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Job Details

Chief Counsel Market Regulation Enforcement

Company name

Rockville, MD, United States

Employment Type

Government, Legal

Posted on
Jul 31, 2020

Apply for this job


The Enforcement Chief Counsel leads teams of Enforcement directors and the attorneys who report to them, to manage Enforcement cases through all stages from inception to completion. The Chief Counsel is a senior legal advisor to Enforcement and is responsible for achieving consistent and foreseeable Enforcement outcomes, including by identifying interpretive issues and collaborating with other senior managers across FINRA to develop an effective regulatory response. The Chief Counsel is responsible for achieving active and effective collaboration between Enforcement attorneys and FINRA investigative staff within and outside of Enforcement. The Chief Counsel is also responsible for actively managing staff performance and development, including ensuring that staffing assignments leverage attorney skills appropriately.

Essential skills include the ability to communicate effectively across a widely-dispersed department, to successfully collaborate with senior management in Enforcement and other departments, to manage personnel (including team members in remote locations) effectively, and to oversee the efficient execution of enforcement matters.

Essential Job Functions:

Enforcement Chief Counsels are responsible for managing Enforcement outcomes and implementing priorities for the Enforcement department, ensuring maximum productivity and effectiveness with a large and complex caseload.  The Chief Counsel manages a team of attorneys and directors, who may be located in different offices, with a widely diverse docket of cases covering a number of subject matter areas.  The Chief Counsel and his or her team are required to closely collaborate with investigative staff, both within Enforcement’s investigations unit and within the Member Regulation and Market Regulation departments, to develop an accurate and complete factual record.  The Chief Counsel is responsible for identifying interpretive questions and potential policy issues that arise during the course of an Enforcement matter, and providing guidance to teams regarding FINRA’s position and response on such issues.  To do so, the Chief Counsel works closely with Enforcement management and other FINRA departments to identify, escalate and strategically manage matters that involve novel or unique questions, to achieve a consistent response on behalf of FINRA.  Chief Counsels across the entire department work closely with senior management to facilitate an ongoing dialogue about Enforcement decision-making, to achieve timely and foreseeable Enforcement outcomes in accordance with the department’s priorities and principles.  In addition, Chief Counsels are responsible for leveraging attorneys’ skills and expertise appropriately through case assignments, and achieving an efficient staffing model that maximizes each attorney’s contribution.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Provide guidance to attorneys and directors regarding proposed Enforcement outcomes and other regulatory responses, to achieve consistent decision-making based on risk.  Responsible for achieving  foreseeable charges and sanctions in Enforcement matters under management, including adherence to FINRA’s priorities and principles.  Responsible for achieving transparency in Enforcement outcomes and documents, such as settlement agreements and Complaints.
  • Identify and monitor potential issues of legal interpretation, policy and risk in Enforcement matters on the team’s docket.  Effectively and frequently communicate with Enforcement senior management about potential issues and questions, and participate in discussions about FINRA’s position and response with others across FINRA, in coordination with Enforcement senior management.  Monitor novel issues, high-profile or noteworthy cases on an ongoing basis, and provide ongoing updates to Enforcement senior management and the Enforcement department.
  • Actively manage and support the attorneys’ and directors’ working relationships and teamwork with Enforcement investigators and with other FINRA departments, including Member Regulation, Market Regulation, Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence, Office of General Counsel and Office of Disciplinary Affairs.  Work closely with peers within and outside of Enforcement to achieve effective information-sharing and a strategic partnership in developing a factual record supported by a well-reasoned legal framework.
  • Provide direction and management to Enforcement attorneys and directors to maximize productivity and cost-effectiveness, and achieve timely and foreseeable high-quality Enforcement outcomes.  This includes looking for opportunities to enhance effectiveness through cross-staffing and specialized assignments, and soliciting and providing feedback to staff based on observations from managers outside the Chief Counsel’s direct reporting lines.
  • Provide strategic guidance and oversight of disciplinary litigation, including Enforcement’s most complex litigation matters; collaborate closely with Enforcement’s Chief Litigation Counsel to achieve appropriate staffing, preparation and execution of hearings and appeals.
  • Manage specialized teams as needed to achieve a coordinated approach to similar matters or issues.
  • Actively manage teams handling high-priority and complex matters throughout the lifecycle of the matter, including providing regular updates to Enforcement senior management and business partners throughout FINRA.
  • Serve as a key source of legal expertise within FINRA on Enforcement related matters.
  • Provide performance feedback to other senior managers within and outside Enforcement.
  • Review dockets and reports, and meet regularly with staff to monitor quality and timeliness of case progression.
  • Continuously provide performance feedback to direct reports and the attorneys they manage.
  • Lead change in the Enforcement program by focusing on risk-based Enforcement decision-making and analytical rigor.
  • Lead special projects as requested.
  • Attend and speak at outside legal and industry regulatory conferences and FINRA meetings, and speak to the press and the industry on enforcement matters as needed.


Overseeing all investigative plans, reviewing and commenting upon complaints, proposed pleadings and respondent responses; reviewing and approving proposed disciplinary actions, settlements, default motions and, where appropriate, other matters from district offices.

Ensuring timely and quality investigations and legal actions for all matters.

Managing the workload and productivity associated with multiple case teams within the Center. Review incoming items identified by staff to consider whether to recommend opening for investigations.

Determining the skill requirements for assignment of cases based on the nature of a matter and assigning staff accordingly.

Acting as the direct liaison with referral sources such as Member Regulation, Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence, Market Regulation, Advertising, Corporate Finance, Dispute Resolution, the SEC and other referral sources.

In addition, acting as the primary liaison to the Office of Disciplinary Affairs regarding review and approval of settlements and formal complaints within the scope of the Enforcement Centers.

Advising senior management regarding the full range of investigative and legal issues impacting the Enforcement program.

Taking a leadership role in resolving complex, difficult or large matters involving important, sensitive, or novel issues including evaluating the legal theories in support of charges primarily regarding “cutting edge” cases where there is a lack of precedent.

Escalating disputes regarding the execution of a matter within or among Enforcement Centers or other FINRA business units for timely resolution so as not to impact the execution of the matter.

Serving as a key source of legal expertise within FINRA on enforcement-related matters.

Conducting and participating in special projects and press contacts as required.

Participating in managing the Department by conducting attorney meetings, participating in staff meetings, overseeing legal contribution to the Department’s training program.

Evaluating all Enforcement Center staff regarding performance for merit and incentive compensation.

Attending and speaking at outside regulatory and industry conferences and FINRA meetings.

Education/Experience Requirements

  • Position requires a law degree, superior academic credentials, and admission to the bar of the highest court of the District of Columbia or state. 
  • Requires a minimum of 10 years of securities-related regulatory and/or complex litigation experience.
  • A minimum of seven of the years spent working for a regulatory entity, member firm or law firm, with direct involvement in securities enforcement matters. 
  • A minimum of seven years managing, leading and directing employees in a senior capacity in a team environment. 
  • Candidate must demonstrate superior investigative and legal skills and be able to prioritize a complex workload, make difficult decisions, and resolve difficult issues regarding the Department.  Excellent, interpersonal, organizational, and oral and written communication skills are essential.

Working Conditions:

  • Work is normally performed in an office environment. 
  • Extended hours will be required on a regular basis. 
  • Primary office is in New York, Rockville or Chicago with some travel requirements.

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