Latham & Watkins LLP's broad experience is reflected in its impressively diverse clientbase, which ranges from start-ups through to major financial institutions, as well as established technology companies and investment funds. The team is active across the spectrum of legal matters in the sector, including financial regulatory and litigation, corporate finance, project development, IP, data privacy and cybersecurity. Clients also benefit from the firm's global reach, that includes coverage in most key jurisdictions. Payments and financial services expert Todd Beauchamp leads the team from the Washington DC office, which also includes Mitchell Rabinowitz and Jenny Cieplak, who have a strong track record representing financial institutions investing in new technologies. Other key members include New York's Stephen Wink, global co-chair of the firm's blockchain and cryptocurrency task force.
Fintech in United States
Other key lawyers:
Mitchell Rabinowitz; Jenny Cieplak; Stephen Wink
‘Technical excellence is of course a given – and expected at a firm like Latham – but when combined with business and sector knowledge as well as great stakeholder management – the Latham team is top of the list for me.’
‘Mitch Rabinowitz, Jenny Cieplak and Masha Smith are a great team – they are great lawyers technically as one would expect, but also so committed and available that you forget they work outside your company. They have become part of the fabric of our company in a world where so many lawyers can feel like hired guns. Mitch Rabinowitz is one of the best deal lawyers out there – super smart and creative but also very practical.’
‘Deep understanding and deep personal sense of responsibility to the client’
‘Mitch Rabinowitz, Gail Crawford and Nicola Higgs have provided exceptional service throughout my long working relationship with them. Their insights, unequaled bedside manner, availability and deep knowledge are invaluable.’
‘I have relied on the managing partner for the Global Payments Practice at Latham & Watkins, Todd Beauchamp, at several companies on a variety of issues, and notably at a recent Fintech startup. Todd and his team produce. Todd, his team, and the broader infrastructure of Latham gave me peace of mind. I did not have to worry that the company was being over billed, the issue would not be handled optimally, or that other company stakeholders would not be worked with. He is my first go to for myself and any colleague that is in-house who asks for a referral. This is not just for payments. Todd has helped on matters beyond his practice area with general guidance and sound business strategy, and leveraging those with subject matter expertise.’
‘Todd is my first call for myself or a first recommendation when it comes to anything payments related, and this is both in the US and globally. His experience cross cuts five person startups, all the way up to Fortune 500 companies. This is quite the spread, but he has the key principals down and those ring true across startups and public, global entities.
I have worked with other outside attorneys at competitor firms and feel let down. Sure, large firms will mimic each other to a certain extent, but law firms are still a human capital driven industry, and my main point is that Todd seems to me to be 2-3 standard deviations out from the mean when it comes to problem solving, communication, and client happiness. He loves his work and team. It shows.
Acorns Grow Incorporated
Central Bank of Egypt
CVC Capital Partners Limited
Energy Web Foundation
Eris Clearing LLC / ErisX
eToro Group Limited
Funding Circle Holding Limited
Intelligent Cross LLC
MEMX / Members Exchange
Primary Markets LLC / DirectBooks
Radical App, LLC
- Advising Primary Markets LLC, which operates the DirectBooks service, a digital platform that optimizes the primary issuance process for fixed income instruments.
- Ongoing advice to Paradigm Fund, and has advised the client on its cryptocurrency trading and brokerage relationships as well as numerous investments across a diverse and wide array of opportunities within the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector.
- Advised eToro, the social trading and investment platform, on the establishment of eToro Digital Assets, a platform for the tokenization of assets to be traded on eToroX, eToro’s digital currency exchange.
Mayer Brown's collective strengths in key areas such as financial services regulatory, payments, technology, capital markets, cybersecurity and data privacy, give it an edge in the increasingly competitive fintech market. The firm's clients include a broad mix of major banks, credit card and financial services companies, as well as cryptocurrency exchanges, online payment processors and retailers. Advice to clients such as American Express on its Split & Send launch, allowing deeper integration with digital wallets such as PayPal, is demonstrative of the firm's expertise. Key partners include financial services experts David Beam and Steven Kaplan in Washington DC. They are complemented by experienced partners on the technology transactions side, including Rebecca Eisner and Brad Peterson in Chicago, and up-and-coming partner Rohith George in California.
David Beam; Julie Gillespie; Steven Kaplan; Brad Peterson; Elizabeth Raymond
Other key lawyers:
American Express Company
Capital One, N.A.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Ally Financial Inc.
HSBC Bank USA, N.A
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
Equitrust Life Insurance Company
- Advising American Express on the development of the Split & Send program throughout its development, including regulatory and structural issues for the product and the crafting of the product terms.
- Advising Goldman Sachs on the securitization financing of Mexican small business loans to merchants on the Mexico MercadoLibre platform.
- Advised Bitnomial Exchange, LLC, a futures exchange approved to offer margined bitcoin futures subject to physical delivery on its high-profile CFTC registration.
Paul Hastings LLP is praised for its 'strong fintech practice in novel areas', bringing 'creative problem solving, quick understanding of business operations and deep relationships with relevant regulators'. The practice provides the full range of transactional, regulatory, IP, data privacy and litigation services to clients, which include major financial services companies, banks, fund investors, cryptocurrency platforms, and technology developers. The San Francisco office, where practice co-head Thomas Brown is based, is heavily tapped into the emerging and established technology ecosystem. The Atlanta office, which includes fellow co-head Chris Daniel, has strong relationships with payment processing and credit card companies. Other key partners include regulatory partner Behnam Dayanim and finance expert Rich Davis in Washington DC. In MArch 2020, Christopher Austin joined from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in New York.
Chris Daniel; Thomas Brown
Other key lawyers:
Behnam Dayanim; Rich Davis; Christopher Austin
‘Chris Austin is a phenomenal thinker and communicator. It’s always a win to put him in front of my board.’
