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Pete S. Michaels

Member / Co-Chair, Financial Services Practice

[email protected]



Pete focuses his practice on securities litigation, regulatory proceedings involving financial service companies and products, and compliance matters. He represents multinational and regional financial services firms, including banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, mutual fund firms, and insurance companies as well as their employees, directors, and officers.

Pete’s extensive experience with securities disputes includes class actions, state and federal court cases, arbitration, and related employment matters. He also represents clients before a wide range of federal, state and self-regulatory agencies: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Futures Association, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and state securities regulators. In the compliance side of his practice, Pete guides clients through complex internal investigations and has served as an outside compliance consultant on two Massachusetts Securities Division matters.

Before joining Mintz, Pete was co-chair of the Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice and a partner in the Boston office of an international law firm. He joined that firm after nearly two decades at a Boston securities litigation boutique, where he served as managing partner. He was also an adjunct professor at Boston College Law School for four years teaching Securities Regulation.

Earlier in his career, Pete spent five years as an associate general counsel and vice president of an investment banking firm, and he was an associate at two international law firms. After law school, he served as a law clerk to the late Hon. George C. Edwards Jr. of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

During law school, Pete served as editor-in-chief of the Third World Law Journal.


  • Boston College (JD)
  • Ohio State University (MA)
  • University of Toledo (BA, cum laude with honors)


  • 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.
  • Advised multiple banks and broker-dealers regarding internal reviews or investigations related to purported wrongdoing by employees, which included evaluating whether to terminate employees, making disclosures to regulators and law enforcement agencies, and assisting with analyses of how the misconduct affected customers.
  • Represented corporate officers and supervisors in numerous contested FINRA Enforcement Division hearings involving fraud allegations that ended with verdicts finding no fraud after trial.
  • Represented individuals and broker-dealers in multiple state securities regulatory matters involving allegations of excessive markups, due diligence lapses, unsuitability, mutual fund break-points, data breaches, and failure to supervise.
  • Represented multiple broker-dealers in customer-initiated arbitrations and state and federal court matters.
  • Represented multiple broker-dealers in employment matters in state and federal courts and arbitrations, including cases alleging wrongful termination, discrimination, and raiding.
  • Represented bank in putative class action regarding alleged wrongdoing related to mortgages and related products.

Recognition & Awards

  • Included on the Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Securities Litigation List (2006 – 2019)
  • International Finance Law Review, “IFLR1000” Highly Regarded – Financial Services Regulatory (2018-2020)
  • Lexology, "Client Choice Award” – Litigation: Massachusetts (2017)
  • Included on the Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition: Top Attorneys in Securities Litigation List (2009 – 2014)
  • Recipient, ABA Section of Litigation, "Outstanding Service Award" (2003 – 2004)
  • Recipient, ABA, "Outstanding Editor Award" (2002 – 2003)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent


  • Senior contributing editor, Securities Litigation Commentator (2002 – present)
  • Arbitrator, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and predecessors (1996 – present)
  • Member, American Bar Association, Securities Litigation Committee, Section of Litigation (1985– present)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Florida Securities Dealers Association (2010 – 2017)
  • Co-editor, Securities Litigation Journal, American Bar Association (1999 – 2011)
  • Co-chair, Broker-Dealer Litigation Subcommittee, American Bar Association (1993 –1998)
  • Member, National Society of Compliance Professionals
  • Member, Compliance and Legal Division, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)
  • Member, Boston Bar Association
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Member, Florida Bar Association
  • Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Member, Palm Beach County Bar Association
  • Member, New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Member, New York Bar Association
  • Member, Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society
  • Member, Board of Visitors, New England Conservatory of Music (2004 – present)
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Brookwood School (2009 – 2013)

Recent Insights

News & Press


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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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Court Puts COVID-19 Emergency Debt Collection Regulations on Ice

May 15, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Michael Pastore

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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.”
Read more
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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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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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FINRA Issues Guidance on Net Capital Treatment of PPP Loans under the CARES Act

April 17, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

In its online forum regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus, FINRA has issued guidance related to PPP loans.
Read more
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On the heels of codifying 940 CMR 35.00, the “Unfair and Deceptive Debt Collection Practices During the State of Emergency Caused by COVID-19” (the “Emergency Regulations”), Attorney General Maura Healey issued guidance on April 3, 2020 “to provide clarity with regard to frequently asked questions concerning the Emergency Regulations[.]”
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Fed To Add COVID-19 as Essential New Element to Bank Stress Tests

April 13, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

The Federal Reserve (Fed) announced that it is modifying this year's stress test to reflect how banks have performed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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On March 27, 2020, the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healy, filed an emergency regulation, aimed at what the office described as “prevent[ing] debt collectors and creditors from harassing our residents.”
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State Securities Regulators Adapt in Response to COVID-19

April 3, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Michael Pastore

As financial professionals struggle to adapt during these trying times, securities regulators are also revising their processes and procedures to address the current realities of investor protection in the time of COVID-19 while being fair to the regulated entities.
Read more

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.



SIFMA C&L Society Boston Regional Seminar

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

Boston, MA


SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society Charlotte Regional Seminar

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

Charlotte, NC