Kari Larsen is a partner and co-head of the Willkie Digital Works practice based in the firm’s New York office. A pioneer in the digital asset industry, Kari has more than two decades of private practice, in-house and government experience advising financial technology, digital asset, crypto and blockchain clients on some of the industry’s most innovative technologies and products.
As part of her digital asset practice, Kari counsels clients on business and usage strategies, drafts and negotiates third-party agreements, advises on potential regulatory requirements, and liaises with government agencies. She regularly assists clients in their interactions with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and other state regulators. Her experience regularly includes the potential application of governmental requirements to innovative financial instruments and assisting clients in navigating often complex and overlapping regulatory regimes.
Her blockchain clients include platforms in the funds, payments and money transmitters, trading, investments, and exchange spaces. She also assists fintech and digital business clients in matters involving privacy, data security and cybersecurity, information governance, anti-money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and Know-Your-Customer, vendor management, and consumer protection.
Kari is a board member and a member of the Diversity Committee of the Futures Industry Association (FIA) and speaks regularly regarding fintech matters.
Prior to joining Willkie in 2022, Kari was a partner at Perkins Coie, where she was co-lead of the Blockchain, Digital Asset, and Custody group within its Fintech practice. She also has many years of private practice experience representing fintech clients at leading international law firms.
Kari began her career as International Operations Counsel for the Enforcement Division of the CFTC, advising on cross-border policy matters. She served as general counsel and regulatory advisor at Ledger Holding Inc./LedgerX LLC, the first U.S.-based, banked and regulated digital currency derivatives exchange and clearing organization. She also served as general counsel at Green Exchange LLC, a large environmental futures exchange.