Litigation and Arbitration
We bring extensive experience in securities industry arbitration, mediation and litigation, having represented broker-dealers, funds, other institutions and investment professionals in the arbitration forums of FINRA, NYSE, NFA, and AAA, and state and federal courts.
Since industry participants may face enforcement actions by government agencies and self-regulatory bodies, we also defend clients in all aspects of the enforcement process (including SRO, SEC and state agency investigations, actions and appeals, both administrative and in state and federal court). While most regulatory actions can be resolved without criminal consequences, some violations are investigated as criminal offenses. At Portale Randazzo, we defend clients in all stages of potential criminal litigation from preliminary & grand jury investigations through indictment to verdict. In our experience, having an experience attorney from the jump can prevent unwarranted arrest and prosecution at the hands of overzealous prosecutors.
Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Defense
Concurrent regulation by multiple government agencies, and SROs creates complex and sometimes inconsistent requirements. We advise broker-dealers, exchanges, contract markets, ECNs, futures commission merchants, issuers, underwriters, investment advisors, hedge funds, portfolio managers, commodity pool operators and advisors, floor traders and exchange members in a wide range of matters, including but not limited to:
- Registration and qualification matters
- Financial responsibility, books and records and back office requirements
- Front office and sales practice regulations
- Marketing and advertising initiatives
- Disclosure obligations
- Clearance, prime broker and settlement issues
- Preparation of Supervisory Procedures
- Adherence to new regulatory enactments
Compliance Program Maintenance, Training and Audits
Our attorneys can help organizations stay up-to-date on changing regulations and inform staff on new practices and protocols to be implemented, helping to earn them good standing with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the New York State Attorney General, and other federal and state regulatory authorities.
We conduct Mock Regulatory Audits so our clients can identify and correct potential complications in these and other areas. Such self-correction generally is the "best defense" against a later regulatory enforcement action.
We help ensure compliance standards and protocols are implemented and followed in full satisfaction of any plea bargain or settlement agreement with authorities.
We create, build and improve upon effective compliance programs. Corporate compliance today is much more than complying with the law. It’s about the ability to show system and process reasonably designed to prevent wrong doing. The most effective compliance programs continue to evolve to keep up with an ever-changing landscape of risks. Our attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in effective compliance processes and the promotion of organizational integrity.
Examples of Compliance Services:
- Assisting in the planning and conducting of risk assessments
- Assisting in the development and implementation of a code of conduct tailored to the risk profile
- Assisting in the establishment of effective policies, procedures, and protocols
- Reviewing, revising and strengthening existing codes of conduct and policies and procedures
Training and Education
- Live training of staff, management, and senior leadership (including boards of directors) with specialized training utilizing real-world examples
- Preparing webinars and written Q and A’s regarding compliance issues
- Assisting organizations stay up-to-date on changing regulations and informing staff of new practices and protocols to be implemented
Investigation of Misconduct
- Conducting independent, objective internal investigations
- Counseling on the utilization of interim and corrective measures when necessary
Representation in Cases of Alleged Misconduct
- Representing companies facing allegations of misconduct and discipline by a regulator or law enforcement agencies
- Negotiating settlement agreements to avoid litigation or regulatory penalties
- Helping to ensure a company receives credit by regulators for its effective compliance program
- Engaging our communications professionals, as needed, to assist with media inquiries
- We can assist in developing the appropriate strategy to combat wrongdoing while maximizing potential monetary renumerations from the whistleblower.
- We help mitigate risk and assure safety if there are criminal elements or fear of retribution.
NY Attorney General
When necessary, we have employed industry experts to examine issues to ensure that a balanced public narrative is in place, rather than the one-sided version from a government regulator. We are well-connected to the same key media outlets that the Office of the New York State Attorney General uses to tell its story so we can present the client’s position on the issue to the same media in the same news cycle. Our attorneys work effectively with businesses if a company finds itself at the epicenter of an Attorney General investigation to provide full and thoughtful advice to help the client during what may be an otherwise tense decision-making environment.
Strategic Business Planning
We bring our experience in today's highly regulated environment to assist firms and individuals entering and participating in both traditional and electronic marketplaces. Financial responsibility, licensing and other pervasive rules and regulations present unique issues for clients buying/selling securities or futures businesses or introducing new investment trading programs and instruments. Our attorneys can guide clients through the labyrinth of regulations. Our attorneys are experienced in clearing and operations, which have been dramatically affected by the advent of electronic markets and trading facilities, as well as the presence of new global markets.