Fintech in United States
Latham & Watkins LLP fields a multidisciplinary team — which includes commercial and technology, intellectual property, regulatory and emerging companies experts — to advise its impressive client roster which ranges from established financial institutions to start-ups. The practice, which includes commercial, intellectual property, regulatory and emerging companies experts, is led by the 'incredibly knowledgeable and reliable' Todd Beauchamp, who 'really understands payments and has a deep knowledge of not only the law but the business practices of the industry'. Names to note in the New York office include Stephen Wink, who attracts praise for his 'broad experience advising on regulatory issues as they relate to the blockchain industry'; head of the US derivatives regulatory practice Yvette Valdez; and emerging companies specialist David Concannon. Mitchell Rabinowitz and Jenny Cieplak joined the team from Crowell & Moring LLP, strengthening the firm's transactional fintech expertise; Rabinowitz advises on structures of and regulatory considerations for M&A, outsourcings, joint ventures and strategic alliances, while Cieplak advises on issues ranging from corporate transactions and intellectual property to regulatory issues. Vivian Maese left the team for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in January 2019. All individuals named are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.
‘I work with Todd Beauchamp quite a bit. He is an excellent lawyer. Very conscientious. Extremely knowledgable and wants to help my company and me succeed. I have been impressed by his work ethic and the quality of his work. I plan to continue working with him.‘
‘Latham & Watkins’ fintech team is incredibly knowledgeable and reliable, and they serve as a trusted advisor on cutting edge technology-related legal work including blockchain and smart contracts.‘
‘Todd really understands payments and has a deep knowledge of not only the law but the business practices of the industry. He has been a great partner for me and the company.‘
‘Stephen Wink has in-depth knowledge and broad experience advising on regulatory issues as they relate to the Blockchain industry. He is also very reliable and great to work with.‘
CVC Capital Partners
Energy Web Foundation
ErisX / Eris Clearing
Funding Circle Holding
Total System Services (TSYS) (now Global Payments following Sept. 2019 merger)
- Advised NetSpend, a global payments company, on regulatory and transactional matters related to the development and offering of a white-label general purpose reloadable Mastercard prepaid account integrated with a leading mobile device wallet service.
- Advised ErisX/Eris Clearing on regulatory and transactional matter relating to the development of a cryptocurrency exchange.
- Advising Energy Web Foundation on the launch of a payment token for use on a decentralized operating system that encourages and supports the transition of the energy markets to a low-carbon and sustainable future.
- Advising Total System Services on regulatory matters related to $21.5bn merger with Global Payments, including regulatory approvals related to licensed subsidiaries in the US and UK.
- Advised eToro on the development and structuring of a unique model for using blockchain to tokenize a wide variety of financial and real-world assets.
The team at Mayer Brown brings together financial regulatory and transactional expertise to advise enviable clients, including PayPal, American Express and Square, on a huge variety of matters in the fintech sector. Practice co-head David Beam has a breadth of experience in areas such as payments and credit products regulation, emerging technology and federal preemption of state financial laws, while Steven Kaplan is particularly active in the consumer loan space. Beam and Kaplan (both in Washington DC) jointly lead the practice alongside Chicago-based partners Brad Peterson and Elizabeth Raymond, who focus on technology transactions and financial institutions M&A, respectively. Rebecca Eisner, who is also in Chicago, and Palo Alto-based Rohith George are other names to note for technology sector transactions. Matt Kluchenek joined in Chicago from Baker McKenzie LLP and focuses on cryptocurrency regulation.
American Express Company
Goldman Sachs Bank
HSBC Bank USA
The Hartford Financial Services Group
Wells Fargo & Company
- Advised PayPal on financial regulatory, intellectual property, privacy, tax, corporate governance and financing matters relating to its participation in the consortium of companies working on ‘Libra’, the prospective cryptocurrency being promoted by a consortia of companies led by Facebook.
- Represented American Express in the expansion of its relationship with PayPal that will provide Amex cardholders with a more integrated experience within PayPal and Amex apps.
- Advised an full-service bank in the United States on a major transformation for its core retail and commercial banking systems, including negotiation of evaluation, development, licensing and implementation agreements opposite a system integrator, and the software and system provider.
- Advised Ally Financial on its partnership with Better.com, one of the fastest-growing digital mortgage disruptors in the US, to create a new end-to-end digital experience for consumers looking for a mortgage loan from Ally.
- Assisted LiquidX, the operator of a leading electronic trade credit and working capital finance marketplace, with the addition of trade credit insurance to its electronic platform.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP attracts praise for its 'broad substantive knowledge' and 'ability to distill issues and provide a real-world experienced-based responses'. The cross-departmental team is 'able to provide a full spectrum of services' to its impressive client roster, which includes innovative disruptors, established players and industry associations such as Revolut, Stripe, American Express and Innovative Lending Platform Association. Barrie VanBrackle is rated for her 'detailed knowledge of the regulatory environment and the business environment', particularly in the payments space; she jointly heads the practice from Washington DC alongside New York-based Christopher Austin, an 'innovative thinker' who specializes in capital markets transactions and cryptocurrency matters, and Howard Altarescu, who has 'deep experience relating to structured transactions, products and securitizations'. The group further strengthened its data privacy and cybersecurity capabilities with the addition of Heather Sussman, who joined the Boston office from Ropes & Gray LLP.
