Blockchain and the Legal Profession

An in-depth look at the impact Blockchain will affect the legal profession, both in terms of how processes will change in the future, and the legal issues that lawyers will have to become aware of in an increasingly digital era.

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  • Publication date: June, 2018
  • Pages: 100
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-338-6


Created by programmers from the mid-90s onwards and launched by technology disruptors in 2008 on the back of the biggest corporate failings in trust and honesty the modern world has seen, Blockchain collects facts as diverse as Wikipedia and churns them out as randomly as Alexa in a playschool. Heralded as the next big thing, blockchain has the potential to radically change the way lawyers work, and even threaten their very existence.

So, what is it, and how does it work? This book, featuring opinions and experience from some of the most knowledgeable thought leaders on the subject, aims to cut through the hype and explore the many different facets of blockchain, and what it will mean for the legal profession.


Chapter 1: Will Blockchain change the legal world?
By Joanne Frears, Lionshead Law

Chapter 2: The evolution of law in a peer-to-peer technology world
By David Fisher, Integra

Chapter 3: Blockchain and the business model
By Robert Millard, Cambridge Strategy Group

Chapter 4: Smart contracts and their potential positive impact on society and economy
By Krzysztof Wojdyło, Partner at Wardynski & Partners, Warsaw

Chapter 5: The legal enforceability of smart contracts
By Priyanka Desai and Tyler Woods, ConsenSys

Chapter 6: Blockchain and the chain of custody
By Vijay Rathour, Partner, Grant Thornton

Chapter 7: Blockchain and archives
By John Sheridan, National Archives

Chapter 8: Patents
By Alvin Lam, Patent Attorney, Maucher Jenkins

Chapter 9: Capital markets and the blockchain
By Lewis Cohen, DLX Law

Full Overview


Joanne Frears
One of the first women solicitors in the City to specialize in advising technology businesses on IT law, Joanne Frears, solicitor and leader in IP and technology law, Lionshead Law, has been advising on technology law and commercialization of IP for over 20 years. Providing advice and strategy on IP, exploitation, commercialization and defense, she has particular expertise in law for AI, AR and VR, Blockchain, cybersecurity and defense of patents against trolls. She also has an academic interest in emerging technology and how the law deals with everything innovative. Joanne is a member of the Accord Project (participating in the IP and Technology Working Groups) and is legal counsel to the British Blockchain Association and the IBA and holds a Masters in comparative EU, UK, and US IP law.
David Fisher
David Fisher is the founder and CEO of Integra Ledger, which is the Blockchain for the global legal industry, and one of the founders of the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium, which is a standards-setting organization composed of major law fi rms, corporate legal departments, software companies, and universities. Immediately prior to Integra Ledger, David was the founder of Privatim, a collaboration platform for law firms and their clients. His experience developing Privatim led to the insight that Blockchain technology can transform legal service delivery via authoritative systems of record that are securely shared between firms and clients. With Integra Ledger, the goal is a universal backbone and technology platform that empowers law firms and clients to interact and interoperate with much greater efficiency and security. In addition to Integra Ledger’s direct benefits to providers and consumers of legal services, it provides a unified, interoperable, global legal technology ecosystem that empowers legal software companies to innovate and compete to deliver new products and services, including cutting edge technologies in the area of artificial intelligence.
Robert Millard
Robert Millard is founder and a partner at Cambridge Strategy Group, a management consultancy based in Cambridge, UK, focused primarily on law and other professional service fi rms and other deep knowledge enterprises. Rob is immediate past co-chair of the IBA’s Law Firm Management Committee and currently serves on the steering committee of the IBA’s President’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Services.
Krzysztof Wojdyło
Krzysztof Wojdyło heads the New Technologies Practice at Wardynski & Partners. He handles matters involving Blockchain, smart contracts, FinTech, commercialization of new technologies, telecommunications, robotics, and anti-money laundering. Krzysztof takes part in major projects relating to new technologies law and regularly advises startups as well as large companies from the new technologies sector. He has often spoken at conferences and seminars, including events organized by the International Bar Association. He runs training sessions for leaders of startups and is the coordinator of the regulatory working group of the Coalition for Polish Innovations. He graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration at Warsaw University in 2005.
Vijay Rathour
Vijay Rathour is a partner with the forensic and investigations practice, leading the digital forensics group. Prior to joining Grant Thornton, he was a solicitor with over ten years of experience working in a range of legal fields including corporate and transactional work, personal injury and negligence, and corporate litigation. Throughout his career, Vijay has been engaged on many high profile disputes and investigations across a range of industries, specializing in the financial sector. In his role as a lawyer within the enforcement and financial crime division of the FSA, he advised on regulatory actions and assisted in establishing enforcement strategy for the financial markets. Vijay specializes in the fields of cybercrime, cyber-security, incident response and data breaches, and has managed some of the UK’s most high-profile digital forensic investigations.
John Sheridan
John Sheridan is the digital director at The National Archives, with overall responsibility for the organization’s digital services and digital archiving capability. His role is to provide strategic direction, developing the people and capability needed for The National Archives to become a disruptive digital archive. John’s academic background is in mathematics and information technology, with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Southampton and a Master’s Degree in Information Technology from the University of Liverpool.
Alvin Lam
Alvin Lam is a partner in the patent group of Maucher Jenkins’ London office. He graduated in 2001 with a joint degree in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, and entered the patent profession amidst the developing landscape of patenting computer and software-related inventions in the UK and Europe. His practice specialization has remained in advising and obtaining patents for high-tech clients in the AI and computing fields. Alvin has extensive experience with drafting and prosecuting patent applications, global patent portfolio management and filing strategy advice, as well as prior art and freedom to operate searching and advisory work.
Lewis Cohen
Leading a new kind of law firm for a new economy, Lewis Cohen is a corporate attorney experienced in all aspects of Blockchain and distributed ledger technology, smart contracts, cryptocurrencies and other new capital raising techniques and structures for businesses, from venture capital all the way through all aspects of capital markets transactions.

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