Sean J. Coughlin forges success through collaboration.  His practice focuses on representing financial institutions and their employees in FINRA arbitrations and before regulatory agencies.  He tries multi-million dollar cases, and has appeared on behalf of clients in New York State Court, the CFTC, and in more than 100 arbitrations.  For Sean, the key to being a skilled trial lawyer is getting to know his clients and understanding their needs.

Building rock solid relationships has always been critical to Sean’s practice.  Before joining the firm, Sean was an Executive Director and Supervising Attorney at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where he valued the expertise of outside counsel for complex matters.  Prior to that, he was a Managing Director and in-house counsel at Citigroup Global Markets Inc./Smith Barney, where he tried multi-million dollar arbitrations and managed outside counsel.  With experience from so many angles of securities law, Sean navigates clients through the ever evolving world of securities litigation.

Sean lectures on topics relating to the financial services industry.  He has addressed audiences at the American Conference Institute, students at Pace University’s New Directions Program, the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, and presented presentations to his clients on regulatory reporting requirements.



  • Defended a client in an Auction Rate Securities claim for $118,700,000 in losses, where the claim was dismissed
  • Defended a broker dealer in a $22,617,952 FINRA Arbitration, where the case was dismissed
  • Defended a concentrated position claim for $6,214,122 in damages, where the claim was dismissed
  • Defended a client for $118,700,000 in damages, where the case was dismissed
  • Represented individual clients and broker-dealers in a multiple client consolidated action before the CFTC seeking damages relating to gold positions
  • Represented a Branch Manager before FINRA Regulators investigating the sale of unregistered securities
  • Tried 35 felonies to verdict and argued six matters before the Second Department Appellate Division

News & Insights

News & Alerts

Associations & Organizations

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Securities Litigation
    • Securities Arbitration Sub Committee
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Securities Sub Committee

Get to Know Sean

Get to Know Sean

When not working with his clients, Sean enjoys skiing and hiking in the Adirondacks and the beach at Breezy Point.  His reward at the end of the day is to spend time with his family, cooking with friends, as well as playing with his dog, Lego.


  • Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., 1988
  • Livingston College-Rutgers University, B.A., 1985


  • New York
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