‘Orrick’s standout team of lawyers consistently delivers thoughtful, thorough, tailored advice that reflects a deep understanding of the challenges presented by our technology and business. Their advice is both strategic and pragmatic, and they work closely with us to provide relevant guidance based on our particular set of priorities and risks. They work efficiently, drawing from expertise in other practice areas as needed. We have benefited from their good counsel at every step in the devleopment of our business.‘
‘Relationship management is off the charts and they have breadth of expertise and candidly tell you when they don’t have the expertise you need. Extremely compelling and effective regulatory practice – connections to all the regulators at state and federal level. They are extremely trusted advisors in this area.‘
‘Orrick brings a practical, solutions oriented approach to the table. They are sensitive to our relationship dynamic with counterparties and the level of urgency for different deals and questions. We particularly appreciate their ability to provide guidance on market terms from comparable deals and their experience in fintech generally.‘
‘Broad substantive knowledge; strong website and tools for clients that allow for automation.‘
‘Orrick, and the partner I deal with specifically, are deeply embedded in our industry. They know all the relevant participants in the ecosystem, and have contacts at all the key players. The advice they provide is crucial not only from a legal perspective, but from a commercial perspective as well.‘
‘Orrick has been able to provide a full spectrum of services which is imperative for a client such as us – we have a multi-faceted business and require advice on topics ranging from Investment banking advisory work to broker-dealer questions arising out of a counterparty facing trading business. Regardless of the question, Orrick is quickly and easily able to direct us to the appropriate person. Additionally, our business is in a very nascent industry and Orrick’s depth of knowledge in the space has been unbelievably impressive.‘
‘The team is deeply knowledgeable, but also has the judgement and intellectual horsepower to deliver excellent counsel in fast developing areas of the law for which there is little precedent. Other firms tend to rely on experience within their areas of subject matter expertise. But ‘fintech’ moves fast and crosses subject matters in ways often not seen before. This requires both expertise within verticals and the ability to work across verticals as well. Orrick and Chris Austin do a wonderful job doing this.‘
‘This law firm is unique among the law firms used by me due to its breadth of experience and ability to distill issues and provide a real-world experienced industry based response. In other words they provide clear practical business-based options in light of what is going on in our industry and provide a clear path forward.‘
‘Every lawyer we have worked with in this practice (and the firm overall) has been knowledgeable, thoughtful and responsive.‘
‘Chris Austin, and the team he has assembled both within the practice and more broadly (including Ed Eisert, Will Peifer, and Andrew Wallach) has expertly helped our company navigate through a highly complex and uncertain set of novel issues. Chris is an insightful, innovative thinker with an impressive ability to help us manage risk based on a keen understanding of both the broader context in which we operate and the nuanced details of our business that make us – and our concerns – different from other clients.‘
‘They help strategize and think through issues in a way that is beyond just legal counsel – they really partner with in-house counsel to understand the nuances of the business and to make a very bespoke (not just technical, legal) strategy to respond.‘
‘Rob Moyle and Joanna Hernandez are fantastic, particularly the level of their high quality work and creative solutions to tough problems.‘
‘Peter Cohn has a great deal of knowledge in advising private companies on corporate governance and equity raises.‘
‘I have worked with Barrie VanBrackle for 15 years plus, and she is simply superior to anyone else who works in this space in terms of her detailed knowledge of the regulatory environment, the business environment, and the strengths and weaknesses of all the major participants. Her extensive network of contacts and clients give her, and by extension our company, instant credibility when negotiating transactions.‘
‘Howard Altarescu has been a partner to our business for the entirety of our existence. His deep knowledge of financial institutions, deep experience relating to structured transactions, products and securitizations has been instrumental in our growth. Howard provides really thoughtful and insightful feedback to each new transaction or idea we bring to him.‘
‘Chris Austin is a stellar mind, and has the intelligence to flex across emerging regulated fields and provide terrific counsel. He’s got excellent judgment and interfaces exceptionally well with the business directly when needed.‘
‘Standout partner is Barrie Von Brackle who handles our account and provides advice on our fintech issues.‘
Galaxy Digital Ventures
Innovative Lending Platform Association
Social Finance (SoFi)
- Advising Oportun (a consumer lender focused on low-to-moderate income borrowers) on multiple funding strategies, including term securitizations, warehouse facilities and whole loan sales, as well as on regulatory matters.
- Representing Robinhood markets in litigation concerning claims that its text message-based new member referral program violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
- Successfully defended LendingClub and its senior officers in a securities class action in the Northern District of California.
- Advising Revolut on a myriad of US regulatory and payments matters.
- Acting for longstanding client Stripe on a number of financing transactions, including its $245m series E financing; also advised on Stripe’s $100m investment in Monzo.
Particularly strong in the areas of the payments, blockchain and cryptocurrency, Paul Hastings LLP's fintech group acts for some of the markets leading players, such as Samsung, Gemini, Coinbase and Circle. The group combines a strong nationwide multi-disciplinary team with the ability to work with the firm's international network in cross-border matters. Atlanta-based practice head Chris Daniel has a strong reputation in the payments space and represents a diverse group of clients, including non-bank and bank financial institutions and other companies active in banking and payment systems. Key contacts in the Washington DC office include of counsel Lawrence Kaplan, and privacy and cybersecurity-expert Behnam Dayanim, who has particular expertise in the gaming sector. Other names to note include San Francisco-based competition and antitrust partner Thomas Brown and of counsels Erica Brennan and Sara Weed, both of whom are based in Atlanta and advise on a range of regulatory and corporate matters.
Other key lawyers:
Silicon Valley Bank
Stone Point Capital
Community Federal Savings Bank
Cross River Bank
- Advised Gemini on the launch of its stablecoin cryptocurrency, the Gemini dollar, providing regulatory counsel with regard to both state and federal law.
- Advised VW Credit on its plans to offer a robust and innovative financial services platform within the vehicles manufactured by its ultimate parent company, Volkswagen.
- Assisted Even with the launch of its financial health app in collaboration with Wal-Mart.
- Representing Paysafe Group in a range of matters relating to gaming and gambling, including in a consolidated multi-district putative class action alleging false advertising, collusion and other unlawful conduct, and that daily fantasy sports (“DFS”) constitutes unlawful gambling.
