Job Details

Principal Counsel, Enforcement (R-001519)

Company name


Organization Type


Job Type


Date Last Verified

Jan 09, 2021

Posted on

Oct 06, 2020

Years of Experience

Min 6 yrs required


Rockville, MD, United States


Practice Area
Corporate >> Corporate - Securities and Capital Markets
Finance >> Finance
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Job Summary:

The Principal Counsel works under minimal supervision to independently resolve non-complex Enforcement matters, and to contribute substantive high quality work for large complex matters.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Resolve all types of Enforcement matters based on objective and complete assessment of the facts and law, including independently resolving non-complex matters.
    • Determine and execute an effective risk-based legal strategy to complete and assess the record fairly;
    • Recommend a fair and effective outcome, accurately assessing the evidence and applying a well-reasoned legal framework to the case;
    • Identify potential risks, defenses, individual liability, and Principal Considerations;
    • Accurately and succinctly discuss any factual issue and advocate for FINRA’s position in meetings with respondents and other stakeholders;
    • Effectively negotiate settlements, demonstrating knowledge of the record, familiarity with the law and potential defenses, and sensitivity to potential risks;
    • Play a leading role determining effective litigation strategy, and conduct non-complex witness examinations in litigation with minimal direction;
    • Draft clear and organized analysis, and effective advocacy documents;
    • Plan and conduct/oversee OTRs, independently demonstrating technical ability to develop a complete and defensible transcript, and substantive ability to elicit legally relevant information.
  • Achieve Enforcement outcomes that are foreseeable and transparent, including independently resolving non-complex matters.
    • Research and identify the legal requirements for charges;
    • Identify and assess relevant Principal Considerations;
    • Recommend charges and sanctions consistent with FINRA’s priorities and principles;
    • Identify and escalate issues where rule and guidance are ambiguous or silent;
    • Identify potential regulatory duplication or inconsistencies, and contribute to communications with other regulators to resolve;
    • Contribute to collaborations with other FINRA departments regarding interpretive or policy issues;
    • Clearly explain legal reasoning in meetings with respondents and other stakeholders
    • Draft and finalize settlement documents that require only minor revisions by managers and that clearly describe the facts, the basis for FINRA charges, and the Principal Considerations that support the sanction.
  • Resolve all types of Enforcement matters timely, including independently resolving non-complex matters.
  • Prioritize matters based on risk;
  • Establish timelines and meet them, including directing the work of other team members to progress the case in a timely fashion;
  • Actively monitor and advise in investigations to ensure they are focused and targeted, and identify necessary inquiries in real time;
  • Identify and escalate matters or issues that require re-prioritization, and recommend next steps or alternative approaches;
  • Prepare cases for litigation to facilitate prompt filing, efficient document production, and a timely hearing;
  • Demonstrate effective oral advocacy during negotiations and discussions, facilitating efficient progress of a matter;
  • Efficiently produce written work product
  • Collaborate with investigative staff to produce a sound factual record, including independent collaboration in non-complex investigations.
  • Partner with investigative staff on investigations to fully and efficiently develop the record;
  • Proactively provide relevant and accurate legal advice to investigative and legal staff ;
  • Advise investigation staff on concerns or needs related to potential litigation, such as required witness testimony or evidence related to defenses;
  • Demonstrate ability to prepare investigative staff for litigation;
  • Work effectively with investigative staff to ensure that written descriptions of non-complex matters are supported by the record, accurate and clear
  • Demonstrate ability to perform independently in non-complex matters, and provide high quality work in team-based matters.

For team-based matters:

  • Keep managers informed and incorporate feedback into planning and execution; 
  • Identify opportunities to work with other staff or leverage other matters for more efficient results, and manage team’s work product;
  • Identify potential team members based on expertise, skills, and case demands;
  • Counsel other staff on efficient ways to leverage collective knowledge and work across the organization;
  • Effectively communicate with other team members about factual and legal issues for analysis;

For non-complex matters:

  • Demonstrate the ability to meet the goals above with minimal supervision or day-to-day direction from managers;
  • Identify and oversee writing assignments for other staff members where possible to achieve more efficient results
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct any witness examination in litigation

Education/Experience Requirements:

  • Law degree and admission to the bar.
  • A minimum of six years relevant legal experience in a regulatory or legal environment.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and litigation skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.

Work Conditions:

  • Work outside of business hours and overnight travel may be required.

Company info


Company Profile

FINRA is an independent, non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the public in the United States. FINRA works to protect investors and maintain market integrity in a public-private partnership with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), while also benefiting from the SEC’s oversight. In its role as investor guardian, FINRA is informed, but not influenced, by the industry that it regulates. FINRA’s independent regulation plays a critical role in America’s financial system–all at no cost to taxpayers. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business—from registering and educating industry participants to examining securities firms; writing rules; enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws; informing and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and other industry utilities; and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. FINRA uses technology powerful enough to look across markets and detect potential abuses. Using a variety of data gathering techniques, we work to detect insider trading and any strategies firms or individuals use to gain an unfair advantage.

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