00104, Southern District of Indiana.
- In February 2015, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict in favor of Quad City Bank & Trust. Scott represented the Bank in obtaining a jury verdict in favor of the Bank and against the defendant based on legal malpractice. Scott succeeded in the post-trial motions and obtained a judgment for the Bank in December 2013, on the jury verdict. Quad City Bank & Trust v. Elderkin & Pirnie.
- On February 28, 2013, the Central District of Illinois issued an opinion in The Gifford State Bank v. Richardson, a favorable decision for Illinois banks and mortgage companies. Scott wrote an amicus brief for the Illinois Bankers Association.
- In September 2012, Scott obtained a favorable settlement and dismissal of a suit for a former director of Heritage Community Bank in a suit brought by the FDIC. Federal Deposit Insurance Company v. Saphir (N.D. Ill.)
- On June 28, 2012, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of a class action complaint alleging negligence and breach of judiciary duty against a bank. Scott represented the bank in the appeal and in the trial court. Tucker v. Soy Capital Bank and Trust Company.
- In an opinion issued by the Illinois Supreme Court on September 23, 2010, Scott obtained a multi-million dollar judgment in favor of a bank against an insurance company. West American Insurance Company v. Yorkville National Bank.
- In a decision rendered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on June 22, 2010, Scott obtained dismissal of a federal RICO suit against a bank client. Jay E. Hayden Foundation v. First Neighbor Bank.
- As the receiver for AA Capital Partners, Scott brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the directors and officers of AA Capital, an SEC registered investment advisor, on a $60 million claim for violations of ERISA, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and conversion arising out of the alleged misappropriation and misuse of investor funds. On June 2, 2009, Scott obtained a consent judgment for $66 million with defendant John Orecchio. Porterfield v. Orecchio, et al.
Professional Activities and Honors
- 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Banking & Finance Law, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell™
- Member, American Bar Association's Section of Litigation
- Member, National Association of Federal Equity Receivers
- Served as an arbitrator for the National Futures Association and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Client Alert: CSBS Releases New BSA/AML Compliance Tool
- Client Alert: Banks Face Continued Threat of ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits
- Client Alert: Federal Banking Regulators Expand Banks Eligible for Extended 18-Month Examination Cycle
- Client Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Gives Broad Interpretation to Bank Fraud Statute
- Client Alert: OCC to Offer Special Purpose National Charters to FinTech Companies
- Client Alert: Threats of ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits Increasing in the Financial Sector
- Client Alert: Federal Appeals Court To Banks: CAUTION
- Client Alert: SEC Whistleblowing on Employment Confidentiality Agreements
- Client Alert: Cybersecurity - "The Best Defense is a Good Offense"
- Client Alert: Cybersecurity Risks Impact Trusted Relationships
- Client Alert: Overdraft Fee Litigation
- Client Alert: New York Plaintiffs’ Firm Sues Illinois Banks For Overdraft Fees & Transaction Reordering
- Client Alert: Amicus Brief: Barack Ferrazzano Files on Behalf of IBA in In Re Crane Bankruptcy
- Co-author of chapter on Contract Performance in Contract Law (Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1982 and 1986, 2006 and 2008)
- Co-author of chapter in "Contracts and Sale of Goods" (Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education 1990)
- Notes and Comments Editor, Northwestern University Journal of International Law and Business (1978-1979)
Events & Speaking Engagements
- 2010 Bank Director's Executive & Board Compensation Conference (Chicago, IL)
- Featured speaker at webinar on corporate fraud control sponsored by Corporate Board Magazine, May 29, 2008
- "What Audit Committee Members Need to Know About Emerging Boardroom Liabilities", workshop presentation on June 15, 2007. Bank Audit Committee Conference, Chicago, IL