- Binance hires an acclaimed team of lawyers for its legal defense.
- Analysts, however, fear that maybe this great team is still not enough to defend Binance.
- Yet, Binance lost some of its prominent high-ranking staff in the turmoil.
- Binance is actively preparing for the imminent stand-off with the SEC.
YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com)- Binance U.S. is assembling a stellar team for its upcoming court clash again the SEC. Moreover, it has added a very important member to its legal squad that might change the tide.
One little legal lingo reminder that is crucial before we start. Litigation refers to resolving a legal dispute through the court system. It involves filing a lawsuit, presenting arguments and evidence, and allowing a judge or jury to decide.
Arbitration refers to an alternative dispute resolution method where the parties agree to submit their dispute to an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators. The arbitrator, who is typically an impartial third party, hears the arguments and evidence presented by both sides and issues a binding decision.
With that out of the way, let’s see who this player is and what the implications are.
Who Is The “All-Star” Lawyer?
On June 5, the SEC sued Binance for “blatant disregard” of US securities law and for mishandling customer funds. In response, Binance U.S. started to assemble a legal team that could tackle the uphill struggle it faces.
Recently, it added four lawyers from the law-firm Milbank LLP. But the latest and arguably most important addition is the global head of the litigation and arbitration group at Milbank, George Canellos. Canellos comes from a very useful and peculiar background, specifically for this case.
Since he served as the SEC’s Deputy Director of the Division of Enforcement and Director of the SEC’s New York regional office.
During his time at the SEC, Canellos supervised enforcement cases, including famous actions against individuals associated with Galleon Management LP and SAC Capital, and he played a crucial role in prosecuting the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading case.
Additionally, Canellos worked as a federal criminal prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
However, Binance Loses Important Staff Members
Amid its fight against the Securities and Exchange Commission, Binance lost its important staff members. General Counsel Hon Ng, chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann, and SVP for Compliance Steven Christie are the people in question.
Moreover, this follows the recent departure of Matthew Price, a former IRS agent brought on board by Binance in 2021 to oversee global investigations and intelligence.
Apologies for any typos, but I was not expecting to be tweeting about this today.— Patrick Hillmann (@PRHillmann) July 6, 2023
It’s true that I am leaving @Binance, but I’m doing so on good terms. I continue to respect and support @cz_binance and am grateful for having had the incredible opportunity to work under his…
Reportedly, this wave of resignations is motivated by how Binance CEO Chaopeng Zhao handled this recent lawsuit and its process.
Other Useful Additions
Binance U.S. also hired three other lawyers from Milbank LLP. Firstly, there is Adam Fee, who spent more than five years as an assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York’s criminal division. He was a member of the terrorism and international narcotics unit.
Then there’s Matthew Laroche, who used to be an assistant attorney in the same division for almost seven years. Laroche was involved in cases that prosecuted cybercrime, financial corruption, money laundering, and espionage.
Lastly, Andrew LeBlanc, whose focus is bankruptcy litigation and according to his page:“Enjoys a unanimous reputation as one of the leading genuine bankruptcy litigators in the US.”
Ex-SEC Official Weights In The Pros And The Cons
The formed of SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, John Reed Stark, points out Canello’s unique combined skill set that can have great utility in the future in the case due to his service as both an SEC prosecutor and a Department of Justice prosecutor.
Binance/DOJ Newsflash:— John Reed Stark (@JohnReedStark) June 12, 2023
Binance and CZ just added a uniquely qualified criminal defense all-star lawyer to their legal team: George Canellos, former Chief of the Major Crimes Unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and former head of the SEC's New… pic.twitter.com/lQlkZ6oxYc
Stark added that Binance is most likely preparing for legal proceedings that will last a while. Therefore, they are assembling the best team possible.
However, Stark also expresses some form of pessimism since in his opinion even illustrious lawyers will have a hard time defending Binance:I doubt even Ironman, Captain America, and the Hulk could get Binance out from their current perilous legal quagmire”
Billionaire Mark Cuban Sees Problems
Billionaire, Investor, and Philanthropist Mark Cuban sees the problem that today’s US crypto regulation is so muddy that not even a legion of securities lawyers can properly understand or define its principle. He expresses his concern in a Twitter post.
This is an SEC WEB PAGE about the howey test and tokens that often conflicts with what @SEC_Enforcement has said publicly. It's worth a read to get more clarity on what may or may not be a security https://t.co/m5E9V0Pd18— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) June 11, 2023
Unfortunately none of the elements presented in this… https://t.co/iZ9Gn5SADK pic.twitter.com/kGHgsZkOaH