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FINRA issued an award in the arbitration between claimants Joseph R. Ritz, Susan F. Ritz and respondents Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (#CRD 149777) and Charles Alan Correal (CRD# 1366202).

According to the award documentation, the claimants asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty, violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, suitability, professional negligence, breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, failure to supervise  and vicarious liability by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Charles Alan Correal.

The claimants allege that respondents invested their funds in risky and unsuitable energy stocks, including Seadrill, Ltd., Copano Energy LLC, and Interoil.

Our attorneys are investigating the suitability of recommendations made by Morgan Stanley (CRD# 149777) and its financial advisors to invest in Seadrill Ltd. and other oil and gas investments and master limited partnerships (“MLPs”).

Morgan Stanley has touted Seadrill at multiple points during the oil and gas investment’s life.  Morgan Stanley served as a book-running manager and underwriter of Seadrill’s initial public offering (“IPO”).  Morgan Stanley has served in similar capacities in at least one other Seadrill public offering.

Morgan Stanley has also featured Seadrill as a presenter at one of its energy conferences in 2014Seadrill hired Morgan Stanley as an advisor on debt talks for the company in 2016.  As recently as February 2017, Morgan Stanley upgraded its outlook on Seadrill.  Now, it appears only two (2) analysts cover Seadrill due to its most recent drop in value.  It’s not clear if one of those two is Morgan Stanley.

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