11.06.2018

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Press Releases

New York, N.Y. (November 06, 2018) – Perkins Coie is pleased to announce that former U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Division of Enforcement counsel Kari Larsen has joined the firm’s Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency industry group and Investment Management practice in New York.

“Kari brings to bear a deep knowledge of derivative exchange platforms and the commodities sector to represent traders and CFTC registered entities focused on launching innovative products, including cryptocurrency products,” said J. Dax Hansen, Chair of Perkins Coie’s Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency industry group. “Her relationships span funds, payment companies, money transmitters, trading and investment companies, and exchange platforms. Kari’s experience in these sectors further establishes our firm in the upper strata of law firm practitioners in the blockchain ecosystem.”

Kari brings more than two decades of private, in-house and government experience to her work advising financial technology, blockchain and digital business clients on matters including domestic and international commodity regulations, data governance and exchange-related issues.

Kari began her career as International Operations Counsel for the Enforcement Division of the CFTC, advising on cross-border policy matters. She later moved into private practice and held in-house positions, where she gained experience navigating complex transactional and regulatory matters as general counsel to several exchange companies—including the first U.S.-based, banked and regulated digital currency derivatives exchange and clearinghouse and the world’s second-largest environmental futures exchange. Most recently, she was counsel and co-head of the global FinTech practice at Reed Smith. Kari earned her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and her B.A. from Binghamton University - State University of New York.

“Kari’s experience at the CFTC, in-house and in private practice make her a sought-after lawyer,” said Keith Miller, Managing Partner of Perkins Coie’s New York office. “Her work in the fintech exchange space right as it came into being gave her a front-row seat to concerns that still abound through the industry. That, combined with her deep understanding of commodity laws, particularly in relation to exchanges and brokers, makes Kari an excellent addition to our team.”

Kari’s addition continues the firm’s pattern of growth in New York in recent years, including the addition of litigation partners Ed Baum  and Alan Howard in August of this year. In 2019, the firm will move its New York office to a larger, cutting-edge workspace at 1155 Avenue of the Americas to accommodate its continued growth.

“I’m confident that Kari has a true understanding of the impact that blockchain and crypto will have on our industry,” said Molly Moynihan, Co-Chair of Perkins Coie’s Investment Management practice and member of the firm’s Management Committee. “Her extensive experience representing clients in a wide range of commodity and transactional matters, and regularly providing counsel on global matters related to U.S., U.K. and E.U. commodity laws and regulations, will be a significant advantage to our national practice.”

Kari’s arrival to Perkins Coie comes on the heels of another key addition to the firm’s blockchain and investment management roster—former Securities and Exchange Commission Branch Chief Valerie Dahiya joined the firm in October.

Perkins Coie's Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency industry group was publicly launched in May 2013 as the world’s first legal practice focused on decentralized cryptocurrencies and shared ledger technologies. It is an extension of Perkins Coie’s long history of representing fintech, internet, mobile and other technology companies. This multidisciplinary group is on the front lines of industry developments, helping clients address the complex legal issues faced by blockchain and digital currency businesses. Attorneys in this industry group provide product counseling, regulatory investigations and compliance counseling, litigation support, consumer protection counseling and business transaction assistance. Clients include shared ledger consortia platforms, exchanges, wallet providers, payment processors, investors and industry associations.

Perkins Coie’s Investment Management attorneys handle a wide range of issues arising under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and related rules and regulations. Advising both market participants and investors (including pension plans and other sophisticated investors), the group has extensive experience in all aspects of asset management law. The firm devotes senior-level attention to clients, thereby providing them with the greatest level of experience, knowledge and talent to facilitate and enhance their business operations and investments.

Perkins Coie is a leading international law firm that is known for providing high value, strategic solutions and extraordinary client service on matters vital to our clients’ success. With more than 1,000 lawyers in offices across the United States and in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei, we provide a full array of corporate, commercial litigation, intellectual property and regulatory legal advice to a broad range of clients, including many of the world’s most innovative companies and industry leaders as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.

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