Law firm Jenner hires crypto leader as industry faces regulatory heat

Law firm Jenner hires crypto leader as industry faces regulatory heat

(Reuters) – US law firm Jenner & Block said Monday it hired a former US prosecutor from rival Paul Hastings to help lead its financial technology and cryptocurrency practice, as the US government intensifies its scrutiny of the crypto industry.

Laurel Loomis Rimon, who worked at the US Justice Department and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will be a Jenner partner in Washington, DC, and co-chair the firm’s fintech and crypto assets practice.

She will represent financial institutions, fintech companies and crypto platforms on compliance and government enforcement, the firm said.

Rimon’s arrival at the firm comes as US regulators are adopting an increasingly aggressive approach to crypto, generating opportunities for law firms to counsel clients under scrutiny.

“There is a ton of activity,” Rimon said. “Many of the agencies have staffed up and have been given additional resources, so on a practical level, they are able to be more active and bring more actions.”

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, on March 27 for allegedly evading US law and running a “sham” compliance program.

Coinbase, another industry giant, has said it’s expecting a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a variety of regulators and the Justice Department have been investigating the collapse of the FTX exchange last year.

Rimon had wide-ranging experience in the federal government, working for more than 15 years at the Justice Department before moving to the CFPB as an assistant deputy enforcement director. She also worked as general counsel in the inspector general’s office at the Department of Homeland Security.

While at the Justice Department, Rimon worked on the first prosecution of a digital currency company, E-Gold Ltd, which pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2008.

In private practice, Rimon co-chaired the fintech group at law firm O’Melveny & Myers and moved to Paul Hastings in February 2022.

Rimon said she was drawn to Jenner because of its experience in litigation and government investigations, two traditional areas of focus for the Chicago-founded firm.

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