Mr. Christopher Harold Tovar

Mr. Christopher Harold Tovar

Law Offices of Christopher H. Tovar, PLLC
  • Arbitration & Mediation, Business Law, Employment Law ...
  • Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Texas
Claimed Lawyer Profile

Christopher H. Tovar worked in the securities industry as a registered representative with two national brokerage firms before becoming an attorney specializing in securities arbitration before NASD and NYSE (now FINRA) panels and litigation in court settings. He has represented investors seeking redress in cases involving the full range of brokerage negligence and fraud issues, from unsuitability to churning, failure to supervise, selling away, mishandling of incentive stock options, investment banking fraud and conversion. He has also represented brokers and brokerage firms in defending against such claims, as well as brokers who have been wrongfully terminated or who have had false and defamatory statements placed on their U-4/U-5 records by their employers.

Mr. Tovar has also served as general counsel and chief compliance officer to a FINRA member broker dealer and SEC-registered investment advisor, where he handled arbitration and litigation matters, and legal and compliance risk management, as well as product due diligence in the securities and insurance contexts. In both his capacities as general counsel and chief compliance officer, he has worked closely with the SEC, FINRA and state regulators on audits of these entities, and in establishing firm best practices. He has authored and edited written supervisory procedures for both broker dealers and registered investment advisors, state and federally registered, and worked with both types of entities in establishing and improving supervisory systems. He has also served hedge funds in these capacities.

Mr. Tovar is experienced in non-solicit and non-compete issues as they relate to brokerage firms, and has successfully resolved corporate raiding matters for both claimants and respondents in several states.

University of Texas - Austin
M.A. | History
Studied under John W.F. Dulles.
Honors: Graduate Opportunity Fellow
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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
J.D. | Law
Activities: Founding member, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review (MTTLR). Studied foreign investment and international human rights at New College, Oxford University.
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Duke University
B.A. | Area Studies, Russian, History
Completed the equivalent of three bachelor's degrees in three years.
Honors: Dean's List.
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Professional Experience
Law Offices of Christopher H. Tovar, PLLC
- Current
• Representing associated persons in securities industry employment matters including Form U5 defamation, non-solicit/non-compete, corporate raiding, and Dodd-Frank whistleblower actions involving FINRA member broker-dealers. • Taking on new fraud and unsuitability claims on behalf of public investors.
Vice President, Legal Department
Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.
• Handled litigation in-house as well as responses to regulatory inquiries. • Defeated a $15 million FINRA arbitration claim against the broker-dealer in October 2016.
Oppenheimer & Co.
• Defeated or favorably resolved over $5 million in FINRA arbitration claims against the firm in the first year and over $12 million in claims the second. • Favorably settled a $2 million corporate raiding claim against the firm for less than 5% of the damages sought by claimant, a national broker-dealer.
Managing Partner
Tovar & Cline, LP
• Resolved industry disputes relating to employment, U4/U5, non-solicit/non-compete, and corporate raiding through FINRA arbitration and mediation. • Obtained favorable settlements in all cases, including a multimillion-dollar U5 defamation matter against a global bank with more than $2 trillion in assets.
Hertz Schram, P.C.
Served firm's securities litigation and arbitration and compliance/risk management advising practice on a nationwide level. Successfully defended national broker-dealers in FINRA arbitrations and in state and federal courts. Awarded a directed verdict in representing a national broker-dealer in a $4MM selling away case. Completed a large and complex SEC-appointed receivership relating to a Ponzi scheme.
General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer
Investment Professionals, Inc.
Served FINRA member broker-dealer and federally registered investment advisor in all legal and compliance matters. As General Counsel, handled litigation and arbitration matters, and legal risk management relating to the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and SEC Rules 38a-1 and 206(4)-7, and other relevant laws and regulations. As Chief Compliance Officer, advised IPI in fraud and loss prevention and compliance risk management and regulatory audits. Worked closely with bank compliance officer counterparts to ensure firm adherence to BISA (Bank Insurance and Securities Association) and other relevant state and federal compliance standards. Conducted evaluations and generated final written approval of all investment and fixed and variable insurance products from a legal and compliance perspective as Head of IPI’s Due Diligence Committee, and reported findings to CEO and management team as well as to all banks with which IPI maintains relationships. Trained supervisors and sales force regarding legal and compliance risk management in use of IPI’s product suite in making investment and insurance recommendations.
Contract Attorney
Greer Herz & Adams, L.L.P.
Conducted evaluations of several key investment and insurance products of American National Insurance Company (ANICO) in regulatory and litigation risk contexts, in conjunction with that company’s compliance department and outside securities and insurance counsel based in Washington, D.C.
Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas, L.L.P.
Attorney at firm devoted to securities arbitration and litigation. Experienced in the full range of brokerage negligence and fraud issues, from unsuitability to churning, failure to supervise, selling away, mishandling of incentive stock options, investment banking fraud, and conversion. Handled all stages of securities cases before NASD and NYSE and in court settings, including client intake and contracting, initial damages assessments, discovery, trial briefs, settlement negotiations, mediations, and trial.
Registered Representative
CUNA Mutual Group
Registered representative at insurance and investment firm serving credit unions throughout the United States. Served a client base of 19,000 credit union members. Expert in variable annuities and other insurance-related investment products.
Registered Representative
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Registered representative at major investment house. Held Series 7, 66, and 31 licenses. Served clients from technology companies Yahoo! and Sapient Corporation, as well as the Ford Motor Company. Experienced with bonds and other fixed-income products.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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Supreme Court of Illinois
ID Number: 6328105
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New York
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Practice Areas
Arbitration & Mediation
Business Arbitration, Consumer Arbitration, Family Arbitration
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Finance, Business Formation, Business Litigation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Employment Law
Employee Benefits, Employment Contracts, Employment Discrimination, ERISA, Overtime & Unpaid Wages, Sexual Harassment, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination
Securities Law
Stockbroker & Investment Fraud
  • German: Written
  • Mandarin: Spoken
  • Portuguese: Written
  • Russian: Spoken, Written
  • Spanish: Written
Contact & Map
Law Offices of Christopher H. Tovar, PLLC
3990 Chilson Road
Howell, MI , MI 48843
Telephone: (832) 370-3908