Our investor arbitration clients range from prominent sports figures and Fortune 500 entrepreneurs to more vulnerable groups like retirees and elderly widows, who lost their nest eggs and the safety of their retirement income as a result of fraudulent and/or unsuitable advice from investment advisors. Our lawyers have experience and success bringing actions at FINRA, the SEC and other self-regulatory forums, as well as private arbitration forums like JAMS Endispute and the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for individuals and groups including:
- Individual Investors
- Institutional Investors
- Foreign Investors
- Hedge Funds and its Participants
Our New York investor arbitration lawyers zealously prosecute investor rights. Our team has successfully recovered tens of millions of dollars in securities industry settlements and awards for investors through arbitration and mediation.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) handles most securities arbitrations, with limited exception. Some specific contracts, usually larger disputes with investment advisory firms, designate the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or JAMS Endispute.
As an industry standard, investors sign arbitration agreements as part of new account forms with a brokerage firm, with disputes to be handled by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a self-regulatory body for all brokerage firms in the United States. FINRA’s constitution also allows investors to choose arbitration (unilaterally) if the agreement with the brokerage firm does not have an arbitration clause.
Arbitration is an alternative to court. Arbitrating is like being in court, with a lot less formality and expense involved. Instead of a courthouse, it takes place in a conference room. Instead of a judge, there is a chairperson that makes discovery rulings in the arbitration. There is a discovery period but no depositions. After discovery the parties either settle or go to a hearing starts where there are opening statements, closing statements, witness examinations and cross-examinations, documentary evidence introduced, objections, motions. A decision is made approximately 30 days after the close of the hearing. A party can win their entire claim, nothing or anything in between. Arbitrators are not required to give the reasons for their decision.
If you are an industry professional, by signing a Form U4, your broker-dealer is required to arbitrate with you, unless a specific agreement has been signed designating another forum for dispute.
The arbitration process begins with customers filing a statement of claim for arbitration with FINRA. Find out more about filing FINRA Arbitrations here: How Do I File A FINRA Arbitration?
The most common investor claims include:
- Common Law Fraud (Scams), Misrepresentations and Omissions under Federal Securities Laws
- Elder Fraud and Affinity Fraud
- Churning / Overtrading
- Unauthorized Trading
Click here for detailed information on Typical Investor Claims
According to FINRA Rule 12206 “Time Limitation on Submission of Claims”, claims can be submitted within six years from the date of occurrence or event. If the arbitration panel assigned to a case dismisses the case as untimely, the investor may pursue the claim in court.
FINRA continues to be the largest dispute resolution forum in the securities industry and they are making the treatment of senior and other vulnerable investors a key priority in 2016.
Recovered over $7.2 Million in settlements for victims of a real estate based Ponzi scheme after a series of FINRA arbitration filings
Recovered $2 Million in settlement for a group of high net worth hedge fund investors during a FINRA arbitration
Recovered $3.9 Million for improperly recommended tax shelter fraud investments in NY State Court case
Settled millions of dollars of claims for investors against former football star turned broker, who engaged in a large scale fraud and theft of client funds using false statements and P.O. Boxes in a FINRA arbitration
FINRA arbitration representation for a retired entrepreneur in an over-concentration case of over $4 Million in losses in municipal bonds against a major financial institution
Obtained a full net out-of-pocket award of $142,168 on behalf of a senior-aged investor against Garden State Securities, Inc.
Successfully represented retired Irish national and partner of major insurance company against brokerage firm in a FINRA arbitration relating to cold-calling and fraudulent misrepresentation around investing in a health care start-up on margin
Successfully represented retired engineer in FINRA arbitration against brokerage firm relating to short-selling, margin and churning relating to positions in an energy company stock acquired after years of working in that company
Represented lottery winners in a FINRA arbitration who lost their winnings as a result of churning, unsuitability and fraud by a broker at a major financial institution
Represented brain-injured accident victim in a FINRA arbitration who lost personal injury settlement as a result of fraud, misrepresentation and unsuitability against a major financial firm