Finra Might Ban Non-Lawyer Arbitration Reps

Finra is examining whether non-attorney agents must continue to be enabled to represent complainants in its arbitration procedures, according to an ask for a remark from the market’s self-regulator.

Such representatives do offer some service to financiers, but Finra is worried about “a few of the supposed improper business practices,” Richard Berry, executive VP of Finra’s Office of Dispute Resolutions, states in a news release from the regulator.

Previously this month, FA-IQ reported that Berry had exposed that Finra had gotten problems declaring $25,000 non-refundable deposits by some non-attorney representatives, in addition to some representing complainants without their understanding and some representatives winning settlement money the plaintiffs didn’t understand about.

Presently, non-attorney representatives are disallowed from representing plaintiff’s cases, such as when they’re prohibited by state law or when the associate is disallowed or suspended from the market or from practicing law. Berry stated Finra would think about going as far as disallowing non-attorney associates from the arbitration procedure completely.

Finra is also looking to talk about a proposal to offer financiers more options when submitting arbitration claims versus non-active companies or associated individuals in a quote to handle unsettled arbitration awards, according to journalism release.

The regulator is thinking about letting financiers withdraw or change claims, hold off hearings and get their filing costs back in such cases, Finra states. It’s also thinking about letting plaintiffs take their case to the courts or include extra participants to their arbitration declares when thinking such actions would help them gather on an award, according to journalism release.