Top 25 Crypto Lawyers in 2020

By American Crypto Association

From token registration to KYC AML, regulatory compliance is increasingly essential to crypto projects across the world. Having the best legal counsel on your team can mean the difference between success and failure for any crypto project. 

As many projects have found out the hard way over in the last two years, if you fail to follow the letter of the law, millions of dollars in raised funds can turn into millions of dollars in penalties pretty much overnight.

As you consider the best counsel for your project, here are the best lawyers in the crypto space today. The ranking is based on each lawyer’s experience in crypto, the financial services industry, and related regulatory activity. 

1. Paul Grewal

paul grewal crypto lawyer

Current Position: Chief Legal Officer, Coinbase

Education: University of Chicago Law School

Notable Experience: US Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California; Partner, Howrey LLP

As chief legal officer of the most prominent crypto exchange in the US, Paul Grewal has a critical role to play in the acceptance of crypto by US lawmakers. The former US Magistrate Judge left the bench to be the Deputy General Counsel of Facebook before joining Coinbase. 

2. Robert Werner

robert werner crypto lawyer

Current Position: General Counsel, Libra Association

Education: Teachers College of Columbia University, New York University

Notable Experience: Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen);

Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) US Dept of Treasury

Facebook’s Libra project brought the topic of digital currencies to the forefront of political conversation in recent months and has faced fierce opposition from US regulators. But now, former Director of FinCEN, Robert Werner, has joined forces to help push the project forward.

3. Stu Alderoty

stu alderoty crypto lawyer

Current Position: General Counsel, Ripple

Education: Rutgers Law School – Newark

Notable Experience: General Counsel, HSBC North America; General Counsel, CIT Bank

With over 30 years of legal experience in financial services and regulatory affairs, Stu Alderoty is now bringing that knowledge to crypto as the GC for Ripple. 

4. Caitlin Long

caitlin long crypto lawyer

Current Position: Founder & CEO, Avanti Financial Group

Education: Harvard Law School

Notable Experience: Co-Founder, Wyoming Blockchain Alliance, Managing Director, Credit Suisse; Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

As head of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, Caitlin Long worked to make Wyoming an oasis for crypto in the US. She helped to pass an unprecedented 13 blockchain-enabling laws in the state. Long is now heading up Avanti Bank, which plans to be a compliant bridge to the US dollar payments system and a custodian of digital assets.

5. Marco Santori

marco santori crypto lawyer

Current Position: Chief Legal Officer, Kraken Digital Assets Exchange

Education: University of Notre Dame

Notable Experience: Partner, Cooley LLP; President and CLO, Blockchain.com

In 2018, Marco Santori left his position as partner the top law firms for Technology Law in the country to become the president and chief legal officer of Blockchain.com. Today he is the chief legal officer of Kraken Digital Asset Exchange.

6. Lewis Cohen

lewis cohen crypto lawyer

Current Position: Partner, DLx Law LLP

Education: Cardozo School of Law

Notable Experience: Partner, Hogan Lovells; Partner, Clifford Chance

DLx is one of the first law firms specifically dedicated to blockchain and crypto projects. Lewis Cohen as partner of DLx is a leading voice and figure in the industry.

7. Chris Giancarlo

chris giancarlo crypto lawyer

Current Position: Senior Counsel, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Education: Vanderbilt University Law School

Notable Experience: Chairman, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

Former CFTC Chairman, Giancarlo has now moved to private practice at one of the US’s top corporate law firms. As Co-Founder of the Digital Dollar Foundation, he is showing to have a genuine commitment to the industry.

8. Veronica McGregor

veronica mcgregor crypto lawyer

Current Position: Chief Legal Officer, ShapeShift.io

Education: University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Notable Experience: Partner, Goodwin; Partner, Hogan Lovells

Veronica McGregor is helping the decentralized exchange, ShapeShift to overhaul its KYC practices and help the idea of decentralized financial institutions to become more palatable to regulators.

