In a move to address its mounting legal issues, Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced the appointment of Eleanor Hughes as its new General Counsel, coming as the company faces increasing regulatory challenges across major regions. The official announcement was made on July 13th, marking Hughes’ immediate assumption of the role.
We’re proud to announce the appointment of our new General Counsel, Eleanor Hughes.
Eleanor has over 15 years of legal experience and will manage our world class legal team to grow the industry in close collaboration with regulators and policymakers.
Learn more below.
— Binance (@binance) July 13, 2023
As noted in the announcement, Hughes has been with the exchange since November 2021 and previously served as the head of legal for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions. During her tenure, she played a vital role in successfully obtaining operational licenses for the global crypto exchange in various jurisdictions, including Dubai and Bahrain.
Given her success in these regions, Binance has entrusted Hughes to lead its global regulatory efforts, which have encountered difficulties, particularly in Europe and the United States.
Eleanor Hughes Takes on Binance Global Regulatory Efforts
As stated in the press release, a significant part of her responsibilities will involve collaborating with Binance’s Global Compliance team to support the company’s commitment to responsible growth within the global Web3 industry. This collaboration will involve close engagement with regulators and policymakers worldwide.
Moreover, the appointment of Hughes follows the recent departure of several high-level executives, including Han Ng, the former General Counsel, as well as Patrick Hillman, the former chief strategy officer.
As the company’s new General Counsel, Eleanor Hughes will oversee the company’s global legal affairs, leading a team of 85 legal experts. The crypto giant claims she brings over 15 years of legal experience, gained from working both in-house and at prestigious law firms.
Binance’s Legal Battles Intensify
With legal challenges mounting, Binance faces various investigations and lawsuits. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed a lawsuit against CZ and his company, alleging that the exchange violated U.S. financial laws by operating an illegal exchange in the country.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also filed a lawsuit accusing Binance of securities fraud through the sale of unregistered tokens to U.S. investors. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are conducting investigations into potential money laundering and tax evasion facilitated by Binance. Regulatory scrutiny is also being faced in other countries, including China, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Hughes views the current state of the digital asset industry as transformative, with rapid mainstream adoption and a shift toward becoming a mature and regulated sector. She expressed excitement at leading Binance’s accomplished legal team during this critical period.
Furthermore, Hughes emphasized the responsibility of Binance as an industry leader to ensure consumer protection while allowing space for technological growth and innovation. She pledged to closely engage and collaborate with regulators worldwide to achieve this vision.