The fallout from the FTX collapse took a dramatic turn as creditors launched a class-action lawsuit against Sullivan & Cromwell (S&C). They accuse the law firm of playing a role in the alleged fraud that led to the cryptocurrency exchange’s downfall. This lawsuit questions S&C’s ethics and scrutinizes the legal responsibilities in the crypto industry’s tumultuous landscape.

A Closer Look at the Allegations

Creditors claim S&C knew about and even facilitated FTX’s fraudulent activities. They allege that S&C benefitted from the company’s schemes, receiving millions in legal fees for their services. The suit accuses S&C of civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting fraud, and breaching fiduciary duties. It’s a complex web of claims that paints a troubling picture of S&C’s involvement with FTX.

The Ties That Bind

The connection between FTX and S&C is under the microscope. Ryne Miller, a former S&C partner who became FTX’s general counsel, is at the center of this controversy. Allegations suggest he played a key role in directing FTX’s legal work back to S&C, intending to return to the firm later. This close relationship has raised eyebrows and questions about conflicts of interest.

The Financial Stakes

The lawsuit highlights the significant fees S&C collected from FTX, which are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. This financial involvement is a crucial point of contention. Creditors argue that S&C’s deep financial ties to FTX compromised their ability to act independently and ethically.

Defense and Scrutiny

S&C has denied the allegations, asserting their professionalism and adherence to ethical standards. However, calls for an independent examiner from a bipartisan group of U.S. senators suggest ongoing concerns about S&C’s role in the FTX bankruptcy proceedings.

Beyond the Courtroom

This lawsuit is more than a legal battle; it’s a moment of reckoning for legal ethics in the crypto industry. It challenges the legal community to consider its role and responsibilities amidst cryptocurrency exchanges’ rapid growth and frequent controversies.


As the FTX saga unfolds, the lawsuit against S&C marks a significant chapter in the story. It raises important questions about the intersection of law, ethics, and cryptocurrency. The outcome could have far-reaching implications for legal practices in the volatile world of digital currencies.