Our firm is like family. We truly believe that each case is someone’s life and we need to treat it as such.
Attorney Verónica Irizarry, a native of Ponce, brings years of experience to her securities and commercial litigation practice along with her team of collaborators. We do not see ourselves simply as “lawyers”, but as a group of collaborators always working to be our clients’ trusted counsel in any commercial, securities and corporate matters. We believe in integrity, trust, innovation and teamwork. We are committed to serve the island and helping its economical, financial and social development.
Supreme Court of Puerto Rico
U.S District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
U.S Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
Puerto Rico Lawyers Bar Association
American Bar Association
Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association
We provide corporate counsel, from general corporate matters such as the incorporation of the company, directors’ and shareholders’ rights, articles of incorporation, board meetings, among others. Also, matters such as mergers, acquisitions, restructuring. As we move from on stage to the other, from negotiation to documentation, our team of accountants, financial advisors and tax lawyers come into play. Together, we have an exemplary team of ambitious and knowledgeable professionals prepared to address your business or transactions. We also help our clients to enter the island and to start operations and/or business under the “Act to Promote Exportation of Services (Act 20-2012) and/or under the “Individual Investors Act (Act 22-2012).
Verónica Irizarry is actively representing numerous Puerto Rico’s bonds and bond funds investors who have suffered devastating losses from investing in Puerto Rico municipal debt. Together with her team of collaborators, Verónica Irizarry is committed to helping Puerto Rico’s bonds and bond fund investors recover those damages to which they are entitled. Many investors have potential claims against firms such as UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico, Popular Securities, LLC, Santander Securities, Oriental Financial Services Corp., and others, because of the breach of their numerous duties and obligations owed to Puerto Rico’s bonds and bond funds investors. As of November 2018, investors have filed more than 3,300 FINRA arbitrations alleging losses from Puerto Rico municipal bonds and bond funds. Securities firms have paid more than $500 million in settlements and arbitration awards. Verónica Irizarry looks forward to the honor of meeting with you and discussing whether FINRA arbitration is viable for you. All consultations are confidential and at no cost. If she believes her team can help you, she will offer to represent you on a contingency fee basis. Generally, all expenses are advanced on the client’s behalf. Please remember that the hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide to hire an attorney, ask the attorney to send you free written information about their qualifications and experience.
We manage all phases of the civil litigation from the investigation, pleadings and discovery all through the trial, settlement and appeal process. We represent our clients in all Puerto Rico state and federal courts and mediations or arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA). Also, any other contractual &/or administrative forum.
I always knew I was made to solve problems in the fastest way possible. I am driven with the opportunity to make my clients lives easier from day one. It is not focusing on the problems, but focusing on the solution whether that is inside or outside of court or in arbitration. Also, it is my ultimate goal to be accessible to every client so they feel they have their lawyer at hand, at all time. For me, that is true service.
Verónica Irizarry, a native of Ponce, brings years of experience to securities and commercial litigation. She is actively representing numerous Puerto Rico’s bonds and bond funds investors who have suffered devastating losses from investing in Puerto Rico municipal debt. Irizarry andher team of collaborators,are committed to helping Puerto Rico’s bonds and bond fund investors recover those damages to which they are entitled.
Many investors have potential claims against firms such as UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico, Popular Securities, LLC, Santander Securities, Oriental Financial Services Corp., and others, because of the breach of their numerous duties and obligations owed to Puerto Rico’s bonds and bond funds investors. As of April 2018, investors have filed around 3,000 FINRA arbitrations alleging losses from Puerto Rico municipal bonds and bond funds. Securities firms have paid more than $400 million in settlements and arbitration awards. An informative assessment of the current status of Puerto Rico FINRA arbitrations is available by clicking here.
Verónica Irizarry looks forward to the honor of meeting with you and discussing whether FINRA arbitration is viable for you. All consultations are confidential and at no cost. If she believes her team can help you, she will offer to represent you on a contingency fee basis. Generally, all expenses are advanced on the client’s behalf. Please remember that the hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide to hire an attorney, ask the attorney to send you free written information about their qualifications and experience.
Compared to resolving a controversy in Court, one of the most appealing features of the arbitration or mediation process in FINRA is its private nature. When a complaint is filed in court, its contents and all subsequent filings are immediately a matter of public record. The complaint itself becomes a public document. In arbitration, however, the Statement of Claim filed is not a public document; there is no Court Clerk to go to and get a copy of the claim. If someone visited the FINRA offices to review a filed Claim, they would not be able to get a copy. This is a private and confidential litigation process. While cases litigated in court are characterized by time consuming and expensive discovery, arbitrations generally do not involve the same degree of discovery. In fact, depositions rarely to ever occur in arbitration. Unless the arbitration proceeds to a final hearing, both the Claim and any Settlement Agreement will be completely confidential. Typically, only the involved parties and regulators will have knowledge of the amount of any settlement. The settlement amount could potentially become part of a public regulatory record, but this rarely occurs. Even if it did, neither details of a Claim nor the underlying facts would become public.
