Sept 22 (Reuters) – Fenwick & West, the California law firm accused of helping onetime crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried defraud FTX customers, defended its conduct in a court filing on Thursday night, arguing that it merely provided “routine legal services” to the now-shuttered crypto exchange.
Fenwick’s lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and at Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart said in the firm’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by FTX customers that the plaintiffs had offered no evidence Fenwick knew FTX insiders were allegedly engaged in misconduct.
Though the FTX customers’ complaint accused Fenwick of devising “not only creative, but illegal strategies,” and of helping FTX insiders “set up the shadowy entities” that were the vehicles for their alleged misappropriation of customer funds, Fenwick insisted that none of the work it performed was illegal — or even remarkable.
“Forming companies, structuring acquisitions, and advising clients on regulatory compliance are precisely the types of routine legal services that thousands of lawyers across the country provide every single day,” Fenwick argued. “Indeed, if plaintiffs’ allegations were sufficient to state a claim against Fenwick for conspiracy and aiding-and-abetting liability, then any lawyer could be hauled into court and forced to answer for his client’s misconduct. That is not the law.”
FTX customers’ lead counsel, Adam Moskowitz of The Moskowitz Law Firm and David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner, did not respond to my query on Fenwick’s filing. Moskowitz and Boies are heading a sprawling, multidistrict case in which FTX customers have sued Bankman-Fried, other FTX insiders and an array of additional defendants — ranging from FTX’s banks, auditors and venture capital investors to social media influencers who allegedly induced FTX customers to set up accounts with the exchange — for their roles in the multibillion-dollar FTX collapse.
The FTX customers’ most specific