Helane Morrison’s current job as Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel for Hall Capital Partners involves making sure the company is following securities trading laws and other matters regulated by the SEC. Morrison actually served with the SEC for 11 years and has extensive knowledge of the legal field, so now she’s applying that knowledge to help guide executive decisions at the firm. Hall Capital Partners manages over $20 billion in client assets ranging from institutional investors to private funds. The firm values transparency and integrity in how they manage portfolios, two values that Morrison has strived to uphold throughout her career enforcing law and fighting for justice.
Helane Morrison started out in private practice and clerking prior to running the SEC’s San Francisco unit. She studied journalism at Northwestern University but then switched her focus to law in the years following, so she enrolled at the UC Berkley law school where she got her J.D. She also wrote several columns and served as editor-in-chief for the California Law Review. Circuit Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit at the US Court of Appeals was the first judge she clerked for, and then she formed much of the philosophy that guided her time at the SEC while clerking for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.
She first started taking on cases involving fraud, insider trading and other white collar crimes when she came to Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin law firm. She became very good at winning even difficult cases in court and taking on big name individuals and companies that nobody had been willing to take on before. Doing so soon had her promoted to partner at the firm, and it wasn’t long after that the SEC chose her to head the San Francisco enforcement division.
As an SEC enforcer, she started looking into major financial fraud cases going on at large corporations including investment banks and pharmaceutical giants. Two of the high profile cases she had prosecuted included Brocade Communications Systems false stock information and backdating and a McKesson Corp subsidiary that had executives involved in fraud. Morrison moved up in the SEC from a local enforcer to Regional Director, but she still felt there was something better she could do besides only weeding out the bad guys in the financial world. She received an offer to come work at Hall Capital and after seeing the way the firm operated, she was happy to come help the firm maintain its solid reputation.