As the New York head of Sidley Austin’s financial technology (FinTech) and blockchain group, new partner Lilya Tessler will focus her practice on representing digital asset trading platforms, blockchain technology companies, broker-dealers, financial services firms and cryptocurrency funds. She also advises technology companies on blockchain token offerings, including initial coin offerings
, and counsels financial institutions and digital asset exchanges on day-to-day securities issues, private placement agent requirements, custody rule requirements, cross-border regulatory issues, money services business registration requirements, as well as FINRA and SEC regulatory inquiries. In addition, Tessler works with transactional lawyers on structuring deals involving financial services and technology companies, digital asset exchanges and blockchain token offerings. In connection with her move to Sidley, the Hedge Fund Law Report recently interviewed Tessler about blockchain and FinTech. This article summarizes her thoughts on regulation in this space; women practicing in this area; the impact of blockchain technology on private funds; and the benefits of having an accounting and business background. For additional commentary from Sidley partners, see “Developing a 2018 Compliance Budget: How Investment Advisers Can Make the Most of Limited Resources
” (Dec. 21, 2017); and “Hedge Fund Legal Personnel May Fall Under U.K. Senior Managers Regime
” (Feb. 4, 2016).