Bitfinex and Tether Have Already Spent Over $500,000 in Legal Battle With NYAG

Samuel Haig

Steptoe and Johnson LLP and Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP, the law firms representing crypto exchange Bitfinex and stablecoin issuer Tether in their ongoing legal battle with the New York Attorney General’s (NYAG) office, have written a letter revealing that the firms have already spent over $500,000 on document procurement alone.

The letter was filed with the New York Supreme Court on July 30, urging the presiding judge, Judge Joe M. Cohen, to dismiss the case. The document states that “As the Court observed yesterday, part of the reason that the Court issued a stay pending resolution of the motion to dismiss was to prevent the Respondents from having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars responding to document requests to which they otherwise would not be required to respond.”

The letter adds that “the respondents have  already spent well over $500,000 responding to just those portions of the document demands that were carved out from the stay.”

Bitfinex and Tether Will “Appeal Expeditiously” if Motion is Dismissed

The document asserts that “the companies and their personnel use more than 10 different communications platforms – several of which are encrypted and pose substantial collection and review challenges.”

As a consequence, “the process of responding to the carve-out from the stay involved one of the largest, most complex document collection and review effort in which undersigned counsel have ever participated, involving over 60 lawyers.”

The letter also states that if the court denies Bitfinex and Tether’s motion to dismiss the case, “an appeal will be filed immediately thereafter.”

Legal Battle Waged Since April

The NYAG has been in a legal battle with Bitfinex and Tether since April, with the exchange arguing that the NYAG does not have jurisdiction in this case due to the companies’ terms of service prohibiting New York-based entities from accessing the companies’ services.

The letter was filed the day after Judge Cohen decided to continue the case, despite having expected such to settle on July 29. A new date to be set while the court considers the case for a further 90 days.