Broker-Dealer Litigation, Arbitration and Regulatory Practice
SEC, SRO and State Investigations and Litigation
- Successfully defended broker-dealer in SEC investigation of firm-wide best execution of Nasdaq opening trades. Investigation closed with no action against firm.
- Successfully defended broker-dealer in SEC investigation of firm-wide supervisory practices following alleged misappropriation of customer funds. Investigation closed with no action taken.
- Represented broker-dealer in SEC investigation into whether it entered into linked swaps that it knew had no economic purpose to aid and abet client’s fraudulent accounting scheme. SEC brought no charges against broker dealer.
- Represented multiple broker-dealer employees, including head of the CDO structuring desk, global head of market risk, and members of management in SEC and New York Attorney General investigations into originating, valuing and trading Collateralized Debt Obligations backed by subprime mortgages.
- Represented mutual funds portfolio manager in an SEC investigation into possible insider trading in one of the funds.
- Represented employee of major broker-dealer in connection with SEC investigation into possible misrepresentations by the division that provided advisory services to high net worth and institutional clients.
- Represented employees of broker-dealer at trial before administrative hearing officer on SEC charges relating to alleged improper redemption fees for unit investment trusts. Case dismissed.
- Represented mutual fund employee in SEC investigation into violations stemming from the receipt of gifts and gratuities.
- Representing broker-dealer in FINRA inquiry into compliance with procedures concerning holding customer funds.
- Successfully defended broker-dealer in FINRA investigation following receipt of Wells Notice challenging mark-ups on fixed income products. Investigation closed with no action against firm.
- Obtained similar successful result for broker-dealer in NASD investigation after Wells Notice challenging suitability of firm-wide sales of B and C classes of mutual funds.
- Defended broker-dealer in NASD and state investigations of alleged firm-wide incentives for representatives to encourage customers to margin their securities portfolios. Negotiated settlement with NASD.
- Defended broker-dealer in SRO investigation into possible violations of the collar restrictions by its index arbitrage trading desk.
- Successfully persuaded Illinois trial and appellate courts to quash subpoenas issued by the Illinois Department of Securities to individual brokers seeking personal financial records as part of a routine audit.
- Obtained injunction against Missouri Securities Commissioner barring enforcement of a summary suspension order issued against Waddell & Reed, Inc. and 18 registered representatives.
- Represented broker-dealer in state regulatory enforcement actions related to auction rate securities’ sales practices. Compensatory damage claims in excess of $180 million were voluntarily dismissed pursuant to NASAA settlement.
- Represented one of largest broker-dealers in an international special investigation of brokerage practices by branch offices overseas.
- Represented broker-dealer and registered person in FINRA investigation regarding continuing education obligations.
- Represented broker-dealer in FINRA investigation into possible conflicts of interest in its issuance of fairness opinions.
- Represented broker-dealer in connection with nationwide litigation and regulatory matters arising out of alleged securities violations by firm in its sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of debt and equity products of issuer that went bankrupt. Coordinated dozens of lawsuits across the country, including three class actions, and regulatory investigations by SEC and state regulatory authorities. Negotiated consent orders with regulatory authorities.
- Represented several broker-dealers associated with insurance companies in connection with SEC and FINRA investigations of allegedly unsuitable sales of variable annuities.
- Represented broker-dealer in connection with a FINRA investigation of broker-dealer's supervision of employees implicated in kick-back schemes relating to the firm's stock-loan business.
- Advised the securities regulatory authority of a country in the Middle East concerning the design and implementation of the authority's surveillance and investigative program.
- Represented Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. in regulatory enforcement actions related to auction rate securities’ sales practices with compensatory damage claim in excess of $180 million. Voluntary dismissals pursuant to NASAA settlement.