E. Berton Spence
Bert Spence has a broad background in banking and financial services, product liability, and general commercial litigation. For more than three years, he served as the chief litigation counsel in the legal department of one of the top 10 banks in the United States.
Bert counsels corporate clients in a wide range of litigation matters throughout Alabama state and federal courts. He represents clients in matters involving banking, including consumer finance and consumer protection; class actions, insurance coverage and bad faith; workplace exposure, toxic tort, general tort issues; and product liability, including automobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, industrial equipment, tools, chemical products and pharmaceutical and medical devices.
Beyond litigation, Bert has represented numerous lenders and special servicers regarding problem loans, with a particular emphasis on remedial issues in Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securitized lending (“CMBS”) including commercial real estate foreclosures and deed-in-lieu transactions, receiverships, loan modifications, guaranty claims and general issues concerning realization on collateral.
As the former head of a major financial services company’s in-house litigation team, he has overseen litigation and mediation/settlement activities all across the U.S. and internationally. In that role, he also supervised development of eDiscovery policies and participated in responses to governmental investigations. He is a frequent writer and speaker on legal topics.
- Banking and Financial Institutions
- American Bar Association
Banking Committee, Litigation, Torts and Insurance Practice Sections
- Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama Arbitrator Panel
- National Arbitration Forum — (Panel of Neutrals)
- Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution Roster of Arbitrators
- Supreme Court of Alabama Standing Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure
- IR Global
University of Alabama School of Law — J.D., 1990
Jacksonville State University — B.A.,, 1983
- Alabama — 1990
- U.S. District Courts of Alabama (Northern, Middle, Southern)
- U.S. Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
- Best Lawyers in America, 2019 Lawyer of the Year, Commercial Transactions/UCC Law, Birmingham
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Transactions/UCC Law, 2014-2022
- AV-Rated Martindale-Hubbell
- Co-Presenter, "Designing Your Company's Arbitration (or Non-Arbitration) Strategy: Considerations for In-house Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel, November 2021
- Author, "Up Next: Does Congress Have Constitutional Authority to Regulate Evictions and Foreclosures?" September 2021
- Author, "Texas Federal Court Ruled Federal Government Has No Constitutional Power Over Foreclosures and Evictions," March 2021
- "Financial Services Industry Regulation in The Biden Era," Business Alabama, January 2021
- Author, "Mortgage Lenders Beware: CARES Act Potentially Erases Billions of Dollars in Federally-Backed Loan Values," May 2020
- Co-presenter, "Mortgage Banking Law," Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama Education Session, June 7, 2017
- Served as Deputy General Counsel for $140 billion financial services company where he managed litigation throughout the nation and internationally as head of a five-lawyer litigation team;
- Represented the country’s largest Special Servicers in CMBS problem loan remediation;
- Defended products for many of the largest national and international manufacturers in both personal injury (product-liability) and warranty claims.;
- Handled commercial litigation – including class actions — for large and small companies, including some of the largest banks and insurers in the U.S.;
- Defended one of the largest transportation companies in the world in a series of hundreds of workplace exposure cases;
- Defended leading pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in drug and device litigation;
- Successfully represented Alabama’s Governor in a constitutional challenge to the state’s property tax system.
- Served as arbitrator, beginning in 2001, in over 40 cases, all decided with reasoned (written) opinions and selected for inclusion on the National Arbitration Forum’s Panel of Neutrals as well as the Alabama Center For Dispute Resolution’s Roster of Arbitrators;
- Wrote and worked for passage of numerous items of legislation involving Alabama’s tort laws and civil procedure, class action certifications, and healthcare laws, as well as drafting proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for the country’s leading defense bar organizations to ensure fact-based pleading and proportional discovery.