Reports said that Grayscale Investments has hired a former US Solicitor General in preparation for a potential legal spat with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), should the regulator reject its application for a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) on July 6.
It has been reported that the company has been waiting on a decision from the SEC to convert its flagship $19.8 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot-based ETF, since filing its application to the regulator on October 19, 2021. The SEC has pushed back its decision on multiple occasions, once in December and again in February. A final decision on the application is expected on July 6.
Jake Chervinsky, the Head of Policy at the crypto advocacy group Blockchain Association said adding such firepower to Grayscale’s legal team was a “strong move,” and that the SEC would have little chance of "surviving a legal challenge" if it decided to knock back approval now.
However, in March, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein told Bloomberg that his firm would consider a lawsuit under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) should the application for its Bitcoin Spot ETF be denied by the financial regulator. He has been a vocal critic of the regulator, which approved crypto futures ETF products in October 2021 but is yet to do so for a spot ETF equivalent.
Donald B. Verrilli Jr., the new hire, is a former US Solicitor General who served from 2011 to 2016 under Barack Obama’s administration. He is currently a partner in Californian law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, and founded its Washington DC Office in 2016.
The report said that on Twitter, Grayscale explained that the lawyer has been involved in more than 50 cases before the US Supreme Court, including several that dealt directly with Administrative Procedure Act (APA) violations. He will serve as a senior legal strategist, working alongside its attorneys at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and its in-house counsel, including Craig Salm, who serves as a chief legal officer.
Likewise, Grayscale described Verrilli as one of the nation’s most experienced attorneys with “a deep understanding of legal theory, administrative procedure, and the practical matters of working with the judiciary branch.”
“We are thrilled that he is joining our team as we work towards a positive resolution for investors and the general public.”
Thus, in May, Grayscale began trading its first European ETF, called Grayscale Future of Finance UCITS ETF, which has listings on the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana as well as Deutsche Börse’s electronic trading platform Xetra.