‘Strong fintech practice in novel areas. Creative problem-solving, quick understanding of business operations and deep relationships with relevant regulators.’
‘Tom Brown is a creative thinker and leader. Has a deep understanding of client business and operations and is able to quickly and adeptly navigate complex business and legal problems.’
Silicon Valley Bank
Stone Point Capital
Community Federal Savings Bank
Cross River Bank
Volkswagen Credit, Inc.
Fiverr International Ltd.
L’Oreal USA Inc.
Dash Core Group
Binance Global/Binance US
Anchorage Trust Co
Long Game Savings
- Advising Samsung on a range of privacy, security, data ownership, advertising and marketing matters for both Samsung Electronics and Samsung Pay.
- Advised a number of challenger banks on their efforts to bring their platforms to market – especially in regard to demand deposit accounts (DDAs), as well as advice on developing a number of product extensions for their core DDA services.
- Advising a range of blockchain clients, including Uphold, Forte and OST on the full spectrum of related regulatory, development and transactional issues.
DLA Piper LLP (US) represents a good mix of banks, financial institutions, venture capital funds, start-ups and emerging growth companies. The firm has been involved in significant IPOs, M&A transactions, and continues to represents major banks and credit card companies on e-payments and related regulatory issues. Other key areas of expertise, both domestically and globally, include blockchain, financial infrastructure and software, online lending and SAFTS (simple agreements for future tokens). Global co-chair David Luce in New York is highly experienced in financial services generally, while fellow US co-chair Margo Tank in Washington DC has over 20 years' experience working in the fintech market. David Whitaker in Chicago is highly experienced in e-commerce and financial services. Seattle-based corporate partner Trenton Dykes is also singled out by clients.
Other key lawyers:
Margo Tank; David Whitaker; Trenton Dykes
‘Personalized attention, no matter how big the company. Trent Dykes was there for us in the beginning, always quickly responsive, able to explain in words we understand.’
Flexa Holdings LLC
Mirador Financial Inc.
Franklin Advisers, Inc.
Opportunity Financial, LLC (OppLoans)
- Served as privacy diligence counsel for Visa in its $5.3bn acquisition of San Francisco-based fintech company Plaid.
- Assisted Affirm in connection with its first asset-backed securitization, which marks the first asset-backed securitization by a fintech point-of-sale lender.
- Advised Q2 Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of digital transformation solutions for banking and lending, on its $362m public offering and sale of an aggregate of 4,235,294 shares of its common stock.
Goodwin has a long history representing clients that straddle the technology and financial services sectors. Alternative lending, digital currencies and blockchain, insurtech, payment processing and wealth management are all core areas of expertise. The firm also has a good track record advising on online banking platforms and related collaboration agreements. Clients include major investors, as well as emerging and established fintech service providers. The well-regarded team is jointly led by Scott Joachim in Silicon Valley and Amber Dolman in Boston. Mike Whalen in Washington DC is noted for his regulatory and transactional advice, while Kimberly Monty Holzel in Boston regularly represents clients in regulatory investigations and inquiries.
Amber Dolman; Scott Joachim
Other key lawyers:
Mike Whalen; Kimberly Monty Holzel
- Advised Kabbage on its agreement to be acquired by American Express. Kabbage is a leading financial technology company providing cash flow management solutions to small businesses in the US.
Hogan Lovells US LLP offers a cradle-to-grave service, with a particularly strong focus on related corporate transactional, IP and financial services regulatory advice. This includes support to emerging and established clients, including technology developers and banks, in the payment processing, insurtech and cryptocurrency space. The US team works closely with colleagues in other key hubs, including London. Washington DC-based financial regulatory partner Richard Schaberg co-heads the global fintech team, with strong support from regulatory partner Gregory Lisa (DC and New York), and Theodore Mlynar in New York, who heads the firm's blockchain-smart contracts group. Silicon Valley office head Nathaniel Gallon is active on the technology front, representing companies from across the fintech ecosystem.
Other key lawyers:
Gregory Lisa; Theodore Mlynar; Nathaniel Gallon
Morrison & Foerster LLP has a solid reputation for commercial and regulatory matters. Its long track record in the technology sector extends to payments and lending services, blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Banks and financial services companies also seek out the firm for advice on related technology products, licensing agreements and alliances. The team is jointly led by Crystal Kaldjob and Jeremy Mandell. Other key partners include San Francisco-based corporate co-chair Eric McCrath, and technology transaction specialist Stephanie Sharron in Palo Alto. Dario De Martino and Susan Gault-Brown jointly lead the blockchain and smart contracts group out of New York and Washington DC, respectively.
Crystal Kaldjob; Jeremy Mandell
Other key lawyers:
Eric McCrath; Stephanie Sharron; Dario De Martino; Susan Gault-Brown
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has an extremely strong reputation for representing emerging and established fintech service providers. Clients benefit from a multi-faceted transactional, IP and corporate practice, as well as expertise in increasingly critical areas such as regulatory, litigation, and public policy. The team is jointly led by cybersecurity and data privacy partner Barrie VanBrackle in Washington DC, and financial services specialist Howard Altarescu in New York. John Bautista in Silicon Valley is a key contact on the start-up and venture capital front, while capital markets partner Robert Moyle in New York is also very active in this area. Clients include major payment processors, corporate venture arms, and online lenders and trading platforms. Christopher Austin joined Paul Hastings LLP in March 2020, and Glynna Christian joined Holland & Knight LLP in February 2021.
Howard Altarescu; Barrie VanBrackle
Other key lawyers:
John Bautista; Robert Moyle
The Elastos Foundation
Valor Equity Partners
Sagent Lending Technologies
Green Dot Corporation
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP has a versatile practice offering a broad range of expertise in regulatory compliance, IP and transactional issues. The firm recently advised service providers and banks on technology joint ventures and integrations serving the digital wealth management, payment processing and broader consumer finance segments. The team also acted on several significant mandates in the securities trading, blockchain, and digital token spheres. The team is jointly led out of New York by corporate partner Herbert Kozlov and technology transactions and regulatory expert Jeffrey Silberman. Washington DC-based Maria Earley is also active on the regulatory and enforcement front. The recent recruitment of New York partner Stephen Aschettino, former chair of Loeb & Loeb LLP's payments technology practice, was also a significant boost.
