Chambers & Partners, 2020 Fintech Guide
SuperLawyers Top 100 in Southern California
Brian Klein is an accomplished and renowned trial attorney who has successfully litigated nationwide. His practice focuses on high-stakes criminal and regulatory defense matters and civil litigation, and he aggressively and effectively advocates for his clients in a wide variety of state and federal forums across the country. He is a former federal prosecutor with extensive trial experience, and he is known for his superior courtroom skills.
Brian often represents successful entrepreneurs and professionals, iconoclastic companies, celebrities, and high-profile start-ups and fast growing businesses in connection with the most important legal issues facing them whether civil, regulatory, or criminal. As an example, he represents Marcus Hutchins, who is worldwide hero because he stopped the “WannaCry” ransomware attack in May 2017, in a prosecution based out of the Eastern District of Wisconsin for cybercrimes from his youth. Earlier this year Marcus pleaded guilty, and in late July, he was sentenced to no prison time, and without precedent, the district court encouraged him to seek a pardon. As another example, he represents Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, as well as their company, in connection with securities class action lawsuits involving the Tezos crowdfunding, which raised over $230 million. He also successfully defended Cesar Millan (the “Dog Whisperer”) when the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control and District Attorney’s Office investigated allegations of animal abuse tied to one of Mr. Millan’s television shows. The authorities ultimately concluded Mr. Millan did nothing wrong and did not bring any charges. Based on his accomplishments, Brian has been repeatedly recognized as a “Super Lawyer” (including for 2019 as a Top 100 lawyer overall in Southern California), and he is frequently sought ought by the media to comment on pressing legal issues.
He has extensive experience with cutting-edge technology cases, including representing entrepreneurs, companies, and early adopters in all types of criminal and regulatory defense matters (e.g., DOJ, CFTC, SEC, and state attorney generals) and civil litigation (including bankruptcy proceedings). As part of his technology practice, he chairs the American Bar Association’s blockchain, digital currency, and ICO national institute, which took place in New York City this year. He also formerly volunteered as the outside general counsel and chair of the legal advocacy committee for the Bitcoin Foundation. And he speaks about Fintech around the world, including at global law firms, major payments and technology companies, and industry conferences. Chambers has recognized Brian as “the leading cryptocurrency trial attorney in the USA.”
Brian teaches a criminal practice seminar at the USC Gould School of Law (although he is on hiatus this academic year). He is admitted to practice in the states of California, Washington, and New York and before numerous federal courts around the country (including the Central and Northern Districts of California and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York). He got his start as a litigator working in New York City for one of the nation’s most highly regarded criminal defense attorneys, Benjamin Brafman, and as a member of Skadden Arps’ white collar crime group. He graduated from New York University School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington.