SEC Lawyer Joins Crypto Firm While Agency Faces Fresh Lawsuit

By Ben Knight February 22, 2024 In Cryptocurrency, SEC
  • Former high-profile lawyer for the SEC, Ladan Stewart, has stepped down from her role on the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit.
  • Stewart is leaving to join White & Case as a partner specialising in crypto and cyber security.
  • She believes that crypto is here to say and that the regulatory changes will require lots of legal work from people like her.
  • Meanwhile, a Texas nonprofit are suing the SEC for unlawful regulation of cryptocurrency within the state.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has played heel to the crypto industry for much of the past 18 months, taking a brief hiatus to – begrudgingly – approve spot Bitcoin ETF trading. But while the regulatory body’s Chair, Gary Gensler, is overwhelmingly anti-digital currency, the same cannot necessarily be said for the rest of the team. In an interesting twist, an important lawyer for the SEC recently changed allegiances after stepping down from her role with the financial authority.

Ladan Stewart Defects After Nearly A Decade

Ladan Stewart joined the Securities and Exchange Commission back in 2015, before digital currencies were really on the agenda of any regulatory body. However, the financial landscape has changed significantly since then, and Stewart eventually became part of the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. However, it appears her role within the SEC was simply as an expert, rather than as a crypto non-believer. Stewart has officially joined law firm White & Case as a partner, with her primary goal to work within the areas of crypto and cyber defence.  

In speaking to Bloomberg, Stewart said:

“Crypto is here to stay…that’s become very clear with the launch of a slew of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds…”


In a unique turn of events, Stewart was actually at the forefront of the SEC’s legal battles with both XRP, and in particular, Coinbase. According to recent court filings, she will be stepping down from her position in both lawsuits.

How the Turn Tables – Texas Sues the SEC

Some might say after the lawsuit rampage they went on last year that the SEC had this one coming. LEJILEX, in conjunction with the Crypto Freedom Alliance of Texas (CFAT) has filed a complaint against the SEC. The legal issue revolves around the “agency’s unlawful assertion of regulatory authority” over cryptocurrency within the state of Texas. The key here is that LEJILEX intend to open a new crypto trading platform – so the team wants to ensure that they are not accused of listing “unregistered securities”, something the SEC has been hot on of late.

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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