Firm / Organisation

K&L Gates

This content is provided by K&L Gates.

Global Managing Partner: James R. Segerdahl
Chairman of the Management Committee, Practice Area Leader – Financial Services: Michael S. Caccese

US Offices:
Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Charlotte, Raleigh, and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Los Angeles, Orange County, Palo Alto, and San Francisco, California; Miami, Florida; Newark, New Jersey; New York, New York; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington, Delaware.

International Offices:
The firm maintains 11 offices in the Asia Pacific region, located in Beijing, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Perth, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, and Tokyo; eight offices in Europe, located in Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Munich, Paris, and Warsaw; two offices in the Middle East, located in Doha and Dubai; and one office in South America, located in São Paulo.

Key Contacts:
■ Robert P. Zinn
Practice Area Leader - Corporate & Transactional New York, Pittsburgh
Email: [email protected] 
Tel: +1 412 355 8687

■ Jim Bulling
Partner Melbourne
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +61.3.9640.4338

■ Judith E. Rinearson
Partner New York, London
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +1 212 536 3928

The Global FinTech Practice:
K&L Gates, a global firm with locations on five continents, has a team of lawyers with vast experience assisting clients in navigating the regulatory, policy, and business issues surrounding the FinTech space. The K&L Gates platform operates on a strong foundation of dedication to client service. K&L Gates is transparent with clients throughout the duration of a matter and work side-by-side to develop innovative solutions.

The fully integrated firm is poised to provide strategic and efficient legal solutions that are representative of the FinTech industry’s constantly evolving platforms, services, and technologies. Lawyers, with dedicated knowledge in their field, are steadfastly committed to staying on top of industry trends. The firm prides itself on being continually cognizant and informed of emerging developments. K&L Gates's progressive approach to the FinTech space ensures that we are able to provide our clients with legal advice that is in line with the cutting-edge advancements typically seen in the industry.

As the demand for technological innovation and revolutionary ideas rapidly grows, the need for regulatory guidance in areas such as securities compliance, consumer protection, and data and privacy are mounting as well. The securities, commodities, and consumer financial services lawyers’ knowledge spans the full range of regulatory and compliance issues, and they boast extensive experience advising clients on the complex laws that regulate the FinTech industry.

On the corporate side, the M&A, commercial, and IP lawyers have substantial experience representing companies of all sizes in acquiring and selling businesses in the FinTech space, as well as licensing, jointly developing, outsourcing, and exploiting critical products, systems, and services. These capabilities translate to our representation of FinTech companies, where we work with clients who range from startups to some of the world’s largest organisations.

The group remains at the forefront of issues facing the FinTech industry, maintaining 'FinTech Law Watch,' a blog covering a wide range of topics relevant to payment systems, blockchain technology, marketplace lending firms and robo-advisors, to crowdfunding platforms and startups and emerging growth companies. Please visit www.fintechlawwatch.com and subscribe to receive updates.

Main Areas of Practice:

Private Equity, Venture Capital, M&A, & Emerging Growth Companies:

K&L Gates advises private equity and venture funds, corporate investors, and individuals in connection with their investments in startup, early-stage, and emerging growth FinTech companies. With lawyers on the ground across the world’s leading technology hubs, including Silicon Valley, Austin, Seattle, Pittsburgh, London, Berlin, Paris, Singapore, and Tokyo, the firm has deep experience in high-growth and technology driven ventures. The FinTech team regularly works with strategic investing groups at leading national banks in structuring, executing, managing, and disposing of strategic equity investments, both as single investors and as part of bank consortiums.

Intellectual Property:
From proprietary risk models and order management systems to technology platform and lender partnerships, K&L Gates is well positioned to help marketplace lending participants establish, enforce, and leverage their intellectual property rights. On the transactional side, the firm can advise on the intellectual property and related branding aspects of partnerships between financial institutions and lending platforms.

