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A Leader in Securities Law

AS AN EXPERIENCED SECURITIES LAW attorney, Kathy M. Klock knows the importance of following the rules. “Financial services firms have to be cautious when they roll out new products to analyze the universe of different market scenarios that can affect performance,” she says. “They also have to be sure that their brokers understand the product and the risks as well as the potential returns, when they discuss the product with their clients. Certain disclosures seem contra to a recommendation, but they are required”

A shareholder at Fowler White Burnett, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Klock serves as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the American Arbitration Association, and helps train professionals for both organizations. “I believe the key throughout the process is education,” she says. “Although I’m an attorney by profession, I am also a teacher at heart.”

Klock was born in Philadelphia and moved to Miami with her family when she was 14. Her father, Joseph P. Klock, Sr., built a successful real estate brokerage company and her mother Mary Dot Klock became a top producer for the firm after raising 8 children. “We learned a lot at the dinner table about life, business, and ethics,” she recalls. When her older brother, attorney Joseph P. Klock, Jr., suggested law school, she decided to follow his advice. “It was a great decision,” Klock says. “I love the intellectual challenge and the ability to help people. I believe the law is a profession first and a business second, out of necessity.”

After earning her law degree from the University of Miami in 1982, Klock joined Fowler White Burnett. She then accepted a position as regional counsel for a Wall Street investment banking firm, and later became general counsel for a regional broker-dealer firm headquartered in Texas. She came back to South Florida as a partner of Steel Hector & Davis before returning to Fowler White Burnett four years ago.

Today, Klock focuses her practice on the representation of broker-dealers in arbitration, state and federal court litigation, compliance matters, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions. She has conducted compliance and legal presentations for broker-dealers, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, as well as other groups.

Klock also handles commercial litigation matters and employment issues. Recently, she represented the father in the successful appeal of a trial court decision in a child custody case that held that there is no presumption against rotating custody. “In Florida, there is no presumption that either parent is entitled to custody,” she said. It is a very important case for children, parents, and the preservation of the relationship of a child with both parents.

Klock also represented the Marine Mammal Conservatory on a pro bono basis to enforce of an option to purchase property in Key Largo property in a lease/option dispute. Now a director and officer of the non-profit organization, Klock was able to obtain a summary judgment that allowed it to buy the land and continue its work of rescuing and rehabilitating stranded dolphins and whales.

“I love to swim, and enjoy fishing and boating in the Keys,” adds Klock who is single with 19 nieces and nephews. “I am also a photographer with a particular passion for nature photography, and a sideline of photographing weddings for families and friends.”

After 28 years as an attorney, Klock says she’s seen major changes in how women are treated in her profession. “Law firms have become more accommodating for women attorneys who wish to have families, and in the process have become more sensitive to the importance of the active participation of fathers in the parenting process,” she says. “The law is a demanding profession, but as I tell the younger lawyers I have had the privilege to mentor, it’s not all about the money. It’s about having a positive impact on the people around you. And being a lawyer has to make you happy as well.”

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