FINRA’s proposal to amend the non-attorney representation rules has been published in the Federal Register.
As we were putting together SAA 2023-39 (Oct. 12) came word that FINRA had proposed changes to its non-attorney rep rules.
Proposal in a Nutshell
In brief: the authority on October 5 filed SR-FINRA-2023-013, Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Codes of Arbitration Procedure and Code of Mediation Procedure to Revise and Restate the Qualifications for Representatives in Arbitrations and Mediations. The text states that the intent is to amend the Codes:
“to revise and restate the qualifications for representatives in arbitrations and mediations in the forum administered by FINRA Dispute Resolution Services (‘DRS’); to disallow compensated representatives who are not attorneys from representing parties in the DRS forum; to codify that a student enrolled in a law school participating in a law school clinical program or its equivalent and practicing under the supervision of an attorney may represent investors in the DRS forum; and to clarify the circumstances in which any person, including attorneys, would be prohibited from representing parties in the DRS forum.”
We promised to provide further coverage in this Alert, but upon further review we’ve opted to provide links here to some excellent analyses:
- FINRA Files to Limit Non-Lawyers’ Work on Arb Cases, ThinkAdvisor (Oct. 6, 2023)
- FINRA Proposes Revisions to Arbitration and Mediation Codes, Lexology (Oct. 11, 2023)
- FINRA Seeks to Limit Non-Lawyers From Representing Investors in Arbitration, AdvisorHub (Oct. 9, 2023)
Rule Filing Published; Comments Due Date Set
We said in our editorial comments in no. 39 that by now: “the rule filing will have been published in the Federal Register, and the due date for comments set.” That prediction was spot on: the proposal was published in the Federal Register on October 13 (Vol. 88, No. 197. P. 71051). Comments, which can be filed using this link, are due November 3. Commenters can also send an email to email@example.com. Paper comments should be sent in triplicate to: Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549–1090. All submissions should refer to File Number SR–FINRA–2023–013.
(ed: We imagine there will be many comments!)