About Us

The attorneys at Eccleston Law Offices, LLC. represent brokers and financial advisors nationwide employment transitions and practice acquisitions. Our attorneys counsel advisers as to how to transition successfully from firm to firm and negotiate the best possible agreements with their new firm, along with structuring and executing practice mergers or acquisitions. Our attorneys also regularly defend broker and advisers in forgivable loan (promissory note) collection actions that result from practice transitions.



James Eccleston is the chief strategist and lead attorney for all clients of the firm. His 25-year legal career has earned him the highest awards and distinctions by both his clients and his peers. For example, Martindale-Hubbell has bestowed upon him the coveted AV® Peer Review Rating (which is the highest possible rating for both integrity and ethics). He likewise has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer, not just once but in every year since its inception in 2005. A third independent rating service has designated him as an Illinois Leading Lawyer for Employment Law. All of those distinctions are granted to those attorneys considered to be the best (top 5% or better).

Mr. Eccleston is highly acclaimed for good reason. First, he knows the securities business. He is a chairperson-qualified FINRA arbitrator as well as a qualified FINRA mediator. He served clients as an investment adviser and has held numerous securities licenses, including investment adviser Series 65, securities principal Series 24, and securities representative Series 7.

Second, he constantly is ahead of the pack in identifying and alerting others to important developments in the securities industry. For over 15 years, he has written monthly columns for Chicago Lawyer, The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and several other publications for attorneys. For 7 years, he was the legal columnist for the well-respected, cutting edge publication for financial advisers, On Wall Street. He additionally has written articles for publications such as InvestmentNews, Wealth Manager and Research Magazine. Mr. Eccleston often is quoted in other publications such as Registered Representative. He sponsors FinancialCounsel.com and a blog (Financial Counsel by Eccleston Law) featuring articles and commentary on current events and investigations. He has appeared on CNN, First Business Morning News WCIU Chicago, and various radio talk shows.

Third, attorneys and financial advisers nationwide select Mr. Eccleston to educate them about securities and employment law. In May 2011, Mr. Eccleston spoke before the Lake County Bar Association’s Civil Trial and Appeals Committee for their 13th Annual Seminar. In March 2011, he served as a panel moderator for the Chicago Bar Association seminar on Recent Developments in Private Litigation. Other recent presentations include: “Avoiding Lawsuits as a Financial Adviser” for the Financial Planning Association in January 2011; “Firm Defense Tactics” at PIABA’s 19th Annual Meeting in 2010; “Arbitration Basics” at Practicing Law Institute’s program on Federal Civil Practice Update 2010; and “Avoiding Customer Complaints” at the Financial Planning Association’s 2009 Annual Spring Forum. He has presented webinars on “Buying Or Selling An investment Advisory Firm,” and “Implementing Effective Email and Document Retention Policies And Procedures.”

Mr. Eccleston is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Compliance and Legal Division (SIFMA-CL), and the Union League Club of Chicago. He is admitted to practice in Illinois, Massachusetts, the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, and the United States District Court District of Massachusetts. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1983, an M.A. from Boston College in 1984, and his J.D. cum laude from Suffolk University in 1987.


Stephany D. McLaughlin

After earning a degree in Finance from Loyola University Chicago, Ms. McLaughlin worked in various capacities within the financial services industry at firms including RBC Wealth Management (d/b/a RBC Dain Rauscher), and Driehaus Capital Management, while attending Chicago-Kent College of Law. While at Chicago-Kent, Ms. McLaughlin concentrated in financial services law, was a CALI award winner and a Moot Court Competition Finalist.

Upon earning her law degree, Ms. McLaughlin joined the law firm of Shaheen, Novoselsky, Staat, Filipowski and Eccleston, LLC. in Chicago, IL where she successfully represented individual and institutional investors in arbitration proceedings, securing significant recuperation of their investment losses, as well as financial advisors in arbitration, regulatory and employment matters. Ms. McLaughlin went on to join the law offices of Kane & Fischer, Ltd. where she successfully represented top-tier financial services firms in employment, regulatory and related civil matters.

Coming full circle, Ms. McLaughlin has rejoined Mr. Eccleston at Eccleston Law Offices, LLC, bringing with her a breadth of industry knowledge as well as unique insight into the practices of the financial services firms. Like the other attorneys at Eccleston Law Offices, LLC, Ms. McLaughlin is passionate about her work and vigorously represents each client.

Ms. McLaughlin is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association. While not practicing law, Ms. McLaughlin enjoys volunteering for the non-profit organization FORCE (a national, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and educating those affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer).


Mark Flagel

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2010, Mr. Flagel attended the John Marshall Law School. While at John Marshall, Mr. Flagel was a legal extern for the Honorable Michael B. Hyman of the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County as well as an intern with Illinois Legal Aid Online.

Upon earning his law degree, Mr. Flagel represented both individuals and companies in various litigation matters. Additionally, Mr. Flagel represented insurance companies and self-insured employers in employment-related matters. Like the other attorneys at Eccleston Law, LLC, Mr. Flagel is passionate about practicing law and enthusiastically advocates for the rights of each client.

Mr. Flagel is a member of the Chicago Bar and the Illinois State Bar Association. When not practicing law, Mr. Flagel enjoys volunteering as a mentor for inner-city high school students in Chicago, Illinois where he helps guide students in planning and implementing their post-secondary educational and career goals. Mr. Flagel also enjoys golfing and traveling.


Roman B. Sankovych

Mr. Sankovych earned both his Bachelor of Arts degree and his Juris Doctor from DePaul University.  In law school, Mr. Sankovych was selected as the executive editor of the Business and Commercial Law Journal.  Mr. Sankovych also was a member of the Appellate Moot Court Society, and was honored to be chosen to represent his law school in the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition.

Mr. Sankovych has interned for the Antitrust Bureau of the State of Illinois Attorney General Office, as well as for the European Parliament. He also completed an externship with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Mr. Sankovych joins the securities and employment law practice of Eccleston Law LLC, representing financial advisors and investors nationwide.