Mary Gail Gearns


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.

Mary Gail serves on Bingham’s Compensation Committee.


  • 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 class actions
  • Representing a major Wall Street bank in connection with parallel SEC and other regulatory investigations focused on residential mortgage-backed securities
  • Representing a major Wall Street bank and its affiliated mortgage servicer in connection with a Federal Reserve examination, SEC investigation and multiple inquires by state regulators concerning foreclosure and servicing activities
  • Represented a major broker-dealer in connection with investigations by the SEC, New York Attorney General’s Office, Massachusetts Securities Division and other 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 U.S. Attorney’s office
  • Represented a major financial services firm in connection with an SEC investigation concerning variable annuity revenue sharing
  • Represented various individuals and entities in connection with an SEC insider trading investigation
  • Represented the CEO 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 arbitrations and enforcement proceedings before the SEC and FINRA
  • Successfully defended a big four accounting firm in a purported class action asserting Section 11 claim based on alleged misrepresentations contained in audited financial statements included in the registration statement for a secondary offering
  • 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


  • 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–present)
  • 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)

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