Brown Rudnick, the international law firm best known for successfully representing actor Johnny Depp in his recent defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard, could be on its way to a new reason for notoriety – having one of the top crypto practices in the country.
The firm has hired a crack team of crypto lawyers from rival firm Anderson Kill. Four seasoned partners and one associate have all left Anderson Kill’s Blockchain and Virtual Currency Group, launched in 2018, to join Brown Rudnick’s Digital Commerce practice, which now has more than 40 members.
The practice group’s list of clients includes several major players in the crypto industry, including crypto exchange Binance, the Cardano blockchain and the nonprofit Bitcoin Foundation.
Partners Stephen Palley, Matthew Richardson and Preston Byrne will be based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, while partner Hailey Lennon will be based in Orange County, California. Associate Jeff Karas will work in the New York office.
Palley will take the helm as the co-chair of the firm’s Digital Commerce practice, alongside New York-based partner Clara Krivoy. Brown Rudnick has over 250 lawyers worldwide, according to their site.
The team brings with them a breadth of experience and knowledge in various crypto-related issues, including regulation and compliance, international law, and litigation.
“We are delighted to welcome this team to our Firm,” said Brown Rudnick CEO Vince Guglielmotti in a press statement. “Our clients are increasingly in the digital asset space as founders, investors or traditional corporate entities looking to use technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies as part of their business.”
The move appears to be part of a larger push at Brown Rudnick to boost its technology practice. In January, the firm nabbed an eight-lawyer practice group from a New Jersey-based firm to add to its Global Technology group.
UPDATE (Sept. 1, 14:36 UTC): Adds information on the size of Brown Rudnick's Digital Commerce practice.
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