Latham & Watkins LLP‘s lawyers are ‘able to opine not only on “nuts and bolts” legal issues, but also market trends and norms where legal clarity is lacking‘. The firm has built up an excellent track record on fintech transactions and their regulatory implications, where it represents a mix of established technology companies, startups, and investment funds. The transactional side ranges from IPOs and M&A, through to joint venture agreements, data protection and broker-dealer arrangements. Coupled with this is an increasingly strong track record in blockchain and cryptocurrency. Yvette Valdez jointly leads the team with fellow New York partner Stephen Wink who is praised for his ‘great experience and depth of knowledge‘. Barrie VanBrackle, a recent high profile recruit from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, ‘really understands the intersection of fintechs and banking‘. Clients also rate Mitchell Rabinowitz and Jenny Cieplak (New York) for their ‘deep expertise’. Todd Beauchamp is another well regarded partner. All partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.
Fintech in United States
Steve Wink; Yvette Valdez
Other key lawyers:
Mitchell Rabinowitz; Jenny Cieplak; Todd Beauchamp; Barrie VanBrackle
‘The attorneys in the fintech practice are extremely knowledgeable and well-connected in the space. Their breadth of visibility across the market is helpful to clients because they are able to opine not only on “nuts and bolts” legal issues but also market trends and norms where legal clarity is lacking. The FinTech & Payments Blog communicates important updates efficiently and clearly.’
‘Stephen Wink – great experience and depth of knowledge; practical and user-friendly.’
‘Latham has one of the top practices in this area, with unique experience in the bank consortium arena, combined with regulatory and technology expertise that are second to none, making for extreme effective and practical advisors.’
‘Mitchell Rabinowitz, Jenny Cieplak and Steve Wink are our main go-to partners for fintech advice. Their deep expertise, combined with their practical advice-giving and extremely quick turnaround times, are incredibly valuable to our company.’
‘The practice has deep knowledge of the fintech space and emerging trends.’
‘Barrie VanBrackle really understands the intersection of fintech and banking. We rely heavily upon her to navigate the space and creating a Service Agreement for our new FinTech platform.’
Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)
Ava Labs Inc.
Beneficial State Bank
Celsius Networks Ltd.
Cipher Mining Technologies Inc.
Evolve Bank & Trust
FIA Tech Consortium
GoldenTree Asset Management
Hippo Enterprises Inc.
Idle Labs Inc.
Jane Street Capital
LiquidityMatch / FXSpotStream
NetSpend Corporation – Global Payments
Storm King Trading
BVI Liquidators of Three Arrows Capital
- Advising Bank of America, Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo in the creation of a new joint venture, Octaura, which combines trading for loans and collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) with data and analytics provided by Moody’s Analytics, which also invested in the venture.
- Advise leading venture capital firm a16z in various regulatory matters and investments in digital asset and fintech companies, including the music NFT marketplace Royal and artist collective MusicDAO, among others.
- Representing the BVI liquidators of Three Arrows Capital—which was one of the largest crypto funds—in a multi-jurisdictional insolvency proceeding involving billions of dollars in assets. The US-based Chapter 15 proceeding was filed on July 1, 2022.
Mayer Brown‘s fintech practice is ‘extremely knowledgeable about applicable laws, regulations, and IP considerations’. The firm represents a broad mix of payment processors, banks and credit card companies including Square, PayPal, American Express and Goldman Sachs, who regularly use the firm on domestic and cross-border transactional and regulatory matters. This extends to capital markets, cybersecurity, data privacy, M&A and venture capital, as well as outsourcing and partnership agreements. Regulatory and enforcement partner Steve Kaplan and David Beam (‘extremely client-focused and has an encyclopedic knowledge of relevant laws and regulations‘) in Washington DC jointly lead the team with technology transactions head Brad Peterson. Other key partners include New York-based banking expert Amanda Baker, and Palo Alto’s Rohith George, who handles a range of transactional and licensing matters. Joe Pennell is also considered ‘a great drafter who understands what rights Fintech companies need to protect in transactions’. All partners based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.
David Beam; Steven Kaplan; Brad Peterson
Other key lawyers:
Amanda Baker; Joe Pennell; Rohith George
‘The Mayer Brown team is extremely knowledgeable about applicable laws, regulations, and IP considerations, and creative in coming up with solutions that can satisfy regulators, counterparties, traditional financial institutions, and fast-moving Fintech companies.’
‘David Beam is extremely client-focused and has an encyclopedic knowledge of relevant laws and regulations, as well as problem-solving skills to come up with creative solutions for multiple parties with different risk tolerances. Joe Pennell is a great drafter who understands what rights Fintech companies need to protect in transactions.’
American Express Company
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Bitnomial Exchange, LLC
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP‘s already strong reputation for fintech work, particularly on the technology company and investor side, was given a major boost following its takeover of the law firm Buckley, a firm which had built up an enviable reputation for representing a broad range of banks and payment providers. The combined forces now offer a comprehensive service that caters to all corners of the fintech market. Legacy Buckley partners include Christopher Witeck, who now co-leads the global strategic advisory and government enforcement unit, John Kromer, a leading consumer financial services specialist, and Clinton Rockwell in Santa Monica, who now co-lead’s the firm’s financial and fintech advisory practice. They work alongside legacy Orrick partners such as the ‘intelligent, patient, prudent‘ Josh Pollick in Santa Monica, who co-heads the global technology companies group. Other key partners include New York corporate partner Robert Moyle, crypto and blockchain specialist Joseph Perkins in Silicon Valley, and litigator David McGill. Daniel Forester in New York heads the global fintech group. All partners based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.
Other key lawyers:
Christopher Witeck; John Kromer; Clinton Rockwell; Josh Pollick; Robert Moyle; Joseph Perkins; David McGill
‘Always standing for the interest of the company.’
‘Very involved, like an extended team of our company.’
‘The team is always willing to help navigate complex and unique issues that arise in the ever-changing landscape.’
‘Josh Pollick is an intelligent, patient, prudent lawyer who is always available to provide guidance.’
Green Dot Corporation
Sagent Lending Technologies
Nomad (Illusory Systems)
- Advised fintech unicorn Deel on multiple major acquisitions and $581 million of financing.
- Advised Coatue Management on $1.44 billion of investments into various fintechs in the last 12 months.
- Advised crypto trading platform Ondo on its $20 million Series A, DAO formation and token launch, distribution and overseas public sale.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP‘ fintech practice has established itself as a leading force in the field, assisting a broad range of fintech and payments companies, financial institutions and investors. The team’s coverage is comprehensive, with advice on regulatory, compliance, IP, transactional and litigation matters. This includes crypto and blockchain, with clients such as Coinbase, Circle and the Crypto Rating Council regularly using the firm. Atlanta-based partner Chris Daniel is the founder and chair of the global fintech and payments group. Other key members include crypto and payments expert Eric Sibbitt in San Francisco, and regulatory partner Sara Weed in Washington DC. Clients also rate the ‘brilliant‘ DC-based partners Allyson Baker, Meredith Boylan and associate Mike Marusak, who focus on investigations and white collar defense work. The recently promoted San Francisco partner Molly Swartz is also well regarded. Highly experienced digital asset regulatory practitioner Dana Syracuse joined the New York office from Perkins Coie LLP in June 2023.