Herbert Kozlov; Jeffrey Silberman
Other key lawyers:
Maria Earley; Stephen Aschettino
‘Christine Parker (partner) and Trevor Levine (associate) are fantastic lawyers. So creative and responsive. Deep knowledge of the crypto space, which is rare. They have been great partners on some critical projects.’
‘The team at Reed Smith is deeply plugged into the Fintech ecosystem.’
‘Jeff Silberman is truly outstanding. I have tried to hire him on multiple occasions already and will continue to do so moving forward. He has the perfect mix of legal expertise and business sense. I have never collaborated with a lawyer as sharp on the business side as Jeff. He’s also a workhorse, and has been available to us 365/24/7. Perhaps most importantly, he’s stand-up, ethical guy who has earned our unequivocal trust.’
Trevor Levine is also great. He’s super responsive, asks the right questions, and knows how to put his head down and quickly crank through a dense document. Trevor has significant potential and is a fantastic complement to Jeff.’
Ballard Spahr LLP has a cross-disciplinary fintech and payments team with particularly good expertise in the banking and financial services regulatory space. This experience extends to key areas such as privacy and data security, IP, blockchain and cryptocurrencies. It is also an active adviser to institutional investors. The team is jointly led by regulatory and enforcement expert James Kim in New York and Ronald Vaske in Minneapolis, who has a strong track record representing banks, fintechs and other third parties. Kim Phan in Washington DC is the lead contact for privacy and data security issues, and Peter Jaslow co-heads the blockchain and cryptocurrency group from Philadelphia.
James Kim; Ronald Vaske
Other key lawyers:
Kim Phan; Peter Jaslow
‘We worked with four law firms before we discovered Ballard-Spahr. Our work with Ballard thus far has convinced us that it was worth the effort of looking for ”the right” firm. In our business, we are merging two highly regulated segments of Financial Services into one novel product. This means that we need a firm with both depth and breadth of knowledge and capabilities. In addition to that, they need to be creative, pragmatic and wise in terms of knowing when to let product innovation lead and when to be conservative based on risk and regulatory constraints. All of our needs have been satisfied thus far and we are confident in maintaining this relationship over the long term.’
‘Partners included John Culhane and John Socknat (state-by-state regulations for lending), Noah Robbins (conflicts with other parties), Nathan Seiler (VCs and Term Sheets) and finally Kim Phan (product and digital customer experiences). Each individual has consistently demonstrated depth of experience and command of their domain as they customized their work to our needs and timelines.’
‘James Kim is a huge asset to my legal team. He gives practical, commercial advice and has a deep understanding of the regulatory concerns facing fintechs. He always makes himself available and is very responsive to our needs.’
‘I worked with James Kim on a transaction. He was knowledgeable in the market standard and when in doubt reached out to his peers – which was very useful for us. Also needed clarification on how to treat the CARES act and James brought a colleague Kim Phan who was knowledgeable and immediately available for a call.’
‘They were generous with their knowledge; experienced in the subject matter; reached out to experts within their firm on matters outside their area of expertise but managed those additional resources so we did not have to do so.’
Continental Finance Company (leading online credit-card provider)
Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi).
Blockchain-based technology company in the development of social media mobile applications
Buckley LLP has established an increasingly prominent position in the fintech industry, covering a range of matters including regulatory and enforcement, corporate transactional and licensing, and litigation. The versatile group represents a mix of online lending, payments, cryptocurrency, and debit and credit card companies. The firm's role as US regulatory counsel to Tech Nation, a UK Treasury-backed fintech initiative for UK-based pre-series A, B2B and B2B2C companies, is demonstrative of its solid reputation for regulatory advice. Financial services partner John Kromer and transactional partner Christopher Witeck jointly lead the team out of Washington DC, with strong support from enforcement and litigation specialist Michelle Rogers, and Los Angeles-based consumer finance expert Clinton Rockwell.
John Kromer; Christopher Witeck
Other key lawyers:
Michelle Rogers; Clinton Rockwell
‘Great accessibility, strong team and highly responsive. Always on top of current developments.’
‘Moorari Shah is my main point of contact and is fantastic. He leads a great team for us that includes Katherine Katz, Jeff Hydrick and Christopher Kushmider. Clint Rockwell is a powerhouse in the industry.’
- Representing (as trustee for certain trusts) Avant, LLC, Avant of Colorado LLC, Avant PB SPV, LLC, Wilmington Trust, N.A., and Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB, in an enforcement action brought by the Colorado Administrator of the Uniform Consumer Credit Code challenging the origination of unsecured consumer loans through a bank partnership model and subsequent purchase and servicing of those loans by the Avant entities.
- Represented a later-round fintech focused on consumer lending in enhancing all aspects of its regulatory compliance and bank partnership agreements in advance of a potential IPO.
- Representing many companies in defending against CFPB investigations. These include a small-dollar lender offering alternatives to payday loans.
Clifford Chance's impressive track record in banking and financial services feeds into its strong capabilities in the fintech space. The firm is especially active on the transactional and regulatory front, where it represents a mix of banks, investors, trade organizations, and specialized fintech service providers. Recent highlights have included major acquisitions in the payment solutions sector and support on digital asset securities. The team is jointly led by New York's David Felsenthal, who is especially focused on the development of new structures, including blockchain and token sales, and by Steven Gatti and Megan Gordon in Washington DC, who have strong backgrounds in regulatory matters, investigations and enforcement proceedings. Jason Myers is recommended for capital markets and securities matters.
