Ben Cooper is a securities regulation and litigation attorney in private practice and Bates Group consultant and expert 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 a number of 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.
Private Practice, Washington D.C., Attorney, 2018 - Present
H. Beck, Inc., Bethesda, MD, Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Compliance Officer, 2011-2018
AIG Advisor Group, Inc., Atlanta, GA, Associate General Counsel, 2006-2010
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, LLP, Atlanta, GA, Securities Counsel, 2004-2006
Jones, Lemon, Graham & Clancy, Geneva, IL, Of Counsel, 2003-2004
Private Investor, Glencoe, IL
Cooper Asset Management, Inc., Glencoe, IL, Founder and Principal, 1993-2000
Peterson & Ross, Chicago, IL, Associate, 1989-1993
Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, IL, Juris Doctorate, Dean’s List, 1989
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Bachelors of Arts with Distinction, Angell Scholar for Academic Excellence, 1986
General Securities Representative Exam Series 7
General Securities Exam Series 24
Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam Series 65 (expired)
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan Award for Pro Bono Service
Northwestern University School of Law Admissions Committee
Admitted Jurisdictions: Georgia and Illinois
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