While the digital age has transformed virtually every industry, it has brought the financial industry its own unique set of challenges, as rapid technological innovation drives evolving consumer expectations, security needs, and legal and regulatory pressures. As consumers shift from traditional financial services to mobile wallets, e-payments, digital assets, cryptocurrencies, security tokens and AI-based asset discovery and management, the financial services industry providers are finding that their very existence and relevance depend on their ability to use and offer technology-based services to adapt to the ever-changing, competitive industry landscape.
Duane Morris attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in the fintech sector, from fintech startups offering a wide range of innovative and disruptive technologies, to established industry players, including banks, payment processors, credit card issuers, mobile payment providers, stored-value card processors, healthcare payment providers, insurance companies, investment research publications, e-commerce and online retailers, broker dealers, non-exchange trading venues and investment advisers. We are adept at helping financial institutions and startups with joint venture, licensing and merger and acquisition (M&A) deals; addressing payment, clearing and settlement issues; and navigating companies, foundations and individuals through the shifting legal and regulatory environment regarding cryptocurrencies, utility and security tokens and other digital assets. We also assist fintech startups in acquiring state and national banking licenses.
Our multidisciplinary team has a depth of experience advising clients on matters related to:
- Intellectual Property: patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and other technology disputes and litigation, enforcement and defense, alternative dispute resolution, licensing opportunities and strategies, and patent and trademark prosecution.
- Financial Institution Regulation, Supervision, Examination, Compliance and Enforcement: requirements of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC); the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC); the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA); the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN); the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC); the Department of Commerce; the Department of State; and state law and international law equivalents covering the full range of fintech-related regulatory and compliance issues, including banking, securities and commodities laws and regulations, cybersecurity, privacy, data breaches, internal controls, systems requirements, risk management procedures, investor and consumer protection, AML (anti-money laundering)/KYC (know-your-customer), and safety and soundness requirements.
- Transactional: M&A, lending and finance, smart contracts, capital markets (including security token offerings, initial coin offerings, initial exchange offerings and tokenized asset offerings), and funding and investment opportunities.
We also work closely with industry players as they explore new avenues to acquire and leverage innovation in the fintech space. We regularly counsel investors and entities on identifying strategic emerging technologies and partnerships that bring more value, better protection and increased market share and brand recognition to their businesses.