Phillips Nizer LLP | Sophisticated Legal Service | Press Release - Patrick Burke, Cybersecurity and Cryptocurrency Regulator, Joins Phillips Nizer; Launched Office of Financial Innovation for NYS Department of Financial Services
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Press Release - Patrick Burke, Cybersecurity and Cryptocurrency Regulator, Joins Phillips Nizer; Launched Office of Financial Innovation for NYS Department of Financial Services

Led state office overseeing cybersecurity and virtual currency regulations; established practitioner in global data privacy and digital investigations

New York, NY (January 15, 2019) – Patrick J. Burke has joined Phillips Nizer LLP as a partner and leader of the firm’s Data Technology & Cybersecurity Group practice in New York. Mr. Burke was the Deputy Superintendent, Office of Financial Innovation, New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”).  

Mr. Burke launched and headed DFS’ Office of Financial Innovation where he oversaw policy and examination of New York’s licensed and chartered financial institutions pursuant to DFS’s first-in-the-nation Cybersecurity regulation. Additionally, he was in charge of the licensing and supervision of virtual currency business activities under the Department’s landmark “BitLicense” cryptocurrency regulation.  His oversight of FinTech included review of licensed institutions’ uses of innovative technologies such as Blockchain and artificial intelligence.

As the first head of DFS’s Office of Financial Innovation, Mr. Burke supervised cybersecurity examinations of licensed entities pursuant to the trail-blazing 2017 Cybersecurity Regulation, which serves as a model for other states (and countries), and forms the basis for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ model cybersecurity law. The Cybersecurity Regulation’s stringent standards are applied to over 300,000 banks, insurance companies and other financial entities licensed by New York State, including credit reporting agencies such as Equifax. 

Mr. Burke also spearheaded the Department’s implementation of its Virtual Currency regulation, the only such state regulation in the nation. He supervised DFS’s issuance of “BitLicenses” and Limited Purpose Trust Charters to cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto-custody providers and other entities engaged in virtual currency business activities in New York State. Once licensed or chartered, he oversaw their supervision  and examination, requiring compliance with robust policies and procedures to address risks and applying DFS’s strong standards regarding anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, transaction monitoring, consumer and cybersecurity protections.  

His role on cryptocurrency and financial innovation entailed detailed analysis and understanding of Blockchain generally and smart contract technology in particular. During his tenure, DFS authorized Gemini Trust Company LLC and Paxos Trust Company LLC to each offer a price-stable cryptocurrency – commonly known as a “stablecoin” – pegged to the U.S. Dollar.  

Mr. Burke has long counseled clients on protection of personal data and compliance with US and global data privacy laws and regulations. He also is well known for his practice and thought leadership in digital investigations and electronic discovery.  His particular focus has been assisting global corporations in cross-border internal investigations and electronic discovery, cognizant of applicable privilege and data privacy standards.

In addition to practicing at global law firms, Mr. Burke served as in-house counsel at Guidance Software (now OpenText), maker of the leading digital investigation and cybersecurity software, EnCase.  He also served as Technology Counsel for nMatrix (now Epiq Systems), one of the earliest makers of electronic discovery processing software.  

Mr. Burke founded the Cardozo Data Law Initiative at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, where he served on the faculty and taught courses on Information Governance, and E-Discovery, Digital Evidence and Computer Forensics. 

“As the regulator in charge of oversight of New York State’s Cybersecurity and Virtual Currency regulations for much of the financial services sector, Patrick is a unique leader in the data technology and security fields,” said Marc Landis, Managing Partner of Phillips Nizer. “He has been present at the creation of the plans for how to handle the complex cybersecurity and data privacy issues plaguing companies across the globe. He has also been a leader in cryptocurrency regulation and has served as point person as the blockchain revolution has taken off. We are glad to welcome Patrick to Phillips Nizer,” Mr. Landis said.

“Phillips Nizer offers an excellent platform for my practice at this seminal moment in the trajectory of cybersecurity, data privacy, Blockchain and cryptocurrency,” said Mr. Burke. “The firm’s Data Technology & Cybersecurity Group is well-positioned to serve clients looking for top-flight practitioners. With New York City increasingly a hub for innovation in these areas, I’m excited to launch this practice at Phillips Nizer, an innovation-focused law firm.”

Mr. Burke received his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.A. from Binghamton University.

About Phillips Nizer LLP:
Phillips Nizer, founded in 1926, represents domestic and international clients in business, finance and real estate transactions, intellectual property matters, commercial litigation and tax and estate planning, with a particular focus on the entertainment, fashion, real estate and technology industries. 
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