Steven Gatti; Megan Gordon; David Felsenthal
Other key lawyers:
‘Clifford Chance partners, associates, and supporting staff are some of the most professional and knowledgeable out there who are constantly providing guidance and sharing their insight with their clients. Some noteworthy individuals include but are not limited to: Steve Gatti, Partner, who often provides key insights into the regulatory landscapes at industry events such as the Chamber.’
Slice Insurance Technologies
Emaar Properties PJSC
- Advising Securitize, the first SEC-registered transfer agent focused on digital asset securities, on the use of smart contract technology to assist with investor transparency and issuer compliance with securities laws.
- Advised the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a Washington DC-based trade group for companies in the blockchain/digital assets industry, on numerous legislative, regulatory, and legal initiatives.
- Advised venture capitalists Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss on the establishment of a Bermuda-based captive insurance entity, Nakamoto, to insure their digital currency business, Gemini Custody (Gemini).
Cooley LLP has a strong reputation in the technology legal market. This expertise extends to the fintech sphere where it advises on matters across corporate and finance transactions, data privacy and IP. Boston-based practice head Alfred Browne is a contact for private equity and technology matters.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has a multi-disciplinary team with a strong track record in the fintech and blockchain space. This includes advice on digital securities, financings, and data privacy regulations under GDPR. Practice head David Kappos has an extremely strong background in IP management and strategy, and works closely with the firm's corporate, finance and regulatory lawyers on related fintech matters. In this regard, Scott Bennett is particularly active in public and private offerings and M&A. Recently the firm was involved in several high-profile business sales in the fintech space, and provided support on antitrust and securities litigation-related issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘The overall expertise of Cravath team is excellent.’
‘David Kappos has unparalleled expertise and provides business-centric legal advice.’
‘Led by partner Dave Kappos, our work with Cravath on management, technology and intellectual property matters has been often times leading-edge and global in scope. We have created new governing frameworks and management decision trees in the digital supply chain and cyber security spaces.’
‘All of the Cravath partners and associates we have worked with project integrity, creativity, and expertise. They do not promote themselves outside their competency.’
‘Dave Kappos (Partner), Somi Alexandria Umolu (Associate), Steve Gordon (Tax partner), Ryan Wichtowski (IP associate), Kathryn-Ann Stamm (IP associate), Dan Etcovitch (IP associate) have all been tier one professionals.’
‘The Cravath team takes ownership. They are passionate like they are the client. Great team.’
‘David Kappos as his general knowledge as far as IP practice and issue spotting ability stand out.’
The Ricketts Family
World Fuel Services
- Represented IBM in the sale of certain Algorithmics and related assets to SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. The Firm is also representing IBM in its pending acquisition of TruQua Enterprises, LLC.
- Acting for GreenSky, Inc., a financial technology company that facilitates loans between merchants and consumers, and its officers and directors in putative class action securities litigation
- Representing Epic Games, Inc. as plaintiff in two separate antitrust actions against Apple and Google, alleging that the companies are engaged in anticompetitive behavior in the distribution of software applications on mobile devices and in the processing of consumers’ payments for digital content used within mobile apps.
Dentons has an active practice that provides strong support to a range of major banks and financial services companies, in addition to investors and emerging companies. The firm is active on the corporate finance and capital markets side, and is also able to draw in expertise from the firm's tax, privacy, white-collar crime, IP and financial services regulation specialists. The predominantly New York-based team is jointly led by Victor Boyajian, the firm's global venture technology and emerging growth companies practice head, and capital markets regulatory heads Matthew Yoon and Washington DC-based John Holahan. Charles Gelinas is also noted for his expertise in blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
Matthew Yoon; John Holahan; Victor Boyajian
Other key lawyers:
GOAL Structured Solutions, Inc.
Peer Street, Inc.
- Advised Figure Funding LLC as issuer on Figure Line of Credit Trust 2020-1, the first ever securitization backed by loans originated, serviced, financed and sold on blockchain.
- Represented Citi Ventures as co-lead in a $25m funding round for Even Financial, the start-up that uses an API to help banks find and connect with consumers via channel partners.
- Represent CommonBond, Inc., a national online student loan originator, in a variety of matters, including in a recent series B venture funding and on regulatory and compliance matters related to the marketing, origination, making, servicing, collection and secondary market sale of private student loans.
Eversheds Sutherland is a popular choice with clients across a range of industry segments, including payment and credit card processing, and digital commerce. The team is led out of Atlanta by the 'extremely knowledgeable' Robert Pile, and is rated by clients for its 'depth of experience that can only be obtained through direct interaction with companies' in the fintech sector. The wider firm also fields strong teams of regulatory, corporate, IP, tax and litigation lawyers. New York-based Brian Barrett and global insurance co-head John Pruitt are active on the banking and financial services side, while Brian Murphy in Atlanta is experienced in related M&A, joint ventures and outsourcing deals. Atlanta-based special counsel Hannah Winiarski has also been singled out by clients.
Other key lawyers:
Brian Barrett; John Pruitt; Brian Murphy; Hannah Winiarski
‘Knowledge is solid and trustworthy. Cost effective approach without sacrificing quality.’
‘Hannah Winiarski has been an extension of our in house legal team for over ten years. Her legal analysis is comprehensive, high quality, and pragmatic.’
‘The legal team at Eversheds Sutherland has been supporting top Fintech companies for many years and brings a depth of experience that can only be obtained through direct interaction with companies that are in this space and have grown and evolved over the years. The allows their practice to deliver high quality, practical solutions to meet the needs of the business. I have used other firms and this point differentiates this practice.’
‘Bob Pile, Brian Murphy, Brian Barrett – I have had the pleasure of working with these three partners for years and all are exceptional talent and also friendly and easy to work with. I would highly recommend them.’
‘Eversheds made it their business to know our business. They get deep and provide practical, cost effective, advice.’
‘Again, practical advice and they’re extremely responsive.’
