Brown Rudnick's crypto practice gains four seasoned partners

Quick Take

  • Law firm Anderson Kill’s crypto-focused practice is losing four partners and and an associate to Brown Rudnick.
  • Stephen Palley will now co-chair Brown Rudnick’s Digital Commerce group. 

Law firm Brown Rudnick has nabbed five prominent crypto lawyers from Anderson Kill for its Digital Commerce practice.

Stephen Palley, Matthew Richardson, Preston Byrne and Hailey Lennon will join the firm as partners, and Jeffrey Karas also will join as an associate. The group first worked together at Anderson Kill's Technology, Media and Distributed Systems group, which Palley founded and chaired. At Brown Rudnick, Palley will serve as co-chair of the Digital Commerce group. 

Palley, Richardson and Byrne will be based in Washington, D.C., while Lennon will be based in Orange County, California. 

“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. This team of supremely talented lawyers brings the type of insights and skills that will benefit our clients by enhancing our ability to offer an end-to-end experience, particularly for those in the technology space," said Vince Guglielmotti, CEO and chairman of Brown Rudnick, in a statement.

The move is part of an intention to expand the Digital Commerce practice, according to the firm. Indeed, the group has a breadth of experience among them. Palley, Byrne and Lennon have garnered considerable followings on crypto Twitter for thought leadership on the intersection of crypto and the law.

Palley has served as outside general counsel to a variety of crypto firms, particularly in building legally compliant software solutions. He focuses his practice on litigation and insurance recovery among other areas of the law.

Byrne has his roots in the crypto community, having served as a co-founder of an early enterprise blockchain startup and a developer in his own right. He advises a variety of firms on cross-border issues, working with miners, stakers, wallet providers and custodians, among other technology firms.

Lennon is regulatory focused, cutting her teeth in regulatory positions at firms like Coinbase, bitFlyer and Silvergate. She also handles crypto enforcement actions in addition to helping clients navigate licensure and compliance frameworks.

Richardson is focused on cyber law, including data protection and intellectual property among other aspects. He published a book on cyber crime at a time when the topic was early to the legal world. He's also a practicing barrister in the U.K. 

“My colleagues and I were drawn to Brown Rudnick because many of its practice and industry groups, particularly technology, complement our own," Palley said in the announcement. "We look forward to working with our new colleagues to offer our clients access to a broad footprint of capabilities in the technology industry. The firm’s deep corporate, regulatory and technology practices, as well as its footprint in the United Kingdom, will be excellent resources for existing and future clients.” 

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