Pete S. Michaels

Pete S. Michaels


Pete S. Michaels is Co-Chair of the Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. He focuses his practice on financial services litigation and regulatory matters. Pete has spent many years representing multinational and regional financial services firms (including banks, investment advisers, mutual fund complexes, pension consultants, insurance companies, and traditional, independent, and discount broker-dealers) and their employees, directors and officers in a wide variety of matters throughout the United States. Pete has represented clients in matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, National Futures Association, American Stock Exchange, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and state securities regulators throughout the country. He has also handled securities disputes, including class actions, in many state and federal courts, and before arbitration panels for over 25 years. He is often consulted on compliance-related matters, including internal investigations, and he has twice served as Outside Compliance Consultant in Massachusetts Securities Division matters. He began his legal career as a law clerk for Hon. George C. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati.

Pete frequently lectures on securities law, compliance, and corporate governance issues, and is a sought-after legal commentator who regularly appears on television, radio and in print media on a variety of financial services-related issues.


  • Regulatory defense and investigations
  • Corporate internal investigations
  • Securities litigation
  • Securities arbitration and mediation
  • Employment disputes
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  • Represented broker-dealer in multi-agency (Massachusetts Securities Division, Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, New York Attorney General’s Office; New York Stock Exchange, National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., and U.S. Department of Justice) investigation arising out of the alleged market timing of mutual funds.°
  • Represented various financial institutions and corporate officers in SEC and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") regulatory investigations involving allegations of, among other things, insider trading, market manipulation, free-riding, front-running and other securities laws violations.
  • Represented multiple banks and broker-dealers in internal review/internal investigation matters involving potential wrongdoing by employees. Representation included evaluating termination of employee(s), self-disclosure to regulators and/or law enforcement and forensic examination to ascertain harm to customers.
  • Represented corporate officers and supervisory personnel in multiple contested hearings brought by the Enforcement Division of FINRA alleging fraud that were tried to completion and resulted in findings that no fraud in fact occurred.°
  • Represented individuals and broker-dealers in multiple state securities regulatory matters concerning issues such as excessive markups, due diligence failures, unsuitability, mutual fund break-points, data breach, and failure to supervise.
  • Represented multiple broker-dealers in customer-initiated arbitrations, as well as matters brought in state and federal court.
  • Represented multiple broker-dealers in employment matters, including raiding and recruiting as well as cases alleging wrongful termination/discrimination, in both state and federal court and arbitration.
  • Represented bank in putative class action arising out of alleged wrongdoing in connection with mortgage and related products.

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Michaels prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Adjunct Professor, Boston College Law School, 2000-2003
  • Associate General Counsel and Vice-President, Smith Barney Inc., and corporate predecessors Smith Barney Shearson Inc., 1991-1996

Recognition & Leadership

  • Recipient, Lexology's "Client Choice" Award, Litigation: Massachusetts, 2017
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Banking & Finance - Litigation, 2017
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation, 2006-2017
  • Listed, Super Lawyers - Corporate Counsel (Business Edition) magazine, "Top Attorneys in Securities Litigation," 2009-2014
  • Recipient, ABA Section of Litigation, "Outstanding Service Award," 2003-2004
  • Recipient, ABA, "Outstanding Editor Award," 2002-2003
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5

AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

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


  • J.D., Boston College Law School, 1988
    • Editor-in-Chief, Third World Law Journal, 1987-1988

  • M.A., Modern Japanese Literature, The Ohio State University, 1985
  • B.A., cum laude with honors, University of Toledo, 1983
  • Hon. George C. Edwards, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1988-1989
  • Massachusetts
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida