What is FinTech?
Our FinTech practice is devoted to providing startups and incumbents with the specialized knowledge and experience you need to bring your innovations to market. Most broadly, FinTech encompasses the use of digital technology to improve, supplement, automate or replace functions traditionally handled by large (and heavily regulated) financial institutions.
The FinTech and blockchain industries are creating new methods to raise capital, transforming the financial services industry. While electronic and digital payment systems have led development, emerging technologies are having an increasing impact in other markets.
Because this innovation is pushing startups into heavily regulated sectors, many FinTech companies struggle to comply with complex federal and state regulations. Developers more at home in the relatively unregulated technology sector are grappling with the highly regulated world of finance, banking, investment and payments transfers. Regulators have not kept pace with changes in technology. This puts both start-ups and established companies in a bind as they have to decide how to proceed absent clear rules.
We pride ourselves in taking a thoughtful and thorough approach to dealing with regulatory issues. We help clients take a balanced approach and explain the tradeoffs and risks for different courses of action. By being nimble and staying up to date in our respective areas, we can assemble the specialists to solve your regulatory and tax problems, create your product and advise you on transactions.
We have represented clients on the regulatory and tax aspects of initial coin offerings (ICOs), negotiated IP licensing agreements, and advised blockchain companies in M&A transactions. Our FinTech practice includes these services:
- Advising early stage blockchain companies on capital raising, including both token sales and traditional equity investments;
- Creating tax-efficient structures for acquisitions and sales of digital assets;
- Regulatory aspects of product design for new cryptographic tokens or blockchain networks;
- Regulatory and tax aspects of automated investment advising services driven by AI and machines and new crowdfunding marketplaces;
- Advising FinTech companies on payment processing and other regulations that apply to financial intermediaries;
- Create and implement anti-money laundering and other compliance programs tailored to e-commerce, crowd-funding, and online investment platforms;
- Negotiating and implementing tax-efficient IP licensing agreements;
- Business-oriented IP and Privacy-Law strategic counseling;
- Integrated patent and trademark prosecution; and
- Advising buyers and sellers in M&A transactions in the FinTech industry.
Each of us also regularly plays a role as special counsel, collaborating with other service providers and in-house counsel to advise on discrete areas of a transaction or legal issue. Our FinTech practice is led by Alex Lindgren (Los Angeles), a thought leader in cryptocurrency hedge funds and regulation, and Jon Van Loo (San Francisco), an expert in cryptocurrency tax issues who regularly publishes and speaks on these topics.