Broker-Dealer Compliance and Regulation

Broker-Dealer Compliance and Regulation

WilmerHale’s broker-dealer team draws on its intricate knowledge of the regulatory landscape to advise the world’s leading financial market participants.

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Meet Our Team

Areas of Focus

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    We have advised clients regarding 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—from bulge bracket investment banks to institutional asset management and private equity managers, electronic equity and options traders, derivatives dealers, and boutiques.

    We have advised clients ranging from multinational financial institutions to regional broker-dealers to fixed income institutional shops regarding the interpretation and implementation of “conflict of interest” and “independence” rules for research analysts covering the equities and fixed income markets. In connection with this work, we have liaised with FINRA and the SEC regarding interpretive guidance and relief. We also provide guidance on implementing MiFID II requirements for “unbundling” research products and services from brokerage products and services.

    We serve as regulatory counsel to a consortium of all of the equities and options exchanges in the United States, providing guidance in connection with the development of a market-wide consolidated audit trail. The consolidated audit trail is intended to enhance regulators’ ability to monitor and analyze trading activity.

    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, broker-dealer registration and other regulatory issues.

    We have assisted prime brokers with all aspects of their business, including trade financing, clearance and settlement, and regulatory reporting.

    We have represented dually registered broker-dealer and investment advisers in connection with retail sales practice reviews, variable insurance policies and fee-based brokerage.

    Our practice has participated on behalf of trade associations and clients in various rulemaking initiatives relating to market structure, issuance of research and regulation of short sales.


  • Award Text

    National Tier 1 Firm for Securities/Capital Markets Law

    U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” List


  • Award Text

    Ranked Band 1, USA—Nationwide for Financial Services Regulation: Broker-Dealer (Compliance & Enforcement)

    Chambers USA


  • Award Text

    #1 Leading Investigations and Compliance Practice

    Global Investigations Review 30


  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2018) quoted a client in the broker-dealer space who “attested to the team's primacy in regulatory matters affecting that industry: ‘They are the best. They represent everybody on Wall Street. Many of them come from the top regulatory offices, so they are experts in their field. And they happen to be very nice people as well.’”
  • 2018 U.S. News and Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms List—Securities Regulation: “WilmerHale’s securities practice is informed, practical and easy to work with. They provide good answers and thoughtful advice. Unlike certain firms that can give highly academic answers, WilmerHale gives advice that we can use. They are very responsive and willing to listen to the client to understand our needs.”
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2017) said of WilmerHale: “A consummate financial services firm, marshaling among its ranks significant ex-governmental prowess with an intricate knowledge of the regulatory landscape. An exceptionally strong broker-dealer practice sits alongside recognized expertise in consumer finance and banking compliance.”

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