Profile

MEDIATOR – FINANCIAL SERVICES

Lowell Haky, Esq. is a talented mediator offering broad expertise in the financial services industry. With extensive experience in securities, asset management, banking, ERISA, trade secrets, employment, and real estate, Mr. Haky has a unique dispute resolution outlook honed through litigating high-stakes cases from both plaintiff and defendant perspectives. He offers rare insight into corporate litigation risk assessment and settlement valuation.

  • Mediation: Experienced Mediator, Temporary Judge, and Mandatory Settlement Conference Officer. Conducted hundreds of Mediations and Mandatory Settlement Conferences in San Francisco and Contra Costa Superior Courts and for the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Attained an impressive 85% settlement rate.
  • High-Stakes Litigation: Litigated dozens of major financial industry cases on both the plaintiff and defense sides. Defended multibillion-dollar securities, antitrust, and regulatory enforcement claims. Recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in affirmative recovery cases for a major Asset Management company.
  • Financial Services Expertise: Highly skilled in Securities, Asset Management, Financial Planning, Banking, ERISA, Employment, Theft of Trade Secrets, and Real Estate as both in-house and outside counsel.
  • Distinctive Insights: Deep knowledge of corporate approach to evaluating litigation and regulatory risks and assessing settlement value. Extensive experience with top-tier plaintiff and defense-side firms in case evaluation and settlement strategy.
  • Mediation Style: Recognized for fostering trust and resolving interpersonal conflicts to prioritize mutual interests. Combines friendliness, creativity, and determination to bring cases to a successful close.

MEDIATION EXPERIENCE

ADR SERVICES, INC.
Mediator, Arbitrator 2024-Present
Conducts mediations and arbitrations in the areas of financial services, trusts and estates, employment, real estate, business and contract, landlord/tenant, and construction defect.

SAN FRANCISCO SUPERIOR COURT
Temporary Judge, Settlement Conference Officer 2018-Present
Conducts mandatory settlement conferences in San Francisco Superior Court as a Temporary Judge and Settlement Conference Officer.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT – CONGRESS OF NEUTRALS
Mediator, Discovery Facilitator 2018-2021
Conducted mediations and facilitated discovery dispute resolution in Contra Costa County Superior Court cases.

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING
Mediator 2018-2022
Mediated employment disputes for the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC., San Francisco, CA
Managing Director – Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement 2000-2024
Managed a team of lawyers and staff responsible for resolving complex, high-stakes disputes. Consistently achieved excellent outcomes.

  • Represented Schwab in complex class-action litigation, including Antitrust, Best Execution, 401K Excessive Fee, and Privacy cases.
  • Represented Schwab in high-profile regulatory enforcement actions, including the DOJ antitrust investigation of Schwab’s $26B TD Ameritrade acquisition, and the Market Timing and Late Trading, Auction Rate Securities, and Class Action Waiver actions.
  • Established and managed Schwab’s Affirmative Recovery Practice Group, pursuing investment loss recovery on securities held in Schwab Mutual Funds and ETFs. Cases included domestic opt-out litigation and international opt-in claims. Hundreds of millions of dollars in recoveries.
  • Established and managed Schwab’s Employee Transition Practice Group, focusing on employee departures and theft of trade secrets and intellectual property.
  • Handled hundreds of FINRA arbitration cases relating to alleged financial advisor misconduct and product failures.

ZELLE & LARSON, LLP, San Francisco, CA
Litigation Associate 1995-2000

  • Represented broker-dealers, investment advisors, individual investors, and commercial finance companies in litigation, arbitration, and regulatory enforcement cases.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Frequent speaker at the Practising Law Institute (PLI), Chief Litigation Counsel Forums, Securities Industry Conferences and Judicial Conferences on various topics including Negotiating Techniques, Affirmative Recovery Litigation, and Litigation Trends.

EDUCATION

  • J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, CA
  • B.S. in Business Administration & Finance, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

Representative Cases

Financial Services

  • Mediated claim by customer alleging that independent Investment Advisor engaged in unsuitable trading and that custodial Broker Dealer failed to catch red flags of the IA’s activity.
  • Mediated claim by asset management company alleging securities fraud by publicly traded company relating to securities held in several of its investment portfolios.
  • Mediated customer’s claim that the Broker Dealer failed to obtain best execution of customer orders during a system outage.
  • Mediated case by plaintiff Broker Dealer against underwriters of asset-backed securities for securities fraud.
  • Mediated customer claim that certain risks associated with alternative investments were not disclosed and that declining investment performance was inaccurately reported on account statements.
  • Mediated case against corporate 401k plan alleging excessive fees for use of proprietary mutual funds as exclusive participant investment options.
  • Mediated case by credit card issuer against cardholder for breach of contract.

