Clients in the cryptocurrency, digital asset, Web3, and DeFi industry depend on Mike’s substantial experience navigating emerging government regulation and structuring transactions and investments in the space. Mike counsels clients on regulatory compliance, investigations, and enforcement matters involving digital assets. He also advises them on investments and corporate and organizational structuring, governance, and best practices.
Mike’s experience with cryptocurrency began at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where he brought one of the CFTC’s first enforcement actions involving cryptocurrency — CFTC v. Bitfinex — and was part of the team responsible for the CFTC’s action against Tether in 2021. While at the CFTC, Mike was part of the litigation team in CFTC v. Monex, a landmark case concerning the applicability of Section 2(c)(2)(D) of the CEA, and contributed to the CFTC’s Final Interpretive Guidance on Actual Delivery for Digital Assets.
Mike currently serves as the chair of the public policy and regulatory committee of the Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association (Global DCA), an organization founded to support the growth of the global digital economy, guiding the evolution of digital assets, cryptocurrencies, and underlying technology through standards and consensus-based solutions that address the major challenges facing the industry.
Immediately prior to joining CROKE FAIRCHILD DUARTE & BERES, Mike served as Senior Advisor and Legal Counsel to Mayor Lightfoot, advising the Mayor and city leaders on legal, policy, and labor issues. Mike’s responsibilities included overseeing major collective bargaining for the City, negotiating with lawmakers on pending legislation, and leading special projects including serving as the lead on legal aspects of the City’s COVID-19 response.
Mike joined the Lightfoot Administration from the Division of Enforcement of the CFTC, where he was responsible for investigating and litigating alleged violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). In addition to the matters discussed above, Mike also led numerous investigations and enforcement matters including of CFTC registrants, exchanges, and other market participants. Mike also served as the lead attorney on CFTC v. Kraft, one of the CFTC’s first market manipulation cases utilizing post-Dodd Frank manipulation authority in Section 6(c)(1) of the CEA.
Prior to joining the CFTC, Mike practiced at Mayer Brown, focusing on complex commercial litigation and matters related to white collar defense and compliance and complex civil litigation, with a particular focus on clients in the financial services sector.
Mike served as law clerk to the Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Mike is a graduate of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.