Allison Patton


Get to Know Allison

A skilled attorney and leader, Allison Patton is recently retired from a thirty-six-year career in the Financial Services industry with Morgan Stanley and its predecessor firms.  She is passionate about Pensacola and believes that there is no better place to live, work and play!

Allison made Pensacola her home in 2002 when she married Pensacola-local Bruce Patton.  Bruce and Allison raised their children together in East Hill and now and enjoy living in downtown Pensacola. 

Allison has a passion for helping disadvantaged children.  While living in Atlanta, she provided foster care to displaced children, later becoming a proud adoptive parent.  In Pensacola, she has participated in IMPACT 100 and currently serves as Vice President of the board of the Pensacola Community Music School, where she taught piano lessons in the early years of the organization.  Allison lost her father to heart disease in her early twenties and is a past Co-Chair of the American Heart Association Ball.

Like many or us, Allison has been concerned about the increase in homelessness in our community. Since retirement, she has become actively involved in the Northwest Florida Homelessness Reduction Task Force to tackle these difficult issues and take the steps necessary to reduce homelessness. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Legal Services/Criminal Justice/Specialty Courts subcommittee.

As an attorney, Allison represented Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for over 25 years.  In 2014, Allison was appointed to Managing Director.  In that role she served as Co-Head and then Head of the Retail Litigation Department, leading a large staff of employees in offices across the country.  Allison’s team represented the Firm in court, arbitration and regulatory matters, and assisted the Firm with internal investigations and disciplinary recommendations.   Allison was a frequent speaker at national and regional financial industry conferences and served on the Board of the FINRA National Arbitration Mediation Committee and served on the faculty of the Wharton school – Securities Industry program. 

Allison is currently teaching classes as an adjunct professor in the Florida State University College of Law Juris Master program.  She developed the Broker-Dealer Regulation course content for the program and continues to enjoy sharing her industry knowledge with others.  Allison has a Bachelor’s degree in finance and a J.D. degree (cum laude) from Georgia State University. 

Allison is happiest when she is surrounded by family.  She enjoys fishing, cooking, playing classical piano (and working on jazz), reading, spending time outdoors and is an avid lifelong learner.  She and Bruce raised their family attending the Mission Anglican Church in Old East Hill.

District 6 is Allison’s home, and she looks forward to continuing to invest her time and energy into enhancing the infrastructure, safety, and vibrant culture of Pensacola’s District 6 neighborhoods.


To You

  • I will be responsive, transparent and approachable
  • I will listen and actively solicit input from all residents
  • I will do my homework to fully understand the issues
  • I will be proactive with projects and solutions that benefit District 6 and all of Pensacola; and,
  • I will actively engage with District 6 residents through Town Halls and neighborhood events.

Safe Neighborhoods

Vibrant Community

Economic Growth

I am a retired lawyer (July 2020) who has spent the past year and a half working on the Homeless Reduction Task Force as Co-Chair of the Legal Services/Criminal Justice/Specialty Courts subcommittee. In this role I have seen the immense toll the issues of homelessness take on a community. The hopelessness of the individuals who fall into homelessness, the frustration of neighborhoods who are impacted by these issues and the bewilderment of a compassionate community that wants to help, but doesn’t know how.

As your City Council representative, I will make reducing homelessness a priority and proactively work with City government, County government, non-profit organizations, the Homeless Reduction Task Force, local businesses and our community as a whole to take action to address gaps and implement an overall plan to reduce homelessness in our Community.

Professional Biography

Allison Patton is a retired lawyer with extensive experience in the financial services industry.   Throughout her legal career, she provided valued advice and counsel to senior executives within Morgan Stanley Smith Barney on significant, high profile financial and reputational matters facing the company.  Although based in Pensacola since 2002, she traveled extensively in her roles as a trial lawyer and later as Head of Retail Litigation to offices in New York, Baltimore, St. Petersburg, FL and San Francisco.

Allison attended Georgia State University where she received her BS (Finance) and her JD (cum laude).  Allison started her career in the financial services industry in the mid 1980s while attending college.  Her career in financial services spanned over 36 years, initially in various operational and compliance roles at Morgan Stanley’s predecessor firm Dean Witter while attending undergraduate and law school at night. 

After graduation from law school, she joined the Atlanta boutique law firm of Rogers and Hardin.  She later rejoined Morgan Stanley and spent 25 years representing the company.  In 2014, Allison was appointed to Managing Director.  At the time of her retirement, Allison served as the Head of Retail Litigation for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.  In that role she supervised a staff of over 100 employees in offices around the country responsible for the intake and handling of all customer complaints, subpoenas, customer litigation, arbitration, internal investigations, regulatory investigations and regulatory enforcement actions.  Since 2018, Allison has taught courses as an adjunct professor in Florida State University’s School of Law Juris Master Program. 

Allison was a frequent speaker at numerous national and regional financial industry conferences.  She served as a Board Member on the FINRA National Arbitration Mediation Committee from 2014-2018 and as the Chair of the Mediation Sub-Committee from 2016-2018.  In 2019 she was asked to serve on the faculty of the Wharton School – Securities Industry Institute program.  She was also recipient of the Legal Department’s Diversity award.


September 2019, PLI Securities Arbitration Program, Faculty, Mediation Practicum: Best Practice Tips for Optimal Results

March 2019, Securities Industry Institute, Wharton, Faculty, Mock Securities Arbitration

2018 – 2019, Panelist, FINRA Arbitrator Recruiting program

January 2017, Panelist, SIFMA/Bates Leaders & Experts Forum, Panelist, Successfully Managing Regulatory Investigations and Enforcement Matters in the New Regulatory Landscape and Big Data Age

2014 – 2018 – Board Member, FINRA National Arbitration Mediation Committee

2016 – 2018, Chairman, FINRA National Arbitration Mediation Committee, Mediation Sub-Committee

Annual SIFMA Legal and Compliance Seminars

March 2018, Moderator, Privilege and Work Product Protections: Ethical Considerations for In-House Teams

March 2017, Panelist, Privilege and Work Product Protections:  Ethical Considerations for In-House Teams

March 2016, Panelist, Arbitration:  Issues and Strategies

March 2014, Panelist, Arbitration Practitioners Workshop:  Strategies from the Front Lines

March 2013, Moderator, Arbitration Practitioners Workshop:  Strategies from the Front Lines

SIFMA Regional Conferences

September 2017, Moderator, Litigation and Arbitration panel

September 2018, Moderator, Litigation and Arbitration panel