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2011 Round-up: State of Promissory Note and EFL Arbitrations by Bill Singer

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Aug 3, 2011 1:53 pm

Lately, my phone is ringing off the hook with queries about the mechanics of settling or fighting the repayment of Promissory Notes (“PNs”) and Employee Forgivable Loans (“EFLs”). 

From the perspective of the employer, these agreements contemplate a loan. Moreover, when your current firm becomes your former firm, there’s an expectation that any unaccrued balance will be promptly repaid.

From the perspective of many employees, the PNs and EFLs are so many fanciful ways of describing a mere bonus.  When you leave your current firm, if it’s largely your fault, okay, sure, maybe you’ll repay the balance or ask for some discount. However, if you feel that you were pressured to leave or that your firm didn’t keep its end of the bargain, you’re just as likely to tell them exactly where they can shove the remaining balance.

Sadly, Wall Street is still struggling with the Great Recession and its aftermath (assuming that we’re not still smack dab in the middle of it).  On top of recent waves of lay-offs, which are ever-so-euphemistically referred to as reductions in force, there are just-announced slashes of staff that will worsen an already growing pool of unemployed industry professionals.  All of which brings us to a number of intra-industry arbitrations where the parties, having failed to settle their disputes, thrash it out.  It ain’t pretty and it’s getting even uglier.

How’s the wind blowin’ these days?  Are there any trends in PN and EFL disputes? Any tips or head’s-ups that a wily industry veteran lawyer like that dashing Bill Singer can offer?

Tell you what, visit these links and you can figure it all out for yourself:

Promissory Notes           EFL