Crypto law firm Roche Freedman has parted ways with its embattled founding partner, Kyle Roche, following weeks of cascading controversy spurred by leaked video footage that depicted the prominent attorney bragging about spuriously suing crypto companies, using the legal process to access private data and use it to enrich both himself and blockchain company Ava Labs, one of his clients.
Roche Freedman—which will soon be renamed Freedman Normand Friedland—confirmed Thursday to Decrypt that Roche is “no longer with the firm.”
“We wish Kyle the best in his future endeavors,” a spokesperson for the firm said in a statement.
According to court filings, Roche held 19% equity in the firm, which was founded in 2019 by a group of attorneys who split from prominent law firm Boies Schiller Flexner.
Roche meanwhile, declined to comment on the matter, telling Decrypt that he “will let what’s been put out there speak for itself.”
In late August, self-proclaimed whistleblower site Crypto Leaks published videos of Roche drinking at a bar, bragging that he has “seen the insides of every single crypto company” and used that information to benefit Ava Labs, creator of the Avalanche blockchain.
Roche claimed on tape that he had a 1% ownership stake in both Ava Labs and the company’s native token, AVAX, and that he provided the company with helpful information on competitors, gleaned from lawsuits, in a “completely different way than being a lawyer.”
Roche maintained, in the leak’s aftermath, that many of the statements he made on tape were false, and “obtained through deceptive means, including a deliberate scheme to intoxicate, and then exploit me.”
Ava Labs founder and CEO Emin Gün Sirer—who Roche repeatedly referred to in the videos as a close friend and confidant—denied having any personal relationship with the attorney, and dismissed claims made by Roche in the video as “obvious nonsense” and “lies.”
Within a week of the video’s publication, Roche withdrew himself from participation in multiple Roche Freedman class action lawsuits against major crypto companies, including Tron Foundation and Binance, direct competitors of Ava Labs.
Roche Freedman, meanwhile, seemed to hope the gesture would be sufficient to allow it to remain counsel on those cases, and numerous other class action suits against prominent crypto companies.
That turned out to be wishful thinking.
Last week, a judge removed Roche Freedman from a class action suit against crypto exchange Bitfinex and stablecoin issuer Tether, calling Roche’s captured comments “uniquely stupid.” The judge further found that, due to the ensuing controversy, Roche Freedman now carried too much “metaphorical baggage” to serve as effective counsel for the suit’s plaintiffs.
According to internet domain name records, on the same day the judge removed Roche Freedman from that lawsuit, the domain freedmannormand.com was registered. It has not been activated as of this writing.
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