WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today the launch of a pilot program specifically designed for large arbitration cases involving claims of $10 million or more. The program enables parties to customize the administrative process to better suit special needs of a larger case and allows them to bypass certain FINRA arbitration rules. Participation in the pilot program, which began today, is voluntary and open to all cases; but in order to be eligible, all parties will be required to pay for any additional costs of the program and must be represented by counsel.
Linda Fienberg, President of FINRA Dispute Resolution, said, “In response to the increasing number of very large cases, we wanted to introduce a more formal approach to give parties greater flexibility and more control over the administration of their case.”
Examples of how parties may customize the process include having the option to:
• have additional control over the method of arbitrator appointment and the qualifications of arbitrators;
• hire non-FINRA arbitrators for their case;
• develop their own procedures for exchanging information prior to the hearing;
• have expanded discovery options such as depositions and interrogatories; and choose from a wider selection of facilities.
All parties must agree and will be required to pay for any additional costs of the program such as costs for enhanced facilities or additional arbitrator honorariums. FINRA will send a letter to parties in cases involving claims of $10 million or more to solicit participation in the pilot.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services.
FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, informing and educating the investing public, providing trade reporting and other industry utilities, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more information, please visit www.finra.org.