Crypto Hiring: SBF, Mashinsky opt to keep same lawyers

Elsewhere, a former Fidelity International exec advises a layer-2, and Yuga Labs’ co-founder becomes CEO


FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried | Getty Images modified by Blockworks


Despite conflict of interest concerns, the former heads of FTX and Celsius will have the same lawyers representing them as they continue to battle fraud charges. 

Sam Bankman-Fried and Alex Mashinsky both hired Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young for upcoming appearances in court — Bankman-Fried for his sentencing hearing and Mashinsky for his trial. 

Earlier this month, US prosecutors called for conflict of interest hearings regarding Mukasey and Young’s counsel because court evidence suggested Celsius loaned money to FTX partner company Alameda Research and was paid back with FTX customer funds. 

Read more: Prosecutors concerned that Mashinsky, Bankman-Fried have same lawyers

In separate hearings this week, both former chief executives reportedly waived their right to conflict-free representation and said they wanted to proceed with the lawyers. 

Mukasey and Young apparently said at Mashinsky’s hearing that they could fairly represent both Bankman-Fried and Mashinsky, despite the past overlaps. 

The erstwhile CEOs didn’t admit to a conflict of interest stemming from the lawyers, but merely said they are comfortable with their representation even if one may exist. 

New York law says attorneys can represent two clients with potentially conflicting interests only if the clients give consent — as Mashinsky and Bankman-Fried did this week. The pair of lawyers will not be allowed to share confidential information between Mashinsky and Bankman-Fried or use one’s information to the detriment of the other. 

Bankman-Fried’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 28, and Mashinsky is set to go to trial in January 2025.

Layer N adds former Fidelity International exec to advisory board

The Ethereum layer-2 Layer N announced Fidelity International’s former digital assets head Luc Froehlich would join its board of advisors. 

Froehlich left Fidelity International in October, where he worked on tokenized real-world assets, according to his LinkedIn. Froelich also currently serves as an advisor to blockchain outfits NYMLAB and Envelop. 

Read more: BitGo looks to jumpstart RWA tokenization segment via acquisition

Froehlich is joining Layer N to help “pioneer a path to more dynamic, seamless and broadly accessible financial ecosystems,” Froehlich wrote on LinkedIn. 

Layer N is a network of virtual machines designed for high throughput. It raised $5 million in a round led by Founders Fund and dao5 in September and has announced an upcoming partnership with Eigen Labs’ data availability solution, EigenDA.

Other notable hiring news

Updated Feb. 28, 2024 at 10:38 am ET: Clarified Luc Froehlich previously worked at Fidelity International.

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