- Advised MoneyGram on the proposed acquisition of MoneyGram by Ant Financial (China), including advice on the CFIUS filing and the global and US change of control regulatory filings in the transaction; this transaction was later terminated.
DLA Piper LLP (US)'s fintech team attracts praise for its 'ability to combine strong, core fintech competencies with expertise in other areas of commercial and regulatory matters'. The practice advises a client roster spanning banks and other established financial institutions to emerging fintech companies on a full range of legal and business matters. New York-based practice head David Luce has experience of corporate and financing transactions in the fintech and insurtech sectors, while Washington DC-based Margo Tank is rated for her abundant 'expertise and creativity' in advising financial institutions and technology companies on regulatory compliance matters. In the Silicon Valley office, Mark Radcliffe and Curtis Mo focus on venture capital investing and blockchain matters, respectively. The group was also strengthened by the arrivals of Joshua Samek in Miami, who joined from Greenberg Traurig LLP, and Travis Leach, who joined the emerging growth and venture capital team in the Phoenix office from Ballard Spahr LLP. Louis Lehot left the team and has since founded boutique firm L2 Counsel.
Other key lawyers:
‘DLA Piper has the most qualified professionals in the country, with a combination of regulatory experience as well as private practice experience. DLA Piper is in the position to hire the best in class and because of that the quality of their work is outstanding.‘
‘Deborah Meshulam offers an outstanding background in education – having graduated from Columbia School of Law, private practice and SEC regulatory experience. Deborah is a a very thoughtful lawyer, who really considers all aspects of a given issue and thinks about it not only from the perspective of the law but also from practical application.‘
‘DLA’s fintech team has a breadth and scope that provides coverage across a wide variety of Fintech issues as well as ancillary issues that arise in the context of finding solutions to online payment solutions. The ability to combine their strong, core fintech competencies with expertise in other areas of commercial and regulatory matters provides a ‘one stop shopping’ capability and a unified legal perspective in a multidisciplinary environment.‘
‘Margo Tank brings expertise and creativity in abundance to the client engagement and she is able to translate client needs into a firm plan of action. Like a blacksmith hammering on the anvil, Margo shaped and forged a financial services program for our company that was both novel and tailored directly to our needs. She is relentless in pursuit of a solution and is not intimidated by sailing in uncharted waters. A pleasure to work with and learn from.‘
Opportunity Financial (OppLoans)
- Advised Lightyear Corporation (a tech company focused on the Stellar blockchain) on its acquisition of Chain, a fintech company building cryptographic ledgers that underpin financial products and services.
- Assisted LLR Partners with its formation of Celero Commerce and strategic acquisition of United Merchant Services, a provider of industry-leading payment processing systems.
- Advised Franklin Templeton as lead investor on the $75m Series H financing for Bill.com, a cloud-based business payments automation platform utilizing artificial intelligence.
- Represented Opportunity Financial and its subsidiaries in its senior secured $25m revolving credit facility with BMO Harris Bank.
- Represented Zebit, an innovative e-commerce fintech company, in its $12m Series B preferred stock financing.
Goodwin's multi-disciplinary fintech team handles a range of regulatory, transactional and litigious matters across the sector, with a particular focus on consumer-focused financial services. Scott Joachim, who splits his time between the Sillicon Valley and New York offices, jointly leads the practice alongside Mike Whalen and Amber Dolman in Washington DC and Boston, respectively. Joachim focuses on private equity and venture capital transactions; Whalen has experience of regulatory and transactional matters in the digital currency and blockchain sectors; and Dolman is rated for her breadth of experience in corporate and private equity transactions, and securities law. Other names to note include Silicon Valley-based litigator Grant Fondo, Mitzi Chang in San Francisco, and Kimberly Monty Holzel in Boston, a key contact for advice on consumer financial services regulatory compliance. John Servidio recently joined the New York office from Winston & Strawn LLP; he brings expertise in capital markets, digital currency and blockchain technology, and financial products.
‘Great team, very thoughtful and always showed initiative when coming up with additional ideas that we hadn’t thought about.‘
Accel Venture Partners
The Tezos Foundation
- Represented Affirm in a $300m Series F financing.
- Representing The Tezos Foundation in ongoing state and federal securities class action litigation.
- Assisted BlueTarp Financial with its sale to Capital One.
- Represented a consortium of six financial institutions in an investment in SIMON Markets, a spin-off of Goldman Sachs.
- Advising Bread Finance, a retail lending startup, on regulatory and compliance matters.
Acting for household names such as PayPal, Santander and Walmart, the fintech group at Hogan Lovells US LLP is rated for its 'expertise, knowledge, and availability'. The cross-departmental team brings together individuals from its financial services regulation, corporate transactional, intellectual property, technology, and data protection practices, among others, to provide comprehensive service to clients in every segment of the fintech sector. Richard Schaberg leads the team from the DC office; he acts for banks and financial institutions in corporate and securities transactions and regulatory matters. Also recommended are Theodore Mlynar, a contact in New York for work involving blockchain and smart contract technologies; Washington DC-based Gregory Lisa, who is recognized for his 'sharp intellect' and regulatory expertise; and Sillion Valley-based managing partner Nathaniel Gallon, who is a name to note for start-ups and emerging fintech companies.
