Principal Counsel

  • FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) - Rockville, MD
  • Remote
  • Aug 31, 2022
Full time Finance Legal

Job Description

Render legal advice and support in connection with the complete life cycle of the adoption of new regulatory initiatives, and serve as subject matter resource in one or more areas of legal expertise, primarily in equity and fixed income securities, trading practices and market structure, with an emphasis on OGC support to FINRA as a participant in the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) NMS Plan.

This is professional work in which incumbents are defining their assigned roles, increasing their skills, and working under the general guidance of senior attorneys.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Advise the Board of Governors and FINRA advisory committees with respect to regulatory initiatives and rule changes under consideration by the Board. 
  • Assist in briefing and providing communication on complex and sensitive regulatory initiatives to senior executives of FINRA.  Must be able to provide such analysis under urgent deadlines.
  • Serve as legal resource within FINRA in one or more subject areas and provide advice on questions in these subject areas. 
  • Prepare Board materials that contain analyses and discussions of competing policy or political considerations necessary for the informed judgment of the issues by the Board.
  • Together with senior-level attorneys, draft new rule proposals; gather and incorporate views of industry participants, other regulators, and senior staff; and prepare rule filings to the SEC. 
  • Prepare Regulatory Notices, rule guidance and other correspondence with member firms and their outside counsel. 
  • Conduct legal and other research into matters of regulatory policy as necessary to, among other things (1) develop rule proposals and respond to internal and external comments, and (2) respond to interpretive and exemptive requests.
  • Together with senior-level attorneys, identify and present solutions and proposals for changes to existing rules, including the elimination or reduction of unnecessary regulation and the adoption of new rules. 
  • Work closely with the Office of the Chief Economist in conducting economic impact assessments of rulemakings.
  • Keep abreast of and analyze SEC, industry and other self-regulatory organization initiatives, and develop and maintain strong working relationships with SEC staff and other regulators. 
  • Represent FINRA before industry groups.
  • Attend and speak at, or assist in the preparation of materials for, regulatory policy public conferences and meetings of FINRA advisory committees on areas of subject matter expertise.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Participate in ad hoc special projects and initiatives as requested.
  • Provide status reports of assigned matters or projects.
  • Develop communications as needed for Chief Legal Officer and other senior management.
  • Other level-appropriate duties, as assigned.

Education/Experience Requirements:

  • Law degree from an accredited law school, admission to a bar.
  • Minimum of 6 years of directly related legal experience.
  • Advanced working knowledge of laws, rules, and regulations governing the securities industry.
  • Strong working knowledge of trading and market practices and rules, regulations and guidelines governing the securities industry.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and organizational skills.
  • Excellent judgment and interpersonal skills.

Working Conditions:

  • Normal office conditions. 
  • Occasional travel and extended hours may be required.


To be considered for this position, please submit an application.

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.

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Employees may be eligible for a discretionary bonus in addition to base pay. FINRA also provides a variety of benefits including comprehensive health and welfare benefits, life and disability insurance, paid holidays, vacation, personal, and sick leave. 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 restrictions—including disposing of any security issued by a company on FINRA’s Prohibited Company List or obtaining a written waiver from their Executive Vice President—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.

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