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FinTech and payments attorney joins BakerHostetler

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Carol Van Cleef has joined BakerHostetler as a partner in the law firm’s Washington, DC office.

Van Cleef is an authority on the regulation of financial technology (FinTech), including emerging and alternative payments systems, digital currencies and blockchain technologies as well as anti-money laundering, sanctions, and privacy and data security compliance.
 
She becomes the newest member of the firm’s financial services industry and privacy and data protection teams. She joins BakerHostetler from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, where she was chair of the firm’s global payments practice.
 
Van Cleef provides counsel to the full spectrum of financial services businesses from banks, securities firms, insurance companies and money services businesses operating globally to emerging FinTech companies, payment processors, prepaid access providers, virtual currency wallets and exchanges, and blockchain and other software developers, among others.
 
She also advises leading retailers, payment processors and prepaid access program providers and sellers. She advises on structuring and operating business models to address key legal and regulatory considerations; developing and enhancing anti-money laundering compliance programmes whether required by the Bank Secrecy Act or suggested for mitigating risk under federal criminal statute and the Office of Foreign Assets Control; preparing for examinations by federal banking regulators, the Internal Revenue Service (for money services businesses) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and addressing federal and state regulatory enforcement actions.
 
“I’ve built a practice that focuses on the complex intersection of federal and state laws, regulations and regulatory expectations that financial services companies confront daily, including electronic payments, data security, AML compliance and state licensing requirements,” says Van Cleef. “I’ve worked with technology companies in the financial services space long before FinTech became such a buzzword. BakerHostetler has established itself as a leader in the privacy and data security space, and has tremendous depth and experience in servicing both financial services and technology companies. My practice complements those capabilities, particularly in regard to payments and blockchain and other ledger-based technologies as well as the burgeoning RegTech space.”
 
Van Cleef created a series of AML compliance training programs sponsored by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and attended by state regulators, executives from domestic and foreign banks, securities firms, MSBs, and other entities. She also developed and leads an AML Compliance Bootcamp for Virtual Currency and Blockchain Businesses.
 
"We have built a privacy and data protection team with collaborative people who have broad capabilities and deep experience and we are incredibly excited to add Carol to the team," says Ted Kobus, leader of BakerHostetler's privacy and data protection team. “Blockchain technology and alternative payments issues confront clients inside and outside of financial services these days, and Carol’s solution-driven counsel is widely sought. Also, with cyberattacks continuing at a rapid pace – including those involving ransomware – Carol’s global payments and anti-money laundering expertise will further our position as a first choice for support related to breach responses.”
 
“Carol’s experience greatly enhances the firm’s legal capabilities in the financial services and banking industries,” says Brett Wall, leader of BakerHostetler’s financial services industry team. “We are particularly excited about Carol’s thought leadership in the FinTech space – from cross-border money transmission and payment processing to crypto currencies and blockchain technologies —just to name a few.”
 
Van Cleef serves on the advisory board of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. She is also on the board of a gold-backed digital currency system and a regulatory incubator, and on the advisory board of X-Mode Social, which launched the mobile app Drunk Mode. She is a member of the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists and the American Bar Association, and a past president of Women in Housing and Finance.

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