Securities Industry Professionals

Wilson Elser's attorneys have handled – from inception through trial – every conceivable type of claim brought by public customers against securities industry professionals, including financial planners, investment advisers, broker-dealers and registered representatives. From stocks and bonds to alternative investment/private placements, we are familiar with virtually all securities products and the manner in which they’re traded.

From stocks and bonds to alternative investment/private placements, we are familiar with virtually all securities products and the manner in which they’re traded.

Our attorneys provide brokerage firms and investment advisers with focused, cost-efficient handling and defense of sensitive and complex matters in arbitration and litigation. We have worked as in-house trial counsel at major and independent brokerage firms, the U.S. Justice Department and FINRA, and have represented brokerage firms and investment advisers in thousands of proceedings. Because our attorneys work in national practice teams, our clients benefit from the combined knowledge amassed by all the members of our Securities practice.

The range of matters that fall under federal and state securities laws, corporate and banking laws, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Federal and state securities litigation
  • FINRA dispute resolution arbitrations
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigations and proceedings
  • State and FINRA enforcement and regulatory investigations and proceedings
  • Shareholder derivative litigation
  • Accounting fraud allegations
  • Public offering litigation
  • Proxy litigation and contests for control
  • Claims arising from stock acquisitions and other corporate transactions
  • ERISA and trust law claims

Wilson Elser also provides advisory services to companies in the broker-dealer field. On an ongoing basis, we act as counsel on issues that arise in our clients’ pursuit of their daily business activities. We advise on the full spectrum of retail and institutional brokerage issues, including reporting obligations, trading issues, disclosure, net capital, rule 1017 filings, review of compliance programs, drafting of policies and procedures, SEC custody rules and other back-office questions.

In addition, our team represents clients in regulatory enforcement matters. The mere initiation of an enforcement action by a securities regulator can cause extensive harm to a client's reputation or business prospects. Our attorneys engage in proactive activities with the regulators at the earliest stages of the process.

Drawing on deep knowledge of securities industry practices and relevant governing statutes, rules and regulations, we assist clients in planning and executing internal investigations related to potential violations of securities, banking and other laws as well as breaches of fiduciary duty.

Business/Transactional Services
In addition to the services described above, Wilson Elser represents securities industry professionals in connection with various organizational and operational changes.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Customers changing firms
  • Transfer of individual offices
  • Registered representatives who change their firm association while maintaining customer assets
  • Brokers and customers who transfer as part of an acquisition

Fueled by bank failures, consolidations and regulatory reforms, these types of business transfers are increasingly common and complex. We understand their context and draw on the considerable resources within our practice area and across the broader firm to assist securities professionals with their most critical and intricate transactional matters.

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 At Wilson Elser, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is a foundational value, critical to the success of our firm and central to the integrity and vitality of the legal field. Bringing together people of different backgrounds and beliefs, people with diverse perspectives, fosters the innovative and creative thinking that enhances our response to the needs of our clients. Wilson Elser’s commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and training as well as the organizations to which we belong and the programs we sponsor.

We believe in creating a work environment free of barriers and bias, where individual outlooks and talents are respected and valued. Our firm’s policy is to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by the law. 

Beyond legal compliance, our firm strives to mirror the rich diversity of the communities in which we practice, to respect the diversity of our clients and their workforce and to employ best practices to identify, select, hire, retain and promote qualified individuals without boundaries or limitations, other than those imposed by their own choices and capabilities. This allows us to better represent our clients in today’s diverse, multicultural society. 

Wilson Elser is also committed to promoting diversity through the selection of vendors. We actively seek certified minority- and women-owned businesses and provide them with the opportunity to partner with us to provide services to our firm and our clients.