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Badge - Super Lawyers Jenice L. Malecki

Securities Employment & Industry Disputes

When conflicts in the workplace arise, both employee and employer benefit from seeking counsel. Employees in the securities industry are incentivized by promissory notes and large annual bonuses, which often lead to almost involuntary long terms of employment that can be ripe for conflict. Those conflicts are usually resolved in FINRA arbitrations and sometimes lead to regulatory/self-regulatory investigations. As the arms-length, at-will employment environment between securities employers and employees seems to increasingly widen, there are more disputes related to wrongful termination, unpaid compensation and Form disclosure U4/ U5 cases. It cannot be understated that in the battle to keep clients, firms and firm employees often resort to improper tactics to smear a financial professional on their way out the door leading to state, regulatory and/or self-regulatory investigations that can impact a career.

As FINRA is funded mainly by Wall Street, the odds can appear to be stacked in favor of the brokerage firms. Therefore, experienced securities employment and industry dispute attorneys are necessary to secure positive outcomes for clients. With may tools in their arsenal and an excellent rapport with and insights into regulatory (SEC) and self-regulatory (FINRA) staff and procedures, our attorneys have a reputation for obtaining “No Action Letters” or favorably negotiating settlements for industry professionals in communication with these regulatory bodies, voluntarly or involuntarily. If you need us to fight for your career at a regulatory or self-regulatory hearing about your license, we are experienced in fully-litigated cases with the SEC and FINRA, as well as appeals to the SEC and courts.

We help professionals transition within the workforce, which often requires skilled planning. We also help them obtain the various types of agreements, compensation, deferred compensation, stock, and options to which they are entitled. Furthermore, some professionals should be protected and indemnified by their employers, when subjected to investigations and litigation relating to their employment or former employment. Employees and executives should not agree to inappropriate non-competition or confidentiality provisions that could restrict future employment or be a springboard for future litigation, and ensure that their employment and any issues relating thereto are properly documented in publicly available filings. Our New York securities employment and industry dispute attorneys are skilled at helping industry professionals transition, negotiate settlements and contracts, and seek indemnity.

We help clients with Form U4/ U5 disclosure issues, promissory notes, non-compete agreements, and other negotiations brokers have when exiting a firm, including industry professionals who are investigated by regulatory, self-regulatory and state examiners. From compensation and termination disputes to restrictive covenants and severance negotiations, we have your back.

We represent financial industry professionals, brokers, traders, analysts, corporate executives, advisors, specialists, floor brokers, structured finance professionals, quants, company founders, partners in hedge funds, LLCs and other partnerships and corporate forms. Click here for a list of industry professionals we represent.

The most frequently filed FINRA claims by employees are compensation issues, wrongful termination, breach of contract and statutory defamation. We offer counsel to clients on a wide array of employment issues, both to avoid litigation, and to institute or defend actions when necessary. Such matters of negotiation or dispute include:

  • U4/U5 and RIA Reporting and Expungement
  • Negotiation of High-Level Executive Compensation Packages, Non-Competition/Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements
  • Restrictive Covenants including stock options and grants, signing bonuses, guarantees, compensation formulas for “good cause”, termination provisions, and other unique issues
  • Promissory Note Arbitration and Litigation Defense (“sign-on bonuses”)
  • Severance Package Termination Agreements
  • Compensation, Bonus and Commission Disputes
  • Disclosing Outside Business Activity
  • “The Protocol” in transitions between brokerage firms
  • Indemnification and representation in trailing litigation and arbitration
  • Discrimination and/or Harassment (Gender, Age, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation)
  • Employment Contract Negotiation and Drafting
  • Drafting and Negotiation of Employment Policies
U4/U5 and RIA Reporting and Expungement

Public filings must be made by broker-dealers, investment advisors and issuers of securities to report employment, litigation and arbitration events and other information. These filings are frequently revised to incorporate changes in status and other reportable matters like customer complaints and arbitrations, as well as regulatory matters. We will help you discuss the circumstances of your termination fully you’re your former employer to try to make sure that the filing is accurate and does not misstate or over-state what happened, which can save you money in the long run. If the firm will not see the facts as they are, Malecki Law's New York Form U5 and securities employment lawyers have the experience needed to ensure that these filings are accurate by bringing FINRA arbitrations for industry professionals to expunge improper filings. FINRA has special expungement procedures in its arbitration forum. A poorly drafted Form U5 can lead to a regulatory or self-regulatory investigation and an arbitration can help you gain information to counteract any actions a regulator (like the SEC) or self-regulatory (like FINRA) body seek to may bring against you, which you want to try to head off at the pass if you can.

For more information:

FINRA Notice to Members 04-16 (April, 2004): Regarding Expungement of Customer Dispute Information from the Central Registration Depository

FINRA Broker Check: “A free tool to help investors research the professional backgrounds of current and former FINRA-registered brokerage firms and brokers.”

SEC Investment Adviser Public Disclosure: information about current representatives and firms registered with the SEC.

Click Here For Significant Securities Industry Employment Cases

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Client Reviews
Jenice Malecki is a highly successful securities law attorney. She is a brilliant strategist. She is a well respected litigator who knows how to win in court. As a former CEO and President of a public company traded on the NASDAQ (and currently a College President), I can attest, as a client, that Jenice Malecki's understanding of the law along with her business acumen and intellectual gravitas resulted in a 100% victory in my case before the Supreme Court of New York State. Jenice is a passionate and determined lawyer -- I want her in my corner -- anytime!​ Dr. John J. McGrath
I worked with Jenice and her team to successfully resolve a brokerage / securities related issue for an elder relative and was quite pleased with how they walked us through the process and took into account the challenges that age sometimes unfortunately present. They were all professional - and effective. I would use them again without question if the need arose. Bart
I have NO hesitation in recommending Jenice Malecki. She made a horrible situation bearable and performed above and beyond our expectations. April Voorhis
I highly recommend Malecki Law. It was a gratifying experience having Ms. Malecki incharge of our case. She is a true professional with a lot of experience. Jose Zorrilla