‘Working with this team provides me with the expertise to feel confident in decision making within my organization. They have the expertise, knowledge, and availability to allow me to feel confident I can rely on them for accurate guidance and counsel.‘
‘The team works extremely well together. When a particular expertise is needed we don’t hear “I can do that too”. They bring in a true expert in that area. We also appreciate the former government officials who have provided invaluable insights.‘
‘Great group of people who are also great lawyers. They know how to explain the law in a clear and relatable way to business folks who don’t have a legal background. They easily adapt their advice depending on the client’s appetite for risk.‘
‘Mark Brennan is outstanding.‘
‘Greg Lisa is a sharp intellect that is able to bring lightness to discussion when providing presentations in the matter of BSA compliance questions. He is someone my company can rely upon to make himself available in offering direction and legal opinion when needed, even on short notice. His experience in the field, in numerous roles, gives me a sense of confidence that I am getting advice from a person that is always staying current on FinCEN/BSA concerns, changes, and insights.‘
‘We have worked a lot with Gregory Lisa. He is always been more than fair in his billing practices and his knowledge and expertise in the financial services area is superior to many other lawyers we have dealt with that other firms. Gregory Lisa’s personality and interpersonal communication skills help set him apart from other lawyers we have dealt with. He has “pulled a rabbit out of the hat” on more than one occasion for us. I was truly amazed and surprised at what he accomplished.‘
- Acted for Santander InnoVentures in connection with several investments.
- Acted for Radius Bancorp as regulatory and compliance counsel in connection with the development of fintech partnerships and third-party relationships, including with fintech platforms such as Aspiration and Hudle.
- Assisted CertiK with its smart contract verification business, which included providing corporate formation, financing, intellectual property, employment, immigration, and tax advice.
- Represented the founder of EtherDelta in settling charges for a registration violation with the SEC for allegedly violating Section 5 of the Exchange Act.
- Advised Actium Liquidity Partners on regulatory, licensing, and intellectual property issues relating to its automated platform for displaying and reconciling security trading information and guardrails in real time.
Morrison & Foerster LLP's industry-focused practice group brings together multi-disciplinary expertise in financial services, technology, intellectual property, data protection and cybersecurity to advise its emerging bank and non-bank fintech clients on a full range of issues facing the sector. Key contacts include financial regulatory expert Obrea Poindexter, Sean Ruff and corporate partner Eric McCrath in San Francisco, and Palo Alto-based Stephanie Sharron.
Ballard Spahr LLP's fintech industry practice group handles a range of transactional matters, regulatory work and disputes in the retail and consumer finance space. The multi-disciplinary team counts traditional financial institutions and new fintech players among its client roster. Key partners include New York-based James Kim, who advises on compliance and enforcement actions; consumer finance regulatory expert Jeremy Rosenblum in Philadelphia; and Philadelphia-based student lending sector expert John Culhane. Judy Mok, who focuses on payments transactions, joined the New York office from Apple, and privacy and data security expert Kim Phan joined the DC office from WilmerHale. Christopher Ford left the firm in 2020.
Continental Finance Company
Social Finance (SoFi)
- Represented dozens of clients, including well-known fintech companies and marketplace lenders, in examinations and investigations by the CFPB, the FTC, and more than 30 different state attorneys general, and state financial regulators.
- Advised various clients in the digital currency and blockchain space on matters including securities regulation and enforcement, white collar defense and investigations, anti-money laundering and state money transmitter licensing, taxation, intellectual property, and general business law.
- Advising fintech clients on the front-end development of new and innovative products and services that involve privacy and data security-related issues.
- Advised a major investment bank on the launch of marketplace/digital lending products.
Clifford Chance handles a range of transactional and regulatory work in the financial services sector, and in the area of fintech, the firm has shown experience of blockchain and smart contracts, insurtech, and a variety of other matters. Megan Gordon in Washington DC is a name to note for regulatory work, while David Felsenthal in New York is a contact for fintech transactions.
Cooley LLP is known for its work in the disruptive technology space, where it brings together skill sets in corporate and finance transactions, data privacy, and intellectual property to provide a range of services to clients in the fintech space. The practice group is headed by Boston-based Alfred Browne, who specializes in private equity and technology transactions.
Rated for its 'agile and pragmatic approach to multi-jurisdiction advising', Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is a firm that clients in the fintech and blockchain space 'want on their side' for transactions, regulatory issues and disputes. Leveraging a standout firm-wide reputation for corporate work, the fintech team is particularly well known for its ability to assist bank lenders, fintech companies, and investors with critical corporate and financing transactions. Names to note include technology and IP expert David Kappos ('unparalleled in the market for knowledge, skills, expertise and pragmatic approach'), and corporate partners Scott Bennett and Michael Mariani.
‘Superb knowledge of the law. An agile and pragmatic approach to multi-jurisdiction advising. Real thought leaders. Super stylish in their delivery. You want them on your side.‘
‘David Kappos is unparalleled in the market for knowledge, skills, expertise and pragmatic approach. I wouldn’t do any tech, digital or data work without him.‘
- Represented JPMorgan in $6.55bn of credit facilities provided to Automatic Data Processing.
- Represented JPMorgan in $850m of credit facilities provided to Stripe.
- Advised Deutsche Börse in its $850m acquisition of Axioma.
- Acting for IBM in the pending sale of certain Algorithmics and related assets to SS&C Technologies Holdings.
- Representing American Express (AmEx) in allegations by a purported class of merchants that AmEx and numerous other issuers of credit and charge cards conspired to shift certain costs of fraudulent charges from the card issuers to merchants in violation of the Sherman Act and California’s Cartwright Act.
The New York-based financial technology team at Dentons is particularly strong in corporate, capital markets and venture capital transactions, acting for traditional financial institutions, such as Citibank, as well as venture-backed fintech disruptors. Capital markets experts Matthew Yoon and John Holahan jointly head the team, which also includes Charles Gelinas, a name to note for distributed ledger and cryptocurrency transactions, structured finance and consumer finance transactions. In addition to its core strength in blockchain and consumer finance, the team brings in complementary skill sets from other of the firm's practice groups, including tax, TMT, public policy, privacy, and intellectual property practices to provide full legal support on every segment of the market. IP commercialization expert Sean Grygiel joined the New York office from Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. in August 2019.
