Tracey Salmon-Smith, a trusted adviser and pragmatic problem solver, assists clients with commercial and business disputes, employment litigation, securities law and internal investigations. As a former assistant United States attorney (AUSA) who also spent several years as in-house counsel for a global financial services firm, Tracey knows firsthand the pressures and challenges her clients face. Tracey is known for her composure under pressure and her commitment to achieving results.

Financial Services

Tracey represents brokerage firms and individual registered representatives in customer and employment arbitrations, litigation and regulatory matters. She offers her clients depth of experience defending claims brought in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrations, including allegations of sales practice violations such as fraud, breach of contract, misrepresentation, selling away, unsuitability and churning. Tracey also defends clients in product-related litigation stemming from variable annuities, alternative investment products, mutual funds and preferred securities.

Regulatory Counsel

Tracey works with clients from initial contact to resolution to successfully manage regulatory inquiries, examinations and investigations by state and federal regulatory agencies and self-regulatory organizations. She also advises clients on current litigation and regulatory trends and issues, as well as e-discovery and information management.

As an employment litigator, Tracey defends corporate clients against claims related to age, race and gender discrimination; workplace sexual harassment; whistleblower complaints; unpaid wages; and wrongful discharge. She handles these complaints in court and in arbitration, including before the FINRA Dispute Resolution Division. Tracey also handles internal investigations and high-stakes class and collective action matters.

Speaking Engagements

Highly respected throughout the legal community, Tracey is much in demand as a speaker before organizations such as the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Practicing Law Institute (PLI), American Bar Association (ABA), National Bar Association (NBA), New York City Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, The Knowledge Group and Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC).

In addition to her experience in private law firm practice, Tracey had the advantage of serving for seven years as in-house counsel for UBS Financial Services Inc., and seven years as an AUSA for the Eastern District of New York. During her time as an AUSA, Tracey held the positions of Acting Chief of Environmental Litigation and Chief of Bankruptcy.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully obtained a jury defense verdict for a multinational information technology company in the Southern District of New York in a matter involving claims of hostile work environment, race discrimination, and retaliation.
  • Successfully represented a financial services firm in an arbitration matter involving claims of unsuitability, failure to supervise, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud related to investments in IPO purchases of closed-end funds, preferred stock and reverse convertible notes. Obtained expungement for financial adviser and branch manager.
  • Represented a financial institution in a pregnancy discrimination matter in the Southern District of New York.
  • Represented a major retailer in an FLSA collective action in the Eastern District of New York.
  • Obtained summary judgement for a mass media corporation in an age and disability discrimination lawsuit in the Southern District of New York.
  • Successfully represented a gaming company in a gender discrimination suit. The matter was favorably settled after a jury trial in the Southern District of New York.
  • Successfully obtained expungement of arbitration matter from the CRDs of all four members of a broker team in a matter involving allegations of unsuitable recommendations.
  • Defended a financial securities firm in arbitration matters involving structured products.
  • Successfully defended a broker/dealer in a FINRA arbitration in which the claimant alleged unsuitability and failure to follow instruction, and subsequently obtained expungement for both respondent financial advisors.
  • Successfully defended a broker-dealer in a FINRA arbitration where claimant alleged unsuitable recommendation for variable annuity and improper switching of mutual funds.
  • Successfully represented financial services firm in regulatory investigations.

Personal Interests

Tracey enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and mentoring young people.

Related Industries


Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
New Jersey
New York

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York


Villanova University School of Law
J.D. (1990)

Dartmouth College
A.B. (1987)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives

Firm Blog Contributions

  • Broker Dealer Law Blog – a resource that provides practical insights on litigation, regulatory, compliance and fiduciary issues impacting broker-dealers
  • LaborSphere – a resource providing coverage and insights on breaking cases, recently enacted legislation and a broad range of labor issues

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association — Litigation Section
    • Task Force on Racial & Economic Justice, 2021-22
    • Federal Practice Task Force, 2017-present
    • Minority Trial Lawyer & Women Advocate Committees, 2005-present
    • Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, 2016-17
    • Council, 2014-16
    • Economics of Litigation Task Force, 2010-12
    • Division Director, 2011-14
    • Committee on Corporate Counsel — Co-chair, 2008-11
    • Corporate Counsel Committee — Vice President, 2005-08
    • Membership & Marketing Committee — Co-chair, 2006-08
    • Corporate Counsel 8th Annual CLE Seminar — Co-chair, 2006
  • New York City Bar Association
    • Labor & Employment Committee, 2003-06, 2012-15, 2019-present — Chair, 2021-present
    • In-House/Outside Litigation Committee, 2014-18
    • Judiciary Committee, 2006-09 — Secretary, 2020-2023; Vice Chair, 2023-present
    • Committee to Encourage Judicial Service, 2005-15
    • Government Ethics Committee, 2000-03
    • Federal Courts, 1996-99
    • Litigation Committee, 1993-96
    • Litigation Subcommittee on Rules for Electronic Filing, 1993-96
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York — In-House/Outside Counsel Litigation Group; Labor and Employment Law Committee
  • Association of Black Women Attorneys
  • Corporate Counsel Women of Color
  • Dartmouth Lawyers Association
  • Federal Bar Council — Employment Litigation Committee
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority — National Arbitration and Mediation Committee
  • Metropolitan Black Bar Association
  • National Bar Association
  • National Employment Law Council
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) — Compliance and Legal Society, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee
  • Women in eDiscovery
  • The South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) — Fellow, 2019

Civic Activities

  • Women Creating Change — Board Member; Co-chair, Development Committee, 2019-present
  • New York Lawyers in the Public Interest (NYLPI) — Board Member; Nominating & Governance Committee, 2007-15
  • Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) – Board of Trustees, 2023-present

Firm Leadership

  • Steering Committee, Faegre Drinker Women; Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP — Women’s Leadership Committee, 2018-20
  • Faegre Drinker Diversity & Inclusion Committee, 2020
  • Faegre Drinker Women, 2020


  • American College of Trial Lawyers — Fellow
  • New Jersey Law Journal — New Jersey Legal Awards “Mentors” Honoree, 2022
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers — 2015-18, 2021
  • The National Black Lawyers Top 100
  • American Bar Foundation — Sustaining Life Fellow
  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020-21
  • Dartmouth College — Dartmouth Alumni Award, 2014; Dartmouth Young Alumni Award, 2002
  • The Network Journal — “Top 40 Under 40,” 2003
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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