Meet 11 of the lawyers and former regulators helping Robinhood navigate angry customer lawsuits and high-stakes regulatory matters as it prepares for an IPO

Robinhood Legal

Summary List Placement

The fintech startup Robinhood has been growing like crazy amid the pandemic. The trading app’s revenue from routing trades roughly doubled from the first quarter of 2020 to the second. And as its valuation skyrocketed, Robinhood has been hiring software engineers, data analysts, and product managers. And lawyers.

The investing and trading app has onboarded millions of casual traders with its low-friction, no-fee trading model. But it has also drawn scrutiny from federal and state regulators who accuse Robinhood of deceiving customers and using a “gamified” product design that leads them to make risky trades they don’t fully understand.

In December, Massachusetts securities regulators lodged a complaint against Robinhood, alleging that it aggressively marketed to inexperienced investors and exposed them to “unnecessary trading risks. The same month, Robinhood agreed to pay $65 million to settle an investigation from the SEC, which accused the company of making “misleading statements and omissions” about its revenue. Robinhood declined to comment on ongoing legal matters.

The new hires also come as Robinhood is said to be eyeing to go public in the new year. The company has picked Goldman Sachs for an IPO that could value it at more than $20 billion, according to Reuters, nearly double its current valuation of $11.2 billion. While the recent scandals haven’t scared off investors — Robinhood nabbed $1.26 billion in private funding in 2020 — these legal hurdles aren’t likely to dissipate without a fight.

Over the past year, Robinhood has hired lawyers and some of the most well-connected law firms in the US to negotiate deals, scale up its compliance efforts, and spar with regulators whose investigations and penalties could hinder its ambitions for growth. The company is also looking to make more hires, including lobbyists and lawyers who can advise on transactions, fundraising and the process of going public, job listings show.

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Read more: Robinhood salaries revealed: From $322,000 a year to $18 an hour, this is how much the fintech unicorn pays its employees

Here are 11 in-house and external lawyers — from ex-SEC commissioners to former lawyers at Fortune 500 companies — who are helping Robinhood tackle class-action lawsuits and high-stakes regulatory actions.

Daniel Gallagher Jr.

A former SEC commissioner under Barack Obama, Gallagher was tapped by Robinhood as its chief legal officer last May. During his tenure as commissioner, from 2011 to 2015, he championed corporate governance reform and, in the language of his SEC bio, advocated against the “encroachment” of bank-regulatory measures into the capital market. Gallagher held several other positions on the SEC before being appointed commissioner, including deputy director and coacting director of the division of trading and markets.

Gallagher also has significant regulatory experience in the private sector. In 2016, he joined Patomak Global Partners, a financial-services consultancy that provides industry and regulatory expertise, as its president, before becoming the top lawyer at the pharmaceutical company Mylan — now Viatris — in 2017. He rejoined WilmerHale, where he was a partner before his nomination to the SEC, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance


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