‘The team has a thorough understanding of the business and technical requirements and gets up to speed quickly on matters to provide practical advice.’
‘Brian Murphy is a trusted legal advisor with a deep understanding of the business and industry. Brian works efficiently and he consistently delivers high quality work product.’
‘The Eversheds Sutherland team is extremely knowledgeable in a highly specialized area of the law: payments, including debit and credit card agreements and related issues. In addition to the deep expertise they posses in the relevant subject matter area, they are easy to work with, professional and responsive.’
‘Partners Bob Pile and Brian Murphy are extremely knowledgeable in their practice area and very responsive/attentive to client requests. They have assembled a unique team that provides a compelling value proposition for their clients.’
‘Hannah Winiarski is hyper-responsive, turns around document drafts adeptly and provides solid counsel and advice. ’
CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield
Fiserv Inc. (fka First Data Corporation)
T5 Data Centers
Toyota Financial Services
- Represented First Data Corporation (now part of Fiserv Inc.) in a number of matters, including advising on the dissolution of the $7bn joint venture formation with Bank of America Merchant Services.
- Advised Parsyl on the launch of ColdCover, a new suite of connected cargo insurance solutions for perishable goods and a data-driven insurance offering that includes the industry’s first and only parametric spoilage policy, protecting against losses due to temperature.
- Representing Toyota Financial Services in connection with the development and launch of a proprietary financial technology platform.
Fenwick & West LLP's deep focus on technology feeds into its growing fintech practice. The firm's lawyers regularly handle related corporate finance, regulatory, IP and litigation issues. Clients include digital currency companies, payment processors, online retailers, software providers and crypto exchanges, as well as banks and venture capital investors. Much of the work is done through the payment systems and blockchain teams, which are co-led by Andrew Albertson and associate Can Sun in Seattle, and Michael Dicke in San Francisco, who has deep experience in government regulatory investigations and securities enforcement. Technology transactions partner Andrew Klungness in Santa Monica and San Francisco venture capital expert Michael Brown are other names to note.
Andrew Albertson; Michael Dicke; Can Sun
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Klungness; Michael Brown
Seal Software Limited
Alameda Research LLC
Eden Technologies, Inc.
Binance Holdings Limited
Prime Trust LLC.
Bolt Financial, Inc.
Coinbase Global, Inc.
- Representing Seal Software in its $188m acquisition by DocuSign.
- Represented Alameda Research in a federal district court suit brought by Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC. The suit sought over $150m in damages.
- Represented Carta in its $180m financing.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is a popular choice, particularly among banks that provide platforming services to major fintech companies. The versatile group offers a strong blend of regulatory, data protection, financing, corporate and tech advice. This expertise, particularly in payment services, was brought to bear throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and related federal stimulus and pay check plans. Austin-based practice head Erin Fonté is highly experienced on the corporate and regulatory side. The team also includes New York's Lisa Sotto, global head of the firm's privacy and cybersecurity practice, and financial services litigation and compliance co-chair Jarrett Hale in Dallas. Clients also rate Washington DC-based Scott Kimpel, who leads the firm's blockchain and distributed ledger working group.
Other key lawyers:
Lisa Sotto; Jarrett Hale; Scott Kimpel; Eric Flynn; Brittany Bacon
‘Hunton Andrews Kurth is both knowledgeable about present fintech activity and anticipatory of where the industry is headed–a priceless asset for our efforts. The team’s deep knowledge about every aspect of fintech and how they intersect and impact one another, strengthens our policy work and positions our team for success.’
‘Hunton has very broad and deep bench strength in a number of areas but they have always been very flexible in working with me to craft a billing structure that makes sense for my needs.’
‘Their representation of multiple platform banks provides valuable expertise.’
‘Hunton Andrews Kurth is in an important voice for our efforts in the digital assets space. What’s more impressive is their ability to stay on top of the digital asset market given its rapid evolution.’
‘We would not be able to start a digital assets line of work without the guidance, knowledge, and expertise of Scott Kimpel and Chelsea Lomprey. They are absolutely an extension of our team and go above and beyond to make sure we are up to date on the latest activity and positioning ourselves effectively.’
‘I have worked with Jarrett Hale, Eric Flynn, Brittany Bacon and Greg Hesse for a long time. Not only excellent attorneys but always very responsive.’
Cross River Bank and CRB Group, Inc.
First West Texas Bancshares, Inc.
Lend Street Financial
Robinhood Markets, Inc.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Velocity Commercial Capital
Verisk Analytics, Inc.
Yardi Systems Inc.
- Advising Sutton Bank, a platform bank that banks 11 fintech “unicorns”, on BSA/AML compliance, risk management, corporate governance, regulatory relations, fintech partnership agreements and new fintech product design and rollout.
- Representing Quontic Bank, a fintech platform bank and CDFI Fund, in various matters, including a capital raising, regulatory issues, and negotiating contracts with fintech platforms to acquire Paycheck Protection Program loans and pledge them to the Federal Reserve’s Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility.
- Advising Cross River Bank on a wide range of regulatory and compliance matters, including with the FDIC, and preparing sponsor agreements and contract negotiations with fintech platforms to acquire Paycheck Protection Program loans and pledge them to the Federal Reserve’s Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility.
K&L Gates has a burgeoning cross-practice team with a strong track record advising start-ups and emerging companies. The group is also increasingly active in the intersection between data privacy and payments, as well as cryptocurrency and blockchain. Experienced New York-based group co-head Judith Rinearson spent 18 years working at American Express' general counsel office, and her regulatory and emerging payments knowledge is coupled with the corporate and transactional experience of fellow co-head Robert Zinn, who works from New York and Pittsburgh. A recent highlight on the transactional front was the team's advice to Garmin International on its acquisition of Fitpay.
Judith Rinearson; Robert Zinn
Confluence Technologies, Inc
Center ID Corp
Goldman Sachs & Co.
