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Robinhood Adds Another WilmerHale Lawyer As Legal Ranks Grow (1)

Dec. 30, 2020, 9:33 PMUpdated: Jan. 4, 2021, 1:37 PM

Robinhood Markets Inc. has added four more lawyers to its expanding in-house legal and compliance team as the company copes with increased regulatory scrutiny.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based stock trading startup agreed this month to pay $65 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The regulator had been investigating Robinhood for selling information about customer orders to high-frequency traders between 2015 and 2018.

Among Robinhood’s latest recruits is Erica Crosland, until this month a securities litigation and enforcement counsel at WilmerHale in Washington. Crosland, now a principal counsel for litigation and investigations at Robinhood, didn’t respond to a request for comment about her new role.

She joins at least two former WilmerHale colleagues at the growing fintech, which increased its user count in 2020 as app-based trading became a “pandemic pastime.”

In May, Robinhood brought on a chief legal officer Daniel Gallagher Jr., a former SEC commissioner who in 2019 re-joined WilmerHale, a law firm known for its securities law expertise. Gallagher previously served as the top lawyer at generic drug giant Mylan NV, now called Viatris Inc. after merging with Pfizer Inc.’s off-patent unit.

In July, Robinhood hired WilmerHale partner Lucas Moskowitz—a former SEC chief of staff—to be deputy general counsel for regulatory, litigation, and government affairs. Moskowitz was one of dozens of lawyers and compliance experts recruited by Robinhood in recent months.

Also joining Robinhood this month along with Crosland are former Vanguard Group Inc. senior brokerage counsel Joshua Dutill, TD Ameritrade Inc. associate general counsel for litigation Simeon Schopf, and TD Ameritrade senior counsel Ashley Wroten Hulting.

Dutill, now a principal counsel for broker-dealer regulatory at Robinhood, and Schopf, principal counsel for litigation and arbitration at the company, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Hulting declined to discuss her new role as an assistant general counsel for broker-dealer regulatory at Robinhood.

Hulting and Schopf have reunited at Robinhood with John Markle, hired in November as deputy general counsel for regulatory and product from TD Ameritrade, where he was interim general counsel prior to the closure of that electronic trading platform’s $26 billion sale to Charles Schwab Corp.

Robinhood declined to comment about his latest batch of legal hires, which the new recruits disclosed on their LinkedIn profiles and state bar registrations. The company, which didn’t admit wrongdoing for misleading customers in its recent deal with the SEC, faces other legal issues.

Securities regulators in Massachusetts filed a complaint in mid-December against Robinhood brokerage subsidiary Robinhood Financial LLC, which was also hit with a putative class action complaint last week.

Robinhood is also currently coping with complaints from customers who claim they lost money after their company accounts were hacked. Robinhood is preparing for a potential initial public offering next year, according to Bloomberg News.

(Clarifies Mylan's ownership in fifth paragraph. This story was published Dec. 30.)

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
Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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