Washington-headquartered Steptoe & Johnson is an international law firm with more than 500 professionals in offices in Beijing, Brussels, London, New York, Palo Alto, and other major cities around the world. Today it has announced the expansion of its blockchain practice into a full-fledged, multi-disciplinary practice designed to help clients prepare for the application of the technology.
This expanded practice is led by the blockchain and FinTech team of former Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, who led the DOJ’s cybercrime and organized crime enforcement efforts, and former Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Alan Cohn, who was responsible for establishing and overseeing the cyber policy office at DHS.
Over the past two and a half years, Steptoe has advised many types of participants in the blockchain ecosystem – including investors, entrepreneurs, early stage companies, exchanges, transaction processors, and retailers. Steptoe serves as an advisor to both Coin Center and the Chamber of Digital Commerce, two of the industry’s advocacy groups, and Mr. Weinstein serves on the advisory board of BitFury.
In October 2015, along with the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coin Center, Steptoe co-founded the Blockchain Alliance, a coalition of blockchain companies and law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Steptoe serves as counsel to the Alliance and Mr. Weinstein serves as its director.
“We are expanding from serving as counsel to blockchain companies, to serving as counsel to companies affected by the blockchain,” said Mr. Weinstein. “What we’re experiencing here is similar to the early stages of the Internet in the 1990’s. The blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the way the world does business, and the applications for this technology are endless.”
Mr. Cohn commented: “We are focusing on the next generation of blockchain and distributed ledger technology applications. It is not just about blockchain — it is about applying blockchain technology to your company or business, and making it real and operational while addressing any legal and compliance issues.”
“Steptoe has been a leader in this industry since day one. With Alan and Jason, we already had one of the best-regarded blockchain teams of any major law firm,” said Steptoe Chair Phil West. “By combining our firm’s blockchain experience with seasoned lawyers across industry sectors, Steptoe believes it can provide a unique set of services to a wide array of clients, helping them not only understand this technology but also determine the feasibility of applying this technology in their business and sector, and ultimately, utilizing this technology in the most efficient, secure manner in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.”