Focus On

Gowling launches blockchain group

Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 2:39 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

Gowling WLG has a new practice area.

Usman Sheikh

Usman Sheikh, Gowling WLG

The firm created what it’s calling a dedicated blockchain and smart contract group. Its practitioners are members of the firm with “crypto” expertise in different areas, including capital markets, tax, intellectual property and litigation.

The group will work on issues including initial coin offerings (ICOs), smart contracts, cryptocurrency exchanges, digital wallets, capital markets transactions, investment funds, regulatory compliance and consumer protection issues. It is expected the group will work closely with the firm's fintech (financial services technology) and insurtech (insurance technology) practice groups.

“More and more, our clients are recognizing the unprecedented opportunities for innovation and growth offered by blockchain technology,” said Usman Sheikh, Gowling WLG partner and head of the firm’s blockchain and smart contracts group in Canada.

“However, as the regulatory space surrounding blockchain continues to mature, legal obstacles can make it difficult to fully embrace the benefits of the technology.

“Over the past several years, Gowling WLG has been at the forefront of the blockchain space. In that time, we’ve leveraged our sophisticated understanding of both the technology and the surrounding legal context to help numerous clients navigate this complex area. We look forward to building on that reputation by continuing to advise businesses, institutions and other organizations on their blockchain strategies.”

Gowling WLG is a founding member of the Blockchain Research Institute, which is led by Don and Alex Tapscott.