Principal Counsel, Enforcement

    • Rockville, MD

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;Â
  • 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.

Â

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

To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume. A writing sample may be required as part of the submission.

The information provided above has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work of the position. It is not a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required.

Please note: If the “Apply Now” button on a job board posting does not take you directly to the FINRA Careers site, enter www.finra.org/careers into your browser to reach our site directly.

FINRA strives to make our career site accessible to all users. If you need a disability-related accommodation for completing the application process, please contact FINRA’s accommodation help line at 240.386.4865. Please note that this number is exclusively for inquiries regarding application accommodations.

In addition to a competitive salary, comprehensive health and welfare benefits, and incentive compensation, FINRA offers immediate participation and vesting in a 401(k) plan with company match. You will also be eligible for participation in an additional FINRA-funded retirement contribution, our tuition reimbursement program and many other benefits. If you would like to contribute to our important mission and work collegially in a professional organization that values intelligence, integrity and initiative, consider a career with FINRA.

Important Information

FINRA’s Code of Conduct imposes restrictions on employees’ investments and requires financial disclosures that are uniquely related to our role as a securities regulator. FINRA employees are required to disclose to FINRA all brokerage accounts that they maintain, and those in which they control trading or have a financial interest (including any trust account of which they are a trustee or beneficiary and all accounts of a spouse, domestic partner or minor child who lives with the employee) and to authorize their broker-dealers to provide FINRA with duplicate statements for all of those accounts. All of those accounts are subject to the Code’s investment and securities account restrictions, and new employees must comply with those investment restrictionsâ€"including disposing of any security issued by a company on FINRA’s Prohibited Company List or obtaining a written waiver from their Executive Vice Presidentâ€"by the date they begin employment with FINRA. Employees may only maintain securities accounts that must be disclosed to FINRA at one or more securities firms that provide an electronic feed (e-feed) of data to FINRA, and must move securities accounts from other securities firms to a firm that provides an e-feed within three months of beginning employment.

You can read more about these restrictions here.

As standard practice, employees must also execute FINRA’s Employee Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement without qualification or modification and comply with the company’s policy on nepotism.

Search Firm Representatives

Please be advised that FINRA is not seeking assistance or accepting unsolicited resumes from search firms for this employment opportunity. Regardless of past practice, a valid written agreement and task order must be in place before any resumes are submitted to FINRA. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at FINRA without a valid written agreement and task order in place will be deemed the sole property of FINRA and no fee will be paid in the event that person is hired by FINRA.

FINRA is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, citizenship status, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or any other classification protected by federal state or local laws as appropriate, or upon the protected status of the person’s relatives, friends or associates.

FINRA abides by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-741.5(a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of disability, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.

FINRA abides by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-300.5(a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified protected veterans, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans.

©2019 FINRA. All rights reserved. FINRA is a registered trademark of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.


Back to top