Crowell & Moring has brought on blockchain veteran Michelle Gitlitz to head its blockchain and digital assets practice group out of the firm’s New York office.
Gitlitz had a long career with Blank Rome, where she worked since 2004 before leaving recently for Crowell. During her time at Blank Rome, she founded and co-chaired the firm’s blockchain technology and digital currencies practice.
One draw that helped lure Gitlitz to Crowell was its dedication to the firmwide digital transformation initiative, a cross-disciplinary practice that her group is part of. It advises on digital change issues, including AI-enabled programs, digital advertising, and autonomous vehicles.
“Business is changing fast, and we know it,” Gitlitz said.
Working at Crowell offered another perk—a younger-than-average staff with a strong contingent of women attorneys, said Gitlitz, co-founder of the Diversity in Blockchain group that’s working to increase the number of women and people of color in the field.
Gitlitz counsels clients on legal and regulatory issues surrounding coin/token offerings. That has included launching new offerings, establishing new blockchains and nodes, and advising clients on federal and state money transmission laws.
She’s also handled government regulatory inquiries and enforcement actions relating to financial services, securities, and disclosure issues, according to a firm statement.
Blockchain allows digital information to be distributed but not copied through the use of cryptography in a decentralized and difficult to hack digital ledger.
She said a number of industries have been slow to adopt blockchain technologies. But that that’s likely to change, and possibly quickly, once its benefits are more widely understood.
“Michelle’s work with payment companies in the cryptocurrency space, blockchain nodes, mining and staking operations, coin/token issuers, and cryptocurrency hedge funds give her the ability to translate complex technical issues to clients,” said Crowell & Moring Chair Philip T. Inglima.