Other key lawyers:
Eric Sibbitt; Sara Weed; Allyson Baker; Meredith Boylan; Mike Marusak; Molly Swartz
‘This team is very well versed in their understanding of the space and the regulation. They have demonstrated that they are able to understand our business really well – which is somewhat nuanced – and make the right calls to support us in the context of the environment. They invest the time to get into the details and consistently gauge our comfort level as clients.’
‘The entire team that works with me is brilliant. They are wonderful to work with – Meredith Boylan, Mike Marusak & Alyson Baker. They are very responsive, always accessible and clearly understand our space with the level of detail that we need. (We are a fairly demanding, detail-oriented team). They have earned our trust and I would not hesitate to recommend any of them.’
Crypto Rating Council
Phantom Technologies, Inc.
- Representing MoneyGram International as its financial services regulatory counsel in its acquisition by Madison Dearborn.
- Represented Voyager, a crypto-asset broker, in investigations by the SEC and a score of state securities regulators.
- Represented Phantom Technologies, Inc. in its Series B financing round, raising $109M at a $1.2B post-money valuation.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is well regarded for its expertise at the intersection of technology and finance. The New York-based team offers a strong combination of transactional and regulatory expertise and is regularly used by major banks and fintech companies. The firm is also noted for its ‘understanding of complicated blockchain technology and how to translate this into legal advice‘. Transactional support, including capital markets and M&A is a clear sweet spot for the firm, but the lawyers are also regularly involved in high profile securities related disputes, such as its support to Dfinity in a class action securities litigation concerning its Internet Computer Project master governance tokens. On the corporate side, the firm advised Afterpay on its $29 billion takeover by Block by way of a scheme of arrangement. David Kappos leads the highly rated team, which includes corporate partner Scott Bennett, who has ‘a superb understanding of blockchain technology‘, and banking regulatory head David Portilla.
Other key lawyers:
David Portilla; Scott Bennett
‘I was very impressed with Cravath’s fintech team’s understanding of complicated blockchain technology and how to translate this into legal advice. The Cravath team actually read through our open source code in our blockchain protocol to provide legal advice. This was the first law firm that ever did this. I was amazed with the brilliance of their understanding of blockchain technology and the law.’
‘Scott Bennett – He’s the lead partner in Cravath’s blockchain practice that I deal with. Again, he has a superb understanding of blockchain technology. Our technology is one of the most complex and he is able to understand what we do. He is a brilliant lawyer who understands technology and provides sound advice for us to navigate complex US law.’
- Representing Dfinity in a purported class action securities litigation filed in California state and federal court concerning Dfinity’s Internet Computer Project (“ICP”) master governance tokens and raising whether ICP tokens qualify as securities subject to government regulation—a key issue in the cryptocurrency space.
- Represented Robinhood in litigation involving antitrust, breach of contract, securities and various other state and federal claims arising out of Robinhood’s decision to temporarily restrict trading in certain securities in the face of unprecedented market volatility.
- Represented Afterpay in its $29billion acquisition by Block, the largest public M&A deal in Australia’s history at the time.
DLA Piper LLP (US)‘s fintech practice offers clients a broad range of expertise and is noted for its ‘deep understanding of the metaverse, blockchain, cryptocurrency, securities regulations‘. The firm handles a range of issues for its fintech, payments, banking and blockchain clients, including financings, M&A, data privacy, IP, regulatory and litigation. Washington DC’s Margo Tank has ‘stand out expertise in the regulation of electronic transactions‘, and together with fellow practice co-chair Jeffrey Hare, also in DC, has ‘exceeded every expectation‘. The firm added to its Web3.0 capabilities through the recruitment of James Williams from ArentFox Schiff in Los Angeles, who is noted for his ‘deep understanding of this every-evolving industry‘. In Silicon Valley, the ‘very experienced‘ Curtis Mo is a top choice for related corporate matters, while recently promoted partner Edmund Mokhtarian is singled out for his experience in the digital assets space. In Silicon Valley, senior counsel Mark Radcliffe remains a highly experienced figure in the team.
Other key lawyers:
Jeffrey Hare; James Williams; Curtis Mo; Edmund Mokhtarian; Mark Radcliffe
‘Unmatched experience/knowledge in all relevant areas.’
‘Margo Tank – creative; open to pursuing novel theories and ideas.’
‘The team is highly experienced in digital assets. Unlike other firms that use one solution they have developed, this team constantly is aware of changes in the fast moving regulatory landscape and adjusts their proposed structure accordingly.#
‘Mark Radcliffe and Edmund Mokhtarian. Mark knows the digital assets space very well and is accessible. Edmund knows it well also, but has our corporate structure down cold and knows every detail of what we need to do and why.’
‘The team has a solid command of existing consumer finance laws and solid understanding of emerging technologies, enabling the team to provide concrete, practical advice in an area where the law is underdeveloped and where the likely regulatory path is unclear. The team is highly responsive, even for a team housed within a big law firm environment, and takes steps to understand client operations as needed to inform the team’s legal advice.’
‘Margo Tank has standout expertise in the regulation of electronic transactions. Her familiarity with the law and the regulatory advice are second to none. Her team is efficient, direct, and clear.’
‘First, the deep understanding of the metaverse, blockchain, cryptocurrency, securities regulations, etc. Second, they are easy to work with and are reactive to our needs. Third, their billing is fair.’
‘I have worked with this team for many years, on many different issues, and they always find a way to solve the problem. Whether it is a transactional matter or a regulatory matter, this practice has the expertise and knowledge to assist every time.’
- Represented Cohen & Co. Capital Markets as the PIPE offering placement agent counsel and financial adviser for 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. II, a publicly-traded SPAC, in its $1.25 billion reverse merger with Prime Blockchain Inc., a digital asset mining company.
- Represented Lendbuzz, a car financing company, on its second ABS securitization, the Lendbuzz Securitization Trust 2022-1 issuance of two classes of automobile receivables-backed notes totalling $198 million.
- Represented Affirm, a leader in point-of-sale unsecured consumer loans and the first fintech company to issue rated asset-backed securities backed by point-of-sale loans.
Fenwick & West LLP
Fenwick & West LLP is fully embedded in the technology sector and this naturally extends to a strong offering in fintech, payments and blockchain matters. The team has a deep understanding of the fintech industry’s complex legal and regulatory landscape, which provides a strong base for advising on venture capital investments, M&A, IPOs, and broader partnership and licensing agreements. Notable recent highlights include advising Coinbase on the US launch of the Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology which complies with the global Travel Rule for crypto transactions that exceed $1,000. Andrew Albertson and Ryan Straus in Seattle alongside Michael Dicke co-chair the firm’s payment systems and blockchain team. Andrew Klungness in Santa Monica is especially strong on the technology transactions side, while Bomi Lee and Michael Brown are also highly experienced in this space. All partners are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.
