FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

James J. Eccleston

Eccleston Law Offices, P.C.

Chicago, IL, USA

James J. Eccleston is the owner and President of Eccleston Law Offices, P.C. in Chicago, IL and is the chief strategist and lead attorney for all clients of the firm. His 23-year legal career has earned him the highest awards and distinctions by both his clients and his peers. For example, Martindale-Hubbell has bestowed upon him the coveted AV® Peer Review Rating (which is the highest possible rating for both integrity and ethics). He likewise has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer, not just once, but in every year since its inception in 2005. A third independent rating service has designated him as an Illinois Leading Lawyer for Employment Law. All of those distinctions are granted to those attorneys considered to be the best (top 5% or better) in the state.

Mr. Eccleston is highly acclaimed for good reason. First, he knows the securities business. He is a chairperson-qualified FINRA arbitrator as well as a qualified FINRA mediator. He served clients as an investment adviser and has held numerous securities licenses, including investment adviser Series 65, securities principal Series 24, and securities representative Series 7.

Second, he constantly is ahead of the pack in identifying and alerting others to important developments in the securities industry. For over 15 years, he has written monthly columns for Chicago Lawyer, The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and several other publications for attorneys. For 7 years, he was the legal columnist for the well-respected, cutting edge publication for financial advisers, On Wall Street. He additionally has written articles for publications such as InvestmentNews, Wealth Manager and Research Magazine. Mr. Eccleston often is quoted in other publications such as Registered Representative. He sponsors FinancialCounsel.com and a blog (financialcounsel.typepad.com) featuring articles and commentary on current events and investigations. He has appeared on CNN, First Business Morning News WCIU Chicago, and various radio talk shows.

Third, attorneys and financial advisers nationwide select Mr. Eccleston to educate them about securities and employment law. In May 2011, Mr. Eccleston spoke before the Lake County Bar Association's Civil Trial and Appeals Committee for their 13th Annual Seminar.  He spoke on "Representing Investors on Loss Recovery." In March 2011, he served as a panel moderator for the Chicago Bar Association seminar on Recent Developments in Private Litigation.  Recent presentations include: "Avoiding Lawsuits as a Financial Adviser" for the Financial Planning Association in January 2011;  "Firm Defense Tactics" at PIABA's 19th Annual Meeting in 2010; "Arbitration Basics" at Practicing Law Institute's program on Federal Civil Practice Update 2010; and "Avoiding Customer Complaints" at the Financial Planning Association's 2009 Annual Spring Forum. Representative webinar presentations include: "Key Guidance on Hedge Fund Investing," "Avoiding Traps in Your Transition," and "The Evolution Of Fiduciary Liability For Investment Losses." Additionally, he is the continuing legal education teacher for Suing Securities Professionals.

Mr. Eccleston is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), Chicago Bar Association (CBA), Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), Financial Planning Association (FPA), Lake County Bar Association (LCBA), Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association's Compliance and Legal Division (SIFMA-CL), Union League Club of Chicago and the Sarasota Yacht Club. He is admitted to practice in Illinois, Massachusetts, the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, and the United States District Court District of Massachusetts. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1983, an M.A. from Boston College in 1984, and his J.D. cum laude from Suffolk University in 1987.

Practice Areas

  • Securities Arbitration and Litigation
  • Securities Regulation and Compliance
  • Labor and Employment Litigation

Mr. Eccleston represents individual and institutional investors to recover their investment losses caused by losses caused by unsuitable investment recommendations, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence or other misconduct.  He has extensive experience representing investors in arbitration and litigation disputes with securities broker-dealers and investment advisory firms, and has recovered tens of millions of dollars for investors.

Mr. Eccleston counsels, represents and defends financial advisers nationwide in regulatory, compliance, disciplinary and employment matters in arbitration and litigation, and before regulatory bodies such as the SEC, FINRA and state securities regulators. He also assists financial advisers with various regulatory, employment and compensation matters as they transition from one firm to another. He has won substantial arbitration awards for advisers for compensatory damages resulting from wrongful termination and Form U-5 defamation, including ordering removal of defamatory language as well as declaring an outstanding promissory note balance to be null and void. In 1991, Mr. Eccleston obtained the largest jury verdict ever at the time in Cook County, IL for a defamation and wrongful termination for a business executive.


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