9. Marvin Ammori

marvin ammori crypto lawyer

Current Position: General Counsel, Protocol Labs

Education: Harvard Law School

Notable Experience: General Counsel, Virgin Hyperloop One; Principal, Ammori Group

For years, Marvin Ammori has been a leading legal force in pushing forward policy to protect the freedom of the internet. Currently Ammori serves as the General Counsel for Protocol Labs in San Francisco. 

10. Dax Hansen

dax hansen crypto law

Current Position: Partner, Perkins Coie LLP

Education: Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School

Notable Experience: Represented Andreessen Horowitz in $25 million series B investment in Coinbase

Dax Hansen is the Firmwide Chair of Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency at the prestigious Perkins Coie. 

11. David Labhart

david labhart crypto lawyer

Current Position: Head of Compliance & Co-General Counsel, Tron

Education: Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Notable Experience: Senior Director, Compliance, S&P Global Ratings; Supervisory Attorney Advisor, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

David Labhart has worked on both sides in cases with the SEC, first as an associate at WilmerHale where he worked on SEC enforcement actions, and then with the SEC itself as an Attorney Adviser. Labhart is now the Head of Compliance for Tron.

12. Dean Steinbeck

dean steinbeck crypto lawyer

Current Position: General Counsel, Horizen; COO, Horizen Labs; Managing Director, Crypto Law Insider

Education: University of California, Berkeley – School of Law

Notable Experience: COO, Horizen Labs; General Counsel, Tiger Connect; Associate, Latham & Watkins

Dean Steinbeck co-founded Horizen Labs, a blockchain development company where he currently serves as COO and General Counsel. Dean also serves as General Counsel for Horizen (formerly ZenCash), the first permissionless, decentralized and privacy-enabled sidechain protocol. 

13. Andrew Albertson

andrew albertson crypto lawyer

Current Position: Partner, Fenwick & West LLP

Education: University of Washington School of Law

Notable Experience: Associate, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Andrew Albertson is the Industry Co-Lead for Blockchain at Fenwick & West and has worked with numerous prominent projects including Binance, Poloniex, and Kraken.

14. Daniel C. McCabe

daniel c mccabe crypto lawyer

Current Position: Co-Founder & General Counsel, Flexa

Education: Illinois Tech, Chicago Kent College of Law

Notable Experience: Partner, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.; Managing Partner, McCabeMiller LLC

Daniel McCabe is the Co-Founder and General Counsel of Flexa, the digital payments network. He joined Flexa after leaving his position as Partner at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, where he was focused on business and commercial litigation matters.

15. Luka Müller

luka muller crypto lawyer

Current Position: Founding Partner, MME; Co-Founder, daura AG

Education: London School of Economics and Political Science; Universität Basel

Notable Experience: Co-Founder, Sygnum, Co-Founder, KYC Spider

Luka Muller is the Founding Partner of MME, a firm dedicated to legal, tax, and compliance issues for technology firms. Simultaneously he is also the Co-founder of the Sygnum Digital Asset Bank in Switzerland and daura, a platform to tokenize Swiss shares.

16. H. Joshua Rivera

h joshua rivera crypto lawyer

Current Position: General Counsel, Blockchain Capital LLC

Education: Georgetown University Law Center

Notable Experience: Associate, Cooley LLP; Associate, Shearman & Sterling LLP

H. Joshua Rivera is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Blockchain Capital. His main expertise is in security tokens. Rivera led the company to upgrade its BCAP token to enhance compliance with regulatory trading requirements. He was previously part of Cooley’s Blockchain Group.

