Thornapple Associates has seven principal associates who appear at trial or arbitration. In addition, Thornapple maintains professional relationships with outside associates who are periodically brought into cases on an as-needed basis, either by virtue of a special qualification required by a given dispute, or by dint of a scheduling constraint on the part of the principal associates.
Courtney Bellaire, President
Expert witness consultation in securities and commodities disputes, to include financial and trading analysis, damage computation, and testimony. Oversees the activities of an expert witness firm in securities disputes, to include calendar docketing, consultation with attorneys with respect to interrogatories, requests for pre-hearing discovery and document production, exhibit preparation of financial and trading analysis in support of other testifying experts within the firm, case assessment, alternative damage methodologies and computations, and question preparation for opposing witnesses. Recurrently consults with state level and federal securities regulators with respect to suitability and risk disclosure considerations attendant to the use of derivative instruments and other securities.
Robert E. Conner
Testimonial and analytic experience since 1983 in over 800 disputes involving both equity and debt instruments and their specific-issue and index derivatives, as well as options, futures and forward contracts on commodities, financial indices and foreign currencies. Expertise extends to asset allocation, portfolio management and hedging, fundamental security analysis, trading, prime broker operations, margin, structured products, collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs), securities industry practice and standards, after-tax considerations, suitability, adequacy of risk disclosure, risk arbitrage and direct investments, loss causation and damages.
Tracy C.M. Conner
Provide paralegal support of firm’s expert witness services in connection with securities and commodities disputes.
Victor Hong, CFA, FRM
Provides expert consultation involving leading-edge analytics for credit valuation, and market risks in connection with a wide range of financial instruments and asset types, including impaired hotel debt, CMBS CDO workouts, regulatory enhancement, and evaluate critical exposures. To provide such consultation in the context of large and complex securities, commercial and employment litigation, arbitration cases and regulatory proceedings involving derivatives, structured products, and risk management issues.
A Chartered Financial Analyst, has been an institutional derivatives portfolio manager and investment analyst. He holds a B.S. in Applied Statistics and a Masters in Operations Research and is an expert in statistics and modeling. Provides statistical and analytical expert witness services and testimony in connection with trials, arbitrations and regulatory proceeding related to securities, options and other exchange-listed and OTC derivatives. A former U.S. Air Force officer and electronic warfare analyst, he applies quantitative techniques and statistical methods to financial analyses of capital markets, trading, portfolio management, risk management and performance attribution.
Richard J. Sussman
Expert consultation and testimony as a Wall Street professional with 26 years experience including 11 years as Managing Director. Unique background in Sales Trading, Credit and Risk Management, Proven success in starting businesses (Latin American Equity Derivatives), building securities trading desks (US Equity Volatility Trading), and leadership roles in Global Risk Management with a heavy emphasis on understanding market risk in the context of collateralized lending.
Lester T. Brol
Providing analytic and testimonial expert witness services in connection with trials, arbitrations and regulatory proceedings related to the securities and commodities industries. Expertise extends to portfolio management, hedging strategies (options and futures), asset allocation, trading, trading practice and standards, and alternative investment strategies.
Provides forensic analysis in connection with trials, arbitrations, mediations and other regulatory proceedings relating to equity finance and prime brokerage operations (specifically in ETF’s, Hard to Borrow securities, Hedge Funds, and NSCC and CNS settlements).
Neal J. Shikes
Twenty-six years in the Financial Services Industry. Extensive experience and expertise in portfolio construction, wealth management, global investment products, clearing/back-office operations, and in rebuilding business models. DOL and ERISA fiduciary standards consultant to Retirement Plans.
Expert consultation and testimony as a Wall Street professional with 44 years experience as Head of compliance and internal audit departments for major investment banks, investment advisors and hedge funds, as well as positions as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Registered Options Principal and former NASD investigator and NASD/NCC coordinator with strong expertise in fixed income, equities, options and other derivative securities.
Larry A. Pines
Mr. Pines founded and leads his own trading and consulting business. He actively trades options and derivatives contracts and advises hedge funds, mutual funds, proprietary traders and family offices on equities and options trading strategies and risk management and managing equity, ETF, commodities and foreign exchange derivatives portfolios for large financial institutions and proprietary trading firms. Mr. Pines has served as an adviser to two law firms on options trading litigation related to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme for trials in Massachusetts, Delaware, Washington and Bermuda. He has also advised law firms on cases related to investment fraud and stock trading in District Courts in New Jersey and Iowa. Mr. Pines has also advised an investor in preparation for an arbitration hearing with a registered investment adviser in New York.
Mr. Pines has 27 years of experience analyzing and trading financial markets and has been a member market maker on the New York Stock Exchange, Chicago Board of Options Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and Pacific Stock Exchange. He has also traded derivatives contracts in the over-the-counter foreign exchange market for Chase Manhattan Bank and Bank of New York. Mr. Pines specializes in trading equities and options on equities involved in special situations such as mergers and acquisitions, spinoffs, hard-to-borrow stocks, Dutch tender offers and rights offerings.
Mr. Pines’ expertise includes modeling and simulating trading strategies, designing and executing multi-legged options trades, analyzing equities and options trading patterns for signs of fraud and explaining industry best practices for trade execution and reporting.