Mr. Kirk is a corporate and investment lawyer with a broad and robust financial practice. He focuses on three key sectors of the financial industry, securities law, FinTech, and payment systems. As a securities lawyer, Mr. Kirk has represented banks, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, insurance companies, private funds, and investment advisers. Clients in each of these categories face a daunting regulatory framework, ranging from frequent regulatory disclosures to ongoing anti-money laundering compliance. Mr. Kirk draws on his experience as Senior Counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission to guide his clients through their corporate governance obligations and to navigate them through government enforcement proceedings. From fund formation to registered and exempt offerings to fund mergers and acquisitions, Mr. Kirk provides thoughtful counsel to help his clients achieve their business objectives.
Technology continues to transform the way financial institutions conduct business. As one of the founding members of the SEC’s internal working group on virtual currencies and blockchain technology, Mr. Kirk is one of a few practicing attorneys who has shaped regulatory policy on FinTech issues from inside the federal government. He is a frequent contributor to various trade publications such as The Investment Lawyer, and has been interviewed by Better Investing Magazine regarding the impact of blockchain on the mutual fund industry. Mr. Kirk negotiates master repurchase agreements and derivatives contracts, and counsels his clients on the transition of these products to smart contracts stored on the blockchain. Mr. Kirk also leverages his contacts on Capitol Hill and throughout the nation’s capital to shape policy and keep his clients positioned to take advantage of congressional and regulatory initiatives.
As a payments attorney, Mr. Kirk represents merchants, payment facilitators, money transmitters and money services businesses, as well as credit card, prepaid card, and gift card providers. Frequently, these clients face both state and federal regulatory regimes. Mr. Kirk listens to his clients, analyzes their business models, and crafts comprehensive strategies so his clients can confidently conduct business in full compliance with both state and federal regulators. In the payments space, Mr. Kirk works with clients ranging from sophisticated well known seasoned issuers to sharp energetic startups. As a securities attorney, Mr. Kirk has worked on venture capital and private equity matters, and understands how to advocate on behalf of his startup clients who are seeking capital from such investors. The overlap between Mr. Kirk’s securities, FinTech, and payments practices sets him apart in the industry. It uniquely positions him to represent clients throughout their operational life cycle and develop a deep understanding of their legal needs.
Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Kirk was at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. where he served as Counsel and Senior Counsel in the Division of Investment Management’s Chief Counsel’s Office from September 2012 to December 2015.