Written by Chamber Patron ONTIER LLP.
The legal industry stands on a bedrock of precedents, examples of the past enabling lawyers to predict the future. But what about when it hasn’t been done before? What about when definitions don’t even exist? What makes a disruptive lawyer is their ability to push through the unknown, to call for clarity when there is none and to challenge the industrial status quo.
This is exactly what global law firm Ontier has been doing for the last three years, with Ontier’s London team acting for Bitcoin’s inventor Satoshi Nakamoto (Dr Craig Wright), the author of The Bitcoin Whitepaper. Through multiple defamation trials to multibillion dollar asset recovery cases and commercial advice, the firm has been lighting the way for litigation in this embryonic and tumultuous sector.
A welcomed recent UK breakthrough has been HMRC’s (UK tax) definition of Bitcoin and other related assets. Depending on their use they can be defined as property or security and treated as any other asset. This fact allows for the use of many tools within the litigator’s arsenal including worldwide freezing orders and injunctions. Tools that ONTIER were already well-versed in. And though much of the sector remains unregulated globally, case by case ONTIER are laying down new precedents that will ultimately help to shape the regulatory landscape.
However, it doesn’t stop with litigation, the fusion of the firm’s broad sector expertise married with their now established track record in disruptive technologies (digital law), has enabled the interdisciplinary team to branch into new exciting areas of law. The firm regularly gather to collaborate on all things digital law, with two “Bitlaw Summits” this year alone, London and Naples.
In Italy, the team led by Luca Pardo, recently completed a tokenization project for luxury fashion brand Bulgari and from this have become go-to advisors on all things NFT and metaverse.
In Spain, the team led by Daniel Gutiérrez successfully advised an American AI company specialized in sports, and is working closely with Spanish sport clubs and federations to secure their intellectual property rights while implementing new entertainment strategies based on tokenization.
In USA, the team attended Miami Fashion Week’s digital fashion event and briefed entrepreneurs and influencers on the opportunities of perpetual royalties flowing from their creative endeavors and decentralisation within the metaverse.
In a profession designed to keep the peace or at least safeguard it, disruption is often unwelcome. The law can often be seen as reactive, rarely future focused: Ontier not only keeps up, but predicts, plans and future-proofs the successes of their clients. Because after all, disruptive technologies call for disruptive lawyers, ones that do not accept the trend but design and define new ways of interpreting the law.
To find out more about Ontier’s disruption into the blockchain sphere, see their digital law website: www.ontier.digital.