Welcome

Stripe Snags Half-Dozen Lawyers Amid New Fundraising Talks (1)

Dec. 9, 2020, 10:56 AMUpdated: Dec. 9, 2020, 11:12 PM

Stripe Inc., an online payments processor, has recruited at least a half-dozen lawyers since Labor Day as the company reportedly seeks a funding round that could see its valuation soar above $70 billion.

Among the hires are litigation counsel Tracy Talbot, most recently a commercial litigation partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in Denver and San Francisco, and banking product counsel Lee Ann Anderson, who was a capital markets partner at Greenberg Traurig in New York and Washington.

The hires come as San Francisco-based Stripe, which was founded a decade ago and competes with payment service providers like Square Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc., discusses a funding round that could value the company at between $70 billion and $100 billion, Bloomberg News reported last month.sing

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe advised Stripe in April, when the company was valued at $36 billion after raising $600 million from venture capital investors.

A Stripe spokesman declined to discuss its fundraising efforts but confirmed its latest round of legal recruits, which bring to nearly 30 the number of attorneys hired by the company this year.

In-House Additions

Also among the legal hires is Justin Smith, a former deputy general counsel at Voya Financial Inc., who joined Stripe in October as head of corporate law in New York.

Smith didn’t respond to a request for comment about his new job. The role reunites him with Patricia Walsh, a former general counsel at Voya who joined Stripe earlier this year to succeed Jon Zieger as the company’s chief legal officer.

October also saw Stripe bring on global regulatory strategy and planning executive Katharine Lauer, a former head of global regulatory strategy at PayPal and chief risk and compliance officer for the company’s Singapore subsidiary.

Lauer, who began her career in the early 1990s as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, most recently served as an adviser to Berkeley, Calif.-based Jiko Group Inc., which in September became the first fintech to acquire a U.S. bank. Lauer has more than three decades of international finance, law, and regulatory expertise.

Other additions include former Amazon.com Inc. senior corporate counsel Khai Dang, who joined Stripe as a commercial counsel in October, and legal counsel Daniel Pontes, who came aboard that same month after serving as a commercial counsel at GitHub Inc. Stripe also added employment counsel Justine Lazarus in September from virtual law firm VGC.

Anderson, who spent more than 30 years in private practice, is now based in San Francisco. She wrote on her LinkedIn profile that she’s looking forward to her first in-house role as part of Stripe Treasury, an initiative unveiled by the company last week that will partner with big banks.

Stripe is expanding into Africa by paying $200 million for Nigerian startup Paystack, Bloomberg News reported in October. The company has also agreed to make a one-time, $20,000 payment to employees who relocate from the company’s offices in New York, San Francisco, or Seattle.

The relocation package, offered as remote work policies have become more prevalent due to the coronavirus pandemic, comes with a 10% pay cut.

Fintech Frenzy

Stripe’s in-house hiring spree marks a growing trend in the fintech space, where stock trading startup Robinhood Markets Inc. and other companies have been busy this year hiring lawyers.

Talbot, a former commercial litigation partner at Bryan Cave, where she led the firm’s higher education class action response team and chaired its LGBTQ lawyer’s affinity group, wrote on her LinkedIn profile last month that Stripe has several job openings for its in-house litigation team.

Stripe currently lists on its website that it’s hiring for at least a dozen legal positions around the world. The company has also sent its lawyers to other fintechs.

Jacques Lehot, head of corporate affairs and intellectual property at Stripe, left the company in October to become vice president of legal at Calm Inc., a San Francisco-based software company that makes a meditation application designed to enhance sleep and relaxation.

In September, Swedish fintech Klarna Bank AB added attorney and former Stripe financial crimes lead Christina Tedeschi as senior legal counsel for anti-money laundering and regulatory in New York.

Stripe banking and financial products counsel Matthew Janiga left Stripe that same month to join virtual card payment startup Privacy.com as its second-ever general counsel, he told Bloomberg Law in an email. Janiga joined Privacy.com two months after it raised $10.2 million in financing.

Michael Kim, a former Singapore-based regulatory counsel at Stripe, left the company earlier this year to become general counsel at Korean fintech startup Sentbe Inc. Michael Brick, a former Asia-Pacific head of legal at Stripe, joined Microsoft Corp. as a Singapore-based regional director for commercial legal in June.

(Clarifies Lauer's roles at PayPal in eighth paragraph.)

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com;
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

To read more articles log in.

Learn more about a Bloomberg Law subscription.