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Legal Advice

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LPL Financial is a company that deals in entrepreneurial financial advice and guidance, investment advisory services, proprietary technology and brokerage services. The company is headquartered at 75 State Street, in Boston, in Massachusetts. It is an organization of independent financial advisors, and the largest one of its kind in the United States. It is also a major US distributor of financial products that transacts with over 13,000 financial advisors and offers over 4,000 financial advisors with advisory platforms, customized clearing, and technology solutions. The company has three customer groups; independent and registered investment advisors, financial advisors at regional and community banks and credit unions, and financial advisors affiliated and licensed with insurance companies. The first category is satisfied by independent advisory services while the second and third categories are provided with institutional service support and uniquely-outsourced custom clearing services respectively.

The company has a planned initiative to expand its technical support functions by mid 2013. It aims at achieving this through the enlargement of its information-technology, management and product-development labor force by hiring a hundred new employees. The initiative is meant to strengthen the company's technical staff at Charlotte to make it a major IT hub. The expansion will make the Charlotte center a suitable match and complement to the one in San Diego. LPL Financial has affiliations with financial advisors through its broker/dealer leverage technology and this impacts the company's productivity a great deal (LPL Financial, 2010). The company aims at scaling up its technology infrastructure in future; expanding its staff will spearhead such development. It also recognizes the role that efficient developers of application packages and other service products play in satisfying the needs of financial advisors. The smooth flow of LPL Financial product supply chain mainly relies on its technology tools and technical staff. The company also bases most of its operations on the efficiency of its staff in using the technological tools (LPL Financial, 2010). Most financial advisors outsource technological support from it.

The elements of administrative law that the company must put in consideration while undertaking this initiative include statutorily delegated powers from legislative bodies to the company's executive over minimum wage laws, employee working time laws and legal requirements with regard to professional certification of the new employees. To conform to standards set by legislative bodies, the company must also ensure that it has put in place all safety-measures needed to accommodate the newly-hired employees without breaking the law that deal with such issues. The guidelines provided by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about the protection of the environment and prevention of human health hazards, must also be adhered to strictly. Part of the response to such guidelines; include expanding the company's infrastructural space, installation of adequate hazard-averting equipment and formulation of custom safety guidelines that suit the specific settings of working stations and offices. Implementation of such guidelines must be done strictly within the scope of the authority delegated by professional agencies.

The existent licensing laws, which the company must adhere to, in order to conform to existent licensing laws, include the guidelines for provision of legal financial products as stated in the Corporations Act 2001. This will impact on the hiring process since the company needs to ensure that it hires qualified professionals to maintain quality in the provision of financial advice.

The company must also disclose its expectations with regard to the new employees according to existent labor laws.  The laws also guide employers on various contracting norms that stipulate what is expected of them by the employees in relation to holiday rights, wages, procedural notification of dismissals from duty, description of their specific duties and targets, if any. The terms of payment must be stated clearly to the employees and any details of an available salary structure disclosed. This will prevent future wrangles between the company and the new employees and avert lawsuits related to the same. (Department of Labor, 2006)

There also exist e-commerce laws that the company should put in mind in order to comply with the law in the hiring process. It needs to be aware of the reputation of financial services providers with whom it may relate in vetting new employees. This also includes financial providers who may serve as the referees of new employees. The company will only get experienced staff if it hires people who have worked for reputed financial providers. They must be aware of their role in facilitating the investment decisions of clients and how to ascertain the authenticity of regulatory protection provided by various regulatory agencies. This will enable the employees to refrain from overstepping their mandate under the directives of agencies that do not meet legal accreditation in a given circumstance or transaction (e-commerce law). The company must also comply with existent sales laws, of which Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act (CFPA) of 2009 is essential. The act serves in ensuring that disclosures of the actual meaning of promotional services of products and services are made clear to the customers (California Bankers Association, 2009).). This requires the financial service providers to communicate risks and costs of a product to consumers along with such benefits. CFPA also makes propositions for public expression of comments and also models disclosures using TILA and RESPA (California Bankers Association, 2009). Newly-hired employees must be conscious of these orders and be able to work under the guidance of these rules in providing and selling consumer financial products and services.

In order for LPL Financial to minimize the threat of lawsuits relating to privacy protection, product liability it must remain conscious of the provisions of Section 2 of the Restatement (Third) of Torts in Products Liability (Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC, 2010). This section categorizes major types of claims that may be made pertaining to product liability claims into three namely; design defect, manufacturing defect and marketing defects. The defects are most likely to result from the practice of non-competent employees. It may also culminate from the actions of competent professionals who may be unconscious of the legal environment surrounding their practice. The company should emphasize to them the need to countercheck conformity of service products to existent legal requirements at the design and implementation stages to avert design and manufacturing defects. It should also sensitize them on the need to disclose the downsides of a product and how to do so professionally. The employees must be equally sensitized to avoid infringing the privacy rights of clients by safeguarding their financial information from unauthorized use.

In conclusion, ensuring that the company's initiative is legal will facilitate smooth business with financial institutions, brokers and other dealers in and out of financial service provision. Intellectual property rights, including technological products used in the provision of financial advisory services will also be respected. The company should sensitize its new staff on the need to investigate the authenticity of all software applications, platform design elements and any other tools that are used in creating business for the company. Unauthorized use of such tools may result in heavy fines, loss of agency accreditation, loss of consumer trust and even worse, court-ordered closure of business.

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