Jones Bell has developed a reputation for zealous representation of broker/dealers, investment advisers and representatives in the securities industry. Jones Bell provides representation in a wide variety of matters before the SEC, and FINRA, including arbitration, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions. Jones Bell also provides business advice and counsel, and documentation relating to compensation programs, trade secrets and trade secrets protections, and other operational matters.

Regulatory Investigations

A regulatory investigation can be a precursor to a closed file or to an enforcement action. An accurate, well-constructed response to the regulator involved can mean the difference between success and failure. To obtain the best result possible, Jones Bell: (1) drafts an accurate, written explanation of the relevant events; (2) prepares and defends clients who are required to respond orally to the regulator should an interview be required; and (3) negotiates aggressively with the regulator to close his or her file without taking action.

Enforcement Actions

Enforcement actions can be career ending events. Jones Bell has successfully defended against regulatory actions and has obtained hearing panel determinations that the regulator has not met its burden of proof. Jones Bell: (1) responds to the regulator’s complaint; (2) prepares a “Wells” submission; (3) negotiates aggressively to achieve an early, favorable resolution; and, if necessary, (4) defends against the regulator’s complaint through the regulator’s hearing process.

Customer Disputes

Disgruntled customers often bring claims whenever they lose money on an investment. For over 35 years, Jones Bell has successfully defended against these claims, which often involve allegations of unsuitable transactions, churning, misrepresentations, fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, violations of federal and state securities laws, violations of FINRA rules, elder abuse, and breach of contract.

Recruitment Matters

When representatives leave their firms for new firms, the prior firm often files litigation to prevent the representative from soliciting the customers serviced at the prior firm. Jones Bell has litigated this type of intra-industry disputes for over 35 years. Jones Bell also provides advice and counsel to brokerage firms and representatives so they can avoid being sued or having to sue, whether in the context of a “Protocol” transfer, or a “non-Protocol” transfer.

Employment Litigation

Jones Bell prosecutes and defends a wide range of employment claims in the securities industry, including claims of defamation by a representative about the language in the U-5 submitted to the FINRA by the prior firm, wrongful termination and constructive termination claims, discrimination claims, and harassment claims by a representative or other employee.

Promissory Note Cases

When representatives leave their firms for new firms, they often leave unpaid promissory notes they signed under “forgivable loan” and other transition incentive programs. Jones Bell has decades of experience litigating and negotiating these intra-industry disputes.

Expungements

Jones Bell also has extensive experience with the “expungement” process, whereby customer complaints may under certain circumstances be removed from the registration records of securities licensees. The evolution of the industry rules and practices in this area make it essential that any licensee seeking expungement of his or her registration record be represented by counsel with broad experience and a proven track record of success in this area; few law firms in the country can equal Jones Bell’s experience and track record in the expungement process.