Ladan Stewart, Former SEC Crypto Unit Leader, Joins White & Case

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Ladan Stewart, Former SEC Crypto Unit Leader, Joins White & Case
  • Ladan Stewart’s move to White & Case signals the firm’s focus on crypto defense amid regulatory challenges.
  • White & Case’s recruitment of Stewart and John Cahill amplifies its prowess in white-collar defense and corporate law.
  • Stewart’s departure from the SEC underscores the evolving dynamics between regulators and the crypto industry.

White & Case just made a significant addition to its team, with the crypto unit leader of SEC, Ladan Stewart, joining as head of its crypto group. According to Eric Balchunas, Senior ETF Analyst for Bloomberg, Stewart brings her extensive regulatory experience to the firm’s white collar division. The former head was known for her involvement in high-profile cases against industry giants such as Coinbase and Ripple.

Stewart’s departure from the SEC marks the end of an eight-year tenure where she spearheaded the agency’s crypto and cyber litigation unit, pioneering the establishment of the first specialized department of its kind within the Wall Street regulator. 

Notably, Stewart led the charge in legal actions such as the lawsuit against Coinbase for alleged unregistered securities activities and the ongoing dispute with Ripple over the classification of its XRP token.

In her new role as a partner at White & Case, Stewart intends to develop a robust crypto and cyber defense practice. With the increasing prominence of cryptocurrencies and the recent surge in Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, Stewart emphasizes the enduring relevance of legal questions surrounding crypto assets amidst a complex and turbulent enforcement landscape. She cites in a press conference, 

Crypto is here to stay– that’s become very clear with the launch of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds…

Stewart’s addition to the vastly experienced White & Case, a leading U.S. law firm with a presence across the globe, is viewed as a valuable resource to cope with the enhanced regulatory scrutiny that the crypto industry has been receiving in the immediate past. Joel Cohen, leader of White & Case’s white collar group, lauds Stewart’s experience as invaluable in addressing the evolving legal challenges in the crypto space. 

In addition to Stewart’s appointment, White & Case also announces the arrival of corporate real estate investment specialist John Cahill to its New York office. Cahill, a former partner at Paul Hastings, brings extensive experience in corporate real estate investing across the U.S. and Asian markets, complementing the firm’s corporate practice.

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