17. Joshua Ashley Klayman

joshua ashley klayman crypto lawyer

Current Position: Senior Counsel, Head of Blockchain & Digital Assets, Linklaters

Education: Temple University

Notable Experience: Blockchain + Smart Contracts | Founding Chair & Co-Chair, Morrison & Foerster LLP; Chair of the Legal Working Group, Wall Street Blockchain Alliance

Joshua Ashley Klayman founded and led Morrison Foerster’s Blockchain + Smart Contracts Group and is the Chair of the prominent Wall Street Blockchain Alliance Legal Working Group. She currently services as Senior Counsel and Head of Blockchain & Digital Assets at Linklaters.

18. Jonathan Mayers

jonathan mayers crypto lawyer

Current Position: General Counsel, BlockFi

Education: University of Cape Town

Notable Experience: Co-Founder, Cape Springs Capital Partners, LLC; Counsel, Renaissance Technologies LLC

With over 16 years of legal experience working with financial services, including Renaissance Technologies, Barclay’s and Deutsche Bank, Jonathan Mayers is now the General Counsel of cryptocurrency lending platform, BlockFi.

19. Joseph Hall

joseph hall crypto lawyer

Current Position: Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Education: Columbia Law School

Notable Experience: Managing Executive for Policy, US Securities and Exchange Commission; Corporate Counsel, Reuters America

Joseph Hall began his career at Davis Polk over 30 years ago. Between 2003-2005, he was the Managing Executive for Policy at the SEC. Today he is back to private practice, where he advises blockchain and cryptoasset companies on a variety of issues from securities law compliance to corporate governance.

20. Preston Byrne

preston byrne crypto lawyer

Current Position: Partner, Anderson Kill

Education: University of Connecticut School of Law

Notable Experience: COO & General Counsel, Co-Founder, Monax Industries; Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright

Preston Byrne advises startup tech companies as a partner at Anderson Kill. The former securitization and derivatives lawyer also co-founded Monax Industries, a company known for building the first permissioned blockchain in 2014.

21. Sydney Brie Schaub

sydney brie schaub crypto lawyer

Current Position: General Counsel, Gemini Trust Company, LLC

Education: Harvard Law School

Notable Experience: General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Rent the Runway;

Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Square

Sydney Brie Schaub’s career trajectory is a clear path to the top. After graduating from Harvard Law School, she has worked her way up as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in one major company after the next to her current position as the GC for Gemini.

22. Jake Chervinsky

jake chervinsky crypto lawyer

Current Position: General Counsel, Compound Finance

Education: The George Washington University Law School

Notable Experience: Associate, Kobre & Kim

Jake Chervinsky serves as general counsel at Compound Labs, a interest rate protocol that enables developers to build financial platforms. He came to Compound from boutique law firm Kobre & Kim, which specializes in fraud and misconduct.

23. Aaron Wright

aaron wright crypto lawyer

Current Position: Co-Founder, Openlaw

Education: Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

Notable Experience: Chair, Legal Advisory Working Group, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Associate, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Aaron Wright has extensive experience with Open Source technology, after he sold a company to Wikia (Wikipedia’s for-profit sister project) and then came on as Wikia’s General Counsel and VP of Product and Business Development. He currently is the Co-Founder of Open Law, a commercial operating system for blockchain technology.

24. Jesse Soslow

jesse soslow crypto lawyer

Current Position: Head of Legal & Operations, Blockstack PBC

Education: University of Pennsylvania Law School

Notable Experience: Sr. Director of Operations, Everwise; Associate, Technology Transactions, Morrison & Foerster LLP

Though Jesse Soslow is a younger lawyer on the scene, he led the first token offering to get approval from the SEC for a Reg A+ offering. He currently still serves as Head of Legal & Operations at Blockstack.

25. Gordon Einstein

gordon einstein crypto lawyer

Current Position: Founding Partner, CryptoLaw Partners

Education: USC Gould School of Law

Notable Experience: Chief Legal Officer, Distributed Lab

Gordon Einstein has been serving the crypto space since 2014. He founded CryptoLaw Partners in 2017 and has worked to develop the cloud-based law firm technology platform, AdaptiveSky.

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