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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

Q:
Does my investment advisor owe me a fiduciary duty in New York?

A:

Whether or not a fiduciary duty exists in New York is not always black or white. In some circumstances, such as with financial advisors, New York courts have held that a fiduciary duty does exist. Recently, a Dubai bank brought a breach of fiduciary duty claim against asset manager ING Groep and ING Investment Management under this theory. In general, however, courts will consider the following when assessing whether a fiduciary duty exists:

  • Who are the parties involved?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between the two parties?
  • Does the relationship call for a high degree of trust? 
  • Is that degree of trust higher than that of two strangers?

New York courts have found that a fiduciary duty exists in the following examples:

  • Financial advisors
  • Corporate officers
  • Corporate directors
  • Real estate brokers
  • Business partners
  • Attorneys 

Even where a fiduciary duty in New York is found, however, the analysis does not stop there. The plaintiff must prove that the fiduciary breached that duty, either by engaging in self-dealing or not placing the plaintiff’s interests above its own. The plaintiff also must show with clear evidence that the result of the breach was direct harm.

Time is ticking for breach of fiduciary duty claims in New York. These actions are subject to a statute of limitations. Waiting too long to file a lawsuit could result in your inability to win your claim. To learn more, contact a New York business litigation attorney today. Call our office at (888) 497-3410 for a consultation.