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Benjamin D. Cooper

Benjamin D. Cooper

Benjamin “Ben” Cooper is a Bates Consulting and Testifying Expert and a securities regulation and litigation attorney in private practice based in Washington DC. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the securities industry as founder of a registered investment adviser, as an attorney with an AmLaw 100 law firm, in-house with a Fortune 50 law department, and as Chief Legal Officer of a large independent broker-dealer/RIA network.

Mr. Cooper consults on behalf of the Bates Group in complex litigation, regulatory and internal investigations and compliance matters and is available as an expert witness in securities litigation on several subjects including suitability, direct investments, leveraged and inverse ETFs and U5 disclosures.

Mr. Cooper’s current private practice includes representing a broker-dealer/RIA in a connection with the sale of a controlling interest, a registered investment adviser in the sale of its business and financial advisors in transition and expungement matters.

Prior to starting his law practice, Mr. Cooper was Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Compliance Officer at the independent broker-dealer/RIA affiliate of Securian Financial Group (H. Beck, Inc.), from 2011 until the sale of the firm to private equity backed Kestra Financial at the end of 2017.

Prior to his role with Securian, Mr. Cooper was Associate General Counsel for AIG Advisor Group an independent broker-dealer/ria network with more than 7000 financial advisors where he was responsible for nationwide litigation as well as SRO, SEC, and state regulatory matters.  In addition, Mr. Cooper was the firm’s subject matter expert on privacy and senior investors, and he drafted the prepared remarks for AIG’s Chairman in his testimony before Congress. Mr. Cooper’s tenure with the firm coincided with the financial crisis in which AIG was at the center of the storm and his leadership helped guide the firm during through this very challenging period.

Mr. Cooper was Securities Counsel with the nationally recognized Sutherland (now Eversheds Sutherland) law firm’s Broker-Dealer Litigation Group where he represented Merrill Lynch and other wire house firms in customer litigation including a zero award in the single largest FINRA arbitration matter at the time for Merrill (clients sought $130 million).

Mr. Cooper founded a registered investment adviser which he operated from 1993-2000.  In addition to his legal background and his experience as an executive with several large broker-dealers/RIAs, Mr. Cooper’s experience as an investment manager and trader gives him a valuable understanding of the inner workings of markets and the securities industry.

Mr. Cooper is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. He is admitted to practice law in Georgia and Illinois and has held FINRA Series 7 (General Securities RR), 24 (Principal) and 65 (Investment Adviser) licenses.

Benjamin is a consultant and subject matter expert in these Practice Areas and Services:



Bates Group LLC, Consulting and Testifying Expert, 2018 - Present
Moore & Associates, a NAMWOLF firm, Counsel, Bowie, MD, 2022 – present
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., Main Enforcement - Attorney Investigator, Rockville, MD, 2019 - 2022
Benjamin D. Cooper, Esq., Attorney at Law, Potomac, MD, 2018 - present
Securian Financial Group/H. Beck, Inc., SVP & Chief Legal Officer; Corporate Compliance Officer, Bethesda, MD, 2011 - 2018
AIG Advisor Group/FSC Securities, Inc., Associate General Counsel, Atlanta, GA, 2006 - 2010
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, Counsel, Atlanta, GA, 2004 - 2006
Jones, Lemon, Graham & Clancy, Counsel, Geneva, IL, 2003 - 2004
Cooper Asset Management, Inc., Founder and Principal, Glencoe, IL, 1993 - 2003
Peterson & Ross, Associate, Chicago, IL, 1989 - 1993


Juris Doctor (JD), Cum Laude, Dean’s List, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, IL

  • Research Assistant, Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research

Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

  • With Distinction, Angell Scholar for Academic Excellence
  • University Council Student Representative


Admitted Jurisdictions: Georgia; Illinois
General Securities Representative Exam Series 7 (highest score in firm’s history)
General Securities Exam Series 24
Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam Series 65 (expired)

Contact Bates Group

Bates Group is with you every step of the way. Contact us today for more information on how our End-to-End Solutions can help your firm.