Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Member Simpson Thacher Was The Firm That Represented JP Morgan, Alibaba, and SWIFT

April 28, 2022 12:24 pm Comments

It looks like the story of the law firm Simpson Thacher might do a little deeper than we all expected and is connected to multiple big players such as the SEC.

Law firm Simpson Thacher is known as the firm that Hinman was part of before he had joined as the SEC is the director of corporate finance.

Hinman was warned by the SEC not to communicate with anyone from Simpson Thacher for potential conflict of interest reasons as Simpson Thacher was a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance board.

Hinman was also the one who gave the speech that Ether would be declared a token and not a security which was a stark contrast to the SEC’s treatment towards XRP.

The biggest revelation that is now revealed is that Simpson Thacher has also been the law firm that had represented JP Morgan, Alibaba, and SWIFT in the past on multiple cases.

Law.com reports on the law firm’s history:

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett client JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $200 million in a pair of settlements with federal regulators Friday, admitting it failed to properly preserve employee messages.

The Securities and Exchange Commission accused a broker-dealer subsidiary of the bank called JPMorgan Securities of a “widespread and longstanding failure” to maintain and preserve employee text, email and WhatsApp messages, including among senior executives, related to the firm’s securities business. JPMorgan agreed to pay $125 million in the SEC settlement.

“Books-and-records obligations help the SEC conduct its important examinations and enforcement work. They build trust in our system.

Ultimately, everybody should play by the same rules, and today’s charges signal that we will continue to hold market participants accountable for complying with our time-tested recordkeeping requirements,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement.

The organization Empower Oversight has also pointed out the various conflicts of interest that the law firm has had with the SEC in the past.

Many had questioned whether or not the SEC was aware of the law firm’s membership in Ethereum and if Hinman had disclosed that information to the committee.

So far, the crypto community has accused Ethereum of not being centralized due to concentrated control of “Ether whales” which many had suspected to be entities that Simpson Thacher had worked with in the past.

As a result, connecting the dots of who the law firm had previously interacted with may possibly reveal new revelations.

Blockworks.co reports:

Hinman met with Josh Bonnie, a partner at Simpson Thacher, several times after being warned about the conflict of interest, Empower Oversight said in a statement.

The former SEC director also met with the co-founders of and investors in Ethereum ahead of the speech he gave in 2018 declaring ether a token, not a security. The speech had a strong positive impact on the price of ether and potentially benefited Simpson Thacher as a result, Empower Oversight argues.

“This raises questions as to whether Hinman fully disclosed Simpson Thacher’s role in Ethereum from SEC ethics officials and whether they would have approved the meetings or his speech if he had,” Empower Oversight’s statement said.

If the Ripple Labs team can prove that leaders at the SEC had an interest in promoting and protecting ether over other, similar tokens, it could lead to a win, some speculate.

After Hinman had retired from the SEC, Hinman had reportedly returned to Simpson Thacher.

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