‘The team is knowledgeable and highly responsive, even given our smaller size. They understand tight timeframes and requirements for a fintech firm.‘
‘Matt Yoon, Jessica Rebarer, and Melissa Gomez Nelson are available for questions regularly, including while at conferences and traveling. They provide sufficient explanations on the law and required processes so that I am able to report to management why we must do something or what next steps are.‘
GOAL Structured Solutions
- Advising Figure Technologies on all securitization, regulatory and licensing matters in connection with the platform.
- Assisting peer-to-peer real estate lending platform, Peer Street, with all regulatory, licensing and real estate matters.
- Represented Wave Financial, a diversified crypto-asset management company, in the formation of a fund to write bitcoin and other cryptocurrency call options.
- Assisting money transmission services company Remitly with consumer regulatory matters across the US.
- Advising Blokk Holdings on setting up a title insurance business run entirely on blockchain.
Eversheds Sutherland fields a multi-disciplinary team that advises on a range of issues including corporate transactions, regulatory matters and outsourcing deals. Noted for his experience in the field of payment systems, Atlanta-based corporate partner Robert Pile heads the digital financial services and financial technology practice group. Contacts in the New York office include Brian Barrett, an experienced advisor for clients in the payments and digital commerce space; John Pruitt, who leads the insurtech practice; and cybersecurity and data privacy expert Paul McCulloch-Otero, who recently joined from boutique firm NYC CyberLaw Group. Also recommended are Michael Steinig in Washington DC and Brian Murphy in Atlanta, both of whom have experience of large-scale outsourcing transactions.
‘Brian Murphy is a responsive, knowledgeable, business partner.‘
‘They guide not only on a legal side but also in business experience and acumen. I trust them to be looking at and identifying the legal and business items that may have been overlooked by the company.‘
CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield
First Data Corporation (now part of Fiserv)
T5 Data Centers
- Advised First Data Corporation on a number of matters including on the formation of a more than $7bn joint venture with Bank of America Merchant Services
- Representing LendingPoint, which operates as an online non-bank direct lender that offers consumer instalment loans, in all aspects of its debt and equity capital raising activities; recently advised the client on its $177m asset-backed securitization.
- Advised Allstate on its acquisition of PlumChoice, a leading provider of cloud and technical support services to consumers and small businesses.
- Represented Fora Financial, a leading New York-based small business lender, in connection with a $70m asset-backed securitization, which was the company’s first capital markets transaction.
Specialist technology firm Fenwick & West LLP frequently assists disruptors in the fintech space with matters ranging from financing and corporate transactions to privacy and cybersecurity. The group is led by Alan Smith, who has experience of major corporate transactions in the fintech sector. Other names to note include Michael Brown, who splits his time between San Francisco and Santa Monica and is particularly active in venture capital transactions; Andrew Albertson, who has particular expertise in the payments space; financial regulatory partner Daniel Friedberg; and privacy and cybersecurity experts James Koenig and Tyler Newby, who are based in New York and San Francisco, respectively. All named attorneys are based in Seattle unless otherwise stated.
- Represented Carta, builder of an ownership network that changes how assets are acquired, valued and transacted, in its $300m Series E financing.
- Acted for Tala, a leading consumer lending app in emerging markets, in its $110m Series D financing.
- Advised Credit Karma on its second biennial independent assessment required by Credit Karma’s FTC consent decree.
- Represented Hippo, the high-growth insurtech company that offers smart coverage for homeowners, in its $100 million Series D financing.
- Advised NextGenVest (a pioneer in helping Generation Z make knowledgeable financial decisions from high school) on its acquisition by CommonBond, a leading fintech company that lowers the cost of education through data and technology.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP boasts a strong financial services regulatory practice, which has experience acting for clients in the fintech sector. The team was recently strengthened by the arrival of Dallas-based Erin Fonté, who joined the team from Dykema Gossett PLLC. Fonté now heads the practice group, and has a breadth of financial regulatory experience, with a particular focus in payment systems, and the payments space more generally. The cross-departmental team includes cybersecurity expert Lisa Sotto and consumer lending specialist Steven Becker, both of whom are based in New York. Scott Kimpel is a contact in Washington DC; he has particular experience in matters involving blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Names to note for financial services litigation include Jarrett Hale ('deep knowledge and also a broad industry view') and Tara Elgie, who are based in Dallas.
Other key lawyers:
‘Generally the team has both a broad and deep expertise across the house and collaborate really well together for the benefit of their clients. This capability is a real strength comparatively. With other firms I find myself seeking additional external support to fill in the blanks.‘
‘Steve Becker is very available and adept at bringing strong teams together to solve problems.‘
‘Jarrett Hale brings expertise with both a deep knowledge and also a broad industry view (very “plugged in”) which is very helpful.‘
‘Counsel Eric Flynn provides daily support. Broad knowledge and very thoughtful advice. We can trust the information he provides which is critical.‘
Velocity Commercial Capital
Lend Street Financial
Cross River Bank
Independent Community Bankers of America
- Advised Robinhood Markets on the preparation and filing of a national bank de novo charter application with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC.
- Assisting Verisk Analytics with consumer protection compliance issues relating to with the development and restructuring of consumer insurance products and implications associated with the use of consumer data.
- Acted for Jefferies Funding, as note purchaser and lender, in connection with a $1bn variable funding financing facility of home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) with Figure Lending.
- Advised Cross River Bank on a senior debt issuance and $100m preferred equity raise.
- Advised MVB Bank on establishing a compliance management system for financial technology.
