Partner | London
We help individuals and businesses successfully navigate blockchain, cryptocurrency and the decentralized finance ecosystem.
From cryptocurrency, stable coins, decentralized exchanges and wallets to payment networks, lending and insurance platforms, key infrastructural development, marketplaces, and investment engines, the decentralized finance (‘DeFi’) ecosystem heralds a new and exciting era in global finance.
Our multi-disciplinary blockchain, cryptocurrency and DeFi lawyers advise issuers, innovators, investors, promoters, asset managers and exchanges on securities, corporate, tax, regulation, compliance, dispute resolution, data privacy, cyber security, estate planning and charitable giving matters. With a global team of more than 30 cryptocurrency lawyers across the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific, our clients range from major cryptocurrency exchanges, companies launching initial coin offerings ('ICOs') or initial exchange offerings ('IEOs'), companies innovating in new areas on the blockchain, veteran investors looking to build a more robust asset and succession structure for their accumulated wealth, and new investors in cryptocurrencies and tokens.
We speak the language of DeFi, both legally and technically. We grasp and have even developed the technology underlying innovations in the space. We deal with cryptocurrencies, consensus-based algorithms, and smart contracts on a regular basis for our clients. Our global team also understands and can address all the legal and compliance requirements of pandemic-driven next-generation supply chain ecosystems that utilize artificial intelligence, internet of things (“IoT”) sensors and smart contracts. Together these interoperable ecosystems are the foundation of the next generation global economy.
Our team provides regulatory, litigation and arbitration services in the cryptocurrency and fintech space. We are experienced with the existing and changing regulatory framework applicable to individuals and entities operating in or adjacent to this growing area, and we represent individuals and entities in civil litigation and arbitration across the globe and before a wide range of courts, prosecutors, regulators and agencies such as the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (‘SEC’), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission ('CFTC'), the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’), the Monetary Authority of Singapore, UK Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) and many more.
We routinely advise clients regarding compliance with securities, commodities, tax, anti-money laundering, banking and privacy regulations, including, among others:
Advising an innovative foodtech startup on the implementation of blockchain technology in the supply chain.
The monumental ICO broke several records, being the largest ICO featured on the Binance Launchpad, with 10.2 BNB committed, USD 4.2 billion committed and 201,406 participants in total. Tokocrypto is the first regulated cryptocurrency exchange in Indonesia, and the first Indonesian digital assets exchange to be invested by a global exchange (Binance). We have also been advising Tokocrypto on its Indonesian operations
Withers represented our client in litigation involving the client’s former employee’s disclosure of the physical address of the business’s headquarters. In a precedent setting decision, the court ruled that the physical address associated with a business may qualify as a trade secret and a former employee could be liable under the Defend Trade Secrets Act for their public disclosure of the company's address.
We advised a high net worth US citizen residing in the UK on tax and reporting around their cryptocurrency investments.
We assisted a local Hong Kong client who runs a crypto assets trading company with his pre-UK immigration tax and residence planning and Hong Kong profits tax analysis. The trading company is based in an offshore jurisdiction with servers across the world. From a UK perspective, we provided advice on management and control issues of overseas companies, how Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will tax transactions involving crypto assets trading that are undertaken by companies as well as how HMRC tax individuals who own crypto assets. We analysed these issues alongside the client’s personal tax and residence issues to ensure coherent planning that takes into account personal planning and the crypto business planning.
From a Hong Kong perspective, we provided tax and regulatory advice and analysed under what circumstances the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department would tax profits made by the offshore trading company and whether the trading requires prior authorisation from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.
Withers tax controversy team represented holders of cryptocurrency to address tax compliance matters with the US Internal Revenue Service. We obtained stellar results for taxpayers who received IRS crypto currency letters notifying them of potential compliance issues, and those who have progressed to formal audits. We have also represented cryptocurrency holders to voluntarily correct tax non-compliance in amnesty filings and reasonable cause filings to minimize penalty exposure.
Withers tax controversy team worked with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on behalf of clients with novel offshore cryptocurrency arrangements to establish Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) compliance, resulting in a seven figure reduction of possible penalties.
Successfully navigated witness through US Securities and Exchange Commission initial coin offering investigation.
Secured dismissal of former trading desk chief operating officer’s breach of contract action.
We provided estate and charitable planning advice to a US-based investor in bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Successfully navigated witness through SEC ICO investigation.
Secured dismissal of former trading desk COO’s breach of contract action against leading fintech company.
We serve as US litigation counsel for the worlds longest standing crypto exchange and advise on contract and fraud matters as well as advise the company’s board and executives regarding US regulatory issues and regarding a cross-border litigation.
Won motion to compel against Glassdoor, Inc., forcing Glassdoor to turn over identification information regarding anonymous individuals that posted reviews in violation of non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions in severance agreement.
Whether you are new to cryptocurrencies or a seasoned investor, if you are involved from a commercial or enterprise standpoint, and no matter where in the world you are based, this cryptocurrency podcast series has something for you. Members of Withers’ global crypto and digital assets team discuss key topics and questions right now related to cryptocurrency for both individual investors and enterprises.
19 January 2023 | article
11 November 2022 | article
We offer a full range of services to individuals and businesses. Find out how we can help you solve challenges and maximize opportunities.
We have lots more news and information that you'll find informative and useful. Let us know what you're interested in and we'll keep you up to date on the issues that matter to you.
Our website will give you a flavour of the advice we provide - if you would like to talk to us for more information, please contact our client services team who will be happy to assist.