From July 20-23, 2023, the South Asian Bar Association of North America hosted its annual conference, “The Next Revolution,” in Boston. SABA’s conference brought together 800 South Asian attorneys from all over the continent, including in-house counsel, government attorneys, and private practitioners.
[Palvia is second from the left at the SABA Leadership Institute Reception]
White collar defense and investigations were prominent topics of discussion on the various panels during the conference. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara moderated a panel on the prosecution of the Boston Marathon bombing with lead prosecutors George Varghese and Aloke Chakravarty. The three discussed the investigation leading to the trial of the Tsarnaev brothers, the trial, and death penalty phase.
[Bharara discussing the Boston Bombing prosecution with Chakravarty and Varghese]
Rahul Sharma, formerly at FTX and now Deputy General Counsel at Moonpay, served on a panel with Arjun Rangarajan, Manager and Senior Counsel at Apple, Nada Bseikri, Assistant General Counsel at Robinhood, Yasamin Parasafar, Partner at Sheppard Mullin and Co-Leader of the firm’s Blockchain and Fintech team, and Sumeet Chugani, General Counsel at Cloaked. They discussed cutting-edge developments in artificial intelligence, fintech, payments, and cryptocurrency, relevant to MVA’s analyses of complex regulatory and criminal liability risks these fast-developing issues are creating for our clients.
On the topic of cryptocurrency, the panel (and I) agreed that the July 13, 2023 Ripple Labs decision from Judge Torres of the Southern District of New York gave the industry a much needed win. The court denied the SEC’s motion for summary judgment in part and granted crypto company Ripple’s in part, holding that Ripple’s sale on public exchanges of the digital asset XRP was compliant with securities law and that the XRP token was not a security. Though the industry has taken a major hit over the last year, including the SEC lawsuit against Coinbase and Binance accusing them of marketing unregistered securities, this decision will have an impact across the industry on issues like scienter and whether an industry person should (or should not) have known a crypto currency could be a security. (Side note: Coinbase’s general counsel, Paul Grewal, was also at the conference.)
The civil and criminal risks and impacts of artificial intelligence, both nationally and internationally, were also hot topics, including the development of international regulations on A.I. and what federal regulation of A.I. applications might be coming. A.I. is currently regulated on the federal level through already existing laws, such as privacy, security, and anti-discrimination, but those may not be well suited to address the variety of issues A.I. creates, many of which have not yet become clear.
In addition to panels, there were many opportunities to connect with leaders in the industry. The federal government was well-represented. Anjali Chaturvedi, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in DOJ’s Criminal Division, Alamdar Hamdani, U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, and Raj Parekh, First Assistant for the Eastern District of Virginia (who were on a panel together earlier in the day) were there to participate, exchanging views and ideas over samosas and chai.
[Chaturvedi, Parekh, and Hamdani discuss their paths to DOJ]
This year’s conference was a meaningful way to connect with fellow South Asian practitioners and delve into relevant white collar and investigations topics. SABA’s annual conference next year will be held in Toronto in July 2024. For anyone interested in attending or in membership, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
About MVA White Collar Defense, Investigations, and Regulatory Advice Blog
As government authorities around the world conduct overlapping investigations and bring parallel proceedings in evolving regulatory environments, companies face challenging regulatory and criminal enforcement dynamics. We help keep our clients up to date in these fast-moving areas and to serve as a thought leader.
MVA White Collar Defense, Investigations, and Regulatory Advice Blog Updates
- Takeaways from the 2023 South Asian Bar Associate Conference
- The Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC Issue Final Guidance on Risk Management in Third-Party Relationships
- Tanisha Palvia and Alli Davidson co-author article: SCOTUS clarifies intent requirement for False Claims Act cases
- New Legal Challenge Emerges to FDIC’s Supervisory Guidance on Re-presentment and Non-Sufficient Funds Fees