K&L Gates advises traditional financial institutions and emerging technology companies on a range of corporate and commercial, regulatory and intellectual property issues. Dividing his time between New York and Pittsburgh, Robert Zinn jointly leads the team alongside Judith Rinearson, who splits her time between New York and London and specializes in the emerging payments space. Rick Giovannelli, based in Charlotte, has particular experience advising traditional financial institutions on transactional matters involving FinTech companies. In Washington DC, Linda Odom is another name to note for matters in the payments space, while John ReVeal is rated for his financial services regulatory expertise. In the Chicago office the team added Daniel Farris and Christopher Hines from Fox Rothschild LLP; Farris specializes in data privacy and technology transactions, while Hines focuses on helping tech-sector clients develop their IP assets.
First Data Corporation
- Advising Raise Marketplace on launching new products including reviewing product structure and reviewing applicable mobile app risks and laws.
- Advised leading Latin American financial technology company Nubank in the raising of $400m in a Series F investment round, with financing led by growth equity firm TCV.
- Representing Wells Fargo & Company in the development and maintenance of advances in their technological capabilities by partnering with, and investing in, FinTech companies including Axoni and Alpharank.
- Assisted Goldman Sachs’s strategic investing group with investments in Veem, a leading payments system for small business.
- Advised Crypto.com, (Singapore cryptocurrency exchange) on the compliance matters relating to its expansion into the US.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP acts both for established and emerging businesses in a huge range of corporate and transactional matters, and disputes. The multi-disciplinary US team also benefits from the ability to leverage the firm's international network to handle cross-border matters in jurisdictions including London, Singapore and Hong Kong. Sheryl Orr in New York has acted for corporates and financial institutions in M&A and financing deals, while Andrew Ray in Washington DC is a key advisor for start-ups in the fintech space. Orr and Ray jointly head the team alongside Mark Stein in Boston, who focuses on private equity and venture capital transactions.
Financial Technologies Partners
E*Trade Financial Corp.
- Represented Bitfinex and Tether in an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office in the New York Supreme Court.
- Advised E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $60m investment in MembersX Holdings.
- Represented OU GetEx in the establishment of Parity, a novel stablecoin that is backed by US dollars.
- Represented Hudson’s Bay Company in all class actions arising from its data incident involving Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, two of the brand banners HBC owns.
- Represented Crescent in a joint venture with US Commodity Funds to register an exchange-traded cryptocurrency index fund.
Perkins Coie LLP's fintech team has expertise in corporate and commercial transactions, regulatory compliance and intellectual property, and has been especially experienced in the blockchain technology and digital currency space. Key contacts in Chicago include practice head Dax Hansen and Marcelo Halpern. Seattle-based Joseph Cutler is a contact for regulatory advice on distributed ledger technology.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP's New York-based fintech practice has a strong reputation for advising emerging companies on building their businesses. The group leverages its full-service nationwide team and international platform to handle a full range of matters, from capital raises, to intellectual property and data privacy, to tax, labor and real estate matters. Global practice head Herbert Kozlov has a breadth of experience in corporate transactions in this space, while Anthony Diana is highlighted for commercial litigation, internal and regulatory investigations and data privacy matters. Other names to note include Washington DC-based financial services regulatory and enforcement expert Maria Earley and the 'terrific' Jeffrey Silberman, who advises fintech companies and other financial services clients on technology transactions. The group was recently strengthened by the arrival of Christine Parker from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, who has experience in regulatory, enforcement and transactional matters in the cryptocurrency space.
‘Recommended for their personability, expertise and professionalism.‘
‘Jeff Silberman is terrific.‘
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's multi-disciplinary team has a track record of acting for private equity investors and fintech companies in corporate and finance transactions. Contacts in New York include practice head Jeffrey Poss, who specializes private equity and venture capital transactions, and Eugene Chang, who is a name to note for intellectual property matters. The firm strengthened its practice with several new hires in 2019: Washington DC-based Michael Gottlieb joined from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, boosting the team's profile in cybersecurity and data privacy incident response, while litigators Simona Agnolucci and Benedict Hur joined from Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP and subsequently helped establish the firm's San Francisco office. In addition, former CFTC chairman Christopher Giancarlo joined as senior counsel in New York, adding substantial regulatory expertise in cryptocurrency space.
Other key lawyers:
Aquiline Capital Partners
The CapStreet Group
The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)
Finance of America Holdings
- Represented Aquiline Capital Partners and its portfolio companies in a number of transactions, including in its acquisition of human resources outsourcing provider CoAdvantage from Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.
- Assisted Insight Partners with its $1.16bn acquisition of marketing technology and digital commerce company Episerver.
- Acted for Genstar Capital in its acquisition of a majority stake in Cetera Financial Group, a leading network of nearly 8,000 financial advisors.
- Advised Warburg Pincus on its $325m sale of PayScale, the leader in cloud compensation data and software-as-a-service, to Francisco Partners.
- Represented Kony, the fast-growing US digital banking SaaS company, in its acquisition by Switzerland-based banking software company Temenos.
Arnold & Porter's cross-departmental team handles a range of corporate and commercial transactions in the fintech space. The service group is headed by David Freeman, and is made up of partners with expertise in financial services regulation, corporate transactions, intellectual property, privacy, public policy, and litigation. Christopher Allen and Michael Mancusi (who also has expertise in enforcement) are names to note for financial regulatory advice, and Lawton Camp in New York is a contact for blockchain projects and matters relating to alternative financing platforms. Also of note, the team was recently strengthened by the recent arrival of Charles Yi from FDIC. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.
First Republic Bank
Social Finance (SoFi)
- Represented Revolution Ventures, as largest institutional holder in SRS Acquiom Holdings, in a transaction in which private equity fund Lovell Minnick Partners acquired a majority investment in SRS Acquiom, a Colorado-based M&A services provider.
