- Cybersecurity, Cybercrime, & Incident Response
- FinTech & Blockchain
- Regulatory Enforcement Defense
- Securities Arbitration & ADR
- Securities & Complex Commercial Litigation
- LL.M. Financial Services Law, New York Law School, 2012
- J.D., Member of Financial & Securities Law Association, New York Law School, February 2010
- B.S., Business Administration, with honors, Elon University, 1999
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Heather Middleton focuses her practice on defending financial services firms and their employees in litigation involving securities law and other commercial claims, regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings, and responding to subpoenas. Additionally, Ms. Middleton serves her clients in an advisory role and assists with drafting compliance policies and procedures and agreements, and helping firms comply with regulatory requirements. She also performs due diligence on behalf of Authorized Participants and lead market-makers providing seed capital for the launch of new exchange traded funds. In addition, Ms. Middleton advises companies concerning cybersecurity policies and procedures, vendor issues and incident response. She has achieved outstanding results for her clients.
Litigation. Heather has extensive experience representing broker-dealers and financial advisers in FINRA arbitrations as well as state and federal court matters. She has successfully defended investor and employment claims relating to myriad of claims including those relating to options trading, levered products, margin and portfolio margin, suitability, churning, fraud, unauthorized trading, and suitability. She has also successfully brought dozens of promissory note cases and obtained expungement for registered persons. Ms. Middleton has also defended mortgage originators and residential mortgage backed securities sponsors in litigation spawned by the 2008 financial crisis as part of a team that had numerous big wins.
Enforcement and Regulatory Matters. Ms. Middleton has extensive experience representing financial services firms and their employees in regulatory and government investigations and enforcement proceedings by the SEC, FINRA, NYSE and various state regulators. She has successfully convinced regulators not to pursue disciplinary action and has also successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms. Her regulatory matters have involved myriad subject matter including but not limited to order handling, mini flash crash, research department practices, whistleblower allegations, electronic blue sheet misreporting, fraud, manipulative and insider trading, and inadequate policies and procedures.
Due Diligence. Ms. Middleton performs limited due diligence on behalf of Authorized Participants for lead market-maker activity and providing seed money for the launch of new exchange traded funds. The process involves review of offering documents, conducting due diligence call, and independent research of the various entities and parties involved culminating with drafting of a memo outlining findings.
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, trading and the financial markets overall.
Ms. Middleton handles community service and charitable giving efforts in Murphy & McGonigle’s New York office.