Banking & Financial Institutions

Broker-Dealer – Securities Sales

Quarles & Brady has extensive experience forming brokerage firms and is a service bureau on the Central Registration Depository (CRD) System. Our clients vary from direct participation plan brokers, fully-disclosed equity and debt brokers, limited purpose broker-dealers, real estate interest brokers, municipal securities underwriters, private placement agents, solicitors, and other market participants. On an ongoing basis, we assist our brokerage clients to comply with the myriad regulatory requirements, including assistance with respect to policies and procedure, training, and reporting requirements. Our firm also files state applications for broker-dealer registration to the extent needed and can assist with filing answers to any state or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) inquiry made to the firm. We often assist clients in responding to FINRA audit comment letters and in negotiating the terms of any proposed firm or representative letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent.


  • With respect to regulatory changes, Quarles & Brady informs our clients about the change and takes the extra step of preparing sample procedures that address the regulatory change, so our clients can have procedures in place immediately.
  • If a brokerage customer should express a complaint, we have the capacity to handle such matters both in court and in arbitration. As with investment advisory services, our goal is to establish preventative measures that preclude brokerage customers from bringing a complaint, and to minimize damages if they do.
  • We have performed FINRA mock audits on brokerage firms that result in a report to the firm. When creating brokerage firms, we prepare new account agreements and related forms for account opening. To the extent our clients request a change to the agreements, we assist in making all such changes. Depending on the business direction the firm takes, we regularly file Rule 1017 filings with FINRA to report material business changes and transfers of control. We work directly with FINRA examiners to have such changes approved as quickly as possible.

If litigation or threatened litigation should occur from a client's or regulator's actions, Quarles & Brady is staffed with litigators fully capable of handling the events. Part of this process involves an initial careful evaluation of the suit and where it is brought to determine if it is more expeditious to have local counsel handle the matter for the firm. If that is the case, we are prepared to recommend appropriate counsel in other state jurisdictions.

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