W. Scott Porterfield
Scott is the former 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 banks in fraud and consumer matters; directors' and officers' liability insurance and fidelity bond claims; and defending banks in merger-related matters. Scott also has experience in contract and trademark cases.
Scott coordinates the Firm's financial institutions related litigation and enforcement work. He has litigated enforcement actions brought by the SEC, 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 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. United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. AA Capital Partners, Inc. et. al.
On October 2, 2020, Scott obtained dismissal of a first amended complaint alleging that one of our bank clients was unjustly enriched because $3.6 million had passed through one of its customer’s accounts. The plaintiff bank had alleged that a customer who had accounts at multiple banks engaged in a check kiting scheme that resulted in a loss of $3.6 million to the plaintiff. The federal district court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted the motion to dismiss filed by Scott and found that plaintiff failed to plead a claim for unjust enrichment against our bank client. See BMO Harris Bank NA v Berkovitz, No. 20-cv-00546, E. D. Wis.
- In 2019, Scott and the Barack team negotiated a favorable settlement for a bank client that had been sued in the $3 billion litigation resulting from the Chicago Tribune leveraged buyout. The settlement followed the Barack team obtaining dismissal on January 23, 2019 of the Tribune’s litigation trustee's complaint alleging breach of fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment. In re Tribune Company Fraudulent Conveyance Litigation, S. D. N. Y.
- In December 2017, Scott and Nick Callahan obtained the dismissal of a class action filed in Grundy County, Illinois, after the publicly-announced merger of Midland States Bancorp, Inc. and Centrue Financial Corporation. The class action was brought by a shareholder of Centrue Financial Corporation who challenged the disclosures in the joint proxy statement and prospectus filed by Midland States Bancorp and Centrue. In representing the acquiror, Midland States Bancorp, Scott and Nick filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. As a result of the motion, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed Midland States Bancorp from the suit. Rader v Battles, et al., No. 17 L 0016.
- In December 2017, Scott obtained the dismissal of an enforcement action filed by the Illinois Secretary of State, Securities Department, against American Metro Bancorp, Inc. In that case, the Securities Department filed a notice of charges alleging that American Metro Bancorp had violated the Illinois Securities Law in the sale of American Metro Bancorp's stock. Scott filed a motion to dismiss the action and, after reviewing the motion, the Securities Department voluntarily dismissed the action.
- In July 2017, Scott obtained the dismissal of a class action filed in Madison County, Illinois, challenging the merger of First Clover Leaf Financial Corp. and First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc. The plaintiff was a stockholder of First Clover Leaf who alleged that the directors of First Clover Leaf breached their fiduciary duties to the stockholders of First Clover Leaf by agreeing to merge the Company into First Mid-Illinois for an inadequate price. Scott's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint was granted on July 12, 2017. Raul v Highland, No. 2016-L-703 (Cir. Ct. Madison County).
- In April 2016, Scott 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 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 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 recovered over $22 million for the receivership estate to benefit the AA Capital customers that had been victimized by the theft of their funds by one of the principals of AA Capital. Scott obtained the $22 million by recovering insurance proceeds, successfully suing the officers and directors of AA Capital, settling claims against AA Capital's auditors and tracing stolen funds used to purchase homes, cars and jewelry.
Activities & Honors
- Selected, Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation (2019-2022)
- Member, Litigation Section, American Bar Association
- Arbitrator, National Futures Association
- Arbitrator, Association Chicago Mercantile Exchange
- Top Rated Lawyer, Banking & Finance Law, LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell™ and ALM (2013)
- Phi Beta Kappa
Speaking Engagements & Presentations
- October 15, 2020 – (Webinar)
- May 16, 2019 – Speaker (Oak Brook, IL)
- April 24, 2019 – Speaker (Chicago, IL)
Other Events & Speaking Engagements
- 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
Articles & Publications
- March 9, 2021 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- October 14, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- September 15, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- September 8, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- August 19, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- August 4, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- May 11, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- May 1, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- April 30, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- April 9, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- April 3, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- March 18, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- October 29, 2019
- February 25, 2019 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- February 14, 2019 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- December 11, 2018 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- October 11, 2018 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- September 5, 2018 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- April 17, 2018 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- September 26, 2017 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- August 1, 2017 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- March 2, 2017 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- January 4, 2017 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- Client Alert: Federal Banking Regulators Expand Banks Eligible for Extended 18-Month Examination CycleDecember 20, 2016 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- December 15, 2016 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- December 6, 2016 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- September 30, 2016 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- February 11, 2016 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- April 22, 2015 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- February 24, 2015
- December 15, 2014
- January 31, 2013
- Client Alert: New York Plaintiffs’ Firm Sues Illinois Banks For Overdraft Fees & Transaction ReorderingOctober 1, 2012
- June 27, 2012
- Contract Performance in Contract Law1982,1986,2006,2008 – Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education
- Contracts and Sale of Goods1990 – Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education
- Northwestern University Journal of International Law and Business1978-1979
- September 29, 2022 – Barack Ferrazzano Press Release
- August 10, 2022 – The American Association of Bank Directors
- September 30, 2021 – Barack Ferrazzano Press Release
- April 28, 2021 – The American Association of Bank Directors
- October 1, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Press Release
- September 24, 2019 – Barack Ferrazzano Press Release
- January 23, 2019 – Law360
- October 22, 2018 – Barack Ferrazzano Press Release
- September 25, 2017 – Barack Ferrazzano Press Release
- August 2016
- September 6, 2013
- January 4, 2011 – blog.bankdirector.com
Northwestern University Pritzker 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 (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
- U.S. Court of Appeals - 11th Circuit