What Is FINRA?

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is a private, non-governmental organization that regulates brokers and brokerage firms in the United States. Virtually all disputes between investors and their stockbrokers are decided in the arbitration forum operated by FINRA.

Investor rights groups have historically been critical of the FINRA arbitration forum, viewing it merely as an extension of the securities industry itself and as being biased against investors. However, over the years, FINRA has made changes to the arbitration process that have served to level the playing field between the investor and investment professionals. In our experience, the vast majority of FINRA arbitrators use their common sense to reach fair results.

Some common claims in FINRA arbitrations include:

  • Unsuitable Transactions
  • Churning/Excessive Trading
  • Unauthorized Trading
  • Fraud/Misrepresentation
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Negligence
  • Breach of Contract
  • Failure to Supervise

Some common investments in FINRA arbitrations include:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • REITs
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Private Equities
  • Variable Annuities
  • Annuities
  • Structured Products
  • Alternative Products

Depending on the size of your claim, your dispute will be heard by either one or three arbitrators. The investor and the investment professional are entitled to select the arbitrators who will hear their case through the FINRA list selection process. FINRA arbitrators come from all walks of life, including lawyers, accountants, teachers, journalists, business owners, engineers and psychologists, and geographical locations that are based on the investor’s residence.

The most recently available statistics released by FINRA for 2018 suggest that it takes approximately 16 months to get a decision from the arbitrators and only approximately 17% of the cases were actually decided upon by the arbitrators. In fact, 83% of FINRA arbitrations were resolved by others means and 67% were settled directly between the parties or via mediation. What this means is that the vast majority of FINRA arbitrations are settled before the hearing of the case by the arbitrators (which in court-speak means before trial).

At Weltz Law, our philosophy is that you must be prepared to take every case to trial. While settling early may be appropriate in certain cases for a variety of reasons, we believe that higher recoveries are obtainable when your lawyer demonstrates an ability and willingness to go to the mat.

Let Weltz Law help you make the most of your case and get you the best possible recovery. CONTACT US FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION. We will assess the merits of your claims and, where appropriate, will take your case on a contingency fee basis, i.e., we will not receive a penny in attorney’s fees unless a positive recovery is obtained in your case.

Client Reviews
"Irwin has been my go-to lawyer for arbitration and regulatory matters for years. He’s smart, cost-efficient and gets results. I highly recommend him." B.D.
"Over the last few years, we have employed Irwin Weltz for a variety of functions. No matter what the issue may be Mr. Weltz responds in a timely and proactive fashion. His ability to think out of the box is second to none and has literally saved us millions of dollars. Irwin also sincerely cares about his clients. I cannot say enough good things about this man, he is simply the best!" T.A.
"Irwin Weltz was referred to me by a former colleague who worked as the Deputy General Counsel for a large, multi-national broker-dealer located in the New York metropolitan area. I had requested a referral for an attorney to handle a complicated arbitration that my firm was involved in." G.C.
"After a very negative experience with another law firm, Irwin was truly terrific in every way. He cared, he was responsive, and he guided me through a difficult time with compassion and expertise. In the end, he was successful as well in settling the lawsuit favorably and allowing me to restore focus and energy back to my family and business. I am truly grateful to Irwin and highly recommend his services." F.S.
"Irwin is the best. He successfully represented me in a number of matters, including an employment dispute. He was attentive to every aspect of my matters, always available to speak with me, gave me great advice and fought hard for me every step of the way. You want Irwin on your side!" I.S.