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Mary Gail Gearns


As of November 24, 2014 practicing with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Mary Gail Gearns practices in the firm’s Financial Institutions Regulatory, Enforcement and Litigation Group, where she handles a wide range of securities regulatory and enforcement matters and litigation. She regularly represents broker-dealers, other financial services firms and their senior management in connection with investigations by the SEC, DOJ, FINRA and other state regulators and attorneys general. Many of her matters involve parallel proceedings by multiple regulators, follow-on civil or criminal actions, and referrals to enforcement. Mary Gail’s practice includes conducting internal reviews and investigations and providing advice concerning clients’ compliance with federal and state securities laws. Mary Gail has more than 25 years of litigation experience, including all phases of litigation, from the initial pleading stage through trial and appeal.

Mary Gail has handled numerous matters relating to the origination and sale of structured products, including residential mortgage-backed securities, auction rate securities and CDOs, and she has defended several major broker-dealers in federal and state court actions and arbitrations relating to the marketing and sale of these products.


  • Defending a mortgage servicer in a qui tam action alleging violations of federal and state false claims statutes arising from alleged foreclosure documentation issues
  • Defending a major Wall Street bank and its affiliated mortgage servicer in putative class actions arising from the use of lender-placed insurance 
  • Represented a leading global bank in connection with parallel SEC and other regulatory investigations focused on the issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities
  • Represented a major Wall Street bank in connection with a Federal Reserve examination and inquires by multiple state regulators concerning foreclosure and servicing activities
  • Represented a global financial services firm in connection with investigations by the SEC, FINRA and multiple state regulators relating to the sale of auction rate securities
  • Represented a major Wall Street firm in connection with an internal investigation of two former employees’ sales of auction rate securities backed by subprime assets and in related investigations by the SEC, FINRA and the Department of Justice
  • Represented a leading broker-dealer in connection with an SEC investigation concerning variable annuity revenue sharing
  • Represented various individuals and entities in connection with insider trading investigations
  • Represented the CFO of a publicly traded company in connection with an SEC investigation arising from allegedly false or misleading disclosures contained in the company’s financial statements
  • Regularly represents major Wall Street firms and registered representatives in FINRA arbitrations
  • Successfully defended a big four accounting firm against putative class action alleging Section 11 violation
  • Represented a multinational communications company in obtaining a $46.6 million jury verdict, sustained on appeal, on federal securities fraud and RICO claims
  • Successfully represented a Japanese pharmaceutical company in the prosecution of a $750 million civil RICO and securities fraud action against the seller of a U.S. generic drug company
  • Successfully defended a venture capital firm against claims that its actions in connection with a leveraged buy-out constituted a fraudulent conveyance and breached its fiduciary duties


  • Expert Witness 2015, Practicing Law Institute Program (Jun. 29, 2015)
  • Liability for Securities Law Violations and Exam Priorities, PLI Seminar: Understanding the Securities Laws 2013 (Aug. 9-10, 2013)
  • The How, When, Where and Why of Valuing Complex Assets and Distressed Securities, NERA on the Road 2009 Finance, Law & Economics Seminar (May 28, 2009)
  • Moderator, Examining Auction Rate Securities, IQPC 5th Securities Litigation Conference, New York, N.Y. (Nov. 18–19, 2008)
  • Integrity, Corruption and Governance: A Corporate Roundtable Discussion, sponsored by Cornell Law School and Cornell Law Association (March 2007)
  • Internal Investigations: The Why, When and How, Institute of Internal Auditors (May 23, 2006)
  • Over-Concentration and Suitability Claims in Securities Arbitration, New York County Lawyers Association (Nov. 17, 2005)
  • Customer Claims Alleging Unsuitable Over-Concentration, NERA Finance, Law & Economics Securities Litigation Seminar (July 5, 2005)



  • Board of Directors, New York County Lawyers’ Association (2011–2014)
  • Co-Chair, Securities and Exchanges Committee, New York County Lawyers’ Association (2007–2011)
  • Judiciary Committee, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (2004–2007)

Awards & Honors

  • Super Lawyers, New York (2011, 2013, 2014)

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