James Burnie > gunnercooke LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

gunnercooke LLP

Work Department

Financial Services Regulation and FinTech





James advises a wide range of firms on financial services regulation and FinTech. He advises financial institutions on all aspects of EU and UK financial regulation. This includes advisory, project and transactional work in connection with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation, the FCA Handbook and PRA Rulebook (including conduct of business obligations and financial promotions), the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and regulatory perimeter questions.

James’s cryptoassets and blockchain work is award winning, receiving runner-up at the Crypto AM Awards 2020, ‘Standout‘’ at the FT Innovation in Legal Expertise Awards 2018; ‘Highly Commended’ at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2017 and ‘Highly Commended / Runner Up’ at Legalweek: The British legal Awards 2017.

He took an MA in law from Cambridge University, and a specialist corporate and commercial LLM from the London School of Economics, where his specialisms included Information Technology and the Law. James has lectured with LexisNexis, and publishes on FinTech matters, including with the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.


Previous Law Firms

  • Eversheds Sutherland, Head of Blockchain and Cryptoassets (2019 to 2020)
  • Eversheds, Associate (2015 to 2019)
  • Norton Rose, Trainee (2013 to 2015)


  • Editor, Frontiers in Blockchain
  • Lecturer, Henley Executive Hedge Fund Spring Programme
  • Member of the Convergence Alliance


  • Accelerated LPC, BPP London (2012)
  • London School of Economics, LLM (Corporate and Commercial), 2010–11
  • University of Cambridge (Christ’s College), MA. (Law), 2007–10
  • Manchester Grammar School, 2000–07


James regularly lectures on FinTech, is co-author of both the RegTech book and the PayTech books whose authorship is crowd-sourced through a voting process and has published on blockchain with the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law. James is co-author of the UK chapter in the First Edition of the Financial Technology Law Review, and co-published the first function-based cryptoasset taxonomy in peer reviewed academic journal Ledger.

James is regularly quoted as an expert in the press, including by Ignites Europe (Financial Times), Regulatory Intelligence and Compliance Complete (Thompson Reuters), Law 360 and the New Money Review. He has given evidence to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain and Cryptoassets, and is a named contributor to the UKJT legal statement on cryptoassets and smart contracts. He regularly publishes in the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law and has a podcast.


Lawyer Rankings

London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Fintech

(Firms to watch)

James Burnie arrived at gunnercooke LLP from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in May 2020, expanding the firm’s fintech offering. The practice handles blockchain, payment services and AI matters, and Burnie has significant experience in cryptocurrencies.

London > Corporate and commercial > Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory

gunnercooke LLP is forging a prominent reputation in the cryptoasset field with a roster of approximately 100 clients within the sector. The practice is also adept in supporting new funds and investment managers on set-up, AIFMD and certification matters, among others, and is also active within the payment services and electronic money industries. Key names include Edward Black and James Burnie.