Andrew Albertson; Michael Dicke; Ryan Straus
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Klungness; Bomi Lee; Michael Brown
Coinbase Global, Inc.
Bolt Financial, Inc.
Pipe Technologies Inc.
NFT marketplaces including OpenSea, MagicEden, and SuperFarm
Royal Markets Inc.
- Advised Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States by trading volume, on the U.S. launch of the Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology (TRUST), a global, industry-driven solution designed to comply with a requirement known as the Travel Rule while protecting the security and privacy of customers.
- Represented Yuga Labs, the leading NFT player which launched and acquired the largest ever NFT projects (the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks respectively) in transactions supporting a massive metaverse land sale – Otherside.
- Representing TRON, one of the largest blockchain-based operating systems in the world, and its founder Justin Sun in a securities class action filed alleging defendants offered and sold billions of dollars’ worth of unregistered securities in the form of tokens.
Goodwin has a strong focus on fintech, blockchain and digital currencies, with a comprehensive offering that includes transactional, regulatory and litigation advice. Clients consider the firm ‘extremely adept at working with the fintech startup world‘ and is able to ‘distil complex regulations into tangible actions‘. This extends to the crypto space, where it has ‘the rare ability to act as the generalist corporate counsel as well as to advise on all regulatory matters‘. The firm is also seeing a growing amount of insurtech and metaverse-related work. Lead partners include Mitzi Chang who co-chairs the fintech group with Scott Joachim in Silicon Valley, and the ‘always positive and helpful‘ Mike Whalen in Washington DC. Other key partners on the digital currency and blockchain side include Grant Fondo (Silicon Valley) and Karen Ubell, who is ‘among the most experienced, thoughtful, and versatile cryptocurrency lawyers in the nation‘. DC-based counsel Juliana Gerrick is ‘consistently able to distill complex and proprietary processes‘. In Boston, Kimberly Monty Holzel holds the distinction of having previously worked at the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. All partners based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.
Mitzi Chang; Scott Joachim; Mike Whalen
Other key lawyers:
Kimberly Monty Holzel
‘Goodwin has one of the few top tier crypto practices, comprising attorneys who are excellent in their respective fields — regulatory, venture financings, etc. — and who have taken the time to understand crypto and blockchain technology and its implications on the work they do.’
‘Goodwin Proctor is extremely adept at working with the fintech startup world. They are proactive in communicating relevant regulations, able to distill complex regulations into tangible actions, able to balance the risk with the business need, and understand the need to be flexible with us as a startup.’
‘Mike Whalen is always positive and helpful in how he works with us to approach complex problems with simple solutions. He differs to the experts when needed but always seeks to gain a full picture of our business risks and his Firm’s recommendations.’
‘Goodwin is one of the few firms we work with who combine expert legal analysis with practical, pragmatic workable solutions that give proper weight to business considerations. They are a valued partner and we could not conduct our work without their help and assistance.’
‘Deep industry expertise and practical solutions. Great depth with respect to technical and regulatory requirements.’
‘This is one the top cryptocurrency practices in the nation, with the rare ability to act as the generalist corporate counsel as well as to advise on all regulatory matters.’
‘Deep crypto expertise combined with humility required by the fact that it is not a well-developed area of law. Always seeks practical solutions that make sense given the business context, unlike other legal teams that often over-engineer legal solutions. It’s a pleasure working with a very diverse team, including women at all seniority levels.’
Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)
Digital Currency Group
Paradigm Operations LP
Petal Card, Inc.
Provident Bancorp (BankProv)
- Advised a16z Crypto, Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund, in its investment into the $450 million series seed financing of Yuga Labs, which used this seed money to fund its Bored Ape Yacht Club in the metaverse.
- Advise Affirm on regulatory matters in the development of consumer financial products and services.
Morrison Foerster is noted for its ‘strength of knowledge across multiple areas,’ including technology, regulation, and business. The firm has a longstanding track record for representing major clients in the technology industry, including fintech disruptors and payments companies, who benefit from its strong cross-border capabilities. The firm’s well regarded regulatory and enforcement team includes Maria Earley, alongside practice co-chairs Crystal Kaldjob and the ‘exceptional‘ Jeremy Mandell in Washington DC. Clients also reserve ‘specific praise‘ for the team co-chair Jeffrey Silberman in New York, who has strong credentials for advising on bank and fintech partnerships, and whose ‘level of care is extraordinary and hard to find‘. Haimavathi Marlier in New York is noted for her experience in SEC enforcement proceedings, having previously been a former SEC Senior Trial Counsel, and also co-chairs the firm’s fintech and cryptocurrency task force. Of counsel Evan Minsberg has also developed a good name on the technology transactions and regulatory front.
Crystal Kaldjob; Jeremy Mandell; Jeff Silberman
Other key lawyers:
Haimavathi Marlier; Maria Earley; Evan Minsberg
‘The team at Morrison Foerster works like an extension of our team. They think critically about our legal, regulatory, and business challenges and priorities, and work quickly and creatively to solve our problems and push our business forward. We appreciate their strength of knowledge across multiple areas: technology, regulation, and business. It is clear the team truly cares about the success of our business and people, and they are willing to put in the time and effort to help us succeed.’
‘Our main partner is Jeff D. Silberman who deserves specific praise. He acts like a true member of our team. He thinks critically about our business, vision, challenges, and plans, and he works collaboratively with us to push our team forward. This level of care is extraordinary and hard to find, and we are very grateful. Combined with his level of knowledge in the industry, he has been an invaluable asset and team member.’
American Bankers Association
BHG Money (formerly Bankers Healthcare Group)
Bessemer Venture Partners
Inter-American Investment Corporation and Inter-American Development Bank)
Launch Capital LLC
- Providing regulatory and transactional support to Percapita, a mission-driven emerging company, in structuring lending and payment products and services (e.g., deposit accounts, earned wage access products and a rewards-based credit card).
- Represented NakedWines in an investigation by a task force of California District Attorneys concerning alleged violations of California’s Auto-Renewal law.
- Advised Non-fungible Technologies, Inc. (NFTech), a company that enables the financialization of non-fungible assets, commonly referred to as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, via a blockchain-enabled protocol, in the completion of its Series A financing.
The well regarded fintech team at Perkins Coie LLP is noted for its ‘practical advice in complex regulatory areas‘ such as digital assets, cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The firm’s offering extends to broader corporate, litigation and enforcement issues, with clients including a range of digital asset exchanges, payments providers, investors and blue-chip corporate brands venturing into the digital assets space. The team is led by Joseph Cutler in Seattle, who is also extremely experienced in fintech-related compliance and enforcement issues, as demonstrated by his advice to the global payments platform, Stripe. Other key individuals include James Walker in New York, for regulatory, enforcement and investigations, and Dax Hansen in Seattle, for blockchain and FT-related technology transactions. Dana Syracuse left the firm in June 2023.
