Partner

Financial Services Regulation and FinTech

Get in touch

For further advice please contact us for a consultation.

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+44 (0)3330 143 401 info@gunnercooke.com

Partner

Financial Services Regulation and FinTech

Expertise

James advises a wide range of firms on financial services regulation and FinTech. He advises financial institutions on all aspects of EU and UK financial regulation. This includes advisory, project and transactional work in connection with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation, the FCA Handbook and PRA Rulebook (including conduct of business obligations and financial promotions), the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and regulatory perimeter questions.

James’ cryptoassets and blockchain work is award winning, receiving runner-up at the Crypto A.M. Awards 2020, “Standout” at the FT Innovation in Legal Expertise Awards 2018; “Highly Commended” at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2017 and “Highly Commended / Runner Up” at Legalweek: The British legal Awards 2017.

He has an MA in law from Cambridge University, and a specialist corporate and commercial LLM from the London School of Economics, where his specialisms included Information Technology and the Law. James has lectured with LexisNexis, and publishes on FinTech matters, including with the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.

James Advises

  • FCA and PRA authorised firms.
  • FinTech companies.
  • Participants across the blockchain ecosystem, including token developers, cryptoasset custodians, blockchain platforms, crypto-exchanges, exchanges run using distributed leger technology, crypto-custodians, crypto-brokers and crypto-funds.
  • Robo-advisors and those setting up automated advice / robo-advice solutions.
  • Firms offering investments, including providing investments in an ISA wrapper.
  • Funds and asset managers.
  • Investment firms.
  • On the acquisition of FCA and PRA authorised companies.

Experience Highlights

  • Advised on the first successful Initial Coin Offering in the UK.
  • Advised on the first equity issuance settled on the blockchain.
  • Advised a regulator on setting up a sandbox.
  • Provided evidence to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain on how to make the UK a leading blockchain economy.
  • Advised on setting up of one of the first tokenised gold trading platforms.
  • Advised a range of firms on setting up crypto brokerage and custody platforms, including providing advice on the implications of facilitating different tokens, providing opinions to banks regarding the acceptability of different firm models, and drafting terms and conditions and policies.
  • Assisted five firms in navigating through the FCA sandbox.
  • Advising a high street bank on creating a financial management App to encourage saving using nudge principles.
  • Advising on funds on setting up structures for tokenising fund units.
  • Advising on the acquisition of the PRA authorised bank.
  • Advising a range of banks on updating their agreements to comply with the PRA’s outsourcing rules and requirements.

Career History

Previous Law Firms

  • Eversheds Sutherland, Head of Blockchain and Cryptoassets (2019 to 2020)
  • Eversheds, Associate (2015 to 2019)
  • Norton Rose, Trainee (2013 to 2015)

Memberships

  • Editor, Frontiers in Blockchain
  • Lecturer, Henley Executive Hedge Fund Spring Programme
  • Member of the Convergence Alliance

Education

  • Accelerated LPC, BPP London (2012)
  • London School of Economics, L.L.M. (corporate and commercial), 2010-2011
  • University of Cambridge (Christ’s College), M.A. (Law), 2007-2010
  • Manchester Grammar School, 2000 – 2007

Other

James regularly lectures on FinTech, is co-author of both the RegTech book and the PayTech books whose authorship is crowd-sourced through a voting process and has published on blockchain with the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law. James is co-author of the UK chapter in the First Edition of the Financial Technology Law Review, and co-published the first function-based cryptoasset taxonomy in peer reviewed academic journal Ledger.

James is regularly quoted as an expert in the press, including by Ignites Europe (Financial Times), Regulatory Intelligence and Compliance Complete (Thompson Reuters), Law 360 and the New Money Review. He has given evidence to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain and Cryptoassets, and is a named contributor to the UKJT legal statement on cryptoassets and smart contracts. He regularly publishes in the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law and has a podcast.

Get in touch

For further advice please contact us for a consultation.

-
+44 (0)3330 143 401 info@gunnercooke.com