Firm / Organisation

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

This content is provided by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

Chairman: Joseph C Shenker
Senior Chairman: H Rodgin Cohen
Number of employees: 875 +

Firm Overview:
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP provides the highest quality legal services worldwide to clients requiring complex and innovative support. The firm’s record of success and unparalleled client service has set it apart for more than 130 years and made the firm a model for the modern practice of law. S&C comprises approximately 875 lawyers who conduct a seamless, global practice through a network of 13 offices located in key financial centres in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States.

Practice Areas:
Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies
Payments & Lending
Digital Banking
Asset Management
Bank Charters & Licensing
Clearing Houses
Settlement Systems
Institutional & Capital Markets

S&C’s fintech practice is a leader in the growing intersection between financial services and technological innovation. S&C represents both entrepreneurs and startups that are attempting to disrupt traditional models for delivery of financial services and established companies building innovative, new product offerings and novel processes through acquisitions, joint ventures and internal innovation. Drawing upon the breadth and deep experience of the firm’s leading financial services practice and long history of breaking new ground for financial services, S&C is able to help clients navigate existing laws and regulations and interact with regulatory authorities, and the firm is particularly adept in handling novel and/or complex regulatory and transactional matters.

Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies:
Since the inception of this nascent technology, S&C has advised a broad group of clients on the creation of an array of real-world solutions utilising blockchain to solve problems in and improve upon the existing financial services system. S&C has been very active in the past year advising both start-up and established fintech firms as they develop practical use-cases for blockchain technology, including products utilising blockchain for payments and settlements and those focused on the issuance, trading and custody of various cryptocurrencies. These companies come to S&C based on the firm’s extensive experience advising financial services institutions and ability to guide clients through the complex, shifting regulatory environment that clients face as they look to use blockchain to offer financial services.

Payments & Lending:
S&C has been at the center of payment systems developments since the early days of electronic payments, advising on the creation of CHIPS, the CLS foreign exchange settlement system, and prepaid card networks, and continues to assist in the development of payment systems using both traditional and new technologies. S&C draws upon its historical expertise in financial services regulation, capital markets transactions, systemic risk considerations, and development of financial market infrastructures in its fintech practice. S&C advises companies leading the path forward in ‘non-traditional’ financial services models, including the emerging virtual currency and digital asset industries and distributed ledger-based technologies.

Top Matters:
■ Baton Systems on commercial, regulatory and compliance matters with regards to their use of distributed ledger technology to enable financial services companies to clear and settle financial assets and currencies in real time
■ Betterment in connection with the launch of Betterment Everyday CheckingTM, its FDIC-insured, high-yield savings and no-fee checking products
■ ConsenSys regarding the treatment of different types of tokens under securities laws, the operation of smart contracts to facilitate payments, and other matters relating to the potential regulation, and self-regulation, of transactions involving tokens ■■ First Horizon in negotiating a deposit and payment services agreement with a fintech company facilitating payments and deposit services through platforms operated by financial companies
■ Fiserv in its $22 billion acquisition of First Data
■ Fnality in the development of the blockchain-based Utility Settlement Coin system to facilitate interbank settlement
■ Gemini Trust Company in regulatory and structuring issues related to the development of additional trading platforms and bitcoin-related financial products and services
■ Lending Club in general advice
■ Ripple in regulatory and structuring matters in relation to a proposed implementation of its cross-border payment services ■■ Robinhood in its $250 million secured revolving credit facility
■ Transactis in its acquisition by Mastercard
■ Varo Bank in its conditional preliminary approval to become a federally licensed bank, the first FinTech company to submit an application

Recent Highlights & Awards:
■ Rebecca Simmons named FinTech MVP, Law360, 2019
■ Law Firm of the Year in Financial Services Regulation Law, U.S. News Best Lawyers, 2020
■ Law Firm of the Year in Banking & Finance, Best Lawyers, 2019
■ Financial Services Regulatory Law Firm of the Year, IFLR Americas Awards, 2018


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