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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    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

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

    Chambers USA


  • Award Text

    Nationally Recognized Firm for Securities Regulation

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


  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Financial Services Regulation: Broker-Dealer (Compliance & Enforcement) (2020–2023) recognizes WilmerHale for its exceptionally strong broker-dealer practice; additional strength in the banking regulatory space, with a solid presence in the enforcement sphere.” Clients describe us as “a top-flight law firm, with an unmatched level of experience, reputation, and knowledge in regulatory and governmental matters. The attorneys are intelligent and experts in their respective subject areas,” and note our “sound ability to dissect analytics in rendering legal advice.” 
  • U.S. News and Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms List (2020–2023) ranks WilmerHale for Securities Regulation nationally and in Boston, noting, “WilmerHale’s experts are quick to identify the most relevant issue and suggest effective solutions."
  • The Legal 500 United States repeatedly recognizes WilmerHale for Financial Services Regulation: Broker-Dealers.

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