Financial Industry Compensation and Bonus Disputes

Rich, Intelisano & Katz represents high level employees in the financial services industry in disputes with firms. The majority of cases have focused on compensation disputes, including year-end bonuses. For example, in December 2010, our attorneys won a $2.8 million FINRA arbitration award against UBS in a compensation dispute on behalf of a senior recruiter. The award was 150% of the compensatory damages alleged.

Many employees in the securities industry are compensated on a salary plus year-end bonus pay structure. The Street often refers to the bonus as “incentive compensation” or a “discretionary bonus”. Usually, the year-end bonus makes up the majority of an employee’s total compensation. Most brokerage firms and investment banks pay out bonuses in the first few months of the year following the calendar year in which the bonus was earned. However, often times Firms terminate employees during the calendar year or even in December and refuse to pay employees their earned year-end bonus. Also, incentive compensation and retirement funds may be withheld as well.

Our Firm’s attorneys have represented senior managers, traders, investment bankers, portfolio managers, hedge fund managers, analysts, retail brokers, private bankers, investment advisors, institutional salespersons and top level back office personnel in bonus disputes. Many of these disputes are heard in arbitration at FINRA. Arbitration panels have rendered large monetary awards such as the UBS case we won in December 2011 due to firms’ failure to pay rightfully earned bonuses and other compensation. We have also successfully resolved scores of cases related to unpaid compensation and bonuses either through direct negotiation or mediation.

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