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Blockchain for Big Law Grabs Gates Industrial General Counsel

March 19, 2020, 3:15 PM

Integra Inc., a Denver-based company that provides enterprise blockchain services to law firms and their clients, has hired Jamey Seely to serve as its new president and general counsel.

The addition of Seely, a former corporate partner at Thompson & Knight, had not been announced publicly. She will join Integra in April.

“We are very excited about Jamey’s arrival as Integra’s growth accelerates around the world,” David Fisher, Integra’s founder and CEO, told Bloomberg Law in an email Wednesday. “She will lead the ongoing expansion of Integra’s work with in-house counsel at large companies, with a particular focus on the financial services and energy industries.”

Seely has spent nearly the past three years as general counsel at Gates Industrial Corp. plc, a Denver-based transmission belt and industrial equipment manufacturer. Shortly after her late 2017 start at the company, which at the time was controlled by private equity firm The Blackstone Group LP, Seely helped with Gates’ initial public offering that raised nearly $732 million in January 2018.

Gates gave Seely a total compensation package worth nearly $1.39 million in 2018, according to a proxy statement filed by the company last year, an increase from the $1.18 million she received in 2017. Seely will receive $850,000 in cash severance upon leaving Gates, per a separation agreement disclosed in a March 18 securities filing. The company noted she will depart April 1 to “pursue other opportunities.”

Integra’s Fisher helped start the Global Blockchain Legal Consortium, the largest group of its kind dedicated to developing blockchain technology in legal services. The GBLC currently has more than 330 members, including 25% of the top 100 global law firms, Fisher said. Corporate law departments, software companies, and universities are also part of the GBLC constituency.

Integra is also a founder of the Global Legal Hackathon, the largest legal technology innovation event in the world, Fisher said. The most recent gathering took place between March 6 and 8 as over 5,000 participants across 50 cities competed to build legal tech applications.

Avanti Unveils C-Suite

While companies like Integra are focused on the distributed ledger platforms, others like Avanti Financial Group Inc. are seeking to become banks for nascent digital currencies.

Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Avanti announced this week the members of its new management team as it hopes to become one of the first U.S. cryptocurrency banks next year.

Avanti’s CEO is Caitlin Long, a Harvard Law School graduate and Laramie, Wyo., native who has spent 22 years on Wall Street, most recently as a managing director and head of the pension business at Morgan Stanley.

“We have assembled a team of all-stars who have significant experience in regulated financial institutions,” Long said in a statement about her fellow Avanti co-founders, who have a mixture of cryptocurrency and traditional banking expertise. “We’re building a bridge that doesn’t yet exist between two different financial systems, and this team has top-quality execution skills to do it,” she said.

Among the Avanti team is Charles “Chuck” Thompson, a former colleague of Long’s at Morgan Stanley, where he was once in-house in the financial services giant’s structured products group.

Thompson, who will be Avanti’s chief legal officer and chief compliance officer, has previously worked at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Shearman & Sterling in New York. He has also been CEO of Blockchain Consulting LLC and chief compliance officer at LedgerX LLC. Avanti hopes to have regulatory approval to go live in 2021.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

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