• vcard
  • Education
    • J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 1996, Managing Editor University of Denver Law Review
    • B.A., Colorado College, 1992, History
  • Bar Jurisdictions
    • District of Columbia, 2003
    • Colorado, 1996
    • Registered Foreign Lawyer - SRA, England and Wales, 2016
  • Court Admissions
    • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 1997
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 1997
    • State of Colorado, 1996
Richard Levin is the Chair of Polsinelli’s Chambers rated FinTech and Regulation Practice.  He brings his experience as a senior legal and compliance officer on Wall Street and in London to bear in advising clients on corporate, securities and regulatory issues. A problem-solver by nature, his practice focuses on helping financial services and technology (FinTech) clients identify and address regulatory issues as they build their businesses.

The FinTech sector is experiencing rapid changes that are producing innovative new technologies: digital currencies, blockchain technology, peer to peer lending, robo advisors, crowdfunding portals, and electronic trading platforms. These changes are challenging early stage companies and established financial services firms to understand the legal and regulatory issues associated with the development of these innovative technologies. Polsinelli is at the vanguard of these changes.

Richard’s practice focuses on the representation of early stage and publicly traded companies in the FinTech space, including investment banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, peer to peer lending platforms, digital currency trading platforms, alternative trading systems (ATSs), and exchanges. He has been advising these clients on legal and regulatory issues since the start of electronic trading in the late 1990s. 

Before entering private practice, Richard served as the Global Head of Product Development for Compliance and Operations for a leading global investment bank and as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of three U.S. ATSs and a U.K. based multi-lateral trading facility (MTF). He played a leadership role in the launch of two successful joint ventures of leading global investment banks. Richard began his career on Wall Street by serving as the General Counsel of one of the original Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs), and as Assistant General Counsel and Regulatory Affairs Officer of the largest Nasdaq market maker. His current and past clients include leading national financial institutions, multinational financial services holding companies, and institutions engaging in global investment banking, investment management, securities, and other financial services with institutional clients. Richard has represented clients before regulators in Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Before joining Polsinelli Richard was the co-chair and founder of the Digital Currency Team of a leading U.S. law firm. Richard is a frequent speaker at conferences on blockchain technology, digital assets, regulatory, and market structure issues and is the co-author of several chapters of books, including the chapter on U.S. regulation of virtual currencies for the Handbook of Digital Currency, the chapter on SEC and CFTC regulation of blockchain technology for the Handbook of Blockchain, Digital Finance, and Inclusion – both published by Elsevier, Code is Not Law: Code Can be a Language Used to Create Smart Contracts, a chapter in Blockchain in Financial Markets and Beyond, and the chapter on regulation of robo advisers in WealthTech – Wealth Management in the FinTech Age. Richard was recently identified as one of twelve leading lawyers in Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies by Chambers Global.
  • Routinely represents new ATS before the SEC and FINRA. 
  • Represented the first ATS focused on infrastructure investments before the SEC and FINRA during the ATS application process. 
  • Advised the developer of a U.S. ATS in negotiations with the African Development Bank (ADB) related to the formation of a joint venture to develop and operate an African infrastructure development platform. 
  • Represented the U.S. investment banking subsidiary of a leading global bank in a state securities regulatory action involving more than $20 billion in securities transactions. As part of settlement, the client avoided potential negative publicity and was permitted to register as a broker-dealer. 
  • Counseled the U.S. subsidiary of a European investment bank after it failed to report several thousand transactions over a three-year period to FINRA. Successfully negotiated a settlement with FINRA that avoided substantial monetary sanctions and negative publicity. Advised the client in the implementation of remedial measures to address potential future violations. 
  • Represented a U.S. investment bank in a FINRA enforcement action involving anti-money laundering compliance and research issues. Successfully negotiated a settlement with FINRA. 
  • Advised several early stage companies that planned to operate platforms for the sale of unregistered securities under Rule 506 and the proposed crowdfunding rules. 
  • Represented two early stage companies that planned to establish new SEC registered securities exchanges. 
  • Counseled U.S. broker-dealer subsidiaries of several European and Asian banks in FINRA regulatory matters. 
  • Advised an early stage company launching a virtual currency trading platform. 
  • Represented several peer-to-peer lending platforms before the SEC and state securities regulators. 
  • Represented several regulated investment advisors before the SEC and state securities regulators. 
  • Represented a family office before the CFTC with respect to commodity pool operator status. 
  • Lobbied on behalf of a broker-dealer and ATS that supported the JOBS Act. 
  • Advised boards of directors and management on general corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions and intellectual property matters in the U.S. and abroad.

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