FINRA's recent rule change, which effectively removed every attorney with any relevant securities experience from serving as a Chairperson might be negatively effecting the Chairperson roster.
As we discussed in a posting in March, Customer and Firm Attorneys are No Longer Public Arbitrators, since the Chairperson must be a public arbitrator, most securities attorneys were instantly disqualified from serving as a Chairperson. While FINRA's roster still contains many extremely qualified Chairpersons, the impact on the arbitrator pool has been significant, and placed additional burdens on the remaining qualified Chairpersons.
FINRA has finally filed a proposed rule change to amend the Code of Arbitration Procedure for both Customer and Industry Disputes which it was discussing back in May of this year. It is proposing to change the rule to provide that an attorney arbitrator would be eligible for the chairperson roster if he or she completes chairperson training and serves as an arbitrator through award on at least one arbitration, instead of two arbitrations, administered by a self-regulatory organization in which hearings were held.
This is probably not going to make a significant difference in the Chairperson pool, but it is a start.
SR-FINRA-2016-033 | FINRA.org