SEC’s Top Cyber Veteran to Provide Legal Services for Coinbase

Robert A. Cohen, former head of the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Cyber Department, will be joining Davis Polk corporate law firm and Wardwell LLP in the Litigation Department in Washington DC.

According to an announcement by Davis Polk today, the SEC veteran will be included in the team of White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations Group, where his expertise will be utilized in representing the company’s clients including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and Coinbase in regulatory matters.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have had to serve in government, and now I am thrilled to be joining Davis Polk. I have long respected and admired the firm, and look forward to working with the exceptional team in Washington,” Cohen said.

Davis Polk’s Managing Partner, Neil Barr, stated that he is optimistic that Cohen’s partnership in the firm would be a resourceful addition for the company’s clients while reiterating that his experience gathered over the years at the SEC will come handy in relevant areas.

“He will further extend our legacy of prominence in the SEC enforcement space and joins an extraordinary team of former government officials in our Washington office, including litigators who have held high-ranking positions with the SEC, DOJ, FTC, White House and FBI,” Neil added.

Cohen served the SEC for 15years. During his time at the commission, he became head of the Cyber Unit before tendering his resignation in July this year.

One of the vital cases Cohen supervised at the time when he was heading the cyber department includes, the lawsuit against KIK Interactive for its involvement in a fraudulent $100 million securities offering.

The SEC Cyber Unit was founded in 2017, on the premise that it would help curb fraudulent activities in the blockchain ecosystem, as well as being the official watchdog for cybersecurity matters.

Per the report, Cohen is not the first SEC lawyer to switch from the commission to Davis Polk. The firm has a long history of snatching top lawyers from the SEC, including former Commissioner Annette Nazareth, former SEC Enforcement Directors Gary Lynch and Linda Chatman Thomsen, and former Managing Executive for Policy Joseph Hall.

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