Garmin International, Inc.
Avanquest North America, Inc
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP provides a broad suite of services to its fintech clients, which include emerging and established service providers, banks and venture capital funds. The team's leadership comes from across a variety of core practice areas. In Washington DC, Andrew Ray is noted for his corporate and M&A expertise; New York's Sheryl Orr is a lead partner on the financial services side; and Boston-based Mark Stein represents several leading private equity and venture capital funds. Other key individuals include litigation partner Michael Philipp, who is experienced in cryptocurrencies, and Michael Pillion in Philadelphia, a name to note for transactions and outsourcing.
Andrew Ray; Sheryl Orr; Mark Stein
Other key lawyers:
Michael Philipp; Michael Pillion
‘I have worked with numerous Fintech lawyers, and Mark Stein is clearly one of the best. He is a go-to lawyer for banks in the Fintech space, so when a Fintech like mine goes to Mark for advice, I get the perspective from my point of view and the banks.’
‘I deal with the partner, Mark Stein, all the time, and he seems head and shoulders above other partners I have dealt with in this space. He also has the confidence to tell me to dial it down when I’m on a soap box about something, and he is advising me that my path is a dead end. Many lawyers will go along with strong willed customers to bill more, Mark will cut me off on the path and tell me asap if he thinks I’m off the path of success.’
Lovell Minnick Partners LLC
Credit Suisse – Structured Transactions
Morgan Stanley & Co
- Represented Metal in one of the largest mergers in the cryptocurrency industry with its recent acquisition of Lynx.
- Represented Lovell Minnick Partners in its acquisition of Billhighway, handling the acquisition and financing matters for the transaction.
- Represented Public in its $15m series B financing led by Accel and Greycroft. Members of Public, a social investing app.
Perkins Coie LLP has an experienced tech-focused practice that offers cradle-to-grave support to fintech companies. This includes advice on regulatory and compliance, public policy, litigation, and partnerships and M&A transactions. Clients include major technology providers, as well as venture capital firms and financial institutions. In addition to key product lines such as payment and compliance technology, the team is also experience in issues related to cryptocurrency and blockchain. Dax Hansen in Seattle chairs the firm's blockchain and digital currency group, with strong support from regulatory partners Joseph Cutler and New York-based Dana Syracuse.
Other key lawyers:
Joseph Cutler; Dana Syracuse
Check Technologies, Inc.
Brave Software, Inc.
SmartContract Chainlink, Ltd.
Sullivan has a strong focus on the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, representing governments, leading digital currencies, start-ups and established enterprises. Based largely in New York, the 'professional and responsive' team is praised for its 'deep knowledge in cross-border taxation and asset tokenization'. Practice chair Joel Telpner is 'constantly on the bleeding edge of legal perspective as it relates to digital assets'. Other key team members include corporate partner Scott Kaufman, who leads the firm's emerging companies and venture capital practice, and Boston-based Douglas Stransky, who advises on related cross-border tax issues.
Other key lawyers:
Scott Kaufman; Douglas Stransky
‘Joel is constantly on the bleeding edge of legal perspective as it relates to digital assets. They take sound legal practice and consideration for difference in technology to set the standard for global regulators.’
‘Joel Telpner is really the best in the digital asset space right now. He has a deep understand of the technology, industry and laws. His insights are often followed by much larger firms and global regulators.’
‘The team is headed by Joel Telpner who has been in capital markets for a long time and knows everything about the industry. When he shifted more into fintech focused aspect of financial services, it did not take him too long to become a force. I always have comfort dealing with his company that I can let him tell me what I need to be concerned with in order to proceed.’
‘Unlike traditional industries where there are a lot of people who are experts, in something like blockchain fintech where there is no one who has done this for more than a few years, it all comes down to who is leading the team and Joel Telpner, the partner of the team, really provides the kind of leadership that makes customers trust the service.’
‘Joel is one of the most knowledgeable lawyers I’ve met when it comes to crypto and securities law. He’s been in the cryptocurrency space for several years and has navigated the formal and informal regulation that shapes up the space.’
‘Joel Telpner is a great practitioner. He’s got a thorough understanding as well as practical knowledge about the cryptocurrency space and has been very easy to chat with when we’ve had any pressing issues.’
‘Mari Tomunen has also been a pleasure to work with. She’s very diligent and reliable.’
‘The specific knowledge of the subject area is what makes the Sullivan team stand apart from other firms, in my experience.’
‘Joel Telpner and Mari Tomunen are the two individuals who stand out most notably in the Fintech space. More specifically, Joel’s knowledge of the industry, regulations (especially with regard to the overlap of Fintech and securities laws), and companies (aka, the market players) is unsurpassed in my experience. Mari likewise is very strong when it comes to legal matters, to be sure. However, what most impressed me about Mari is her knowledge of the technology that underlies Fintech businesses. With Mari, in fact, there are times when it is easy to forget that you are talking to an attorney and not a programmer, her technical knowledge is so impressive.’
‘The team are always great to work with on a personal level. Hugely responsive, flexible and concise in their advice. They don’t waste time unnecessarily.’
‘We really feel we have partners at the firm. They work collaboratively with us to find solutions and are always striving to stay up to date with new regulations especially in the Digital Asset space. Aidan Browne has been a rock at the firm while Natalie Lederman is invaluable on the Fund side of our business. Joel Telpner is quite frankly one of the world’s leading legal minds when it comes to Blockchain and Digital assets. He is also a pure pleasure to work with.’
‘Professional and responsive. Deep knowledge in the cross border taxation and asset tokenisation.’
‘They have deep expertise and a network that gives them very broad knowledge.’
‘Joel Telpner is knowledgeable and great to work with.’
