A recent FINRA case, NRP Financial, Inc. v. Walker Bafs Retirement Group, et. al., demonstrated the serious risk firms face in “following” the Protocol without in fact joining the Protocol. In that case, Claimants initially lured Respondents to leave Morgan Stanley, in part by representing that Claimant NRP Financial was a member of the Protocol, and thus that Respondents would be able to move client information regarding Respondents’ former Morgan Stanley pension clients to NRP freely. By the time that Respondents found out that NRP was not in fact a member of the Protocol, Respondents Walker and Bafs alleged that they were forced to abandon almost all of their client base at Merrill Lynch. Ultimately, Respondents Walker and Bafs were awarded more than $1.5 million in compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees.