Honoree: John L. Erikson

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In-house counsel 2023

Senior Vice President and Head of Legal
Wedbush Securities
UCLA School of Law

John Erikson is currently senior vice president, assistant secretary, and corporate counsel for Wedbush Securities Inc., a Los Angeles-based full-service securities broker-dealer. He is an integral part of a five-attorney in-house legal department that handles most of the firm’s legal matters. His role includes handling litigation, regulatory, and transactional matters for the firm, and providing counsel to the firm’s management committees, as well as the boards of both the firm and its parent company, Wedbush Financial Services, LLC.

Erikson was born in San Mateo and moved to Los Angeles in 1982. He went to college at UCLA, majoring in English, and graduated cum laude. He spent two quarters studying in (then) Leningrad (and was there when they voted to change the name to St. Petersberg). After college, he went to the UCLA School of Law, graduating in 1996. He spent the next 14 years at the law firm of Jones, Bell, Abbott, Fleming & Fitzgerald. At Jones Bell, Erikson spent seven years as an associate and seven more as a partner, with a general practice focusing on securities litigation. His father had been general counsel for Los Angeles-based Great Western Bank, and he followed in his footsteps in 2011 by going in-house with Wedbush.

Erikson handles a wide variety of litigation matters for his firm. He has primary responsibility for handling numerous litigation and arbitration matters, including FINRA arbitrations, state and federal court cases, and state court appeals, defending against investor-related claims of suitability, failure to supervise, inadequate due diligence, and fraud, along with various employment claims. Highlights include dismissal of a $4-million FINRA arbitration claim on a motion to dismiss; dismissal of a $750,000 insurance procurement claim in federal court; complete defense verdict in an employee/independent contractor misclassification claim; highly favorable decision in a $5 million constructive discharge claim; and a $0-settlement of a $1-million case of purported whistleblowing filed in both state and federal court. In addition, although most cases are handled by the firm’s legal department,

Erikson manages some matters referred to outside counsel.