Next Generation Commerce:
K&L Gates understands next generation commerce — how evolving laws relating to technology and information apply and how clients, whether they be licensors, licensees, or buyers or sellers, may protect their opportunities and respond to the transformative nature of doing all or part of their business electronically. The firm views emerging commerce law as an overlay to traditional laws and industry practices. It is the intersection of that overlay with traditional laws and practices that is new, but it is still necessary to work with lawyers who understand the base. The combination of the base and the overlay is the stuff of modern commerce and K&L Gates is well positioned to help clients in this area.

Payment Systems:
Changing technology also impacts the global payments infrastructure. K&L Gates helps marketplace lending participants navigate the legal, regulatory, policy, and business issues surrounding platforms, services, and technologies, including open banking services, cloud platforms, mobile, prepaid and P2P payments, bill payment, cards and codes, and technologies (e.g., RFID, NFC, and peer-to-peer VOIP). The firm also understands payment systems typically involve e-contracting and consumer protection disclosures that require compliance with special rules for electronic commerce. K&L Gates has experience in investigating and conducting due diligence on merchants, agents, and business partners seeking access to the financial system to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, and other criminal laws around the world.

Big Data & Analytics:
As a leading global law firm, K&L Gates takes pride in its ability to execute a proactive approach to identifying and adopting new technological trends. Within recent years, data analytics and big data have taken a front seat not only in the FinTech world, but across businesses worldwide. The firm understands the importance and the implications of the changes that the legal and corporate landscapes are encountering due to data analytics, from both a theory and practice viewpoint. The collection of data is becoming faster and larger daily, and lawyers have developed a strategy that mitigates inefficient and ineffective practices firmwide and utilises the resources available to deliver clear and precise information based off the data collected. By integrating multiple resources to collect and categorise data, the firm as a whole is equipped to maintain the metrics necessary to deliver unique and personalised client-focused services.

Blockchain:
From finance and energy to real estate and supply-chain management, the team can advise on the full spectrum of risks and opportunities associated with adopting blockchain technology within any business or industry. The global, multidisciplinary team of lawyers is positioned to advise clients in regulation, litigation, enforcement and investigations, privacy and data security, and corporate transactional matters.

The lawyers represent startup companies and investors in new blockchain platforms and applications, blockchain services, and digital asset mining operations. Lawyers also advise clients active in the digital industries, with a strong focus on innovative services, such as blockchain-based financial services, connected cars and the automotive sector, and data optimisation and valuation. Furthermore, K&L Gates helps energy companies navigate the blockchain revolution by combining our comprehensive knowledge of their industry with other disciplines and practice areas.

The team recognised early on the importance of both understanding and adopting blockchain technology. As one of the first major law firms to be in the process of implementing its own private blockchain, K&L Gates lawyers have hands-on experience working with these applications.

Cryptocurrency:
The global team provides guidance to clients involved with cryptocurrency, such as startups, banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, investors and fund managers, payment networks, and businesses planning innovative but compliant fund-raising activities such as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and (more frequently these days) Security Token Offerings. While the emerging world of cryptocurrency has potential benefits, operating in this space poses risks, most of which are still being explored and require constant monitoring. These include significant regulatory considerations, fraud, anti-money laundering laws, and cybersecurity. K&L Gates can help clients fully understand, manage, and mitigate the legal and regulatory issues inherent in the cryptocurrency industry.

Emerging Technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI):
The firm has a deep appreciation for its clients’ concerns, especially across the newest technologies and potential unknowns that challenge clients’ business objectives. K&L Gates has decades of experience helping to develop regulatory policies and structures that facilitate, not impede, new technologies including: IT, nanotechnology, neurotechnology, and commercial space. K&L Gates has also established a firmwide cross-disciplinary AI initiative to advise and support clients that are or may be developing or incorporating AI technology in their businesses and products. The K&L Gates AI initiative harnesses the global experience of its lawyers in diverse practices and enables the firm to help clients capitalise on a broad array of technologies and applications, from process optimisation, custom controls, and automation to robotics, machine learning, predictive analytics, computer vision, and Internet of Things (IoT) in such areas as financial advisory service, smart cars and autonomous vehicles, home/service robots, unmanned aircraft, and intelligent tutoring and online learning systems.

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