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David L. Ward




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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SPACS and Scams: FINRA Announces New Sweep Exams

July 26, 2021 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

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Not So Fast: DOL Changes Course on Trump-Era ESG Investment Rule

March 22, 2021 | Blog | By David L. Ward, Alyssa C. Scruggs

The United States Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) announced on March 10, 2021 that it will not enforce certain final rules put into place under President Trump related to environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) investing.
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released its 2021 Examination Priorities. The SEC indicates it will focus on senior investors and those saving for retirement, with a specific focus on potential conflicts of interests faced by brokers and advisors in giving them financial advice.
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SEC Commissioner Considers Future ESG Investment Regulation

November 17, 2020 | Blog | By David L. Ward

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In FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-38, FINRA has adopted Rule 3241 to limit registered persons from holding “positions of trust” for clients. The new rule requires that registered persons have written approval from the member firm to act as a trustee, executor, or hold power of attorney for a client account.
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National Adjudicatory Council Revises FINRA Sanction Guidelines

November 2, 2020 | Blog | By David L. Ward

In FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-37, FINRA set forth revised Sanction Guidelines that became effective October 20, 2020.
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Massachusetts Securities Division Begins Enforcement Of New State Fiduciary Conduct Standard

September 2, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward, Michael Pastore

On September 1, 2020, the Massachusetts Securities Division (“MSD”) began enforcing a new state regulation that holds all broker-dealers and their agents to a fiduciary conduct standard requiring them to “make recommendations and provide investment advice without regard to the financial or any other interest of any party other than the customer”.
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NASAA’s COVID-19 Task Force Uncovers Investment Scams Related to the Pandemic

August 26, 2020 | Blog | By David L. Ward, Jason Burrell

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North America Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) put together a task force in April 2020 specifically targeted to use “online investigative techniques to identify websites and social media posts that may be offering or promoting fraudulent offerings, investment frauds, or improper unregistered regulated activities” which were related to any aspect of COVID-19.
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SEC Risk Alert Addresses COVID-19 Compliance Risks and Considerations

August 14, 2020 | Blog | By David L. Ward, Jason Burrell

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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.