Based in Washington DC, Buckley LLP specializes in financial services, government enforcement, and litigation, and has been described by one client as being 'at the forefront of the fintech legal matters'. The team leverages its 'deep financial services regulatory knowledge' to advise on a range of matters including licensing and corporate transactions, enforcement actions, and litigation. John Kromer and Christopher Witeck jointly head the team and focus on regulatory matters and corporate transactions, respectively. Other names to note include Michelle Rogers, who focuses on disputes, and Jonice Gray Tucker, a contact for government investigations and enforcement actions.
‘Buckley attorneys are incredibly responsive while providing top quality legal services.‘
‘Deep financial services regulatory knowledge and expertise. They remain focused on their strengths and have a great reputation for what they do. Availability and attention of partners to a start-up business is not typical in other/larger practices.’
‘The regulatory and financial crime team at Buckley Sandler are extremely knowledgeable and collaborative. They are like a natural extension of the in-house legal team and really take the time to understand our business and serve it the best way it can.‘
‘The individual attorneys are at the forefront of the Fintech legal matters. They offer real time industry standards for transactional work and up to date compliance analysis.‘
‘Partners/counsel (specifically John Kromer, Marshall Bell, Don Meier) are incredibly responsive, attentive and detailed in their legal advice and opinions. The level of attention received as a relatively small client is atypically in dealing with other law firms.‘
‘Michelle Rogers as our key partner is a true standout, her high-intensity engagement to make whatever we throw across their desk a success to bringing a team of experts, including counsel Jeff Hydrick with his outstanding regulatory and commercial expertise to Benjamin Hutton with his financial crime expertise, it made working on setting up our US business a success a pleasure to work with. Very knowledgeable and extremely collaborative in approach.‘
Cross River Bank
- Represented Avant in an FTC investigation that spanned more than two years and focused primarily on Avant’s marketing and servicing practices.
- Advised a fintech from its start-up phase, on developing and evolving all aspects of its small-business financing products.
- Advised a consumer lending-focused fintech on enhancing all aspects of its regulatory compliance and bank partnership agreements in advance of a potential IPO.
- Represented Enova (a multi-national fintech company based in the US offering online loans to individuals and businesses) in a multi-year CFPB investigation.
- Assisting Cross River Bank with its partnerships with Affirm, Stripe and TransferWise, which leverage the client’s position as a chartered and FDIC-insured bank.
Greenberg Traurig LLP's blockchain and cryptocurrency group has core strength in financial regulation, and has also shown expertise across a range of transactional and contentious matters in the digital currency space. Carl Fornaris in Miami counts regulatory compliance, licensing and corporate transactions among his areas of expertise and jointly leads the practice alongside Los Angeles-based Barbara Jones, who focuses on corporate and securities regulatory matters. William Mack in New York is another name to note for securities law advice in the cryptocurrency space. Also of note, David Miller recently joined the New York office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Miller specializes in white-collar criminal defense, government and internal investigations, and securities and commodities enforcement.
- Advised a credit aggregator on corporate structuring, private capital raises, token structuring and preparatory discussions with SEC in connection with a no-action letter.
- Advised a software development company on corporate structuring, securities issues, capital raises, broker-dealer/trading matters, tax structuring, and related regulatory issues.
- Advised a client on regulatory licensing and registration issues for a proposed cryptocurrency trading platform.
- Assisted a cryptocurrency custody and asset management service provider with custody arrangements, regulatory registrations and licensing.
- Advised a client on US federal and multi-state money transmitter licensing matters.
McGuireWoods LLP advises emerging financial services companies offering consumer-facing fintech products on a range of compliance issues, litigation, technology transactions, government investigations and regulatory enforcement matters. Rakesh Gopalan leads the multi-disciplinary team from the Charlotte office and focuses on corporate and securities matters alongside Richmond-based James Anderson. In Chicago, Sarah Zielinski is a name to note for commercial and class action litigation, while Susan Rodriguez handles civil litigation, government investigations and enforcement actions. Former practice co-head David Reidy moved in-house to PayActiv.
Lending Club Corporation
CURO Financial Technologies Corp
JS Capital Management
Falfurrias Capital Partners III
- Advised AvidXchange on several corporate transactions including its $125m acquisition of BankTEL Systems, a provider of accounting solutions to more than 20% of banks across the US.
- Advised Crocus Technology International Corp. on securing a $35m loan from Sberbank Investments.
- Represented Acuity Capital Partners in its acquisition of Sterling Card Solutions.
- Advised California-based FastPay Partners on its securitization program with a first tranche of $80m and senior funding and trade insurance provided by American International Group (AIG).
- Advised Konfio, a Mexico-based leading online lending platform for small and medium businesses, on its $60m debt investment from a group of investors.
Norton Rose Fulbright's fintech practice is rated for its 'knowledge of current developments in US national and worldwide cryptocurrency and blockchain industry'. The multi-disciplinary practice group is jointly led by regulatory and commercial litigation partner Ronald David Smith in Dallas, and New York-based Andrew Lom, who advises investment funds and financial institutions on transactional and regulatory matters. The group also benefits from strong intellectual property and data privacy capabilities. Paul Keller in New York is a name to note for patent and trade secrets matters.
