The short answer is no, you are not required to have a lawyer to bring a claim with FINRA. However, the statistics show that it is a really good idea to have a lawyer. 

The reality is that the recovery rates for Claimants in FINRA arbitrations who are not represented by counsel are abysmal. According to FINRA’s website only about 40% of claims are awarded damages. However, according to an article published in 2013 in the American Bar Journal the breakdown of those statistics is significant when looking at the type of representation the Claimant had.

Claimants representing themselves saw a recovery a little over 25% of the time, those represented by just any lawyer saw a recovery 40.9% of the time, but those that hired someone with experience in the FINRA forum (members of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association) saw a recovery more than 54% of the time.

Experience Matters

This means that Claimants that hired experienced counsel were two times more likely to get a recovery for their claim than those who didn’t. So, while it is not required that you hire a lawyer, it greatly increases your chances of success. As FINRA even states on its website in an article “Securities Arbitration – Should you Hire an Attorney.”

“Representation by someone with specialized legal knowledge of the investments sold to you and the procedures that apply to the arbitration process are important.”


If you have a potential claim regarding investment losses against your broker or his company, your best chance of recovery is finding experienced counsel to help you bring your claim through FINRA. Halling & Cayo, S.C. has been representing investors to recover their losses for more than 20 years and have had lawyers as members of PIABA for more than 15 years. You can contact us at 414-755-5020 or via e-mail at