Commentary November 12, 2021 at 07:44 AM Share & Print
What You Need to Know
- Adam Schuman is taking over as the top lawyer for ex-Morgan Stanley co-president Zoe Cruz’s digital asset investment banking company Menai Financial Group.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” prosecutor and Perkins Coie partner Adam Schuman is leaving Big Law and returning to the in-house realm as legal chief for Menai Financial Group.
Schuman will officially begin his new job Jan. 1, but he’s already working with the New York-based digital asset investment and trading services company as he transitions from Perkins, according to a Menai spokeswoman.
“I look forward to supporting Menai in delivering a reliable and secure infrastructure to create better, institutional-grade access to the digital asset space and help accelerate the democratization of finance,” Schuman said in a prepared statement.
His new boss, Zoe Cruz, founder and CEO of Menai and former co-president of Morgan Stanley, trumpeted Schuman’s knowledge of the crypto space and his leadership experience in a wide range of business, government and law firm roles.
Cruz noted that her new legal chief has “worked on some of the most complex and high-profile regulatory, compliance and public relations cases in the U.S.”
Earlier in his career, while serving as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, Schuman tried the massive securities fraud and money laundering case immortalized in “The Wolf of Wall Street” movie featuring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Last year, Schuman represented BitClave PTE after the SEC accused the fintech company of violating federal securities laws with its digital asset, Consumer Activity Tokens. BitClave ultimately agreed to pay $25.5 million to settle the charges.
At Menai, he succeeds Mary Beth Buchanan, who vacated her legal chief post in June and now serves as global chief legal officer at Merkle Science. The organization operates a platform that companies, financial institutions and government agencies use to detect, investigate and prevent crypto crimes.
For the past four years, Schuman has been a partner in the white-collar and investigations practice at Perkins, where he led the firm’s New York litigation department and secured a multimillion-dollar verdict for a blockchain tech client in 2019.
His prior in-house experience includes stints as chief legal officer for Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings and as general counsel for the New York State Homes and Community Renewal, which aims to protect affordable housing and increase homeownership.