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Securities Arbitration

The K&L Gates Securities Arbitration Group provides cost-effective arbitration defense services to financial services firms, including a broad range of broker-dealers and their affiliates, individual financial advisers, investment advisers, investment companies, hedge funds, and other industry participants. The group is drawn from one of the largest and most geographically diverse securities enforcement and litigation practices of any law firm in the world. Team members include partners, associates, staff lawyers, litigation support managers, and legal assistants who are dedicated to delivering quality, efficient, and economical representation in connection with even the most complex arbitration matters.

Our nationwide securities arbitration practice regularly represents clients in proceedings before:

  • FINRA Dispute Resolution and its predecessors, NASD Dispute Resolution, and NYSE Arbitration
  • The American Arbitration Association (AAA)
  • Mediation and other alternative dispute resolution forums.

We vigorously defend our clients while offering value by virtue of our extensive experience and cost-effective approach to litigation. Our engagements have varied in scope from managing all of a client’s arbitrations (nationwide) to representing clients with respect to more discrete, related claims concerning particular products, market events, or financial consultants. In some cases, we represent clients with respect to all aspects of complex arbitrations; in other circumstances, we provide assistance in connection with one phase of arbitration, such as electronic or other discovery. We routinely offer our clients alternative fee arrangements in connection with these matters, including discounted and blended rates, flat-fee agreements, and incentive fee arrangements.

Customer Disputes and Member Controversies
We have successfully defended a broad variety of customer claims and industry (member) disputes, including complex matters involving suitability, alleged market manipulation or trading improprieties, churning, excessive charges, unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and misrepresentation claims, among other things.

Employment Claims
We regularly represent brokerage firms in complex employment matters involving: wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, improper or inaccurate Form U4 or U5 disclosures, defamation, theft, and requests for expungement.

Litigation to Determine Arbitrability
We have extensive experience litigating motions to compel arbitration in state and federal courts, and have successfully represented parties seeking to compel arbitration (and opposing litigation), as well as parties seeking to compel litigation (and opposing arbitration). We also have successfully litigated motions to vacate arbitral awards and motions to confirm arbitral awards.

Our Securities Arbitration Group represents clients with respect to a broad range of customer and industry arbitrations, member disputes, and other matters on behalf of:

  • Nationwide broker-dealers;
  • Regional broker-dealers;
  • Mutual fund distributors; 
  • Bank-affiliated broker-dealers; 
  • Online broker-dealers; 
  • Clearing firms and prime brokers
  • Investment advisers; 
  • Members of investment banking syndicates or selling groups; 
  • Individual brokers; and 
  • Other affiliates of securities firms.

Among other types of allegations, these cases involve claims arising out of broker terminations, including retaliation, defamation, intentional interference with contract, breach of contract and wage claims, and punitive damages. These matters also involve claims concerning: 

  • Misrepresentation and fraud;
  • Suitability; 
  • Churning; 
  • Unauthorized transactions (time and price discretion); 
  • Best execution; 
  • Product failures; 
  • Selling away; 
  • Improper mutual fund and variable annuity sales practices; 
  • Clearing disputes; 
  • Transaction charges;
  • Improper trading practices or alleged manipulation; 
  • IPO allocations; 
  • Underwriting disclosures; 
  • Supervision; 
  • Ponzi schemes; 
  • Options trading losses; 
  • Breach of non-compete agreements and alleged theft of trade secrets; 
  • Securities lending; 
  • Sexual discrimination and harassment; and 
  • Whistleblowers.
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