Alan M. Wolper

Partner | Partner-in-Charge, Chicago Office | Co-Chair, Financial Services & Securities Litigation


Practice Areas:

Alan focuses his practice exclusively on the representation of brokers, broker-dealers and investment advisors. He defends regulatory investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), and state securities, as well as arbitrations brought by customers and investors. He takes a proactive approach to help clients avoid regulatory scrutiny and customer complaints. Previously, as Director of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Atlanta District Office, he oversaw nearly 600 member firms and thousands of branch offices. Alan also served as a member of the NASD’s Department of Enforcement, where he had the primary responsibility for prosecuting hundreds of formal disciplinary actions.

Alan is the editor of BDLawCorner.com, a blog intended for broker-dealers which are members of FINRA and the individuals associated with such firms, including legal and compliance professionals and registered representatives, as well as outside legal counsel and securities consultants who provide service to broker-dealers.

[Video: Alan discusses what it takes to be a successful financial services litigator.] 

Education & Admissions

Education

  • Rutgers University

    (B.A., with high honors, 1980)

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    (J.D., with honors, 1983)

Admissions

State of Georgia

State of Florida

State of Illinois

Experience

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • [Video: Partner Alan Wolper discusses what to consider when involved in arbitration in Puerto Rico.]
  • Successfully defended investment advisor in SEC Administrative Proceeding against fraud allegations regarding supposed inadequacy of disclosures in Form ADV and other documents related to compensation and other supposed conflicts of interest. (Coverage in: Law360National Law Journal, AMLaw Daily, BloombergBusinessand Houston Chronicle)
  • Defended countless FINRA, SEC and state Enforcement actions involving allegations of sales practice violations, including unsuitable recommendations, churning, misrepresentations, forgery and falsification of records, unauthorized trading, and supervision, among other things.
  • Defended FINRA, SEC and state Enforcement actions involving anti-money laundering (AML), registration issues, customer identification programs (CIP), the research analyst rule, net capital, and many other non-sales practice issues.
  • Defended hundreds of customer arbitrations of all varieties, involving most conceivable theories of recovery, and in locations throughout the United States. Extremely successful track record in matters taken to hearing, including several matters resulting in the granting of a dispositive motion to dismiss.
  • Assisted broker-dealers with the structure of supervisory systems, drafting written supervisory procedures, filing Membership Applications, and creating general liaisons with securities regulators.
  • Assisted with the defense of investigations by securities regulators by helping draft responses to requests for documents and information, by appearing at and defending hundreds of OTRS, or “on-the-record” interviews, and by drafting responses to Wells letters.
  • Handled appeals of denials by FINRA of requests to change Membership Agreements.
  • Handled MC-400 applications for broker-dealers with registered persons who have become Statutorily Disqualified.
  • Served as expert witness on behalf of respondent firms in FINRA arbitrations and state regulatory matters involving both sales practice violations and other non-sales practice issues.

Publications & Presentations

Publications

  • The SEC’s increased use of administrative proceedings in enforcement actions: background, controversies, and future outlook,” Journal of Investment Compliance (July 2016)
  • “I (Still) Got Them 8210 Blues,” Ulmer & Berne LLP, Client Alert (January 2013)
  • ‘”I’ll See You in Court!” Has the Time Come to Reconsider the Arbitration Process as the Preferred Forum for the Defense of Customer Claims?,” Ulmer & Berne LLP, Client Alert (May 2012)
  • “Recent SEC Settlement May Significantly Change Standard of SUpervision for Broker-Dealers,” Quick Study (February 2012)
  • “An Introduction to Risk Management,” Practical Compliance & Risk Management for the Securities Industry (May/June 2011)
  • “Navigating the Rocky Shoals of Rule 1017. Just How Safe is FINRA’s ‘Safe Harbor’ When Acquiring Sales Reps from a Financially Troubled Firm?,” Client Alert (April 2010)
  • “Don’t Get Egg on Your Face! Ensure That Your Settlement With A State Regulator Does Not Result In Inadvertent Statutory Disqualification,” Client Alert (June 2009)

Presentations

  • “2017 FINRA Hot Topics,” ACA Compliance Group Annual Webcast (March 2017)
  • “Oh no! Is that FINRA knocking on your door? Tips for Navigating a FINRA Investigation and Enforcement Action,” Annual Ulmer Financial Services & Securities Litigation Client CLE Seminar (November 2016)
  • “2016 Compliance Outlook,” 2015 Chicago Broker-Dealer Compliance Breakfast Roundtable (November 2015)
  • “Form ADV: Post-Robare Lessons All Advisers Must Heed, Plus Disclosure & Filing Tips,” IA Watch webinar (November 2015)
  • “PTI: Hot Topics from the U&B Broker-Dealer Blog,” Ulmer & Berne, Financial Services & Securities Litigation Hot Topics 2015 (November 2015)
  • “Current Regulatory Issues,” SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society, Chicago Breakfast (September 2015)
  • “Current Regulatory Priorities – Focus on Disclosure Issues,” Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Broker-Dealer Meeting (June 2015)
  • “Chicago Compliance Workshop for Broker-Dealers,” panelist, ACA Compliance Group and Ulmer & Berne LLP Seminar (June 2014)
  • “Annual Business Conference,” Ziegler Business Conference (February 2013)
  • “FIBA Broker Dealer Roundtable,” Veris Consulting (February 2013)
  • “Regulatory FINRA Hot Topics for Broker-Dealers,” ACA Compliance Webinar (April 2012; 2013)

Involvement

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • American Bar Association
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Compliance and Legal Society

FIRM INVOLVEMENT

  • Management Committee
  • Partner-in-Charge, Chicago Office
  • Co-Chair, Financial Services & Securities Litigation
  • Finance Committee

Honors

  • Named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list (2016; 2017)
  • Named a “Leading Lawyer” in a survey of lawyers by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company (2016)

News