Securities & Financial Services

In such a highly regulated industry, do you have all of your bases covered? Working with broker/dealers, RIAs and wealth management professionals, we know what it takes to keep you in compliance.


Noted financial institutions count on our attorneys for critical legal advice across a full range of issues. Whether you or your firm are navigating regulatory or compliance issues, dealing with day-to-day business matters or facing litigation, our lawyers can provide the know-how to guide you.

With backgrounds in business, accounting and the securities industry, we know where you are coming from. This pairing of business and legal expertise makes us trusted advisors to banks and other depository institutions, trust companies, independent contractors, broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, financial planners and other financial services firms, handling complex disputes, compliance matters and day-to-day counseling.

Securities professionals seeking our assistance are typically:

  • Broker/dealers – individuals and firms
  • Registered Investment Advisors
  • Trust companies, banks and wealth management groups


Broker/dealers rely on our team for assistance with compliance consulting and a host of other industry advice including:

  • Structuring and forming brokerage firms
  • Creating or providing direction on policies, procedures and guidelines for implementation and administration of complex and alternative products
  • Reviewing business practices, business areas and auditing
  • Drafting compliance manuals and disclosure documents
  • Creating and administering due diligence committees and disclosures
  • Preparing product-specific acknowledgments
  • Advising on compliance and regulatory issues
  • Assisting with ongoing communications with regulators
  • Responding to regulatory initiatives such as the SEC’s MCDC program
  • Providing updates and guidance on new regulations and changes that impact firms
  • Counseling on wage and hour issues and overtime
  • Creating customer/employment/succession planning agreements
  • Drafting and enforcing restrictive covenants, non-compete and other employment agreements
  • Assisting with protocol and non-protocol transitions
  • Conducting internal investigations
  • Assisting with customer complaints and reporting requirements (Rule 4530)
  • Drafting interpleader funds and defense of claims in state and federal court
  • Providing a hotline to broker/dealers on issues related to trusts, estates, POA and wills
  • Representation during litigation

Registered Investment Advisors (RIA)

For RIAs across the country, we provide industry expertise and legal guidance in a variety of day-to-day business and securities matters including:

  • Books and records
  • Advertising and brochures
  • Code of ethics
  • Forms ADV
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Solicitors agreements
  • Cybersecurity issues
  • Terminations and registrations of investment professionals (Form U-4 and U-5)
  • Enforceability of restrictive covenants, protocol procedures, trade secret and confidentiality concerns, the mechanics of forgivable loans and other bonus programs
  • Defending against regulatory and enforcement matters before state and federal self-regulatory organizations and governmental agencies:
    • Responding to requests from FINRA/SEC
    • Defending on-the-record interviews
    • Negotiating settlements/resolutions

Trust Companies, Banks and Wealth Management

When bringing a new product line to market, financial services firms will often seek our counsel throughout the process, receiving guidance from start to finish. We will create the policies, procedures, disclosures and all relative agreements necessary to establish and document each transaction. We will also assist by guiding you through internal analysis, compliance, supervision, marketing and advertising, suitability, product review and development, due diligence, disclosures and final agreements needed to bring the new product on line.

Disputes, Arbitration and Litigation

We advise investment professionals and financial institutions (broker/dealers, investment advisors, banks, trust companies, etc.) on myriad securities-related matters in order to reach their goals, serve their clients and avoid disputes. Yet, issues may still arise, and, when they do, we successfully and efficiently defend disputes with customers and regulators alleging:

  • State and federal securities law violations
  • Industry regulation violations
  • Misrepresentations and omissions
  • Unsuitability
  • Churning
  • Negligent supervision
  • Conversion
  • Elder abuse
  • Breach of fiduciary duty brought in arbitration and/or court – representing officers, directors and other fiduciaries

We represent clients in securities arbitrations before the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and in associated state and federal court proceedings.

Our class action experience includes representing firms and individuals in matters covering a range of securities-related claims involving:

  • Underwriting
  • Due diligence
  • Municipal bonds
  • Stock options
  • ESOPs

Through our work in the industry and our annual Securities Symposium, we have developed a notable and ongoing working relationship with regulators. The symposium highlights cutting-edge topics for clients and provides regulators with the equivalent of a live focus group, providing all guests with the opportunity to discuss changes in the industry and specific issues and challenges with regulatory compliance.



Representative Matters

  • Investment advisor and investment company entity-formation, registration and compliance counseling
  • Providing advice regarding securities laws, including counseling on compliance with public company reporting obligations, regulatory compliance and reporting, and dual registration issues
  • Compliance counseling for privacy, security and data protection requirements
  • Providing advice regarding Dodd-Frank compliance matters
  • Advising/litigating with respect to prohibited practices and fiduciary obligations under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code and state pension statutes
  • Advising/litigating on matters that concern a firm’s employment relationships, including whistleblower issues, broker defection and transition matters, raiding, retaliation and discrimination cases
  • Advising/litigating all aspects of troubled loans, including workouts, modification, forbearance agreements, default loan litigation and foreclosures
  • Assisting in identifying, collecting, reviewing and producing documents, including ESI, in response to regulatory requests, in litigation and arbitration
  • Regulatory litigation, compliance counseling and negotiation with state, federal and industry regulators
  • Representing firms in national litigation and arbitration covering wide-ranging products and subject matters including failure to supervise, unsuitability, churning, insider trading, fraud, elder abuse, trust/power of attorney issues and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Class-action defense involving mutual fund disclosures, product failures, alleged fraudulent investments and wage and hour issues

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