NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - November 03, 2016) - Cooley is broadening its fintech capabilities with the arrival of Marco Santori and Patrick Murck. Santori, a respected authority on digital currency and blockchain technology, joins Cooley as a partner based in the New York office and a leader of the firm's global fintech practice. Murck, also a digital currency and financial technology pioneer, will join as special counsel based in Boston. Both arrive from Pillsbury.
Called "The Dean of Digital Currency Lawyers" by an American Banker reporter, Santori is a recognized authority in the law of digital currencies and emerging blockchain technologies. He provides regulatory counsel to banks, broker-dealers, exchanges, wallets, payment processors and other companies making new and exciting uses of distributed ledger technology. His regulatory focus includes money services, securities and derivatives laws.
"Marco's experience and leadership in the fintech industry is unparalleled," said Mike Lincoln, partner and chair of Cooley's business department. "Together with Patrick and the recent arrival of Andy Roth, Cooley is delivering a unique and powerfully positioned resource for the global fintech community as it navigates the complex regulatory issues surrounding the use of innovative technologies in the financial sector."
Santori advises his clients on regulatory matters including compliance with money services (money transfer and payments, stored value cards and vouchers) and securities regulations. As the winner of the first annual Blockchain Award for Bitcoin Legal Expert, he is fluent in the Bank Secrecy Act and Patriot Act's application to digital currency businesses, including Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering regulation. Santori works closely with clients on securities and derivatives laws to structure their business plans to comply with these regulations and, where appropriate, avoid them entirely.
Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation Regulatory Affairs Committee since 2013 and Global Policy Counsel for Blockchain, Santori is a highly sought after advisor to the digital currency industry. He is a frequent speaker on the topic, including recent engagements at the North American Bitcoin Conference, ABA's 2016 Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology National Institute and at the Cato Institute's Cryptocurrency: The Policy Challenges of a Decentralized Revolution conference. He is also a frequent contributor at CoinDesk, and has appeared on CNBC, Al Jazeera America's Real Money with Ali Velshi and Bloomberg TV.
"Cooley has an established reputation for advising innovative clients that are breaking the status quo," Santori said. "Cooley's client base and industry dominance is a perfect match for my practice and I'm excited to begin working with the team."
In addition to his new role at Cooley, Murck is a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where he works on the Digital Finance Initiative. At the Berkman Klein Center he conducts research into the law and policy implications of blockchain technology, smart contracts and fintech. He also organizes a series of Shared Ledger Roundtable meetings at Harvard Law School bringing together academics, open-source software developers and the public and private sectors to discuss legal frameworks for open financial systems. Murck is frequently called upon to advise policymakers and central banks as they develop a sound regulatory framework for distributed ledger technology and fintech.
Prior to this, Murck was a co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, serving as general counsel and later as executive director. He led the early public policy efforts that saw bitcoin and blockchain recognized as a beneficial innovation that should be supported through light-touch regulation. During that time, he organized and testified in the first US Senate Hearings on the topic. In light of these efforts he was recognized as one of the 50 Outstanding General Counsel in the US by the National Law Journal. Murck has also been involved in a number of digital currency and fintech startups as employee, entrepreneur and advisor.
Santori graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and obtained his JD from the University of Notre Dame Law School. Murck earned his JD with honors from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and his BA from American University in Washington, DC.
Earlier this year, cybersecurity lawyer Andy Roth joined Cooley as a partner and a leader in fintech, based in New York. Roth, former chief privacy officer at American Express, has a unique background in law and technology, that helps him design client-focused strategies for accelerating new products and services to market. He is a frequent commentator on the legal implications of bitcoin, having settled the first bitcoin-mining case.
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