Manatt Enhances Blockchain and Emerging Companies Capabilities With East Coast Arrival

Mike Katz to expand blockchain capabilities and bring significant crypto, payments, emerging company and venture capital experience to the Firm after serving as Head of Legal with leading digital asset venture capital company

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a multidisciplinary, integrated professional services firm, today announced the arrival of Financial Services Partner Mike Katz in the Firm’s New York office. Most recently overseeing all aspects of legal, regulatory and policy across deals, strategic advisory and regulation for a leading venture capital firm in the digital asset space, Katz will help lead the expansion of Manatt’s blockchain capabilities. He also strengthens the Firm’s work with startups, emerging companies and venture investment funds operating at the cutting-edge of innovation, including in cryptocurrency, blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

“Mike’s work across innovation and disruption requires a business-centric approach when navigating legal issues, which reflects Manatt’s own integrated legal and consulting model and makes him an invaluable addition to our clients within the highly regulated and quickly evolving financial services sector,” said Manatt CEO and Managing Partner Donna L. Wilson. “Mike’s unique understanding of the legal and business aspects of decentralized finance, blockchain and AI sectors as well as the investments and growth opportunities within, will greatly benefit our nationally recognized fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency capabilities, led by Partner Brian Korn, our Digital and Technology Consulting practice led by Partner Tom Michael, and our growing Venture Capital and Emerging Companies practice, led by Partner Richard McDerby.”

Katz acts as a strategic adviser to emerging growth companies and investors across a range of transactions, from formation through funding and exits. He has served as a trusted counsel to tech companies and venture funds providing legal, strategic and operational guidance at all stages of growth. In particular, he offers practical advice to management teams and investors to help startups and venture capital funds navigate overlapping corporate and regulatory issues as a true business partner. He has also led the legal and regulatory processes for various equity, crypto, private fund, capital markets and credit investments, and has managed and developed advocacy and public policy strategy for stakeholders across numerous industries. He additionally has notable litigation and investigation experience, including liaising with state and federal regulators on various matters, and brings experience dealing with blockchain bankruptcies and crisis management.

“Our financial services clients are regularly working at the center of technological innovation, so we have been purposefully expanding our roster of professionals in order to provide matrixed and experienced teams that can help our clients navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape and myriad opportunities that exist,” said Financial Services Leader Craig Miller. “Mike has high-profile experience as a GC dealing with these very issues that span legal, business, policy, regulation, litigation and fundraising, so we’re thrilled to welcome him to our growing team, which also recently welcomed Partner Jessica Sklute to our Consumer Financial Services practice, led by Partner Scott Pearson.”

“As I have seen firsthand, Manatt’s interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial approach to client service is extremely effective, and I am excited to join this team to help with leading the expansion of the Firm’s blockchain capabilities and support our clients across all aspects of financial services and venture capital,” said Katz. “Innovation-focused companies and investors are at the forefront of my practice every day, and Manatt is the perfect platform for me to bring experience to bear for clients across the Firm. I look forward to leveraging my varied in-house, corporate and regulatory skills to further enhance the Firm’s reputation as the go-to adviser for companies at the frontlines of innovation.”

Katz joins the Firm’s expanding roster of legal and consulting professionals across the Firm’s core practices, including Corporate and Finance (Bill Broome); Digital and Technology (Tim Andrews and Lisa W. Rosaya); Entertainment (Binta Niambi Brown, William (Bill) D'Angelo); Financial Services (Jessica Sklute); Health Care (Heide Bajnrauh, Axel Bernabe, Robert (Rob) Fraiman, Seth Frazier, Eric Gold, Paul Irving, Dr. Tracy Johnson, Anna Lansky, John O’Brien, Thomas (Tom) Robertson, Lisa Sbrana and Mark Wietecha); and Litigation (Schuyler G. Carroll, Dylan Carson, Randy S. Grossman, Kareem A. Salem and Justin Wolosz).

Katz earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School and his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.



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