Broker-Dealer Compliance and Regulation SECURITIES

Based in Washington DC and New York, our broker-dealer team has extensive experience in advising the world’s leading financial market participants on a wide range of cutting-edge issues, including securities and derivatives regulation, capital markets, compliance and enforcement.

Chambers USA has recognized our financial services regulation practice for several years. Recently, the guide recognized the firm with a top-tier ranking, and described us as having a "well-regarded financial services practice, with a strong focus on broker dealer regulation and consumer finance." Our capabilities include:

  • Regulatory Expertise
  • Industry Experience
  • Compliance and Enforcement

Regulatory Expertise

The partners in the broker-dealer group are experienced practitioners with an in-depth understanding of the industry and markets. Working closely with many firms in the financial services sector, they have developed sophisticated compliance and supervisory programs, conducted internal reviews of business practices and participated in complex negotiations with regulatory authorities. They provide ongoing counseling advice about sales and trading issues, assist in structuring new products and services, and formulate public policy strategies on behalf of clients and trade associations. They have been recognized for outstanding reputations and distinguished work. Chambers USA 2012 selected Partners Yoon-Young Lee, Bruce Newman and Andre Owens as a leaders in the area of financial services regulation.

Over the last 10 years, the broker-dealer team has assisted in the creation of a number of new securities firms, alternative trading systems and other trading platforms that are now leaders in their respective areas of business. Clients value the integrated solutions delivered through our multi-disciplinary approach, which teams lawyers in the group with other experts in the related fields of Financial Institutions and Investment Management.

Our regulatory expertise is both deep and comprehensive, encompassing various industry segments and regulatory subjects, including:

  • Investment Banks – equity and debt capital markets, syndicate practices, regulatory net capital, research issuance, market making and block trading in the secondary market, insider trading and code of ethics, electronic communications and recordkeeping, cross-border trading, and structured products;
  • Hedge Funds – information barriers, derivatives oversight and controls, convertible arbitrage and other trading strategies, short sale compliance, and securities enforcement;
  • Wealth Management – private banking products and services, margin and credit issues, financial planning and asset allocation, anti-money laundering, privacy, wrap fee programs, mutual fund distribution, and suitability policies;
  • Prime Brokers and Custodian Banks – clearance and settlement, trade financing, securities lending, regulatory surveillance and reporting, counterparty insolvency and foreign exchange operation; and
  • Exchanges, ATSs and Other Trading Platforms – market structure, exchange registration and governance, electronic communication networks and alternative trading systems, multi-dealer platforms, and currency trading agreements.

Industry Experience

Our clients range from financial holding companies, multi-service investment banks, Nasdaq market makers and trade associations to national and regional brokerage houses, exchanges and other market venues. They include Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. We also represent hedge funds and other institutional investors that are active participants in our capital markets. In addition, we advise independent broker-dealers and investment advisers that provide wealth management services. Recently, we have:

  • Advised clients regarding acquisition, restructuring and integration of broker-dealer operations in connection with mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments and other capitalization transactions involving a diverse range of financial services firms (e.g., bulge bracket investment banks, institutional asset management and private equity managers, electronic equity and options traders, derivatives dealers, and boutiques).
  • Advised institutional investors in connection with complex trading strategies involving securities and derivatives, including the creation of a centralized clearing platform for credit default swaps.
  • Assisted firms with cross-border trading and related products and services to address capital, margin, insolvency and other regulatory issues.
  • Assisted prime brokers with all aspects of their business, including trade financing, clearance and settlement, and regulatory reporting.
  • Represented dually registered broker-dealer and investment advisers in connection with retail sales practice reviews, variable insurance policies, and fee-based brokerage.
  • Participated on behalf of trade associations and clients in various rulemaking initiatives relating to market structure, issuance of research, and regulation of short sales.

Compliance and Enforcement

We advise financial market participants in connection with regulatory examinations and administrative proceedings initiated by the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, state securities and insurance regulators, and other governmental agencies and self-regulatory organizations. Working closely with our Litigation and Enforcement colleagues, we interface with the regulators on behalf of our clients and, where necessary, assist in the implementation of remediation programs. Examples of recent regulatory actions include market manipulation investigations involving short selling and auction rate securities settlements. Please click here for additional information about our past representation in the enforcement area.