The Republic of the Marshall Islands / SOV Development Foundation
NEM Foundation / NEM Group Limited
The Chamber of Digital Commerce
- Advising the Government of the Marshall Islands through SOV Development Foundation in the country’s initiative to launch a sovereign blockchain-based digital currency, which will circulate alongside the US dollar as a second legal tender pursuant to a law passed by the Marshall Islands’ parliament on February 26, 2018. This is the first time in history that a country will issue legal tender solely in digital form bypassing both paper currency and coins.
- Advising Celsius Networks, the cryptocurrency platform, on multiple matters including regulatory advice with respect to money transmitter, banking, lending, and securities laws; employment- and litigation-related matters; and general corporate advice, including capital raises and various financing transactions.
- Ongoing corporate and regulatory advice to Arbol, a blockchain and smart contracts-based insurance technology platform and weather risk marketplace. This included advice on its 2020 acquisition of eWeatherRisk, a provider of weather risk transfer and hedging solutions.
White & Case LLP's clients benefit from the firm's global reach as well as its comprehensive service across all areas of the fintech ecosystem. The firm was involved in several market-defining deals, particularly in the online payments space, an example of which was its advice to Facebook (and its subsidiary WhatsApp) on a $5.7bn investment into Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Indian telecoms operator Reliance Industries. Key team members include transactional partner Adam Chernichaw in New York, and Washington DC-based regulatory partners Prat Vallabhaneni and Era Anagnosti, who are especially active on related blockchain, payments and securities matters. Silicon Valley partner Howard Wettan is highly experienced in licensing and commercial transactions in the payments sector.
Adam Chernichaw; Prat Vallabhaneni; Era Anagnosti
Other key lawyers:
‘Cutting edge knowledge in FinTech / Banking. Prat Vallabhaneni is the definition of what an expert should be. Smart. Knowledgeable of trends. And incredibly sharp on tying legal work to overall strategy.’
Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Novi, and affiliates
Royal Bank of Canada
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a longstanding track record advising on matters at the intersection of the financial services and technology sectors. The firm is especially active in the investor space, representing several key private equity and venture capital funds, as well as their portfolio companies. It is also increasingly active in cryptocurrency, and related securities, thanks in part to the expertise of New York-based senior counsel Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Other key members of the team include private equity co-chair Jeffrey Poss and regulatory counsel Conrad Bahlke, both of whom are also in the New York office.
Other key lawyers:
Christopher Giancarlo; Conrad Bahlke
‘Fantastic team, significant experience both on the intellectual and real-world items. Extremely helpful for a small company to be able to tap into that expertise/experience. Have not seen that strong a team/bench at many firms at all.’
‘The experience and track record. The ability to explain very challenging concepts or implications in an easy to grasp, actionable manner.’
Aquiline Capital Partners
Franklin Resources, Inc.
The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)
Ripple Labs Inc.
Virtual Currency Association
Arnold & Porter supports fintech clients across several key areas, offering combined strengths in financial services, corporate finance, IP, data privacy, public policy, and litigation. The firm represents a strong mix of technology providers, investors and banks, and has good expertise structuring and negotiating large-scale and often complex joint ventures. Practice head David Freeman is especially strong on the regulatory front, which was key to the group's workload during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in relation to the rollout of the CARES Act. Other key regulatory partners include Michael Mancusi and Christopher Allen, and New York-based finance specialist Lawton Camp. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Mancusi; Christopher Allen; Lawton Camp
First Republic Bank
Credit Sesame, Inc.
Neptune Financial, Inc.
Social Finance Inc. (SoFi)
Heracles Holdings, Inc.
- Advised a bank on its investments in student loan platforms.
- Assisted an emerging fintech solutions provider on commercial agreements to create a white-labelled point-of-sale lending platform that merchants can offer to customers to facilitate access to financing options at the point of services.
- Represented a payment solutions provider in drafting and negotiating commercial agreements with various technology solutions vendors to integrate and offer enhanced functionality on its platform.
Dechert LLP is particularly active in the online investment and lending segments, and is also particularly strong in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, an area where Silicon Valley partner Timothy Spangler has developed a solid reputation. Other key partners include Chicago's Matthew Hays, who handles related structured finance and securitizations, and Washington DC's Susan Grafton and San Francisco's Mark Perlow, names to note for online investment advisers and marketplace lenders. Timothy Blank in Boston co-heads the firm's privacy and cybersecurity practice, which was boosted by the arrival of Washington DC-based Karen Neuman from Goodwin in October 2020.
Timothy Spangler; Matthew Hays; Mark Perlow; Susan Grafton
Other key lawyers:
Karen Neuman; Timothy Blank
Figure Technologies/Provenance Blockchain, Inc.
Morgan Stanley Investment Management
- Advised Figure Technologies on the development of a blockchain-based home-equity business. After helping Figure launch a proprietary blockchain (Provenance.io) with its own native digital asset (Hash), the firm also advised on a billion-dollar financing facility from Jeffries.
- Advised Blackboard Inc., a leading educational technology company, on the sale of its Transact business, a campus engagement and payments solutions provider to higher-education and other institutions, to Reverence Capital Partners, L.P.
- Advised CommonBond, a leading fintech company and online lender, on the securitization of student loans with CommonBond and Goldman Sachs as co-sponsors.
Acting for an impressive list of emerging and established fintech service providers, exchanges and investors, Greenberg Traurig LLP has an active group with expertise across a wide range of financial instruments and payment types. This includes advice on the sourcing and integration of complex technologies and platforms. M&A, capital markets, venture capital, litigation and financial regulatory advice also feature in the group's caseload. Key contacts in the team include Carl Fornaris in Miami, who is experienced in banking and securities, and Barbara Jones in Los Angeles, who is especially active in the blockchain and digital assets sector.
Viola Bensigner; David Greenberg; Carl Fornaris; Barbara Jones
The Beneficient Company Group, L.P.
Veritable Data Solutions, Inc.
Spring Labs, Inc.
Inversiones Consolidadas S.A.