Other key lawyers:
James Walker; Dax Hansen
‘The Perkins team offers practical advice in complex regulatory areas. Most of my work with them involves digital asset regulation. In areas where the law is not clear, they will say that without driving up fees with research that adds no benefit. They have saved some companies I know from wasting time and money.’
Inworld AI/Theai, Inc.
Aingel Corp. dba Tribal Credit
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP provides its fintech clients with ‘deep domain expertise‘ and ‘highly pragmatic deal skills‘. The multi-faceted team’s ‘effective and efficient‘ service levels also attract praise, with lawyers always delivering in ‘a very timely manner, and their level of response time to any and all communication is unmatched‘. The firm has invested heavily into the practice in recent years, and in 2022 it enhanced its crypto offering through the recruitment from Perkins Coie LLP of Kari Larsen who now co-heads the digital works team with regulatory expert Christopher Giancarlo, a former chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as Washington DC-based regulatory partner Justin Browder and DC-based litigation partner A. Kristina Littman, another arrival who previously served as Chief of the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit at the SEC. Other key individuals include Georgia Bullitt (‘the best of the best‘), who co-chairs the firm’s financial institutions and regulatory practice group. Private equity co-chair Jeffrey Poss is also noted for his ‘fantastic and knowledgeable team‘. All lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.
Jeffrey Poss; Justin Browder; Christopher Giancarlo; Kari Larsen; A. Kristina Littman
Other key lawyers:
‘WFG is about the people. What a fantastic and knowledgeable team that knows the industry and knows us.’
‘Deep domain expertise; Highly pragmatic deal skills; Great sense of what’s important and what’s not.’
‘Their strength is in the size and breadth of their expertise and teams. This provides clients like myself with extremely reliable services that are effective and efficient. They always deliver in a very timely manner and their level of response time to any and all communication is unmatched.’
‘Georgia Bullitt — The best of the best.’
Aquiline Capital Partners
Special Committee of Blockcap
Franklin Resources, Inc.
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS)
The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)
Orion Advisor Solutions
Professional Datasolutions, Inc. (PDI)
Ripple Labs Inc.
Capital One, N.A. – United Income
Virtual Currency Association
Ballard Spahr LLP has ‘a wealth of knowledge and experience in various areas across licensing, regulations, arbitration, litigation and privacy protection, making them a special one-stop shop for fintech companies‘. The firm has long had a strong focus on the fintech and payments industry, assisting a range of start-ups, banks and investors on the full range of issues. Ronald Vaske in Minnesota jointly leads the team with Lisa Lanham in Philadelphia, who joined in 2022 from Alston & Bird LLP alongside of counsel, Rinaldo Martinez. Other key individuals include John Socknat in Philadelphia, who co-heads the firm’s consumer financial services group, and New York litigator Marjorie Peerce who is ‘an asset on any team‘.
Ronald Vaske; Lisa Lanham
Other key lawyers:
Marjorie Peerce; John Socknat; Rinaldo Martinez
‘The team was very knowledgeable with the law, very tech savvy, and remained in good communication.’
‘Marjorie Pearce’s knowledge of the practice area and her respect in the community make her an asset on any team.’
‘The Ballard team has a wealth of knowledge and experience in various areas across licensing, regulations, arbitration, litigation and privacy protection, making them a special one-stop shop for fintech companies. They are very good listeners and really try to understand each client and each individual case. The collaboration is great – we can always find the right specialist quickly through our main point of contact.’
‘Lisa Lanham is the best licensing lawyer I have worked with – super capable, energetic, responsive and empathetic. She has a true passion in helping underserved Americans by working with innovative companies like us.’
‘Rinaldo Martinez is very well versed in regulatory issues and takes a practical approach. It’s always pleasant to work with him.’
Continental Finance Company
Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi)
Fifth Third Bank
First PREMIER Bank
South State Bank
First Electronic Bank
Marlin Mortgage Capital, LLC and Sailfish Servicing, LLC (Affiliated Entities)
Yellowstone Capital Partners
First Electronic Bank
Clifford Chance has an experienced team that builds upon the firm’s market leading edge in global financial services. The firm represents a broad range of major banking institutions, insurers and fintech companies, and is also taking on an increasing number of mandates in cryptocurrencies, blockchain and digital assets. The comprehensive service includes transactional, regulatory and contentious support on domestic and cross-border matters. The firm has recently been involved in several matters linked to the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) movement, and also assisted a crypto exchange on financings backed by Bitcoin. Washington DC-based regulatory partner Steven Gatti heads the team, which also includes fellow DC partner Megan Gordon, who assists with regulatory, compliance and internal investigations. New York partner Clifford Cone and Jason Myers respectively handle related investment funds and corporate finance matters.
Steven Gatti; Megan Gordon
Other key lawyers:
Clifford Cone; Jason Myers
HQLAx S.à r.l.
Cormint Data Systems Inc
Fidelity National Information Services (FIS)
- Advised a cryptocurrency exchange with a unique trading architecture that incorporates concepts from the “Decentralized Finance” or “DeFi” movement and is one of the first of its kind.
- Advising an international crypto exchange on multiple financings backed by Bitcoin, including a $75million U.S. dollar term loan secured by Bitcoin with Galaxy Digital as lender.
- Advised a prominent asset manager on the structuring, organization, presentation to investors, and launch of two actively managed private funds in the web3 and virtual currency sector with innovative yield-generation strategies, including involvement in the nascent “Decentralized Finance” or “DeFi” sector.
Cooley LLP has a well regarded cross-practice fintech and financial services regulatory group that represents an impressive spread of startup and established technology providers, as well as financial services and payments companies. The firm, which is already deeply embedded in the technology sector, has invested heavily into the regulatory and enforcement side of the practice, notably with the 2022 recruitment of financial services enforcement group chair Michelle Rogers from Buckley, and fellow partners Katherine Katz, and in Chicago, Joshua Kotin. Regulatory partners Obrea Poindexter and Sean Ruff co-chair the team, which also includes corporate partner Derek Colla, and San Francisco’s Peter Werner, who co-chairs the firm’s global emerging companies and venture capital practice group. All lawyers in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.
Obrea Poindexter; Sean Ruff
Other key lawyers:
Michelle Rogers; Katherine Katz; Joshua Kotin; Derek Colla; Peter Werner
American Advisors Group
Compass Mortgage, Inc.
Aurora Financial Group
Zillow Home Loans, LLC
Cardinal Financial Company
- Advised Pie Insurance, an insurtech company focused on providing workers’ compensation insurance for small businesses, on its $315 million Series D financing round, which brings the company’s total equity funding raised to more than $615 million.
- Advised Truebill, a personal finance app that helps consumers manage their financial lives, on its agreement to sell to tech-driven real estate, mortgage and financial services business platform Rocket Companies for $1.275 billion.
- Advised NerdWallet, a personal finance website and app, on its $150.1 million initial public offering of 8,337,500 shares of Class A common stock, which now trade on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol NRDS.
