Former Google lawyer joins long list of high-profile lawyers hitting crypto space


Coinbase leads a growing list of cryptology companies that hire the best lawyers.

On Friday Coinbase Inc. announced the appointment of former Google Legal Director Milana McCullagh as Assistant General Counsel for Product and Business Legal Affairs.

McCullagh, who spent more than 13 years at Google, will work in all Coinbase functions on product legal support, helping the company streamline legal compliance for new product launches.

McCullagh’s appointment is part of both a campaign by Coinbase to attract legal talent that began last year, and a wider movement in the industry that high-profile lawyers are joining cryptology companies.

Between August and October, Coinbase appointed former Dyson Ltd. general counsel Katherine Minarik as assistant general counsel for litigation; former senior legal counsel at Uber Technologies Inc. in London, Carly Nuzbach Lowery, as associate general counsel; former Fenwick attorney Jade Clemons as commercial counsel; and CLS Group Holdings AG’s head of supervisory affairs, Janice Payne, as director of regulatory compliance.

The abundance of recruitment may be part of an effort by Bitcoin Up review to quell regulatory fears that potential investors may have on the eve of a possible IPO. The San Francisco-based company held discussions with law firms and investment banks regarding an IPO earlier this year.

In addition, these appointments coincide with the company’s recent decision to reduce discussions about „politics“ and „society“ at work, which led to 60 employees taking advantage of the exit packages offered by the company.

Major legal appointments sweep the crypto industry

However, Coinbase is not the only company that aims to bring high profile lawyers to the crypto industry.

On October 8, the blokchain-based company O(1) Labs Operating Corp. announced the appointment of former Goldman Sachs in-house counsel and Kirkland & Ellis LLP associate Sang Joon Kim as general counsel.

On October 7, the Gemini Trust Co. LLC cryptomoney exchange and custodian appointed former Morgan Stanley Global Financial Crime Division Chief Legal Officer Andy Meehan as head of compliance for the Asia Pacific region.

And, last Wednesday, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz announced the appointment of former New York Stock Exchange Chief Regulatory Officer Anthony Albanese to work on cryptomoney regulation issues.

These moves coincide with the steps taken by US regulators to legalise the cryptomoney industry. Previously, the U.S. Department of Justice issued official guidelines to regulate the crypto market and enforce the laws of the country.

Erich Dylus, an aviation finance attorney for Vedder Price by day and a member of LexDAO’s legal engineering staff by night, told Cointelegraph that these hires could be a sign that the legal world recognizes the growing influence of cryptoactives:

„Some lawyers are discovering an exciting frontier that needs legal guidance in the ’space of the flesh‘,“ he said, „and it speaks to the mature nature of the crypto and adjacent industries to which these big names are making the leap.“