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110 Wall Street
11th Floor
New York, NY 10005
212-509-6544

60 Pompton Avenue
Verona, NJ 07044

973-559-5566

 

BEAM & ASTARITA

Formed by the merger of the practices of corporate and securities lawyers with a white collar criminal attorney, Beam & Astarita, LLC is a boutique law firm offering corporate, securities and commercial litigation services to small and medium sized corporations, with a particular emphasis on the financial services industry.

As securities lawyers, the firm provides nationwide representation of clients in securities related matters. Our lawyers represent broker-dealers, clearing firms, hedge funds, and other financial service companies in all aspects of their business, from drafting contracts, to compliance audits and regulatory investigations, to federal court litigation and securities arbitration matters.

As corporate attorneys, the firm's lawyers assist its clients in creating legal entities, but more importantly, we guide them through the process of managing those entities through the creative use of shareholder agreements, and employment contracts, as well as agreements governing the relationship between the entities and third parties, such as vendors and investors.

We provide a wide range of services to the financial service industry, as well as investors, including:

Financial Regulatory Matters

Our attorneys have been assisting brokers and brokerage firms in their registration and compliance matters, including the startup of new broker-dealers for over 25 years. From incorporation through shareholder and employment agreements, and throughout the registration process with the SEC and FINRA, we have assisted dozens of firms in their navigation of the web of securities rules and regulations. When firms need to expand their operations and require FINRA approval, we have guided those firms through the 1017 process, working closely with the firm's in-house staff to obtain the necessary approvals. Our mock audits and examinations help our clients identify and correct problem areas - before the regulators identify those problems.

As the regulatory environment has become more onerous and complex, we began encouraging, and assisting, brokers and financial professionals to become independent financial advisors, either through agreements with some of the nation's top independent brokerage firms, or through the creation of registered investment advisors or private investment partnerships. These alternate vehicles can vastly improve the business operations and overhead of a smaller financial firm, while at the same time maintaining the quality of research, customer service and investor protection of a large broker-dealer.

Regulatory Enforcement Matters

The firm also represents financial professionals in regulatory investigations, from the SEC, FINRA, state securities commissions, and the various commodity exchanges. With 25 years of experience in investigations and enforcement proceedings we understand the issues, the procedures, and the politics behind the procedures, and have been able to provide invaluable assistance to our clients, not only during the proceedings themselves, but in the development of a comprehensive strategy and plan for dealing with actual, and potential, enforcement proceedings.

Securities Employment Issues

During their careers, the attorneys at Beam & Astarita have represented well over 100 brokerage firms and hundreds of financial professionals in their regulatory, litigation and employment issues. Our experience and knowledge of this highly specialized area of employment law enables us to provide guidance and assistance, to firms as well as professionals, in the negotiation of compensation packages and upfront loans, as well as severance agreements, promissory note settlements and restructuring, and non-compete waivers.

We have negotiated broker compensation agreements for individuals with every major Wall Street firm, and have done the same from the firm side for numerous small and mid-size firms. The use of upfront bonuses, or employee forgivable loans as inducements and compensation for a broker to change firms, has a series of issues, pitfalls and dangers, for the firm, and for the broker. This experience, coupled with a continual monitoring of legal decision and trends enables us to effectively negotiate securities employment agreements for our clients.

The transition from a brokerage firm to an investment advisory firm involves its own unique set of issues, and an entirely different regulatory environment, with different regulators, and different rules. As more and more professionals realize the advantages of using a fee-based model for the benefit of their clients, they realize the advantage of leaving the brokerage world and moving to the investment advisory side of the business. Mr. Astarita has been at the forefront of this move away from commission business and the overwhelming regulatory environment and has helped transition brokers to advisors for decades.

That same experience provides the foundation for the negotiation and resolution of employment separation agreements, waivers and modifications to non-compete agreements and promissory notes.

If the employment relationship does not go as planned, we provide representation and counsel in post-employment disputes, including severance agreements, re-negotiation of promissory notes and non-compete agreements, as well as ongoing counsel in post-termination investigations by FINRA and the SEC, and in litigation over the employer-employee relationship.

Securities Arbitration Proceedings

One of our founding members, Mark Astarita, is nationally known for his work in securities arbitration. For over 25 years Mr. Astarita has been the attorney of record, representing customers, brokers and brokerage firms in NASD and NYSE arbitrations, in over 500 securities arbitrations. He has appeared on behalf of every type of firm, from the major wirehouses to clearing firms, to the smallest two man shops. He has represented parties in every type of securities dispute imaginable and has done so across the country. Mr. Astarita prides himself on his dedication to his clients, and his desire to champion their cause and position. He has represented parties in proceedings held in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, California, Louisiana, Nebraska, Minnesota, Utah, and Oregon. Mr. Astarita has written extensively on the topic of customer arbitrations, and most of his articles appear at The Securities Law Home Page.

Securities Industry Knowledge

Our attorneys are contributors to The Securities Law Home Page, now known simply as SECLaw.com, the Internet site for information regarding United States securities and commodities law, which was created by Mr. Astarita in 1995. The site, which has been rated one of the Top 10 law firm web sites available on the Internet, and consistently rated "Best of the Web" by every major survey, contains original articles and commentary of interest to participants in the United States financial markets, as well as attorneys and educators. The site receives over 12,000 unique visitors a month, making it one of the most popular legal topic sites in the world.

Our attorneys are also the authors of The Securities Law Letter, a monthly email newsletter with links to news, rule filings and commentary on recent legal and regulatory developments affecting those in the securities industry. Subscriptions to the newsletter are free. Registration is available here.

Corporate Representation

The firm's lawyers focus on the representation all types of business entities in the New York Metropolitan area, in their general corporate matters. Our attorneys provide advice and counsel on general corporate operations, joint ventures, employment contracts, and regulatory matters affecting their business operations and regulatory concerns.

Our corporate and securities work also includes the representation of private and public corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships in their routine business dealings, as well as vendor, shareholder and commercial litigation.

Corporate and Securities Lawyers Providing Representation In:

 

 

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