Dechert LLP has made good headway into the market with a combination of expertise in cryptocurrencies and digital assets, and traditional finance products. The firm has developed a good niche in related investment fund work, with clients such as Franklin Templeton instructing the team to assist with the launch of its tokenized money market fund. Lead partners include Timothy Spangler in Los Angeles, who works at the crossover between fintech and alternative investment management. Respectively based in San Francisco and Washington DC, Mark Perlow and Susan Grafton are highly experienced in regulatory matters, while Karen Neuman (Washington DC) and Brenda Sharton (Boston) are lead contacts for data privacy and cybersecurity. The firm also recruited New York partner Jay Southgate from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, who has a strong focus on consumer lending and fintech.
Mark Perlow; Timothy Spangler
Other key lawyers:
Susan Grafton; Karen Neuman; Brenda Sharton; Jay Southgate
Amun 21 Shares
Fasanara Capital, Ltd.
NYDIG / University of Pennsylvania
Stoa USA, Inc.
- Advised Franklin Templeton in connection with its registration with the SEC and membership in FINRA of a broker-dealer and alternative trading system (ATS) to engage in transactions in digital securities.
- Advising the fintech company Pagaya on its listing on Nasdaq in June 2022.
- Advised CollectiveLiquidity, the first wealth management tech platform for unicorn shareholders, on the launch of its innovative liquidity and risk management platform based on the established operational elements and tax efficiencies of exchange funds.
Dentons has developed strong credentials for domestic and cross-border fintech work where it represents a mix of startups, growth companies, banks and financial services companies. The cross-practice group has lawyers on hand to handle a wide range of matters, including corporate finance, IP, regulatory and litigation. The firm is also increasingly active in the crypto space and has a dedicated blockchain, digital assets and cryptocurrency team. Key partners include New York-based Victor Boyajian, who leads the firm’s global venture technology practice, and is particularly experienced advising startups. Washington DC partner John Holahan and Matthew Yoon in New York are both active on the blockchain and regulatory front. In Washington DC, Allison Bender leads the privacy and cybersecurity side of the practice, while New York disputes partner Douglas Henkin co-chairs the firm’s global financial institutions sector group.
Matthew Yoon; John Holahan; Victor Boyajian
Other key lawyers:
Allison Bender; Douglas Henkin
Eversheds Sutherland‘s experienced fintech practice has a strong focus on regulatory and transactional work. Clients include major payment solutions providers, banks, digital commerce and credit card processing companies. Recent activity included advice on electronic payments and digital wallets, as well as support on the launch of joint venture and strategic partnership agreements, and cloud-based technology platforms. The cross-practice group also includes lawyers such as Washington DC’s Michael Bahar, who co-heads the global cybersecurity and data privacy team. Robert Pile leads the team from Atlanta, where corporate partners Brian Murphy and David Phillips are also based. In the New York office, other key partners include Brian Barrett for transactional, regulatory and compliance issues, John Pruitt for insurtech, and Sarah Paul, who heads the corporate crime and investigations practice and has strong experience in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Other key lawyers:
Brian Barrett; John Pruitt; Brian Murphy; Sarah Paul; Michael Bahar; David Phillip
Fiserv (including First Data Corporation)
- Represented Fiserv Inc. on a number of matters, including its acquisition of Spend Labs, a business that offers a cloud-based, omnichannel digital and mobile-first service for commercial and small business cards.
- Represented FLEETCOR Technologies in its strategic investment in Motorq, a leading connected-car data and analytics company.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has a multi-faceted practice with strong credentials for representing banks, financial services and wealth management companies, while also doing an increasing amount of work for emerging and established fintech companies. The team’s capabilities cover the full spread of related issues, from compliance, regulatory, cybersecurity and data privacy matters, through to corporate financings, M&A, outsourcing and partnership agreements. The team is led by Erin Fonté, who co-chairs the financial institutions, corporate and regulatory practice from Austin. Another key partner is New York’s Lisa Sotto, global head of the firm’s privacy and cybersecurity practice. The firm is making a push into the blockchain and distributed ledger space, with Washington DC partner Scott Kimpel a lead contact. The Dallas office hosts several top partners, including Peter Weinstock, who is active on the financial institutions side, and Jarrett Hale, who co-chairs the firm’s financial services litigation and compliance group.
Other key lawyers:
Lisa Sotto; Peter Weinstock; Jarrett Hale; Scott Kimpel;
Capital Plus Financial, LLC
Cross River Bank and CRB Group, Inc.
FNZ (UK) Ltd. And FNZ Trust Company, LLC
Robinhood Markets, Inc.
Velocity Commercial Capital
Verisk Analytics, Inc.
Lend Street Financial
Rakuten Bank America
Yardi Systems Inc.
- Representing Quontic Bank, the first bank to establish full-service banking in Metaverse (launched on May 17, 2022) and also the first bank to launch a wear-able payment ring.
- Advising Cross River Bank on a wide range of regulatory and compliance matters, including with the FDIC.
- Advising Sutton Bank, a leading platform bank that banks 11 fintech “unicorns” companies, on BSA/AML compliance, risk management, corporate governance, regulatory relations, fintech partnership agreements and new fintech product design and rollout.
K&L Gates fields a strong spread of regulatory and transactional lawyers with deep expertise in fintech matters. The client base includes an array of start-ups and emerging growth companies, payments and e-commerce companies, banks, software developers and investors. The firm also acts for wealth management and robo-advisors and an increasing number of players in the crypto, digital assets and blockchain space. Recently the firm has been involved in several high value financing rounds for both start-ups and investors, as well as advising clients on product launches, and day-to-day regulatory and compliance matters. Lead partners include Judith Rinearson who divides her time between London and New York, and corporate partner Rick Giovanelli in Charlotte. Washington DC’s Jennifer Crowder and Linda Odom are respectively strong on regulatory and licensing matters, while Andrew Hinkes in Miami has developed a good name in digital assets and blockchain.
Judith Rinearson; Rick Giovannelli
Other key lawyers:
Jennifer Crowder; Linda Odom; Andrew Hinkes
Fintag Holdings, Inc.
Goldman Sachs & Co
Global Innovations Bank
DelTec Bank and Trust Limited (“DelTec”)
Foris Dax, d/b/a Crypto.com
Global Cryptocurrency brokerage
Independent Trustees of WisdomTree Digital Trust
- Advising DelTec on a range of deal, regulatory, and compliance services, especially with respect to its US clientele.
- Advising a fintech infrastructure provider regulatory guidance and advice in a range of areas, including money transmitter licensing, AML compliance and trust company compliance advice and services.
- Assisting Foris Dax, or Crypto.com, on a range of deals, sponsorships, contractual, licensing and regulatory compliance issues.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP offers its fintech clients strong cross-practice support at both the domestic and cross-border level. This is reflected in the broad spectrum of clients it represents, including major financial institutions, private equity and VC investors, funds, technology companies and exchanges. Regulatory and compliance advice is a core area of focus, in addition to broader corporate finance, M&A, outsourcing, IP, data privacy, blockchain, cryptocurrencies and digital payments. Key partners within the team include Andrew Ray (Washington DC) and John Filippone (Los Angeles) for corporate matters, Christine Lombardo (Philadelphia) on the regulatory and investment management side, and Cory Barry (Washington DC) for structured finance. DC-based partner Robin Nunn is one of the firm’s leading banking litigators.