Based in Washington DC and New York, our broker-dealer team has extensive experience in advising the world’s leading financial market participants on a wide range of cutting-edge issues, including securities and derivatives regulation, capital markets, compliance and enforcement.

Chambers USA has recognized our financial services regulation practice for several years. Recently, the guide recognized the firm with a top-tier ranking, and described us as having a "well-regarded financial services practice, with a strong focus on broker dealer regulation and consumer finance." Our capabilities include:

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Lee, Yoon-Young

Yoon-Young Lee

Chair, Broker-Dealer Compliance and Regulation Practice Group

+1 202 663 6720 (t)

yoon-young.lee@wilmerhale.com

Architzel, Paul M.

Paul M. Architzel

Partner

+1 202 663 6240 (t)

paul.architzel@wilmerhale.com

Lee, Yoon-Young

Yoon-Young Lee

Partner

+1 202 663 6720 (t)

yoon-young.lee@wilmerhale.com

Newman, Bruce H.

Bruce H. Newman

Partner

+1 212 230 8835 (t)

bruce.newman@wilmerhale.com

Owens, Andre E.

Andre E. Owens

Partner

+1 202 663 6350 (t)

andre.owens@wilmerhale.com

Stekler, Beth A.

Beth A. Stekler

Partner

+1 202 663 6588 (t)

beth.stekler@wilmerhale.com

Bernstein, Gail C.

Gail C. Bernstein

Special Counsel

+1 202 663 6155 (t)

gail.bernstein@wilmerhale.com

Fekrat, Bruce B.

Bruce B. Fekrat

Special Counsel

+1 202 663 6641 (t)

bruce.fekrat@wilmerhale.com

Publications & News

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March 6, 2013

WilmerHale’s Petal Walker Joins Jumpstart DC Local Advisory Board

WilmerHale Senior Associate Petal Walker has been appointed to the Local Advisory Board for Jumpstart in Washington DC. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that provides quality early education to preschool-aged children from low-income communities.

January 9, 2013

The New Swaps Regime: A Primer for Nonfinancial Companies

January 1, 2013

CFTC Staff Provides Broad Relief for Market Participants as Swap Effective Date Arrives

An article by Paul Architzel, Gail Bernstein and Alexander Jadin, published in the January 1, 2013 edition of The Investment Lawyer.

November 5, 2012

CFTC Staff Provides Broad Relief for Market Participants as Swap Effective Date Arrives

The final joint swap definition rules and interpretations issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission became effective on October 12, 2012, triggering a series of requirements related, among other things, to swap dealer registration, determination of who is a major swap participant, swap data reporting and recordkeeping, status of eligible contract participants, and registration as a commodity pool operator, commodity trading advisor, introducing broker, floor broker, or floor trader.

October 18, 2012

CFTC Heightened Enforcement Activity

On October 5, 2012, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) announced fiscal year 2012 enforcement statistics and case highlights, and identified for practitioners and market participants the Division of Enforcement’s (Division) likely 2013 priorities.1 In addition to fraud-based actions, the announcement brought attention to cases involving allegations of manipulation, false reporting, wash trades, exceeding position limits, and deficient customer fund safeguards and supervision obligations.

October 1, 2012

SEC Adopts the Consolidated Audit Trail Rule

October 1, 2012

Keeping Current with Form 8-K: A Practical Guide 2012

We have prepared this Guide to assist public companies in understanding and complying with the Form 8-K reporting requirements. This Guide describes Form 8-K primarily from the perspective of a U.S. operating company that has a class of securities registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and that is not a shell company, a smaller reporting company, a foreign private issuer, an asset-backed issuer or an investment company.

September 14, 2012

September 5, 2012

SEC Proposes Rules to Eliminate the Prohibition Against General Solicitation and General Advertising for Rule 506 and Rule 144A Offerings

September 4, 2012

Vice-Chairman of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Stephen Luparello to Join WilmerHale