- Providing securities, financing and broker-dealer advice to The Beneficient Company Group, L.P., a financial products innovator offering liquidity instruments to high-net-worth clients and institutions.
- Advising on development, structuring, and launch of first-of-its-kind blockchain app for use principally by notaries in verification of identity to prevent fraud in real estate and other transactions with lenders and other market participants.
- Acting as lead counsel in Spring Labs, Inc.’s series A investment round which closed at $23m and in its term loan agreement, plus ongoing representations as general corporate counsel.
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP is noted for its expertise in fintech related regulatory, IP, litigation, and general commercial matters. The firm has a long history representing clients in the financial services and payments sectors, and is increasingly recommended for its cryptocurrency practice, where its 'lawyers are deeply knowledgeable about the technology and the industry, which is critical for providing effective counsel to companies in this nascent space'. Brian Korn leads the well-regarded team from New York, with strong support in Los Angeles from consumer financial services partner Scott Pearson, and blockchain and crypto expert Marc Boiron.
Other key lawyers:
Scott Pearson; Marc Boiron
‘As a FinTech client, the firm can cover many different practice areas, including regulatory, IP, and general commercial matters. The firm partners really understand the transactions that underlie our business, which can at first seem esoteric in nature.’
‘Manatt has the best cryptocurrency practice in the United States. The practice’s lawyers are deeply knowledgeable about the technology and the industry, which is critical for providing effective counsel to companies in this nascent space.’
‘Partner Brian Korn is very active in the fintech platform and Regulation A space. He has good visibility with the SEC and is willing to push through novel concepts and issues. Associate June Kim is ahead of her years and works almost as a junior partner.’
‘Marc Boiron and Rebecca Rettig are among the most experienced and effective lawyers counseling cryptocurrency companies in the United States, and are widely recognized as best-in-class specialists in the decentralized finance (“DeFi”) space in particular. Marc and Rebecca understand how to deftly navigate the complex and uncertain world of cryptocurrency investment, regulation, and dispute resolution. They are also a joy to work with.’
‘Ben Brickner has done fantastic work for us and thinks outside the box to come up with solutions. He is always reachable and turns around the work very quickly when time is of the essence.’
Compound Labs, Inc.
Cross River Bank
Electric Solidus LLC (dba Swan Bitcoin)
GMO Internet, Inc. (for GMO-Z.com Trust LLC)
Market Rebellion, LLC
- Regulatory counsel to Jiko Group, Inc., headquartered in Berkeley, California, which became the first fintech to complete the acquisition of a national bank—Mid-Central National Bank (formerly known as Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank), headquartered in Wadena, Minnesota.
- Assisted Cadence Group, an alternative investment company specializing in digital debt securities, with closing two separate $40m structured finance offerings for FAT Brands Inc., the NASDAQ-listed parent company of eight fast casual and casual dining restaurant brands.
- Defending multiple fintech companies against putative class action suits targeting lenders that participated in the SBA/CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program.
McGuireWoods LLP has a strong track record in the financial services sector, and advises a mix of emerging and established companies on all fintech matters. This includes support on compliance issues, litigation, technology transactions, government investigations and regulatory enforcement. The multi-disciplinary practice is led out of Charlotte by Rakesh Gopalan.
Norton Rose Fulbright approaches the market from several different angles, representing a mix of financial institutions, clearing banks, trade bodies, foreign governments, tech companies and cryptocurrency platforms. This includes support on collaboration agreements, financial services regulatory, data privacy, corporate, and litigation. Blockchain, payment services, reg-tech, insur-tech, and related AI have all featured prominently on the firm's workload in the past year. Regulatory and litigation partner Ronald David Smith in Dallas and New York-based funds and structured products specialist Andrew Lom are both highly active in the fintech space.
Ronald Smith; Andrew Lom
‘Norton Rose Fulbright partners, associates, and supporting staff are some of the most professional and knowledgeable out there who are constantly providing guidance and sharing their insight with their clients. A noteworthy individual includes but is not limited to: – Sean Murphy, Partner, and Ron Smith, Partner.’
Moneygram International, Inc.
Web 3.0 Technologies Foundation
Ropes & Gray LLP has a strong focus on cryptocurrency, robo-advisors, and payments technology, and is especially experienced advising the asset management industry on its fintech products. This includes advice to financial institutions, investors, and technology companies on the full sweep of IP, regulatory, transactional privacy, litigation and cybersecurity issues. In Boston, the cross-practice team includes Edward Black, global-head of the firm's TMT and data privacy and cyber security practice groups, and Elizabeth Reza, a partner in the asset management group who also advises on regulatory issues. New York private equity partner Scott Abramowitz and San Francisco-based asset management specialist Gregory Davis are also active in this space.
Other key lawyers:
Elizabeth Reza; Scott Abramowitz; Gregory Davis
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
Decentralized Code Network (Deconet)
Silver Lake Partners, L.P.
- Represented the underwriters in the $287m SPAC IPO and subsequent $555m follow-on offering for nCino, Inc.
- Represented Fintech firm iCapital Network in its acquisition of the Artivest Holdings Inc. platform and operating business.
- Serves as outside general counsel to Protocol Labs, creator of Filecoin, one of the largest cryptocurrency projects.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP is especially active in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, where it provides clients with the full suite of tax, regulatory and transactional advice. In addition to acting for several leading crypto platforms and investment funds, the firm also acts for trade associations and related industry groups. The service group is led out of Washington DC by regulatory partner Alan Cohn and Jason Weinstein, who also leads the firm's investigations and white-collar practice.
Alan Cohn; Jason Weinstein
- Represents iFinex, the owner of Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, on an array of matters, including advising on corporate governance, regulatory, compliance, litigation (including class action litigation in the Southern District of New York), and government enforcement matters.
- Representing iFinex, the owner of Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin issuer, in connection with ongoing investigations relating to Bitfinex and/or Tether by the New York Attorney General’s Office and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.