Helane Morrison: An Extraordinary Woman And Legal Mind
Helane Morrison is the chief compliance officer for Hall Capital Partners, a financial services company in San Francisco. She also serves as the company’s general counsel and managing director and is a member of the executive committee. Morrison has been with the company since 2007 and has been a valuable addition to the staff from the very beginning. As chief compliance officer, her extensive legal background has provided her with the knowledge and experience she needs to ensure the company has the policies and procedures in place to ensure the staff does not run afoul of the law.
When Morrison left Brooklyn, New York where she was born, few anticipated she was destined to have a career in law and become a trailblazer at the Securities and Exchange Commission. They simply knew that this driven young woman was headed off to Northwestern University to work on her bachelor’s degree in journalism. After graduating from Northwestern, Helane Morrison headed west and enrolled at the law school at the University of California’s Berkley campus to pursue her juris doctor. An excellent student, Morrison served as editor-in-chief of the California Law Review wile in law school.
After graduating from law school, Morrison spent two years as a law clerk. The first year she worked with Judge Posner of the U.S. Appeals Court. The next year she served as a law clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. Those two years helped to shape her legal perspective. In 1986, Morrison went into private practice. She spent 10 years with the California law firm of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin. Her primary focus was business law and she defended many companies brought up on charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Morrison’s work was so impressive she made partner in five years.
In 1996, Helane Morrison left the law firm and became head of the San Francisco office of the SEC. Morrison’s legal background and familiarity with the SEC regulations helped her to excel at the job. Three years later she received a promotion that made her the first female regional head of the SEC. The new position put her in charge of the examination and enforcement programs for Northern California, Northern Nevada and several other states in the Pacific Northwest region.
Morrison remained with the SEC for 11 years before leaving to work with Hall Capital Partners in 2007.