Andrew H. Barbour
Andrew joined The Smith-Free Group in December of 2008, after seven years as the lead Democrat at The Financial Services Roundtable. At The Roundtable, Andrew worked on issues before Congress and the Executive Branch in the areas of insurance, technology, intellectual property and international affairs. He was the head lobbyist in charge of The Roundtable’s successful efforts to pass landmark legislation including The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (and its successor). He also directed Roundtable activities on regulatory restructuring for the insurance sector and other industry priorities including patent reform. Andrew has served as the principle liaison to several of the Roundtable’s policy development groups including the Optional Federal Insurance Charter Working Group, the Intellectual Property Working Group and the Global Issues Working Group. In addition, he led the Committee on Business and the Economy, a CEO-level committee charged with developing overall association policy by The Roundtable’s Board of Directors.
Previously, he served in the Clinton Administration as the Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Congressional Affairs. As such, Andrew was an advisor to Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky on legislative matters, including the Trade and Development Act of 2000 and China PNTR. Before his service at USTR, Andrew was the Manager for Public Relations for Gap Inc. – a branded apparel company headquartered in San Francisco, California – and was the Manager for Government Affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers of America. Andrew worked on Capitol Hill for The Honorable William D. Ford (D-MI) and The Honorable Bart Stupak (D-MI).
David B. Bernfeld
A 1965 graduate of the NYU School of Law, Mr. Bernfeld has practiced law in New York City on a full time and continuous basis ever since. He is currently the senior partner in the law firm of Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld LLP which maintains its offices in Manhattan.
Throughout his professional career. Mr. Bernfeld has specialized in sophisticated litigation and professional advice to individual and corporate clients, in both the civil and criminal areas. His practice includes a significant volume of securities and investor protection litigation. He and his firm also maintain an active health care practice, representing individual and institutional Health Care providers in connection with a the full panoply of health care issues, including rate reimbursement, corporate governance and regulatory compliance matters.
For the past several years, Mr. Bernfeld and his firm have represented numerous investors who have been victimized by Ponzi schemes and other securities frauds, including most significantly Madoff fraud victims. The services include SIPC claims and clawback litigation matters on behalf of the victims as well as actions against the SEC to be brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Mr. Bernfeld has been extremely active with NIAP and Madoff-Help during the past three years, providing thousands of hours of service to the organization and through NIAP, to the Madoff victim community at large on a pro bono basis in every area of NIAP’s investor protection activities, including preparing and filing amicus briefs on behalf of NIAP, working with NIAP in connection with its remedial legislative efforts and providing assistance through NIAP to the NIAP membership in connection with the filing of Notices of Claim with the SEC and IRS to protect investor rights under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
In November, 2011, Mr. Bernfeld became a member of the Board of Directors of NIAP, also on a pro bono basis.
Michael I. Goldberg
Michael been qualified as an expert witness on Ponzi schemes in several district court cases. He has testified as an expert witness on Ponzi schemes in several cases in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Michael has appeared on national news programs such as CNN, CNBC, Fox News, National Public Radio (NPR), and numerous local NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox affiliates on Ponzi schemes and receiverships. He has also been quoted on Ponzi schemes and receiverships in national publications such as Bloomberg’s, Forbes, People Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Miami Herald, the Sun Sentinel, and numerous other publications. A member of the Florida and New York Bar Association, Michael Goldberg has extensive experience in Bankruptcy and Receivership.
A founding partner of Lax & Neville, LLP, Brian has significant experience in broker/dealer, securities, regulatory defense and employment litigation in arbitration forums, and state and federal court. He has arbitrated cases in at least 17 states and 35 cities and been lead counsel on more than five hundred such matters. Mr. Neville is frequently featured and quoted in Registered Rep and On Wall Street magazines for his expertise and experience on broker recruiting issues and expunging broker’s publically disclosed records. He has also guest lectured at a number of seminars hosted by various financial services companies to assist financial advisors and branch managers with best practices to avoid litigation.
In private practice since 2000, Mr. Neville has represented customers, brokers and broker/ dealers in sales practice disputes, financial services professionals in employment, partnership, succession planning and sales of businesses, and brokers and broker/dealers concerning regulatory issues before FINRA (formerly the NASD and NYSE) and the SEC. From 1994 through 2000, Mr. Neville was Associate General Counsel of Josephthal & Co., as well as in-house counsel at Prudential Securities. Through the course of his in-house career, Mr. Neville gained extensive experience in handling hundreds of NASD and NYSE arbitration claims, which included a full range of customer complaints, such as misrepresentation, unsuitability, churning, and fraud, to more unique claims, such as, successor-in-interest claims, negligent hiring, and market manipulation. Mr. Neville represented Josephthal in broker disputes, such as, wrongful termination, U-5 defamation, breach of contract and enforcement of restrictive covenants. Mr. Neville also represented Josephthal and its brokers before state securities divisions, NASD and NYSE regulatory inquiries and the EEOC.
James E. Smith
Jim Smith is the Chairman of The Smith-Free Group. Mr. Smith is the former President of Walker/Free Associates, which he joined in 1980. He served previously as the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency from 1973 through 1976, heading the agency charged with chartering and regulating the national banking system. In the field of federal tax legislation, Mr. Smith has worked on issues related to tax-exempt obligations, the corporate minimum tax, the revision of the taxation of life insurance companies, and the accounting treatment of long-term contracts. In both his public and private careers, he has been active in a representational role in every major banking bill since 1966.
From 1963 to1968, Mr. Smith was Associate Federal Legislative Counsel of the American Bankers Association. Earlier, he served as Legislative Assistant to Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota and as Minority Counsel of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations.
A native of South Dakota, Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1952 from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and an LLB from George Washington University in 1961. Mr. Smith is married to Karen Klem Smith and they reside in Bethesda, Maryland.
David manages Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications’ Washington DC office. With more than 15 years of public affairs experience he specializes in developing and executing high profile integrated government and media relations campaigns that support public policy advocacy efforts. He has counseled foreign and corporate leaders on some of the most difficult and contentious issues in the public affairs arena. David is recognized by National Journal as a GOP “Insider” and regarded as a leading Republican fundraiser serving on the national finance committees for Mitt Romney for President and U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA).
Lawrence R. Velvel is the Dean of the Massachusetts school of Law, which educates the working class, mid-life people, minorities and immigrants. He is also the founder of a new senior college devoted exclusively to history and offering the junior and senior years, called The American College of History and Legal Studies. Velvel is also the host of an hour-long television book review show, called Books of Our Time, which is produced by MSL and seen throughout New England as well as in many other areas. It has won scores of awards.
Velvel wrote a 1970 book on the constitutionality of the Viet Nam War and civil disobedience, and a recent quartet called Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam, comprised of: Misfits In America; Trail of Tears; The Hopes and Fears of Future Years: Loss and Creation; and The Hopes and Fears of Future Years: Defeat and Victory. Velvel writes a leading political blog called “Velvel On National Affairs;” his blogs have been published in five books. These books are Blogs From The Liberal Standpoint: 2004-2005; An Enemy of the People; America 2008; Madoff: the first six months; and Madoff and not Madoff. The first of these five books received a Bronze Medal from Foreword, a magazine of librarians, the second received a Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Association in 2008, and the fourth received a Bronze Medal from the Independent Publishers Association in 2010.
Michael Wichman is the Director of Business and Financial Services at Hamilton Public Relations. He has led successful media outreach, messaging and rebranding efforts, helping to increase the profile of the firm’s financial services clients. Wichman has an extensive financial journalism background, having broken numerous high-impact stories and profiled numerous big-name industry leaders for newswires and trade publications.