Law Office of Stephen Z. Frank
I have one focus, securities transactions. Within that I have spent the last 20 years resolving legal and regulatory issues for broker/dealers, investment advisors, registered representatives and investors.
I am admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. I also have kept active my FINRA registrations through my in-house responsibilities in small to medium brokerage firms primarily as Chief Legal/Compliance Officer and, since then, through periodic assignments requiring registrations including:
Series 4 - Options Principal Series 53 - Municipal Principal
Series 7- Registered Representative Series 55 - Equity Trader
Series 24 - General Principal Series 63 - State Registration
Series 27 - Financial and Series 87 - Research Supervisor
Operations Principal Series 65 - Investment Advisor (expired)
My legal and compliance experience, in combination, has resulted in my unique ability to evaluate issues, apply them in a real life context which then results in workable solutions.
When retained as an expert I advise litigators who do not have a securities focus on prosecuting or defending their case, evaluate account performance, testify and assist in developing settlement strategies. Beyond performance I have evaluated hundreds of accounts for sales practice issues and application of compliance programs including failure to supervise allegations.
As a litigator, I represent broker/dealers, registered representatives, investment advisors, investment advisor representatives in traditional investor litigation, raiding suits, wrongful termination and collection cases.
Recent criticism of regulators' failure to prevent fraudulent activities has resulted in more rigorous regulatory examinations. It is crucial that companies are ready for such heightened scrutiny by having demonstrably robust compliance programs which are designed for their particular business. As a compliance consultant I evaluate compliance programs, make recommendations for revisions and implement them. I draft supporting documentation such as Written Supervisory Procedures.
Enforcements' prosecution of perceived compliance violations have also become more rigorous. It is less likely that mitigating factors will be considered by enforcement prior to bringing an administrative action. Once such an action is filed regulators are more likely to stubbornly pursue sanctions. The defense of such administrative actions requires not only litigation skills but also knowledge of the laws, regulations and rules which govern industry practices and how they are applied in-house. I have the unique background to provide successful regulatory defense representation.
Throughout the years I have encountered very few neutral practitioners who specialize in securities transactions and related issues. Combining my industry knowledge with cultivated mediator and arbitrator skills enables me to evaluate parties positions regardless of the complexity of the issues leading to reasonable outcomes.