Seward & Kissel’s broker-dealer practice has been active for more than three decades and includes attorneys with extensive experience advising leading financial institutions on complex and sophisticated broker-dealer issues and transactions, in the regulatory context as well as in compliance, examination, enforcement and litigation. Our clients include a broad range of the largest U.S. full-service broker-dealers, mid-sized broker-dealers, clearing, prime, introducing brokers, dual-registered brokers and advisers, limited-purpose boutique brokers, as well as broker-dealer affiliates of banks, hedge funds, investment advisers and other financial services companies. Our broad scope of work covers from being the leading law firm on advising broker-dealers and banks on the brokering of deposits, including CD programs, “sweep” programs, reciprocal deposits, deposit referrals and other deposits facilitated by third parties to day-to-day broker-dealer operations and compliance matters.

Our attorneys have extensive experience regarding regulatory and enforcement issues affecting broker-dealers and include former senior officials from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Department of Justice, and former general counsel and chief compliance officers for broker-dealers.

We have strong working relationships with self-regulatory organizations (“SROs”), government regulators, custodians, administrators, other industry professionals, and consultants. Seward & Kissel’s attorneys, recognized for their role in drafting regulations and guidance or representing the SEC on enforcement matters, are highly respected leaders that participate in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section.

We also counsel our investment management clients in various dealings they may have with broker-dealers, including the negotiation of various types of counterparty agreements (including prime brokerage, ISDA, custody, futures and electronic trading), as well as third party marketing arrangements.

Areas of expertise:

  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
  • Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
  • Broker-dealer formation and FINRA New and Continuing Membership Applications
  • Compensation Arrangements
  • Compliance with state and federal securities laws
  • Customer Agreements
  • Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
  • Customer Protection Regulations

  • Employment and general business matters
  • Mergers and sales of brokers and transfers of customer accounts between brokers
  • SEC, FINRA and CTFC investigation and enforcement
  •  Trading, margin, clearing and settlement reporting and recordkeeping obligations
  • Underwriting, distribution, private placement and finder activities
  • UCC Article 8