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Pete S. Michaels

Member / Co-Chair, Financial Services Practice



Pete focuses his practice on securities litigation, regulatory proceedings involving financial service companies and products, and compliance matters. He represents multinational and regional financial services firms, including banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, mutual fund firms, and insurance companies as well as their employees, directors, and officers.

Pete’s extensive experience with securities disputes includes class actions, state and federal court cases, arbitration, and related employment matters. He also represents clients before a wide range of federal, state and self-regulatory agencies: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Futures Association, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and state securities regulators. In the compliance side of his practice, Pete guides clients through complex internal investigations and has served as an outside compliance consultant on two Massachusetts Securities Division matters.

Before joining Mintz, Pete was co-chair of the Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice and a partner in the Boston office of an international law firm. He joined that firm after nearly two decades at a Boston securities litigation boutique, where he served as managing partner. He was also an adjunct professor at Boston College Law School for four years teaching Securities Regulation.

Earlier in his career, Pete spent five years as an associate general counsel and vice president of an investment banking firm, and he was an associate at two international law firms. After law school, he served as a law clerk to the late Hon. George C. Edwards Jr. of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

During law school, Pete served as editor-in-chief of the Third World Law Journal.


  • Boston College (JD)
  • Ohio State University (MA)
  • University of Toledo (BA, cum laude with honors)


  • Represented broker-dealer in an investigation of its alleged market timing of mutual funds that involved numerous agencies: the Massachusetts Securities Division, the SEC, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the New York Attorney General’s Office, the New York Stock Exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., and the DOJ.
  • Represented financial institutions and corporate officers in SEC and FINRA investigations involving allegations of securities laws violations, including insider trading, market manipulation, free-riding, and front-running.
  • Advised multiple banks and broker-dealers regarding internal reviews or investigations related to purported wrongdoing by employees, which included evaluating whether to terminate employees, making disclosures to regulators and law enforcement agencies, and assisting with analyses of how the misconduct affected customers.
  • Represented corporate officers and supervisors in numerous contested FINRA Enforcement Division hearings involving fraud allegations that ended with verdicts finding no fraud after trial.
  • Represented individuals and broker-dealers in multiple state securities regulatory matters involving allegations of excessive markups, due diligence lapses, unsuitability, mutual fund break-points, data breaches, and failure to supervise.
  • Represented multiple broker-dealers in customer-initiated arbitrations and state and federal court matters.
  • Represented multiple broker-dealers in employment matters in state and federal courts and arbitrations, including cases alleging wrongful termination, discrimination, and raiding.
  • Represented bank in putative class action regarding alleged wrongdoing related to mortgages and related products.

Recognition & Awards

  • Included on the Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Securities Litigation List (2006 – 2019)
  • International Finance Law Review, “IFLR1000” Highly Regarded – Financial Services Regulatory (2018-2019)
  • Lexology, "Client Choice Award” – Litigation: Massachusetts (2017)
  • Included on the Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition: Top Attorneys in Securities Litigation List (2009 – 2014)
  • Recipient, ABA Section of Litigation, "Outstanding Service Award" (2003 – 2004)
  • Recipient, ABA, "Outstanding Editor Award" (2002 – 2003)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent


  • Senior contributing editor, Securities Litigation Commentator (2002 – present)
  • Arbitrator, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and predecessors (1996 – present)
  • Member, American Bar Association, Securities Litigation Committee, Section of Litigation (1985– present)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Florida Securities Dealers Association (2010 – 2017)
  • Co-editor, Securities Litigation Journal, American Bar Association (1999 – 2011)
  • Co-chair, Broker-Dealer Litigation Subcommittee, American Bar Association (1993 –1998)
  • Member, National Society of Compliance Professionals
  • Member, Compliance and Legal Division, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)
  • Member, Boston Bar Association
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Member, Florida Bar Association
  • Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Member, Palm Beach County Bar Association
  • Member, New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Member, New York Bar Association
  • Member, Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society
  • Member, Board of Visitors, New England Conservatory of Music (2004 – present)
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Brookwood School (2009 – 2013)


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Material Non-Public Information in the Time of COVID-19: SEC Warning on Insider Trading

March 30, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Michael Pastore

On March 23, 2020 the SEC issued a statement warning about the risks of insider trading posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more
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Massachusetts Securities Division Rolls Out Final Version of Fiduciary Duty Rule

March 3, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Michael Pastore, Jason Burrell, David L. Ward

The Massachusetts Securities Division (the “Division”) has announced that they will begin to apply a fiduciary conduct standard to broker-dealers and agents when dealing with their customers.
Read more
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Massachusetts Securities Division Expands Jurisdiction to Non-Securities

February 10, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

The Enforcement Section of the Massachusetts Securities Division (“MSD”) recently filed an Administrative Complaint against Ryan Patrick Skinner (“Skinner”) and related entities Summit Financial Partners and Summit Financial Ptrs Inc of Woburn, MA (together, “Summit”). 
Read more
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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Guidance Clarifying Abusiveness Standard

January 27, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Michael Pastore

During the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) symposium series in June 2019, the featured panel discussed whether it was necessary for the Bureau to further define “abusive acts or practices” under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Read more
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2020 Exam Priorities of Financial Services Industry

January 22, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward, Michael Pastore

As they do at this time each year, the SEC Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations (“SEC”) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) recently announced their examination priorities for 2020.
Read more
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State Regulation of Financial Institutions

September 27, 2018 | Video | By Pete Michaels

Pete Michaels addresses the uptick in regulatory actions against financial institutions by state agencies and discusses the overlapping regulatory schemes that govern these entities. 
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News & Press

This feature story highlights the arrival of Members Pete Michaels and David Ward. The article describes their focus on financial services litigation and regulatory matters. The article includes commentary from Pete describing why Mintz was the right fit in terms of size, practice synergy and culture.



SIFMA C&L Society Boston Regional Seminar

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

Boston, MA


SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society Charlotte Regional Seminar

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

Charlotte, NC