Chairman/CEO: Michael J. Schmidtberger
Number of employees: 2,032 lawyers worldwide
Languages: Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese – Mandarin and Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
Overview & History:
Sidley provides a broad range of legal services to meet the needs of its diverse client base. The strategic establishment of its offices in the key corporate and financial centres of the world has enabled it to represent a broad range of clients that include multinational and domestic corporations, banks, funds and financial institutions. With over 2,000 lawyers in 20 offices around the world, talent and teamwork are central to Sidley’s successful results for clients in all types of legal matters, from complex transactions to ‘bet the company’ litigation, to cutting-edge regulatory issues.
Main Areas of Practice:
Named by Chambers USA as 2019 “Law Firm of the Year” in Financial Services Regulation, Sidley offers its clients extraordinary fintech experience. The firm’s global, multidisciplinary team of lawyers advises a broad range of clients in the US, UK, the EU and in Asia about the many legal issues that arise during the development and implementation of financial technology. In the firm’s fintech practice, Sidley combines strategic regulatory advice, transactional counseling and a deep knowledge of the financial services industry. The result is a comprehensive approach to formulating and executing strategies for clients who innovate and operate in the evolving fintech industry. Sidley’s record is strong with established financial institutions and start-up companies alike, as they have acquired, invested in, developed, implemented and brought to market new financial technologies, platforms, products and services.
Because of Sidley’s deep fintech roots, the firm knows how to work with institutions, entrepreneurs and regulators to develop novel solutions as a new generation of innovations comes online. Sidley’s latest work encompasses mobile and person-to-person payment platforms, digital wallets, marketplace lending, robo-advisers, a wide range of virtual currency-related activities, derivatives and exchanges, applications of blockchain and other distributed ledger technology and privacy and cybersecurity solutions. Thus, when the firm’s clients tap Sidley’s fintech practice, they gain coordinated access to the full suite of legal services required to participate successfully in the continuing evolution of financial technology.
Banking, Payments & E-Commerce:
Sidley’s banking and financial services lawyers help leading institutions around the world navigate an uncertain and fast-changing regulatory environment. Sidley’s counseling activities span the gamut from consumer financial services regulation to regulation of payment systems to mergers and acquisitions, and other structural issues faced by financial institutions, particularly changes in financial technology and financial markets. Sidley lawyers assist a wide range of organisations in structuring and negotiating contracts involving financial products and services and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals for the underlying business arrangements.
Sidley assists clients to establish and operate fintech businesses; advises as they navigate relevant licensing regimes, such as state money transmission and lender licensing requirements and options for a federal “FinTech” charter; advises on marketing, e-commerce and distance-selling regulations applicable to financial services that are provided through e-commerce channels; helps structure products and commercial arrangements to meet financial and other regulatory requirements; and assesses and manages risks arising out of evolving payment and lending technologies.
Sidley advises clients on the legal and regulatory considerations that arise during the development and implementation of blockchain technologies. Sidley can offer clients a contextual understanding of the specific laws and best practices that pertain to the industries within which blockchain technologies are being implemented. Sidley’s blockchain group serves both emerging companies and established institutions across the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific, providing sophisticated transactional, regulatory and litigation advice. Such clients include digital asset trading platforms, blockchain technology companies, US and non-US broker-dealers, financial services companies and asset management firms.
Privacy & Cybersecurity:
Sidley offers clients a global and interdisciplinary team of lawyers focusing on privacy, data protection, information security, internet and computer law, e-commerce, consumer protection, outsourcing, competitive intelligence and trade secrets, information management and records retention and responses to cybercrimes and network intrusions.
The firm undertakes highly sophisticated legal analysis and advocacy and provide well-reasoned, intelligible legal advice on novel questions of privacy and information law.
Sidley advises clients on requirements under the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the law on data protection and privacy as well as the transfer of personal data within the EU and the European Economic Area.
Securities Enforcement & Regulatory:
Sidley’s securities enforcement and regulatory group advises and defends clients in a wide range of securities- and derivatives-related matters, and provides comprehensive regulatory, enforcement and litigation solutions in matters involving the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, self-regulatory organisations, state attorneys general, state securities regulators and international securities regulators including the UK Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Sidley advises on the application of securities, commodities and derivatives regulations to novel financial products and services, including virtual currencies; evaluates registration and exemption requirements under securities, commodities and derivatives regulations; and handles SEC and CFTC registrations for market participants operating in a manner that requires registration as advisors, broker-dealers, exchanges or other categories of registrants.