Sullivan & Cromwell’s work in the cryptocurrency field was featured in an article in The National Law Journal, highlighting the team’s high-profile government enforcement experience, which has helped it attract major matters for BlockFi and others in the crypto space.
The article notes that the Firm’s recent government hires—including Steve Peikin, former Co-Director of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission; Jamie McDonald, former enforcement director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and Jay Clayton, the former SEC chairman—have helped the Firm win more work, particularly in white-collar investigations and prosecutions amid new attention on the cryptocurrency industry. Steve, head of S&C’s Securities & Commodities Investigations & Enforcement Practice, noted that the Firm’s interdisciplinary approach is also “differentiator.”
The article also highlights Sullivan & Cromwell’s work with digital asset management firm BlockFi, helping it reach a landmark settlement with the SEC and state regulators earlier this year. BlockFi’s general counsel Jonathan Mayers said he chose Sullivan & Cromwell because of its roster of recent enforcement lawyers, as well as the Firm’s deep bench across a wide variety of areas.
Litigation partner Sharon Cohen Levin, a member of S&C’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and a former federal prosecutor who headed the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit in the Southern District of New York for two decades, noted the importance of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) expertise for cryptocurrency companies. “There promises to be a heightened enforcement landscape in the AML space,” she said.
Nicole Friedlander, the co-head of S&C’s Cybersecurity Practice and a former Chief of the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit in the Southern District, added that the Firm’s leading practice for financial institutions is also a benefit “because the regulators and enforcement authorities are applying traditional concepts and ways of thinking to new technologies.”
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