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Trusts and Estates

  • Mediated three interrelated cases among beneficiaries and trustees of decedent TV producer’s successive trusts alleging breach of fiduciary duty, and improper sales of real property and distribution of proceeds.

Employment

  • Mediated claim by co-founder of Silicon Valley technology company for breach of oral partnership agreement and wrongful termination. The firm brought counterclaims for theft of intellectual property.
  • Mediated claim by Broker Dealer against former registered representative alleging theft and unauthorized use of trade-secret customer information.
  • Mediated wrongful termination case brought by a doctor against successful San Francisco cosmetic surgery practice for pregnancy discrimination and breach of contract.
  • Mediated claim by registered nurse against East Bay medical facility for wrongful termination.

Real Estate

  • Mediated lease claim by historic San Francisco Flower Mart restaurant relating to redevelopment of the complex and placement of alternative restaurant location.
  • Mediated numerous habitability claims including mold, construction noise, vermin, etc., under Rent Stabilization Ordinances.
  • Mediated claim by paraplegic plaintiff of constructive eviction claiming that building elevator was out of service over 30 times in a two-year period, requiring plaintiff to crawl up to his 5th floor apartment.
  • Mediated dozens of unlawful detainer cases in San Francisco Superior Court as a Settlement Conference Judge.
  • Mediated real estate ownership dispute among family members of long-held commercial properties in San Francisco.
  • Mediated case brought by the City of San Francisco against the developer of the Yoshi’s San Francisco development in the Filmore Historic District for repayment of personal loan guarantees after default.
  • Mediated claim by contractor against San Francisco building owner for failure to pay for work performed. Building owner counterclaimed for failure to comply with building plans and property damage.
  • Mediated claim by homeowners’ association against a construction company for construction defects in earthquake retrofit project.

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Business Disputes

  • Mediated business dispute among founders of two Montessori schools in San Francisco over ownership shares and the status of several capital investments in the businesses, and claims of violating non-compete agreements.

Other

  • Mediated claim against Mercedes Benz dealership for selling a vehicle as Certified Preowned when it had allegedly been in a serious accident requiring extensive structural repairs.
  • Mediated auto accident case involving serious spinal injuries requiring three surgeries and leaving permanent damage.

Testimonials

“I endorse Mr. Haky for mediator services. In one of my trust and estate litigation cases Mr. Haky was instrumental as a mandatory settlement conference mediator in helping the parties reach a settlement after over three years of very contentious litigation. In addition to probing, prodding, and pushing a bit, Mr. Haky also provided the parties with some creative settlement options. The MSC was scheduled for four hours during an afternoon session; however, settlement was only reached because Mr. Haky stayed with us until settlement was reached at 9:30 p.m. I can and do highly recommend Mr. Haky for mediator services.”


“Lowell was an excellent mediator, and handled the case both before and at the session with calmness and consummate, empathic focus to help the parties resolve their dispute. I look forward to working again with him in the future.”


“Lowell possesses the tools of an exceptional mediator combined with deep substantive legal knowledge, especially in financial cases. Lowell’s demeanor fosters trust and open communications, affording parties the best chance for resolving contentious disputes. Highly recommended.”


“Mr. Haky brings compassion and dedication to mediations.  He cares about the litigants and works to achieve a resolution that’s in everyone’s’ best interests.  Mr. Haky has an affable personality and is approachable – a breath of fresh air to clients who may be intimidated by the mediation process.  ”


“A practical-minded mediator who helped us achieve a creative and workable settlement. He listened to my client’s concerns and provided valuable guidance throughout the process. Most importantly, he got the case settled and we avoided an impending trial.”


“Mr. Haky worked tirelessly to resolve our case, including conducting multiple pre-mediation sessions and working into the evening. I was impressed with his tenacity and skill.”


“Very patient and persistent with difficult personalities.  Two thumbs up!”