There is plenty of room for conflict when a financial advisor is leaving his or her broker-dealer. Although the departure may start off in an amicable fashion, tensions often flare once promissory notes and client retention issues arise. Moreover, an involuntary or “for-cause” termination may implicate defamation and regulatory issues. In other words, your broker-dealer may defame you on your U-5/U-4 providing you with an arbitration claim but also subjecting you to months of regulatory scrutiny from FINRA and state regulators. So here is my lecture: it is wise to retain independent counsel as soon as you are even contemplating leaving your current broker-dealer. Your legal counsel can help you achieve a smooth transition or at least advocate for you during the termination process. Our firm has represented countless departing brokers on a nearly endless array of issues. We have also recouped millions of dollars in defamations awards and settlements. Food for thought.
 In 2020, U5 defamation cases were the fourth most common intra-industry claim filed with FINRA, behind breach of contract, promissory notes, and compensation claims. (https://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/form-u5-defamation-claims-rise-finra-be-prepared)