Ripple Labs CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, has hired a new defense attorney, Rahul Mukhi, in the ongoing XRP lawsuit. Mukhi, from the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, will specifically represent Garlinghouse, separate from Ripple Labs founder Chris Larsen. This unexpected move has raised questions about the implications it might have for both Garlinghouse and the broader crypto ecosystem. The XRP lawsuit has seen significant changes in attorney representation for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ripple Labs, and the defendants involved.
Earlier in August, two lawyers representing the SEC, Richard Best and Robert Moye, left the team, creating a representation gap that could be filled soon. Ripple has assured stakeholders that the departure of some of its lawyers will not impact its argument regarding the status of XRP. Rahul Mukhi is a renowned lawyer with expertise in complex litigation, enforcement, and investigations. As experts speculate that Garlinghouse and Larsen are unjustly sued, Mukhi’s presence on Garlinghouse’s defense team could strengthen their case.
Many in the digital currency ecosystem anticipate a dismissal of the SEC’s case against Garlinghouse and Larsen, given Judge Analisa Torres’ ruling that XRP trading on secondary marketplaces does not constitute securities. However, the outcome of the lawsuit remains uncertain. It is expected that the Ripple executives may emerge from the legal battle unscathed or with minimal civil penalties for the institutional sales part. This ruling categorized the sales as investment contracts.