Advice for Financial Advisors who are Transitioning away from their Broker Dealer

As evidenced by recent events at Wells Fargo, many financial advisors become troubled by what they perceive to be the greedy practices of their own firms. Top Advisors often begin to see that the internal culture and incentives of their broker-dealer are not aligned with the best interest of their clients. As a result, financial advisors often look for an alternative platform that will better serve their clients.

If you are a financial advisor looking to transition to a more client centered platform in which to work, we strongly recommend that you hire a lawyer to review all your agreements with your current employer before you decide to make a move. This would include any internal team agreement with other advisors, any promissory note requiring repayment of a bonus, as well as any employment or independent contractor agreements and addendums to those agreements. Do not rely on what you think the documents say or require or even your own interpretation of the agreement. Rather, actually, hire your own lawyer who knows the securities advisor industry before you transition from one financial firm to another.

In addition, do not assume that the lawyer for the firm you want to transition to will always act in your best interest. His or her job is to protect your potential new employer, not you. Those interests are not always the same.

An Attorney Now Decreases Problems Later

If you have your own lawyer, you decrease the chances that you will end up spending a lot more on a lawyer later because you inadvertently violated an agreement, protocol, or otherwise exposed yourself to common law or statutory claims by your former employer (or even your new employer). Your lawyer can also assist you in creating an agreement with your potential new employer that is in your best interest and not inconsistent with what you are being promised over the phone or over a high-priced dinner.

We see financial advisors make career moves that have tremendous impact on their financial future and wreck the transition because they skipped hiring a lawyer and relied on what they were told when they were hired or were told by another broker rather than what their specific agreements say and what law and rules apply at the time of their transition.

We Have Experience Protecting Our Clients

At Vernon Litigation Group, we represent top financial advisors nationwide in disputes with their former employers. The representation often deals with issues such as defending promissory notes and forgivable loans and, in response, aggressively pursuing claims relating to tortious interference with business relationships, whistleblower claims, defamation, U-5 language, wrongful termination, violations of the employment laws, including harassment, as well as addressing all other legal and business issues that might be connected to an Advisors departure from a broker-dealer or other financial firm.


The Vernon Litigation Group’s FINRA team of attorneys continues to represent financial advisors nationwide against Brokerage firms. Vernon Litigation Group is a law firm of financial litigators that represents clients in courtroom litigation, arbitration, and negotiations throughout the United States. Our lawyers are experienced in federal court, state court, mediation, and arbitration (including FINRA, JAMS, and AAA arbitration). For more information, visit our website at or contact Vernon Litigation Group by phone at (239) 319-4434¬†or by e-mail at

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