Alexander Grishman, a Haynes and Boone partner in the Financial Transactions Practice Group, serves as the firm’s lead in representing BlockFi. Matthew Frankle, a partner in Financial Transactions, and Brian Sung, counsel in Financial Transactions, do significant work for BlockFi in developing, documenting and advising in connection with margin and derivatives transactions based on digital assets.
Here is an excerpt of the article:
Jonathan Mayers, who spent the past decade as an in-house lawyer at hedge fund Renaissance Technologies LLC, joined BlockFi earlier this month as its first-ever general counsel. Mayers is the latest in a string of lawyers hired in the cryptocurrency and digital asset management sector, which is ramping up its legal and compliance capabilities in an effort to legitimize itself among regulators and traditional financial services institutions.
Launched in August 2017, Jersey City, N.J.-based BlockFi operates a cryptocurrency trading and lending platform that is poised to generate $50 million in revenue this year, according to the company, which began searching for an in-house legal chief in May.
Mayers said in an interview that he couldn’t pass up the “tantalizing opportunity” to get involved “almost at the ground level” in a company operating in the cryptocurrency arena. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only contributed to a spike in hiring, but created an increased appetite for digital assets as more traditional investments falter, Mayers said.
Haynes and Boone and Gunderson Dettmer are the two law firms that primarily serve as outside counsel to BlockFi. Mayers, who began his U.S. legal career as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell, which he joined at the height of the dotcom boom two decades ago, doesn’t anticipate any immediate changes to that lineup, noting that he and BlockFi have been pleased with the advice they’ve received.
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