The Offices that Helane Morrison held at the SEC.

Helane Morrison is regarded as one of San Francisco’s most accomplished female attorneys. She has had a successful career both in the private sector and while working for the government. Morrison was first employed by the SEC in 1996. She worked hard to hold various senior ranks, and one of them is director of the San Francisco District Office’s enforcement programs. Helane spearheaded many investigations that led to law enforcement action on companies such as New York’s Republic Securities, NextCard, Inc., HBO, Hewlett-Packard, Google, and Dean Witter. Her performance at the office was outstanding and the organization’s chairman, Arthur Levitt, later promoted her to be chief of the division.


Morrison’s responsibilities were broad when she held the office. She was in charge of the enforcement and examination undertakings of the North Western States, which are Washington, North California, Oregon, North Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Oregon. The San Francisco District Office’s chief reports to a regional office, which is based in Los Angeles. She took over the role of the district’s head from David Bayles, who had held the position for about five years. He later retired from the SEC and is currently working for the Morrison & Foerster law firm.


Very few women have managed to have top offices in the SEC like Morrison. The others who have held the office of a district chief are Mary Keefe, Valerie Capron, and Carmen Lawrence. During Helane’s term in office, the examination and enforcement departments of the San Francisco District were highly active, and therefore, it was forced to double its employees from 30 to 60. The two departments of the organization support each other whereby the analysis office inspects financial books of various institutions while the enforcement section takes correctional and legal action.


The attorney achieved a lot before joining the Securities and Exchange Commission. She practiced as a lawyer at the Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin for about one decade. Morrison joined the firm in 1986 and was named as an associate in 1991. Her roles included providing legal representation during internal company investigations, corporate lawsuits, SEC issues, and in private securities. Helane offered her legal services to firms that were facing class actions that dealt with securities and defended stock trading companies during arbitrations. She also worked as a legal clerk in courtrooms of Harry A. Blackmun and Hon. Richard Posner. Morrison is presently serving the Hall Capital Partners, and she is its chief compliance officer.


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