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R3 reshuffles team, General Counsel departs following Ripple settlement

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Enterprise blockchain company R3 has reorganized its management team after the departure of two senior executives, Global Head of Services Brian McNulty and General Counsel Lauren Carroll, as first reported by CoinDesk. Last year Chief Revenue Officer Scott Grayson left the company and has yet to be replaced.

Occasional reallocation of responsibilities is to be expected in a growing startup. The most noteworthy aspect is the departure of General Counsel Lauren Carroll. In September last year Ripple and R3 settled their litigation over an options contract which potentially entitled R3 to up to $18.3 billion of XRP at peak cryptocurrency valuations. R3 had the right to buy 5 billion XRPs at $0.0085 at any point until September 2019. The current price is $0.2972. Hypothetically, just 10% of the five billion XRP would be worth $144.35 million to R3 today.

In June 2017 Ripple unilaterally canceled the option after claiming R3 failed to fulfill a separate contract which required R3 to promote Ripple to its partners. R3 sued Ripple.

Details of the settlement between R3 and Ripple were never announced. However, in early December 2018, R3 unveiled an open-source payments application with the first supported digital currency as XRP, the cryptocurrency associated with Ripple. One could speculate that this indicates R3 received at least some XRP.

In a statement confirming the reorganization, the company says it plans an “expansive hiring programme for 2019”. Given there has been no new funding of late and there were rumors about R3’s finances last year, this further reinforces the likelihood of R3 receiving at least part of the XRP options contract.

The general counsel’s office is now under the remit of Charley Cooper whose title is Managing Director, Business Development and Marketing. But he is also a qualified lawyer who previously worked at Kirkland & Ellis and held a legal role at Deutsche Bank.

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