Maitra Joins the Firm’s Washington, DC, Office as a Partner After Serving as a Fintech and Cryptocurrency Specialist at the Securities and Exchange Commission
PALO ALTO, CA (June 21, 2022) – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, announced today that Neel Maitra has joined the firm’s corporate practice as a partner in the Washington, DC, office. He will also be a member of Wilson Sonsini’s securities regulatory and complex transactions group. Prior to joining the firm, Maitra was a senior special counsel in the Division of Trading and Markets at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where he specialized in fintech and cryptocurrency issues.
After joining the SEC in 2016—just as the fintech industry was emerging in the US and globally—Maitra became one of the agency’s key experts on a diverse range of issues and developments spawned by fintech companies entering or creating new markets. Examples include initial coin offerings, broker-dealer regulation of cryptocurrency companies, and innovative trading platforms. He also had significant involvement with concerns regarding 1940 Act-registered funds, digital asset trading platforms (including alternative trading systems, or “ATSs”), and issues related to digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi).
“Neel has a unique combination of agency experience and industry [awareness] that is highly relevant to companies and investors in the fintech sector,” said Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini. “He understands the intricacies of applicable securities laws, priorities regulatory, and enforcement efforts, and the extent to which those can be advantageous or disadvantageous to fintech clients.”
Maitra worked on several proposals to create cryptocurrency-based, exchange-traded products, including the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust; the first proposal to create a national securities exchange for digitally enhanced securities; and various efforts to address broker-dealer custody of crypto asset securities. He has also helped to coordinate efforts between federal securities, banking, and commodities regulatory agencies. While Maitra was in the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, he was also a delegate to the FinHub, the SEC entity that has been central to defining the regulatory treatment of digital assets and blockchain-related products, as well as other innovative products within the SEC’s jurisdiction.
“I’m excited about joining Wilson Sonsini because it’s a one-of-a-kind law firm that has built its brand through its representation of companies and investors driving the new economy, and stands alone in its ability to deliver legal services to bold market creators in the fintech sector,” said Maitra. “I look forward to the opportunity to leverage my experience to help the firm’s clients define the new fintech frontier.”
Before working at the SEC, Maitra was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell in Washington, DC, where he worked on securities, funds, and broker-dealer matters. He started his legal career at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC
Maitra earned his JD from Columbia Law School in 2010. He also received a Bachelor of Civil Laws degree from the University of Oxford, and BA and LLB degrees from the National Law School of India University. He is admitted to practice in Washington, DC, and New York.
About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
For more than 60 years, Wilson Sonsini’s services and legal disciplines have focused on serving the principal challenges faced by the management and boards of directors of business enterprises. The firm is nationally recognized as a leading provider to grow and established clients seeking legal counsel to complete sophisticated corporate and technology transactions; manage governance and enterprise-scale matters; assist with intellectual property development, protection, and IP-driven transactions; represent them in contested negotiations; and/or advise them on antitrust or other regulatory matters. With deep roots in Silicon Valley, Wilson Sonsini has offices in 18 technology and business hubs worldwide. For more information, please visit www.wsgr.com.