Andrew Ray; John Filippone; Christine Lombardo; Cory Barry
Other key lawyers:
E*Trade Group, Inc.
Trading Screen, Inc.
Upstart Network, Inc.
Pie Insurance Holdings
SpotOn Transact, LLC
College Avenue Student Loans
- Advised CapitalG in the $700 million Series B financing of Digital Currency Group, the parent company of several businesses in the crypto space.
- Advised Third Point Ventures in the $450 million Series D financing of ConsenSys, a developer of a blockchain technology-based platform designed to assist enterprises to launch more powerful financial infrastructure.
- Advised CompoSecure Holdings, a pioneer and category leader in premium payment cards and an emergent provider of cryptocurrency and digital asset storage and security solutions, in its merger agreement with Roman DBDR Acquisition Corp.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP has a comprehensive US fintech practice that integrates well with the firm’s broader international network. The corporate and transactional lawyers regularly advise on domestic and cross-border matters, including M&A, licensing and development agreements, joint ventures and outsourcing deals. The firm attracts a wide range of clients, including investors and technology companies operating in the blockchain and digital assets space. Corporate partner Herb Kozlov leads the team, with strong support from IP transactional specialist, Peter Emmi. The corporate finance side is also well served by Ramsey Hanna in Los Angeles, while the regulatory offering was boosted by the recruitment of San Francisco-based partner Jennifer Lee from ArentFox Schiff. Lawyers based in New York unless otherwise stated.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Emmi; Ramsey Hanna; Jennifer Lee
Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Sullivan & Worcester LLP has developed a good reputation for its advice to the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, within which it represents an extremely broad range of clients including government entities, cryptocurrencies and start-ups. The firm marries a strong offering in technology, finance and regulation to help with product launches, acquisitions and financings. Corporate partner Natalie Lederman co-chairs the team with Joel Telpner, an ‘expert in digital assets and blockchain technology‘. Other key individuals include emerging companies and venture capital head, Scott Kaufman, and Boston-based M&A head Benjamin Armour. Boston partner Douglas Stransky has good credentials for related tax matters. All lawyers based in New York unless otherwise stated.
Joel Telpner; Natalie Lederman
Other key lawyers:
Scott Kaufman; Benjamin Armour; Douglas Stransky
‘Joel Telpner is an expert in digital assets and blockchain technology. Joel has been a legal resource to me for many years. He has earned a reputation in the industry as a thought leader in this area of law.’
‘Joel Telpner has deep expertise in an area of law (digital assets) that is largely not well understood or developed. Typically, when I ask him a question, he already knows the answer and does not have to research — saving my firm time and money. He has been operating in this industry for many years and has experience that very few lawyers have today. The is due to his foresight to learn about this space early when many discredited it.’
Inspiration is Everything, Inc., dba Music.com
Virtual Media Group USA, LLC
- Providing regulatory guidance to Music.com, which is developing a platform for issuing and trading Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that will initially be developed by musicians and bands for their fans and others in the music ecosystem.
White & Case LLP has an experienced fintech team which represents a mix of financial institutions, corporations and technology companies. This includes support to banks and payments companies on transactional and licensing matters, as well as advising fintechs on bank charters and partnerships. The corporate finance side advises on M&A, SPAC mergers, and other forms of equity and debt listings. Another core focus is digital assets and cryptocurrency, both in terms of new ventures such as major corporates moving into NFTs, but also insolvency work. Washington DC-based practice head Prat Vallabhaneni and his team are considered ‘unique by their expertise on the subject (particularly in themes related to crypto/DLT), and have a hands-on and practical approach that are key to clients‘. Financial services regulatory head Douglas Landy and fintech transactions partner Burr Eckstut (both New York) are also key team members.
Other key lawyers:
Douglas Landy; Burr Eckstut
‘Prat Vallhabhaneni and his team are unique by their expertise on the subject (particularly in themes related to crypto/DLT), and have a hands on and practical approach that are key to clients. It is our preferred for crypto matters and have never disappointed us.’
‘Prat Vallhabhaneni is a skillful lawyer, that has a balanced regulatory and transactional view of the matters. His previous role as a FIDC attorney and an investment banker provide for an interesting mix of expertise, and puts him in a great position to give the best possible advice.’
Meta, WhatsApp, Instagram, Novi, and affiliates
Ministry of Finance of the Republic of El Salvador
VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings
The Provident Bank (BankProv)
Allen & Overy LLP has made strong inroads into the US fintech market with several highly astute senior level recruits in the past few years. Lead partners such as technology transactions specialist Adam Chernichaw have created a team that works ‘seamlessly’ with clients. Legacy clients also appreciate the ‘consistency of team members‘ with ‘the same people working on our matters year after year‘. The practice offers a strong combination of regulatory, finance, and technology support, with complimentary services in IP licensing. Key team members include Dario de Martino, who co-leads the firm’s global blockchain and fintech group, Washington DC regulatory partner Barbara Stettner, and San Francisco-based IP and technology partner, Alex Touma. Lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.
Dario de Martino; Barbara Stettner; Alex Touma; Adam Chernichaw
‘Consistency of team members – we have the same people working on our matters year after year, so they know our standards very well.’
‘Adam Chernichaw has created a team that works with our in-house group seamlessly. We work as one. He also addresses our questions immediately – making us feel like we an important client. We can always rely on him for sound advice and immediate assistance.’
Novi Financial Inc. (Meta Financial Inc.)
Meta Platforms, Inc. and its affiliates (Instagram and Whatsapp)
Lumina Red Inc.
Cove Lane Partners
Ontop Holdings, Inc.
Arnold & Porter represents a mix of investment funds, banks, fintech companies and strategic investors. Cryptocurrency and digital assets-related work is a growing area of focus, and the firm recently represented Inter-American Development Bank on its two-year $10 million blockchain-based bond issue. On the startup and venture capital front, it advised Revolution Ventures as an investor in the $125m Series E financing of Policygenius, an online insurance marketplace. Financial services chair David Freeman leads the team, which includes regulatory expert Christopher Allen (both Washington DC), who has a strong track record on investigations and compliance. New York partners Lawton Camp and Michael Penney are both active on the corporate finance side.
Other key lawyers:
Christopher Allen; Lawton Camp; Michael Penney
New York Community Bancorp.
Walker & Dunlop
International Development Bank
Merchant E-Solutions, Inc.
- Advising Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on its issuance of a two-year $10 million blockchain-based bond.
- Advising Merchant e-Solutions, a leading payments and commerce solutions provider, in its sale to Integrum Holdings, a private investment firm, in a transaction valued at $290 million.
