As an investor or shareholder, you want to be certain the company you've invested in plays by the rules. When unethical acts or lapses in judgment impact your investment, you want someone who is well versed in the complex world of corporate law. A securities lawyer can fill the role of knowledgeable and effective counsel for both businesses and individual investors.
Hiring on Behalf of Your Company
Most major companies retain a securities lawyer or firm to deal with the intricacies of corporate law as it pertains to financial transactions, joint ventures and other related interests. Often times, securities lawyers act as legal counsel for business executives and act on behalf of the company in court.
If your business plans to raise capital through a securities offering, you'll want the knowledge and expertise of a securities lawyer on hand before moving forward. Having an experienced litigator on board is also recommended for other major investment acts, including public offerings, mergers and acquisitions. Securities lawyers can help your company iron out legal bumps as you take your company public.
Hiring as an Individual
Individuals may also turn to a securities lawyer to represent their interests in cases of malfeasance, such as if an investor believes he or she has been affected by unethical behavior on the company's part. There are several other reasons why you may want to reach out to a securities lawyer:
- You want to verify the trustworthiness of the company prior to making an investment
- You suspect ongoing investment fraud within the company
- You or another investor lost money due to insider trading, trading without prior consent or excessive trading in order to generate additional commissions
- The company has exhibited failure to follow trading requirements
Given the stringent and ever-changing rules and regulations governing various facets of the finance industry, securities lawyers play a critical role for ensuring compliance and ethical behavior among corporate entities.
Finding a Securities Lawyer
The SEC offers some good advice about finding a lawyer specializing in securities matters:
- Reach out to your area's bar association, as it will have a listing of lawyers specializing in securities and corporate law. Keep in mind that some bar associations may not directly refer you to an attorney, but instead provide the contact information of a nearby referral service.
- Third-party directories also feature a comprehensive listing of lawyers organized by state, jurisdiction and specialty. These directories are commonly found in law libraries.
What Your Lawyer Can (and Can't) Do
When working on behalf of a company, securities lawyers are deeply involved in ensuring regulatory compliance with a number of federal regulations from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Securities lawyers are also effective fact-finders, a welcome trait in the arbitration process.
As an individual, your securities lawyer represents your best chance to be made whole in the event of suspected malfeasance. Securities lawyers understand the complex rules and regulations regarding investments, as well as the actions a broker or company are allowed or prohibited from taking with stocks, bonds and other investment vehicles. Throughout the litigation process, your lawyer will investigate any and all possible wrongdoing, with an aim towards recompense for all damages.
Although securities lawyers are committed to resolving cases of fraud and unethical behavior, the process is often long, tedious and fraught with numerous inquiries and complications. The odds of recovering a settlement often depend on what proof of misconduct and fraud your securities lawyer finds during the fact-finding process.
The experience and expertise of a seasoned specialist in securities law can make all the difference, regardless of whether they represent individual investors or corporate concerns. If you want to learn more about securities attorneys, you can find more info here.