Operations Partner

James E. Heavey

212.885.8823 jheavey@bartonesq.com
Operations Partner

James E. Heavey

212.885.8823 jheavey@bartonesq.com
View All Attorneys

James currently represents financial institutions, broker-dealers, executives and individual advisors in federal and state litigation, arbitration, regulatory proceedings and investigations. He has extensive experience pertaining to investigations, due diligence and compliance matters. He regularly counsels financial institutions and individual advisors on raiding, recruiting and transition matters, including compliance with restrictive covenants and the Protocol for Broker Recruiting. James has represented board members, managing directors and executives of leading Fortune 500 firms in the highly regulated financial services, investment advisory and healthcare industries concerning change of employment, compensation, severance negotiations, investigations and other employment-related issues. James represents corporations and individuals charged with federal and state crimes and shareholder allegations of wrongdoing, focusing on securities and financial related matters, including securities and wire/mail fraud, conversion of client assets, breach of fiduciary duty, insider trading, and money laundering, among others. James draws on his investigative experience to assist in pre-litigation strategy, investigations and strategic defenses concerning corporate, employee conduct, and other sensitive corporate matters that could materially affect a client’s business. In the white collar practice area, James has represented clients or participated in the following:

  • Successful defense of one the largest securities and wire fraud indictments of the President and CEO of private financial services firm brought by the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, New York
  • Successful appeal of a federal conviction of a New York City Police Officer for civil rights violations in the Eastern District of New York
  • Successful defense of an individual financial services representative in a multi-defendant indictment for insider trading and tax evasion in the Southern District of New York
  • Defense of RICO and money laundering offenses against an international customs broker in the Southern District of New York
  • Defense of money laundering and financial disclosure violations of financial service professionals in the Eastern District of New York

Prior to attending law school, James served as a Special Agent for the United States and was responsible for conducting international money laundering and narcotics investigations. His duties included criminal, enforcement and regulatory investigations, as well as assisting various U.S. Attorney Offices in trial preparation. After September 11, 2001, he transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security in a counter-terrorism capacity. As published annually, James was selected to New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars list from 2012 to 2013, and selected to New York Metro Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, 2017 to 2018. Immediately prior to joining Barton LLP, James was with Stevens & Lee.

Industry Experience


Financial Services, Investment Funds and Securities Regulations
  • Represented RIAs in 23 Jurisdictions
    • Has represented RIAs in 23 different jurisdictions (including in AAA and FINRA arbitrations) regarding SEC compliance, customer complaints, and employment related matters. In an effort to proactively prevent expensive litigation, James has developed recruiting, transition, and practice protection strategies on behalf of RIAs concerned about legal issues. He has been retained to speak to investment firm owners and administrators regarding customized protection plans that will ensure future growth and compliance. His multidirectional approach means he works to proactively protect RIAs, while also representing them if they do become involved in litigation.
  • Represented Broker-Dealers in Compliance Matters
    • Has represented numerous broker-dealers in all aspects of compliance related matters in FINRA. Represents advisors, partnerships, and teams during transitions between competitors (both the recruitment and pursuit of) in order to ensure regulatory compliance and prevent breach of contracts or law. Has applied for court intervention, temporary restraint, and preliminary injunctions to prevent out-going advisors/talent from unfairly competing against their former employers. James has successfully utilized litigation, arbitration, and dispute resolution when breaches do occur.
  • Counseled Over 300 Firms, RIAs, and Other Financial Advisors
    • Counseled in excess of 300+ firms, registered representatives, and/or financial advisors in the transition between competitor firms, broker-dealers, investment advisory firms, or brokerage and fee-based employment.
  • Represented Whistleblowers Reporting Violations to Federal Agencies
    • Represented a whistleblower providing information on securities-related violations to the SEC, IRS, and DOJ programs. James has represented numerous other whistleblowers, including those filing complaints in pursuit of the Whistleblower Bounty Program.
White Collar Defense
  • Defended Against Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction
    • Successfully defended against the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction claiming the misappropriation of confidential client information and breach of contract in New Jersey State Court against an advisor who departed from Edward Jones LLP and joined a competitor.
  • Represented RIA in Suit Against Former Owner, Employees
    • Represented a Tennessee-based Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) in a suit against former owners and employees regarding misappropriated trade secrets, confidential information retention, and unlawful competition. Subsequently filed arbitrations and successfully settled without the need for litigation.
  • Obtained Dismissal of Information Misappropriation Claims
    • Represented a former advisor of a regional investor services company against an NY state claim that they had misappropriated confidential client information and trade secrets. Moved to dismiss the case based on lack of jurisdiction, which was successfully granted by the court.
Commercial Litigation
  • Defended Securities Fraud & Breach of Fiduciary Duty Before NJ Superior Court
    • Defense of securities fraud, common-law fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty before New Jersey Superior Court.
  • Successfully Defended Securities & Wire Fraud Indictment Brought by Westchester DA
    • Successful defense of one of the largest securities and wire fraud indictments of the President and CEO of a private financial services firm brought by the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, New York.
  • Defended Financier in Ongoing Securities and Wire Fraud Investigation
    • Defended alleged co-conspirator financier and agent for main defendant in an ongoing securities and wire fraud investigation/prosecution concerning investment pools and securities for commercial industrial vehicle components.
  • Defense of Potential Litigant in Texas State Securities Fraud Case
    • Defense of potential litigant in an ongoing Texas State court litigation alleging securities fraud in the sale of shares of mining equipment.
  • Achieved Favorable Outcome in 3-Week Jury Trial Litigation
    • Represented Cork Industries, a national sustainable chemical manufacturer, in a 3-week jury trial involving the theft of corporate trade secrets and unlawful competition by the company’s former head of lab. The case required technical comparative analysis, expert testimony, the handling of multiple national clients, discovery from third parties, and highly technical motion practice. James and his team won 5 out of 6 counts in the trial, along with permanent injunction against the defendant for working in certain industries and with certain clients.