- Advising Walker & Dunlop in its $290 million acquisition of GeoPhy BV, a leading commercial real estate technology company.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is an especially strong choice for fintech clients seeking regulatory, litigation and enforcement support. In recent years, these strengths have applied well to the cryptocurrency, digital assets and blockchain space, with clients such as Coinbase and Brad Garlinghouse (CEO of Ripple) turning to the firm. Washington DC-based fintech head Derek Bush is ‘deeply insightful, accessible, and practical in his advice’, while New York-based digital assets head Hugh Conroy is especially experienced on regulatory matters. Matthew Solomon (Washington DC) is a top choice for related securities enforcement and litigation, while New York regulatory counsel Brandon Hammer is ‘an expert in his field‘.
Derek Bush; Hugh Conroy
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Solomon; Brandon Hammer
‘The expertise of each individual team member is apparent, and there is no ego when deferring to others for any particular topic. We have found multiple touchpoints due to the flexibility and willingness of the team to connect dots. Collaboration is a massive benefit that results from this.’
‘Brandon Hammer has proven to be a leader and expert in his field, and has provided invaluable advice and guidance for our Firm in a number of areas. His ability to offer insightful, content heavy answers is a distinction that instills our trust in his area.’
‘Cleary’s banking and financial institutions practice is unparalleled in its expertise, insight and connections with US regulators, and ability to give practical advice informed by decades of deep industry insight.’
Bank of America
Custodia Bank (formerly Avanti Financial Group)
Gemini Trust Company, LLC
GMO-Z.com Trust Company
Goldman, Sachs & Co. LLC
Paxos Trust Company (formerly itBit),
Polychain Capital, Inc.
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple
- Representing Coinbase in connection with a memorandum to its customers examining whether digital assets they custody would be “bankruptcy remote” along with memoranda related to recent disclosure and retail agreements.
- Representing Brad Garlinghouse—CEO of multibillion dollar Fintech company, Ripple—in connection with an SEC investigation of the company, and in an enforcement action brought by the SEC related to the sales of the digital asset XRP, which the SEC alleges were sales of unregistered securities.
- Representing Gemini Trust, a major stablecoin issuer and digital asset custodian, in connection with a range of commercial and regulatory matters.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP has a wide-ranging fintech and digital assets group with expertise across a broad mix of products including cryptocurrencies, blockchain, third-party payment systems, mobile payments and online lending. The team’s legal strengths are equally diverse, including advice on corporate finance, shared service agreements, regulatory, litigation, cybersecurity and IP. Corporate and regulatory partner Barbara Jones (Los Angeles) jointly leads the US team with corporate partner David Greenberg in New York. In Washington DC, Benjamin Saul has developed a good reputation for financial regulatory and compliance work, while the ‘exceptional‘ Will Turner in New York is especially active in blockchain transactions and token offerings.
David Greenberg; Barbara Jones
Other key lawyers:
Benjamin Saul; Will Turner
‘Our point person is Will Turner, but he has access to a deep bench of experts who help him respond to questions in numerous different areas.’
‘Will Turner is exceptional. He has a breadth and depth of knowledge that is unparalleled. We rely on him to help with us all manner of diverse and often strange problems and he is always helpful.’
Lendable Operations Ltd./Zendable, Inc.
Veritable Data Solutions, Inc.
Capital Com LTD and Currency Com LTD
Tassat Group Inc.
Broadridge Financial Services
Spring Labs, Inc.
SYNQA Pte. Ltd.
SuperTree Co., Ltd./PlayDapp
- Advised LeapFinance, a fintech education lender focused on facilitating loans to Indian, South Asian and MENA nationals studying in the US, in standing up its US operations.
- Representing Paysafe Group in its acquisition of SafetyPay, a payments platform operating primarily in Latin America and focusing on eCommerce transactions via open banking and eCash.
- Primary provider of intellectual property services for Broadridge Financial Services, a provider of trade-processing technology.
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has a ‘diverse, experienced, strategically recruited‘ team of lawyers with a ‘deep knowledge of their field and industry‘. The firm advises on the full range of transactional, business consulting, litigation, regulatory compliance and enforcement matters. The client base encompasses major banks and financial institutions, and also emerging and startup technology companies. This includes support on new technologies, such as advising Centrifuge in launching its fully decentralized Tinlake financing protocol that operates across different blockchains. Practice head Brian Korn is highly rated for investment structuring and compliance work. Chicago’s Bryan Schneider is noted for his regulatory and enforcement expertise. Clients also rate the ‘honest, available, and responsive‘ Los Angeles-based regulatory partner, Scott Pearson.
Brian Korn; Scott Pearson
Other key lawyers:
‘Innovation and creativity, deep knowledge of their field and industry’
‘Diverse, experienced, strategically recruited. You feel like you’re their highest priority.’
‘I have never felt like the attorneys have competing priorities or other clients. They are white-glove professionals from the newest associate to the equity partners. Couldn’t praise them enough.’
‘There is a practicality to their advice. Rather than the typical “it depends”, they understand the law and know enough about our business practices to be able to make directed recommendations. That is hugely appreciated and very helpful.’
‘Scott Pearson – he is honest, available, and responsive. He also understands the law and knows enough about our business practices to be able to make directed recommendations. That is hugely appreciated and very helpful.’
Central Pacific Bank
Cross River Bank
Pier Asset Management
Silicon Valley Bank
Small Business Finance Association
- Advised Centrifuge, an open, decentralized platform to connect the global financial supply chain, in the launch of its Tinlake protocol, a fully decentralized financing protocol that interoperates with different blockchains and allows users access to a variety of funding sources.
- Representing YieldStreet, an online platform that offers investors access to alternative investments, in multiple offerings of specialty finance products including investment funds, fund of funds, and private equity and structured note conduits.
- Defending Cross River Bank and its affiliates in two separate Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)-related putative class actions.
McGuireWoods LLP has a well regarded fintech team that covers many corners of the industry. This includes consumer and business lenders, payment processors, data aggregators, crypto and blockchain technologies and alternative finance. The lawyers advise on the regulatory and transactional aspects of new product launches and partnership agreements, as well as broader corporate M&A and financings. Compliance, litigation, investigations and regulatory advice also feature heavily on the agenda. The team co-chaired by Charlotte-based technology and securities partner, Rakesh Gopalan , who has good experience in capital markets and outsourcing deals, and litigator, Molly White , in Los Angeles, who is a former SEC prosecutor. Sarah Zielinski in Chicago is experienced in class action disputes and compliance matters.
Rakesh Gopalan; Molly White
Other key lawyers:
The Brink’s Company
Marquis Software Solutions
- Advised Simpler Trading, a leading platform offering interactive online education for individual traders and investors, in connection with a majority investment from private equity firm ZMC to accelerate Simpler Trading’s growth and expand key technology and offerings.
- Represented Konfio, a Mexico-based leading provider of digital banking, payments and software tools designed for small and mid-size businesses, in connection with an $80 million secured loan from Community Investment Management, an institutional impact investment management firm.
- Represented a national publicly traded retailer in connection with its multimillion-dollar renewal and expansion of its point-of-sale system on the Oracle technology platform.
