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Financial Technology

Fintech Growth Opportunity

Fintech continues to drive the financial industry forward with accelerated momentum in autonomous finance, open and digital-only banking, voice technologies and consumer financial literacy. Barnes & Thornburg understands the fintech space and works with clients to evolve their operational imperatives, maximize growth potential, expand market dominance, and mitigate the risks inherent in this complex sector.

Barnes & Thornburg’s Fintech practice is rooted in the structuring and formation of cryptocurrency-focused private funds, including the creation of multiple funds tracking nascent cryptocurrency indices, and in providing ongoing legal and regulatory advice to private fund managers trading cryptocurrency. We advise on investing, transacting or accepting cryptocurrencies, as well as handle government investigations into allegations of trading or facilitating trading in cryptocurrency without proper registration under federal securities or commodities laws.

Our firm provides comprehensive legal counsel for businesses, institutional clients and other organizations involved in financial technology products. Our team is valued for its efficiency, cohesive team methodology and problem-solving, client resource conservation, and a no-surprises approach to budgeting. As proven legal advisers with offices in major financial centers across the country, including New York and Chicago, we are fluent in the full range of fintech products including:

  • Cryptocurrencies/blockchain
  • Cloud initiatives
  • Consumer and data privacy
  • Digital banking and insurance
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Marketplace/alternative lending
  • Mobile and digital wallets
  • Payment gateways
  • Trading platforms

We assist fintech clients with the acquisition and protection of intellectual property rights, including international patent and trademark portfolio growth and management, trade secret and rights management, due diligence planning and execution, and data privacy and cybersecurity best practices. With a knowledge of cutting-edge digital platforms, based on blockchain and other evolving technologies, our Fintech team advises on joint development agreements, technology development partnerships, IP licensing and enforcement, and the establishment and maintenance of market exclusivity through early and continuous protection strategies.

Supported by our deep experience in anti-money laundering and financial institutions regulatory matters, we guide fintech clients through treasury management, payment products and cryptocurrency regulatory matters. We assist myriad organizations, including startups and divisions of established financial services companies alike, in launching new products in the consumer lending and payments segments.

In the area of M&A, joint ventures and vendor and customer contracts, we are veteran counselors and negotiators who have successfully analyzed and guided companies involved in blockchain, crypto, trading, and payments (including both consumer and professional) through their most important transactions. We provide practical advice regarding training, compliance and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.

Our team advises on virtually every substantive legal discipline in the fintech mix, such as:

  • Advertising and marketing compliance
  • Anti-money laundering
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning advisory
  • Competition and disputes
  • Consumer financial services
  • Data privacy and cybersecurity
  • Joint ventures, outsourcing and other alliances
  • Mergers, acquisitions and dispositions
  • Private offerings, IPOs and SPAC exits
  • Regulatory compliance and advisory
  • Vendor risk management

Practice Leaders

Jahan Sharifi, New York Lawyer

Jahan Sharifi

Fintech Group Co-Chair, Private Investment Funds and Asset Management Co-Chair

New York

P 646-746-2010

F 646-746-2001

Trace Schmeltz

Trace Schmeltz

Financial and Regulatory Litigation Group Co-Chair, Fintech Co-Chair

Chicago, Washington, D.C.

P 312-214-4830

F 312-759-5646


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