Before accepting any case, attorney Verónica Irizarry will evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. She will meet with you in person, regardless of your location, because she believes it’s important to determine how well we can work together in order to achieve the best possible outcome. She will start by asking you for all documents that she believes are relevant to your case. Depending on the facts, she may need to speak with other people who have knowledge of your case, including but not limited to your accountant. Before the process begins, a fee agreement will be discussed. You will not be charged for time she and her team spends reviewing your case to determine whether they will accept it on a contingency fee basis. All fee agreements must be in writing and signed. Verónica Irizarry will advance the expenses necessary to prosecute your case and obtain the best outcome.
If you have a case viable to arbitrate, Veronica Irizarry and her team will work to prepare a Statement of Claim. Once the Statement of Claim is finalized and verified by you, it will be filed with FINRA. The filing is private and not posted in public records.Once claims are filed, final arbitration hearings will likely occur in about eighteen to twenty months. Between the time of filing and the final arbitration hearing, Verónica Irizarry and her team will devote a substantial effort toward preparation, take any step needed, meet with you and other witnesses as often as necessary to prepare the case. At all stages of the process, Veronica Irizarry will make every effort to be accessible to you. You are welcome to call her cell phone whenever necessary. She will meet in person as often as needed.
Commonly, securities firms engage in settlement negotiations before beginning an arbitration hearing. Some investors achieve fair settlements, early in the pursuit of their claims or even at the very end. Settlements can occur through direct negotiation between attorneys or through formal MediationMediation can occur at any time during the process and is usually voluntary and non-binding. The parties simply agree on a specific mediator, whose role is to help the parties achieve a fair and reasonable settlement.
If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, a final arbitration hearing is likely to occur. There is no predetermined length of time for an arbitration hearing – that will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. Usually, the arbitration hearing is somewhere between five to eight days long. At the conclusion of the arbitration hearing, in about thirty days, the arbitrators render a final decision or Award, by which, with limited exceptions, the parties are bound to abide and will resolve the Claim.
When investors purchase municipal bonds they expect to receive promised interest payments as long as they own the bonds and if held to maturity their principal back. Municipal bonds are mostly bought by conservative, non-sophisticated investors who value government bonds’ stability and safety compared to bonds from other issuers and compared to stocks. These investors expect that if they sell the bonds before maturity they will receive approximately the same amount as they paid for the bonds. Municipal bonds have the added advantage in that the interest payments are often exempt from income taxes.
Puerto Rico’s outstanding public debt doubled from 2005 to 2013 as a result of a protracted recession and diminished government revenues. Puerto Rico bonds which had historically been a relatively safe place for conservative income-oriented investors had become considerably more risky by 2012. Starting in late 2012 and then precipitously in September of 2013, there was a significant drop in the value of Puerto Rico municipal bonds. For many years, brokerage firms in Puerto Rico had encouraged investors to concentrate their accounts in government bonds, even borrowing money to buy more bonds. The combination of overconcentration, leverage and bond price declines resulted in massive losses for thousands of Puerto Rico investors. While over 3,000 FINRA arbitrations have already been filed against UBS, Popular, Santander, Oriental and Merrill Lynch many investors who suffered large losses have still not sought remedy. Some investors believed bond price declines were temporary and were satisfied that they continued to receive interest payments. Since August, 2015, Puerto Rico issuers have defaulted on almost all of the outstanding $70 billion in bonds and so investors in Puerto Rico bonds and bond funds are facing the harsh reality of having to sell bonds at sharply reduced prices to replace lost income.
The uncertainty and speculation of whether these Debts will ever be repaid
Many economic and experts forecasters are doubtful that these debts will be resolved in the foreseeable future. The Puerto Rican government’s inability to pay back their bonds has left investors suffering massive losses, totaling $70 billion.
Whether Puerto Rico is ever able to repay the outstanding debt, investors who suffered losses in bonds and bond funds are running out of time to recover their losses.
Though some investors bought bonds independently, many investors were given bad advice by financial advisors, investment firms, or stock brokers. With a poorly structured portfolio heavily concentrated in Puerto Rico municipal bonds, incompetent and unsupervised handling of their finances effectively ruined these investors.
If you or someone you know has suffered loss from investing in Puerto Rico municipal bonds, an experienced and dedicated lawyer can help to recover your investment. Attorney Verónica Irizarry and her team will fight on your behalf to get your portfolio back from the brokerage firms that ruined it. It is time to act, and the time is now.