Heather B. Middleton is Counsel in the Firm’s Securities Litigation, Arbitration, Regulation and Investigations Group.  She focuses her practice on defending financial services firms and their employees in litigation involving securities law and other commercial claims, in regulatory investigations, and in enforcement proceedings.  Additionally, Heather serves her clients in an advisory role in assisting with drafting compliance policies and procedures and in 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. She regularly achieves successful outcomes for her clients; combined with her dedication to exemplary client service, she has built strong relationships with her clients. 

Notable Experience

Litigation.  Heather has extensive experience representing broker-dealers and financial advisers in FINRA arbitrations as well as in state and federal court matters.  She has successfully defended investor and employment claims relating to a broad range of issues including those relating to options trading, levered products, margin, suitability, churning, fraud and unauthorized trading.  She has also obtained expungement for registered persons. 

Enforcement and Regulatory Matters.  Heather has extensive experience representing financial services firms and their employees in regulatory and government investigations and in 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 reporting, alleged manipulative and insider trading, and policies and procedures.

Due Diligence.  Heather 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, and independent research of the various entities and parties involved. 

Employment.  Heather has successfully brought dozens of promissory note cases and defending against all manner of counterclaims.

Prior to joining Riker Danzig, Heather was a partner at Murphy & McGonigle, P.C. in New York City.      

Prior to practicing law, Heather worked at Merrill Lynch in New York City for more than 10 years.  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.  Heather 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, products, and strategies.