Law Firm Perkins Coie Taps CFTC Veteran for Blockchain Practice

Kari Larsen, a former executive at bitcoin derivatives startup LedgerX who previously served a stint as counsel for the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC), has joined Perkins Coie LLP.

Larsen was named partner for the firm’s Blockchain Technology and Digital Currency industry group, Perkins Coie said Tuesday.

“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,” J. Dax Hansen, the industry group’s chair, said in a statement.

Larsen most recently served as counsel for New York-based Reed Smith LLP. Per her LinkedIn bio, Larsen’s remit at Reed Smith included issues surrounding initial coin offerings (ICOs) or token sales. She served at LedgerX as general counsel, chief regulatory officer and chief compliance officer, and worked as counsel in the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement between 1997 and 2000.

In an interview, Larsen said that her time at the CFTC left her with a lasting impression, complimenting the agency for being “sophisticated and nimble” when it comes to investigating new products and markets.”It’s a joy to work with the staff of the CFTC, in my opinion. I look forward to doing more as we look at these challenging aspects to these products [blockchain],” she explained.

Larsen said her interest in emerging markets is what directed her towards blockchain and crypto-related law in the first place, telling CoinDesk:

“I’ve always enjoyed working with markets as they’re emerging and really facing the challenges for creative solutions and yet still having they comfort and security of being within a regulated market.”

Word of the new hire comes just weeks after the firm hired Dana Syracuse, a former NYDFS attorney who aided in the development of the state’s cryptocurrency regulations, as well as the hire of former SEC Branch Chief Valerie Dahiya – both of who have joined the firm’s blockchain industry group.

Image via Shutterstock

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