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Lee H. Zell

Partner Birmingham
(205) 226-3494
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Education
  • New York University School of Law
    J.D., 1974, New York University Annual Survey of American Law, Articles Editor
  • Columbia University
    A.B., 1971, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions
  • Alabama, 1974
About Lee
Q&A
  • What types of clients do you represent?

    I regularly represent financial services companies, including banks, broker-dealers, and accounting firms, as well as corporate officers and directors.

  • What type of matters do you work on most often?
MORE ABOUT Lee
  • Business litigation: Successfully defended shareholder derivative and direct claims against corporate directors and trustee for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. Summary judgment affirmed on appeal and case remanded for award of trustee's attorneys' fees and costs. (2016, Ladd v. Stockham, --- So.3d ---, WL 1171473)
  • Business litigation: Representing former directors of regional securities broker-dealer in suit asserting shareholder derivative and direct claims for breach of fiduciary duty; related representation of broker-dealer in connection with responses to federal grand jury subpoenas. (2015 - 2016)
  • Corporate investigation: Represented special litigation committee of the board of directors of Mississippi-based bank in connection with shareholder derivative claims arising out of a proposed acquisition of the bank. (2013)
  • Securities arbitrations: Represented regional securities broker-dealer in multiple FINRA arbitrations involving purchase and sale of auction rate securities. (2010 - 2014)
  • Securities litigation: Represented officers and directors of federal wholesale credit union in claims brought by member credit union under federal and state securities laws for alleged misrepresentations and omissions in connection with reclassification of member's capital interests; related representation of officer and director in administrative proceedings brought by the National Credit Union Administration. (2009 – 2012, Corporate America Credit Union v. Herbst, No. 2:09-CV-02126-IPJ, United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama)
  • Derivatives litigation: Represented Alabama agency in challenge to enforceability of a swaption transaction under which the agency was allegedly obligated to pay termination fees of more than $120 million. (2008 – 2010, Alabama Public School and College Authority v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, No. 2:08- CV-863-WKW, United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama)
  • Corporate investigation: Represented the Special Audit Review Committee of the board of directors of HealthSouth Corporation, charged with identifying and quantifying the nature and extent of misstatements in HealthSouth's publicly issued financial statements. (2006)
  • Securities litigation: Represented Big Four accounting firm in multiple federal and state court proceedings arising out the bankruptcy of an Alabama-based public company. (2006)
  • Securities litigation: Successfully defended directors and officers of Alabama-based bank against state securities law claims arising out of private offering of bank's securities. (2006, Blackmon v. Nexity Financial Corporation, 953 So.2d 1180)
      Education
      • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1974, New York University Annual Survey of American Law, Articles Editor
      • Columbia University, A.B., 1971, magna cum laude
      Courts
      • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, 1974
      • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, 1975
      • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama, 1975
      • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1981
      • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1981
      • U.S. Supreme Court, 1983
      • U.S. Tax Court, 1983
      Bar Admissions
      • Alabama, 1974
      Professional Affiliations
      • Birmingham Bar Association, past Chair, Grievance Committee
      • Alabama State Bar; past Chair, Business Torts and Antitrust Section
      Awards & Accolades
      • The Best Lawyers in America, Securities Litigation, Regulatory Enforcement Litigation, Banking and Finance Litigation, Commercial Litigation, 1995 - present
      • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Business Litigation
      Clerkships
      • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, Honorable Sam C. Pointer, Jr., 1974 - 1975