We represent individual investors, institutional investors, municipalities and public companies in FINRA arbitrations. We have recovered millions of dollars in investment losses due to misconduct by stockbrokers, investment advisors, insurance salesmen, and financial consultants. These claims typically involve fraud, failure to supervise, unsuitability, Ponzi schemes, unauthorized trading, churning, selling unapproved investment products ("selling away") and other related claims.
Most, but not all, of these claims must be brought in FINRA’s arbitration forum. FINRA stands for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. and it has a forum that is set up specifically to administer claims brought be investors against their stock brokers. When you open an account with any brokerage firm and most investment advisors in the United States, you inevitably sign a binding arbitration agreement. Brokerage firms require to submit any disputes with them to arbitration with FINRA. Investment advisors often specify other arbitration forums, such as the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), but FINRA will accept those cases as well.
Arbitration is a method of resolving disputes by neutral arbitrators, who serve as decision-makers after listening to the facts as presented by all sides in a dispute. According to FINRA, arbitration of securities disputes in this forum provides “a prompt and inexpensive means of resolving issues.” Arbitration awards are final and binding, but can be reviewed by a court in very limited circumstances. In most cases submitted your claim to arbitration will preclude you from pursuing the same claims in court.
The arbitration process begins with a party filing a Statement of Claim with FINRA. The party who files the Statement of Claim is called a claimant. The party against whom the Statement of Claim is filed is called the respondent. The Statement of Claim should contain the details of the dispute, including dates, names of entities and individuals involved, the type of relief requested, and a summary of your damages.
If you retain us to handle your claims, our legal team will handle the process, with your input from start to finish. We begin by thoroughly investigating the facts in your case, and then obtain an expert analysis of your damages (if necessary).
Once we make a determination to accept your case we will prepare your claims for filing with FINRA (or another appropriate forum) and prosecute your case to conclusion. In most cases we handle FINRA cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we typically advance the filing fees and costs and take a portion of the recovery. These issues are addressed in detail in our fee agreement, and are subject to our determination that your case is one that we are willing to accept.
We also frequently file cases on an hourly basis for clients who are not interested in the contingency structure, for whatever reason.