Internal and Regulatory Investigations

Bressler works with financial services clients to conduct internal investigations into potential regulatory, risk and control issues. We also advise financial services institutions and their representatives in regulatory examinations, as well as in investigations conducted by the SEC, CFTC, FINRA, NFA, state regulatory agencies and other self-regulatory organizations.

We work closely with our clients involved in internal investigations to scope the issues under review and determine the investigatory “deliverable” that best serves the client’s needs. We then conduct the investigation thoroughly and efficiently, and in a manner that preserves attorney-client privilege and confidentiality.

We are involved in every stage of the regulatory examination and investigation process. We advise our clients in appropriately responding to informal inquiries and document requests, including the efficient collection, review and production of email and other electronic records. We counsel and prepare our clients for testimony. We also prepare Wells submissions and other presentations to regulators that best position our clients to respond to the issues and concerns raised by regulators. We have been involved in regulatory investigations spanning a broad spectrum of issues, a sampling of which includes:

  • Supervision
  • Insider trading
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Market manipulation
  • Sales practices
  • Gifts and gratuities
  • Disclosures and communications with clients
  • Forms U4/U5 and BD regulatory reporting
  • Regulation SHO
  • Trade reporting
  • Proprietary trading
  • Trade error reporting and documentation

Our team designs “best practices” programs that avert or avoid potential regulatory scrutiny altogether. We are called upon to conduct internal reviews and analysis of an institution’s existing policies and procedures in order to confirm compliance with existing rules and regulations and reduce the likelihood of regulatory investigation and potential litigation altogether. We work with clients to manage regulatory examinations and have developed protocols and relationships to cost effectively review requested documents, including emails, in connection with both routine and for-cause examinations.

We understand completely the registration process and regulatory reporting requirements of the financial services industry. A selection of our attorneys are recognized experts in FINRA’s regulatory disclosure and reporting regime, including Rule 4530, CRD and BrokerCheck, as well as Forms U4, U5 and BD. We also advise investment advisors concerning required disclosures under Form ADV, as well as FCMs with respect to their disclosure obligations under NFA rules. In addition, we have guided clients through FINRA’s Continuing Membership Application process in connection with business and product expansions.