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Binance appoints new general counsel to lead a team of 85 lawyers

binance-appoints-new-general-counsel-to-lead-a-team-of-85-lawyers
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Binance appoints new general counsel to lead a team of 85 lawyers

Binance has appointed Eleanor Hughes as the new general counsel. She has been a member of the Binance legal team since November 2021. Hughes now takes over, leading a battery of 85 lawyers.

Shift in Binance’s legal team

Ina July 13 announcement, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, shared that during their time working together, he has come to trust their legal advisor to protect users and manage risks on the platform.

In addition to her two years working at Binance, Hughes has another 15 years of experience in private and in-house roles, spending more than ten years at law firms, including Skadden, Meagher & Flom LLP, and Affiliates.

This announcement comes after Han Ng, the former general counsel, departed from the Binance team alongside chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann and the senior vice president for Compliance, Steven Christie.

Although there was some speculation about why these executives were leaving, Hillman sent a tweet on July 6 saying that this decision was made on good terms. 

However, crypto community members were quick to respond with comments pointing to CZ needing more protection.

CFTC, SEC suing

The news of former Binance executives stepping down comes at the same time as the world-renowned exchange continues in its ongoing battle against U.S. regulators, beginning with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) first filing a lawsuit against it in March, and the latest headlines highlighting the SEC suing the exchange and Zhao last month for allegedly violating securities laws.

With 13 charges, the SEC alleged that Zhao and Binance were engaged in a web of deception, lack of disclosure, conflicts of interest, misleading investors about risk controls, and corrupting trading volumes.

Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has reportedly been investigating whether Binance was used to let Russians evade U.S. sanctions concerning the country’s invasion of Ukraine. 

With the outcomes of these cases largely unknown, the support of a new General Counsel will likely be necessary for the team to maintain its market-dominating position.