This case, William L. Gunlicks v. Mayer Brown LLP, 2014 IL App (1st) 130845-U, is far too important to be reported in an unpublished opinion. Sadly, the opinion is unpublished for reasons that are unfathomable. The compliant alleges that Mayer Brown breached the duty of care in representing the plaintiff after he had agreed to the entry of a cease-and-desist order.
Gunlicks was a client of Mayer Brown. He was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of violating Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933. Gunlicks was the founder, CEO and director of Founding Partners Capital Management Company, an investment adviser. In 2007, the SEC and Gunlicks entered into a cease-and-desist order that required “Gunlicks to cease from violating Section 17(a)(2) of the [1933 Act]. According to the cease and desist order, the SEC found that Gunlicks violated Section 17(a)(2) when he ’caused Founding Partners to have Stable-Value pay an undisclosed fee to Stewards and had Equity Fund and Stable-Value engage in transactions that were not consistent with their offering memoranda including transactions with entities under common control with Founding Partners.'” Opinion at ¶ 8.
In 2009, the SEC commenced an onsite compliance examination of Founding Partners’ records to determine if Founding Partners was in compliance with the cease-and-desist order. Shortly thereafter, the SEC filed a complaint for injunctive relief against Founding Partners and Gunlicks. The complaint alleged numerous securities law violations by the Defendants. As might be expected, the litigation went poorly for Founding Partners and Gunlicks.