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Robinhood Recruits Second WilmerHale Partner in Two Months

July 30, 2020, 8:51 AM

Robinhood Markets Inc.'s C-suite is getting crowded with former Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr partners who worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lucas Moskowitz, a former chief of staff to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, left the law firm’s Washington office this month to become deputy general counsel for regulatory, litigation, and government affairs at Robinhood.

The move follows Robinhood’s hire of former WilmerHale partner and deputy securities practice chair Daniel Gallagher Jr. as chief legal officer. He replaced Anne Hoge, who left the Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup stock trading platform to attend to an illness in her family.

Gallagher, a former SEC commissioner, initially joined Robinhood’s board in October, shortly after he and Moskowitz returned to WilmerHale’s securities litigation group in Washington. Moskowitz, who began his legal career at WilmerHale as an associate in 2006, left the SEC in August 2019 after serving as a top aide to Clayton.

Clayton, in an interview with Bloomberg Law last summer, praised Moskowitz for being “one of those people who make the hard things look easy. All of a sudden you look up and the problem’s solved.”

Moskowitz wasn’t available to discuss his new role at Robinhood, which he noted on his LinkedIn profile. A Robinhood spokesman didn’t immediately offer a comment about his hire, nor did the company’s general counsel, former Kirkland & Ellis partner Archit Shah.

Closely held Robinhood, which recently put off plans to take its commission-free stock trading platform abroad, could pursue an initial public offering later this year.

California’s Farella Braun & Martel and Debevoise & Plimpton have handled more than 65% of Robinhood’s U.S. litigation work within the past five years, according to Bloomberg Law data. Robinhood was founded in 2013.

Brex Adds Ex-Romney Campaign Lawyer

Kathryn Biber, a former general counsel to Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign, was announced July 22 as chief legal officer for Brex Inc. The fintech company, which provides startup founders with access to corporate credit cards, owns broker-dealer Brex Treasury LLC. Brex was valued at $2.6 billion last year.

Biber spent the past two years as general counsel for Anchorage Hold LLC, a cryptocurrency custodian backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. She previously was general counsel at consumer service startup Thumbtack Inc. and senior counsel at Airbnb Inc.

At Brex, Biber takes over from former general counsel and current head of government and regulatory affairs Vincent Cogan. Biber didn’t respond to a request for comment about her role at Brex. In a statement announcing its new FDIC-insured cash management account, Brex touted Biber’s “long track record of helping launch innovative products and services, in cooperation with regulators.”

ThinkMarkets Taps Jenner Partner

ThinkMarkets Group, a global online brokerage co-headquartered in Chicago, London, and Melbourne, filled its vacant general counsel role this month by hiring Jenner & Block partner Michael Nelson.

Nelson, who spent over a decade at Latham & Watkins in Chicago before joining Jenner’s complex commercial litigation group in 2017, confirmed his new in-house role at ThinkMarkets but declined to discuss it.

He takes over from Michael Herron, who left ThinkMarkets’ London office in late 2018 after nearly five years at the fintech company to become general counsel at Forex Capital Markets Ltd. ThinkMarkets, founded in 2010, is privately held but is reportedly preparing for a public listing in Australia by year’s end. ThinkMarkets owns the trading platform ThinkTrader.

UK Fintech Firm Hires First U.S. Lawyer

Salary Finance Ltd., a London-based fintech company focused on employee benefits, hired its first U.S. in-house lawyer last month in Lisa LoGerfo, who spent the first half of 2020 as interim general counsel at Circle Internet Financial Ltd.

LoGerfo inherited that role at the blockchain payments company in January following the departure of former chief legal officer Gus Coldebella, a former Homeland Security lawyer who resurfaced this month as the new legal chief at cryptocurrency-focused venture capital firm Paradigm Operations LP.

Salary Finance general counsel Rosie Teo told Bloomberg Law in an email that the company hired LoGerfo in June as a vice president and head of legal, a role in which she’ll serve as sole legal counsel for the company’s U.S. business and work alongside compliance experts..

Teo, who is based in London, said Salary Finance has three total in-house lawyers and two compliance managers. LoGerfo didn’t respond to a request for comment about her new position at the company.

Other Fintech Appointments

  • FXSpotStream LLC, a multibank consortium founded in 2011 that facilitates trades, announced this month its hire of Richard Kaltenbach as general counsel in Jersey City, N.J. Kaltenbach, a former general counsel for the Americas and global head of compliance at electronic trading platform NEX Group plc, spent the past six months as of counsel at Gibbons in Newark, N.J. At FXSpotStream he reunites with CEO Alan Schwarz, a lawyer who like Kaltenbach also worked at New Jersey’s Bourne, Noll & Kenyon.
  • Neudata Ltd., a London-based fintech consulting company, said July 9 it hired Hughes Hubbard & Reed corporate associate Donald D’Amico in New York to serve as its new general counsel and an in-house legal expert on alternative data. D’Amico, a former in-house counsel at alternative asset manager Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, is now responsible for Neudata’s legal affairs and developing a due diligence offering for the company’s investment management clients.
  • Happy Money Inc., a Tustin, Calif.-based fintech firm that pairs borrowers with lenders, announced June 29 its hire of general counsel and chief compliance officer Jason Altieri. He was most recently legal chief at San Francisco-based car insurance startup MetroMile Inc., having previously been general counsel at LendingClub Corp.
  • Pipe Technologies Inc. announced June 24 it raised $60 million from investors and hired Michal Cieplinski, general counsel of the LendingClub’s borrower division as COO and chief legal officer. Pipe is a Los Angeles-based subscription financing platform for buying and selling software-as-a-service products.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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