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David L. Ward


[email protected]



David Ward focuses his practice on financial services regulatory matters, internal investigations and related litigation. He represents financial services clients throughout the United States, including broker-dealers, investment advisors, banks, pension consultants, insurance companies and publicly traded entities before the SEC, FINRA, CFTC, U.S. Department of Justice and state regulators. David regularly assists clients in internal investigations; the defense of regulatory investigations, sales practice issues, corporate governance matters and securities-related litigation in state and federal courts nationwide. He also advises clients on compliance issues, and has acted as the Independent Compliance Consultant in Massachusetts Securities Division matters.

David also represents firms, directors and officers in employment litigation, including discrimination, wrongful termination, recruiting and "raiding" matters, compensation and separation agreements, and Form U-4 / U-5 issues. He is nationally recognized in this field and has litigated hundreds of employment matters across the country.


  • Oklahoma City University (JD)
  • Oklahoma City University (BS)


  • Represented broker-dealer in an investigation of its alleged market timing of mutual funds that involved numerous agencies: the Massachusetts Securities Division, the SEC, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the New York Attorney General’s Office, the New York Stock Exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., and the DOJ.
  • Represented financial institutions and corporate officers in SEC and FINRA investigations involving allegations of securities laws violations, including insider trading, market manipulation, free-riding, and front-running.
  • Represented broker-dealers in employment matters in state and federal courts, and subsequent arbitrations, including cases alleging discrimination, wrongful termination, U-5 defamation, raiding, violation of trade secrets acts and violation of Regulation S-P.
  • Advised broker-dealers in U-4 and U-5 disclosure matters to the SEC, FINRA, and state regulatory agencies. 
  • Represented broker-dealers in regulatory investigations relating to mutual fund break points, front-running, auction-rate securities, sale of structured products, failure to supervise, churning, unsuitability and unauthorized trading.
  • Represented broker-dealers in regulatory investigations relating to Ponzi schemes perpetrated by employees and the subsequent regulatory and private litigation arising as a result.
  • Represented broker-dealers in arbitrations, as well as state and federal courts, regarding customer-initiated sales practice allegations. 
  • Defended investment bank in $125 million claim brought in federal court which ended in judgment for Defendants on all counts.

Recognition & Awards

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Securities Litigation (2019)


  • Member, SIFMA Compliance and Legal Division
  • Member, Boston Bar Association
  • Member, New York Bar Association
  • Member, Florida Bar Association
  • Member, Montana Bar Association
  • Member, Florida Securities Dealer Association
  • Volunteer Counsel, KIND (Kids in Need of Defense)
  • Returned Peace Corp Volunteer, Guatemala


- Spanish

Recent Insights

News & Press


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FINRA recently issued Regulatory Notice 20-17 (“Reg. Notice 20-17”) addressing changes to FINRA Rule 4530 due to the impending implementation of Regulation Best Interest (“Reg. BI”). Rule 4530 requires member firms to report, among other things, statistical and summary information regarding written customer complaints, as well as specified criminal actions, civil complaints and arbitration claims.
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FINRA Shares Best Practices by Firms to Supervise in a Remote Work Environment

May 29, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward, Michael Pastore

FINRA, through its most recent Regulatory Notice 20-16 , shares certain common practices they have seen taken by member firms to enhance supervision in the remote work environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The American Securities Association (“ASA”), a financial industry trade association representing regional and small financial services companies, has sued the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to prevent the SEC from using the Consolidated Audit Trail (the “CAT”) initiative to gather personal data of retail investors.
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FINRA Again Reminds Firms to Beware of Fraud during COVID-19 Pandemic

May 6, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

As we previously discussed, FINRA issued guidance to member firms and their associated persons in April 2020 to remain “vigilant in their surveillance against cyber threats and take steps to reduce the risk of cyber events.”
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FINRA Fines Broker-Dealer for Sharing Customer Data with Third-Party Vendor

April 30, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

Kestra Investment Services LLC (“Kestra”) was fined $125,000 by FINRA for sharing personal customer data with a third-party vendor.
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In what will likely be the first of many, the SEC brought an action against a company for false and misleading press releases related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, especially on smaller broker-dealers, FINRA will allow small firms more time to pay their Annual Assessment (comprised of the Gross Income Assessment and the Personal Assessment).
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Because they are working from home and are not able to meet clients face-to-face due to COVID-19 restrictions, many registered representatives are communicating with clients via live audio or video conference meetings.
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News & Press

This feature story highlights the arrival of Members Pete Michaels and David Ward. The article describes their focus on financial services litigation and regulatory matters. The article includes commentary from Pete describing why Mintz was the right fit in terms of size, practice synergy and culture.