Norton Rose Fulbright has ‘excellent depth,‘ offering lawyers and clients a ‘one-stop shop‘ with ‘access to resources across a wide range of specialties and geographies‘. The lawyers have strong expertise across banking, insurtech, payments, and increasingly digital assets and blockchain, and provide a full range of services, from corporate and M&A through to compliance, cybersecurity and disputes work. The growing digital assets practice is increasingly advising clients on centralized and decentralized exchanges, tokenization and crypto derivatives. New York regulatory and disputes partner Stephen Aschettino leads the team, whereas Dallas-based litigation partner Ronald David Smith is a leading figure in the firm’s global distributed ledger and blockchain practice group. New York senior counsel Santo Manna is praised for his ‘unparalleled understanding of the needs of technology companies‘.
Other key lawyers:
Ronald David Smith; Santo Manna
‘The firm has excellent depth, so that our relationship lawyer Santo Manna has access to resources across a wide range of specialties and geographies. This is helpful as much of our use of external lawyers is for specialist knowledge, so Norton Rose’s ability to offer a one-stop shop is useful.’
‘Santo Manna has an unparalleled understanding of the needs of technology companies, simply because he has spent so much time working within them. He knows our company and our approach to legal issues intimately and has excellent instincts for issues of relevance to us. His broader knowledge of the industry is also extremely helpful.’
Broadridge Financial Solutions
BUD Financial Ltd.
FISPAN Services, Inc.
Ford Motor Credit
O’Neil Global Advisors
Priority Payment Systems Local Holdings
Ropes & Gray LLP is particularly active in fintech-related corporate M&A and private equity, with lawyers acting on a regular flow of high profile deals. In addition to banking and payments-related fintech businesses, the firm is also increasingly involved in transactions in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, where a team led by San Francisco-based Melissa Bender is assisting on digital asset launches, fund formations, web3 technologies, and related regulatory and enforcement work. This can be seen through some of the clients the team represents, with traditional funds increasing their involvement, such as Bain Capital Crypto. Other key partners include TMT co-heads Edward Black (Boston), Andrew Thomases (Silicon Valley), and Los Angeles-based litigation and enforcement partner Amy Jane Longo, who joined in 2022 from the SEC.
Edward Black; Andrew Thomases; Melissa Bender
Other key lawyers:
Amy Jane Longo
Accolade Capital Management
Bain Capital Crypto
BlueYard Capital Crypto
Boston Children’s Hospital
The Decentralized Code Network (Deconet)
Menai Financial Group
Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO)
Robert Moses’ Kin
Runa Digital Assets
- Advised Bain Capital Crypto in the launch of its $560 Million Crypto Fund, the private equity firm’s first crypto currency fund.
- Represented BlueYard in multiple investments including, Braneframe, Subconscious, Cowri Labs, Tephra, among others.
- Advised ProShares, a premiere provider of ETFs, in connection with sponsoring the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), the first ever bitcoin futures ETF to be approved and commence trading.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP represents an impressive mix of fintech sector leaders who benefit form the firm’s cross-practice capabilities, which include regulation and enforcement, technology transactions and corporate/M&A. The firm’s client base encompasses established fintech players such as Binance, Coinbase, and eToro, in addition to leading banks, including Citigroup and JP Morgan, as well as fintech investors such as Baupost Group and Valar. The firm also finds space for new market entrants, with Coinzoom and Pagaya being recent examples. A notable highlight was advising Betterment on its acquisition of Argonaut Asset Management, a manager of cryptocurrency portfolios. The practice is led out of New York by M&A co-head Jeffrey Brill, IP and technology co-head Stuart Levi, and financial services co-head Sven Mickisch.
Jeffrey Brill; Stuart Levi; Sven Mickisch
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP stands out for its strong regulatory expertise, which it has leveraged to good effect for clients operating in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. Notable strengths include advice on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, as well as economic sanctions and broader compliance, investigations and enforcement proceedings. The firm’s industry connections are reflected by its leadership of the Blockchain Alliance, which was created for the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coin Center. Recent highlights include successfully representing iFinex and Tether through investigations by the New York Attorney General’s Office and the CFTC. The Washington DC-based team is led by Alan Cohn and Jason Weinstein, who respectively handle regulatory and white-collar crime matters. Coy Garrison, recently recruited from the SEC, is also singled out for praise.
Alan Cohn; Jason Weinstein
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is extremely knowledgeable, proactive, practical and well-connected within the blockchain ecosystem, from regulators, to projects to investors, attributing to their proven track record of deals and advisory work.’
‘Mr. Coy Garrison, our relationship partner, coming from US SEC regulator background with exceptional understanding of the regulator side and client side of blockchain industry, stood out from his peers because he is spot on every time in delivering value-added, practical legal solution striking the perfect balance between regulatory/ business risks and cutting edge innovation.’
- Representing iFinex and Tether in connection with investigations relating to Bitfinex and/or Tether by multiple enforcement agencies, including the New York Attorney General’s Office and the CFTC.
WilmerHale is praised for bringing ‘deep industry experience from traditional financial services and the securities and futures sectors across a range of issues’, which combined with the firm’s deep bench strength, ‘puts it in a position to advise on cutting edge legal issues related to fintech, blockchain and crypto’. The well regarded group embraces a broad mix of disciplines, including regulatory and government affairs, technology transactions, securities and financial services, IP and litigation. The practice is jointly led by corporate partner Robert Finkel in New York and financial regulatory partner Franca Harris Gutierrez in Washington DC. New York partner Tiffany Smith is also singled out for her ‘critical advice on cutting edge issues that often have no clear answer or even legal basis‘.
Rob Finkel; Franca Harris Gutierrez
Other key lawyers:
‘Depth of knowledge and experience makes this team unique compared to competitors. WilmerHale’s team brings deep industry experience from traditional financial services and the securities and futures sectors across a range of issues – regulatory advising, product advising, enforcement/defense, transactional, etc.’
‘The depth of WilmerHale’s bench truly distinguishes it from its competitors and, more importantly, puts it in a position to advise on cutting edge legal issues related to fintech, blockchain and crypto. These factors are critically important to my company.’
‘Across all ranks, WilmerHale attorneys provide thoughtful, actionable advice in a timely manner regardless of whether a particular matter is a routine regulatory matter or a bet the company enforcement case. When more in depth analysis is required, such as a brief, white paper or similar deliverable, the firm produces an extremely polished, well researched work product.’
‘Tiffany Smith really leads the way for the firm’s fintech practice and consistently provides critical advice on cutting edge issues that often have no clear answer or even legal basis (when it comes to emerging crypto and blockchain issues). Her advice spans the range of the firm’s fintech practice, from transactional issues to registrations to enforcement to policy developments, and is my go to for any pressing matters.’
Robinhood Financial, LLC
Stash Financial, Inc.
Kindur Services, Inc. (dba Silvur)
Earnest (subsidiary of Navient)
- Represented eBX LLC (dba LeveL ATS) in its merger with Luminex Trading & Analytics.
- Represented Hilton in a transaction with Adyen B.V., for the provision of payments processing globally and Elavon for the provision of payments processing in Europe.
- Advised Mosaic Insurance in an IT outsourcing and insurance technology platform transaction with DXC Technology Services LLC.