What Does Ripple’s General Counsel Leaving Mean for Ripple?
If you’ve been following the news on Ripple (parent company that has dominant stake over the cryptocurrency, XRP), you may have noticed a recent headline from Qz [Quartz] that read, ‘Ripple’s general counsel has left the company at an awkward time’.
_The general counsel of one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency companies has departed her post. Ripple confirmed to…_qz.com
Specifically, the attorney, Brynly Llyr, the general counsel for the company is now no longer affiliated with/employed by the company, Ripple.
The reason why this is considered ‘awkward’ is because it seems that Ripple is in need of a solid legal team now more than ever as they combat allegations that the token, XRP, which they created (originally as OpenLabs), is a security.
Latest Class Action Lawsuit Against Ripple
This lawsuit, in specific, is a bit different than the last class action suit, which was recently dismissed by a Californian judge. That lawsuit was issued by an investor on behalf of a conglomerate of investors that asserted that the company, Ripple, should be responsible for their individual losses on the token on the premise that Ripple issued an unregistered security. Many can agree that the premise of this lawsuit was somewhat weak in nature.
However, the latter lawsuit which was referred to in this article is a bit more serious in nature.
According to law.com,
“The new lawsuit, which seeks to certify a class of all California XRP purchasers, was filed Tuesday by lawyers at Robbins Arroyo and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dows in San Mateo Superior Court, a venue viewed as plaintiff-friendly by the securities defense bar. It comes as lawyers for Ripple at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Debevoise & Plimptom — including former SEC Chair Mary Jo White — this week removed a previously filed securities suit against the financial technologies company to federal court.”
In this instance, the lawsuit is alleging that Ripple misled investors and the market, in general, by ‘conflating’ the value of the token with efforts elsewhere in its company.
In laymen’s terms, this lawsuit is more than likely alluding to the fact that Ripple is not only the name of the company, but the token itself. As such, there have been numerous instances in which the company, Ripple, has made advancements/partnerships/deals that had nothing to do with the actual token, XRP, but were perceived by the general public as being synonymous with one another.
While the author is no lawyer, one must imagine that the burden of proof in this case would rest on:
A) Proving that the token XRP is a security.
B) Showing that the company, Ripple and Brad Garlinghouse (named as defendants), purposefully pushed out information/articles/headlines/news that failed to make a distinction between genuine achievements of the token itself and that of the parent company.
It goes without saying though that Ripple’s legal defense team is formidable, to say the least; so, winning a lawsuit against Ripple will be no easy feat.
Departure of Legal Counsel
Doubling back to the departure of Brynlyn Llyr, there’s probably nothing substantive that can be inferred from her departure specifically. Perhaps if this were one of the major firms representing Ripple, this would be a point of concern. But at this moment, it is nothing that investors or others in the sphere need to be concerned about [more than likely].
The departure of this attorney could be due to personal issues, internal conflicts, or a number of other issues that will probably remain unstated in public.
The bigger story here is how Ripple will fare in these battles. While they were successful in the first lawsuit leveraged against them, this latest one appears to be a bit more substantive in nature.
Yet still, its worth reiterating that Ripple’s legal team cannot be discounted. With strong advocacy at their back, the final verdict on this case is one worth watching. There are some points of interest that are made in the lawsuit that Ripple will absolutely need to answer for and, based on prior knowledge of the Howey Test, there seems to be some credence to the argument that XRP is a security.