James Eccleston 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).
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 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. Recent presentations include: “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. He has presented webinars on “Key Guidance on Hedge Fund Investing,” “Avoiding Traps in Your Transition,” “The Evolution Of Fiduciary Liability For Investment Losses,” “Recovering Your Losses From Misguided Real Estate Investments,” “Buying Or Selling An investment Advisory Firm,” and “Implementing Effective Email and Document Retention Policies And Procedures.” Mr. Eccleston is the continuing legal education teacher for Suing Securities Professionals.
Mr. Eccleston is a member of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Compliance and Legal Division (SIFMA-CL), and the Union League Club of Chicago. 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.