Heather Middleton focuses her practice on defending Wall Street brokerage firms and their employees in FINRA arbitrations, civil court matters, regulatory inquiries and government investigations. Recent cases have included disputes between firms and their employees, customer complaints, trading desk and market access violations, research department issues and a broad range of related sales practice issues.
Prior to practicing law, Ms. Middleton worked at Merrill Lynch for more than 10 years. She earned her J.D. at night while working there. Her tenure at Merrill Lynch, most recently as the analyst on a High Net Worth team in the Private Banking and Investment Group has provided invaluable experience with securities laws, branch operations, portfolio management, trading, securities regulations and client expectations. Ms. Middleton held the Series 7, Series 66, NYS Insurance licensing and the firm’s CFM and WMA designations, and is well-versed in various investment vehicles and the financial markets overall.
Ms. Middleton handles community service and charitable giving efforts in Murphy & McGonigle’s New York office.
Represent broker-dealer under SEC investigation into alleged bad fill reports to program trading clients;
Represent broker-dealer under NY Attorney General investigation into research surveys;
Represent leading US stock exchange under SEC investigation for role in mini flash crash, advise exchange on handling of stop orders;
Represent broker-dealer’s trader who received Wells Notice for alleged “marking the close” violations;
Defend global bank’s trader in joint defense agreement with bank for OTR testimony and pre-Wells investigation by FINRA into mark-up violations, advise bank on more effective mark-up prevention policies and procedures and employee training;
Represent broker-dealer under FINRA investigation for inadequate compliance systems and alleged market access, layering and spoofing violations;
Represent broker-dealer under FINRA investigation for failing to supervise former financial advisor and assistant for alleged unauthorized trading in client accounts and providing false account balances;
Defend global investment banks sued in federal and state courts by insurers and investors and borrowers over alleged violations of representations and warranties in connection with mortgage-backed securities;
Analyzed various provisions in PSAs and MLPAs for RMBS transactions and advised clients regarding possible defenses associated therewith;
Researched and analyzed servicing guidelines and best practices as well as instances of servicer bad acts and drafted a client memo on the issue;
Represent broker-dealer suing 71 former employees to recover funds due on promissory notes post termination of employment;
Advise broker-dealer on incentive loans for financial advisor recruits and draft new form promissory note;
Represent broker-dealers at FINRA arbitrations concerning customer complaints and employment disputes;
Represent broker-dealer under FINRA investigation into research and investment banking department violations due to whistleblower accusations;
Represent broker-dealer at FINRA arbitration regarding high yield bond trade dispute and settlement issues;
Represent broker-dealer in New York Supreme Court Appellate Division case regarding pledged collateral and ERISA issues;
Advised broker-dealer on policies and procedures for FINRA arbitration discovery.