‘Norton Rose Fullbright (NRF) possess knowledge of current developments in US national and worldwide cryptocurrency and blockchain industry business, particularly issues that may impact participants of project worldwide. NRF appreciate the short, medium and long-term implications of our business proposal, and think strategically about the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and help us navigate to avoid legal issues that are likely to occur in this young industry sector.‘
‘Sean Murphy and Rachel Browndorf have been demonstrating a thorough knowledge of blockchain business-related legal issues and provided our Swiss Foundation relevant expertise to avoid financial market law violation in all critical jurisdictions of operations.‘
‘NRF’s smart contract/blockchain team are embedded in several national organizations discussing the impact of smart contracting on the legal world, and have relevant case studies and expertise to bring. We have collaborated on several conferences and presentations to Oil Industry specific groups about smart contracting and the presence of NRF and their partner’s contributions to those events was very well received. They are on the cutting edge of making natural language contracts more measurable. We have spoken with other large firms who are also interested in the space but are several years behind NRF. Also, their startup team has been integral to our fundraising efforts and very supportive as well as reasonably priced.‘
‘Chuck Powell has held our hand throughout the fundraising process and in dealing with our investors and our board, and through his experience and demeanor has deftly managed a number of issues. He has also adroitly deployed the NRF network of partners for specific events and conferences with us.‘
‘Norton Rose Fulbright delivers outstanding legal services and advice to our trade association. Our industry faces a lot of regulatory uncertainty, and Norton Rose Fulbright has an uncommon commitment to serving our needs, and the courage to give us straight answers.‘
Web 3.0 Technologies Foundation
Entoro Capital and Entoro Securities
- Advised Adbank on an initial coin offering to fund a platform built on the blockchain to remove middlemen and reduce the problem of advertising fraud using advanced AI technology.
- Advising Regen Network, a nonprofit research foundation, on governance issues and also on its ICO within a broader blockchain and smart contract ecosystem to foster and verify regenerative ecological carbon outcomes.
- Advising Lendingblock on SEC and CFTC compliance issues in connection with a cryptocurrency collateralized lending platform under development.
- Assisting Moneygram International with the management of its patent portfolio and in patent prosecution.
- Advising Escaroo, a crypto/smart contract-based escrow platform, on compliance with SEC and CFTC regulations, escrow regulations and money transfer laws.
Ropes & Gray LLP's cross-departmental fintech practice combines experts from its financial services, intellectual property and technology teams with the firm's securities regulation, privacy and cybersecurity, capital markets, insurance and related risk management and litigation capabilities. Boston-based Edward Black (described by one client as 'the go-to person for any IP-related matter') jointly heads the TMT practice alongside Matthew Jacobson and Andrew Thomases, who are based in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, respectively. San Francisco-based Edward Baer and Sarah Davidoff in New York are highlighted for their experience in investments in cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency fund formation. Cybersecurity expert Heather Sussman moved to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
‘The team at Ropes is comprised of “real” subject matter experts. Not only do they provide accurate and effective advice on the law, but they can also provide market intelligence and help you strategize on the best way to achieve your strategic goals.‘
‘Ed Black is the “go to” person for any IP-related matter. I have worked with a number of IP attorneys and Ed delivers superior performance and superior work product consistently.‘
Pacific Investment Management Company
The Vanguard Group
- Advised fintech company iCapital Network on its acquisition of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s private fund administration platform for alternative investment feeder funds.
- Represented PayStand, a cloud-based payments-as-a-service platform, in patent litigation brought by OHVA.
- Advised iCapital Networks on its acquisition of Morgan Stanley’s private fund administration platform.
- Assisted Abdiel Capital with all stages of its registration as an investment adviser; also advising this client on ongoing regulatory matters and on the acquisition of artificial intelligence, data and other cutting-edge technology for use in analysis and trading.
- Represented Toast, the fastest-growing restaurant management platform in the US, in its acquisition of StratEx, a leading provider of HR and payroll software for restaurants.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP advises blockchain and cryptocurrency companies on financial compliance issues, cryptocurrency-related taxation issues, regulatory enforcement, and civil litigation. Washington DC-based Alan Cohn, who advises on a range regulatory issues relating to the use of blockchain, jointly leads the team alongside Jason Weinstein, who has particular expertise in internal investigations and government enforcement matters.
- Advising iFinex, the owner of BitFinex, on corporate governance, regulatory, compliance and litigation matters.
- Representing iFinex and Tether in connection with ongoing investigations relating to Bitfinex and/or Tether by multiple enforcement agencies, including the New York Attorney General’s Office.
- Advising iFinex and its affiliated entities on foreign account tax compliance under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Foreign Bank and Financial Account (FBAR) report filing obligations, and related issues; advising on both the existing and novel legal and reporting requirements related to cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency-to-fiat exchanges.
Rated for its 'blockchain expertise', Sullivan & Worcester LLP is a firm to note for regulatory advice relating to cryptocurrencies. In addition acting for fintech companies in this space, the group also advises international governments including the Government of the Marshall Islands, which it advised on the development of a sovereign blockchain-based currency. The service group is headed by Joel Telpner and includes corporate partner Scott Kaufman, who heads the emerging companies and venture capital practice, and Benjamin Armour and of counsel Roy Andersen, who specialize in securities law and bank regulatory compliance matters, respectively. Armour and Andersen are both in the Boston office. 'Excellent' associate Mari Tomunen is another name to note for blockchain and cryptocurrency advice. All attorneys referenced are based in New York unless specified otherwise.
‘The team has blockchain expertise as regards US legislation. Useful if you’re in that business.‘
‘Mari Tomunen (who is excellent) and Joel Telpner are both very sharp.‘
The Central Bank of the Bahamas
Forest Park Advisors
Gita Global Holdings
Muirfield Investment Partners
The Republic of Marshall Islands/SOV Development Foundation
- Assisting the Government of the Marshall Islands through the SOV Development Foundation with the country’s initiative to launch a blockchain-based sovereign currency.
- Assisting the Government and Central Bank of the Bahamas with the Bahamas Digital Currency Initiative.
- Acting for Celsius Network (a leading global platform that uses blockchain technology to enable decentralized peer to peer lending) in relation to money transmitter and banking issues, securities issuances and regulatory matters, employment and litigation-related matters
- Represented the backers of ndau, a stablecoin virtual currency, in the design, structure and launch the stablecoin.
- Advising Streamr Network on standing of the client’s tokens under US federal securities and commodities laws.