Monday, August 5, 2019

Steps To Take Upon Termination by a Broker Dealer

So the unimaginable happens. You receive a call and are told to report to HR. There you are handed a letter stating you have been terminated for cause and that the broker-dealer has terminated your registrations with the firm.

What steps should you take?

First, and before leaving HR, you should request that they not file the Form U5 until after they have been contacted by your attorney. Pursuant to FINRA rules, the broker-dealer has 30 days from the date of termination to file the Form U5 that sets forth the reasons for the termination. And, what is stated by the firm on the Form U5 will be critical in determining your ability to join another firm, have clients move with you to your new firm, and avoid a FINRA Enforcement investigation.

Experienced securities industry counsel may be successful in framing the wording on the Form U5 such that it is accurate, which would avoid the subsequent time, expense and aggravation of removing inaccurate information from your Form U5. Pursuant to the laws of some states, broker-dealers have actual immunity or qualified immunity from defamation claims for statements made on Form U5s. Therefore, it’s imperative that you have experienced securities counsel on your side to try to prevent defamatory statements from being placed on your Form U5.

Second, you need to consider the host of other legal issues that may need to be resolved. Such as whether you are going to be subject to a FINRA Enforcement investigation, what information regarding your clients you may take from the firm, or what your continuing obligations are under your broker/registered representative agreement. 

Therefore, if you are a broker agent/registered representative and you have been terminated for cause, do not delay in consulting your securities industry attorney. You should consider having counsel engage with your broker-dealer before your Form U5 is filed. If you need assistance, you may wish to consult with experienced securities industry counsel at Cosgrove Law Group.

By: Brian St. James, Cosgrove Law Group, LLC

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