SQrBlock Solutions will be led by the firm's fintech practice co-chair Huhnsik Chung
Top 200 US firm Carlton Fields is opening a blockchain consultancy, SQrBlock Solutions, as it seeks to capitalise on growing client demand for legal and regulatory advice related to distributed-ledger technology.
Huhnsik Chung, co-chair of Carlton Fields’ fintech and P&C insurance regulatory and transactional practice, has been named chief executive and president of the new venture, with fellow co-chair Barry Weissman named executive vice president.
Chung said: “Blockchain holds immense potential for improving efficiency, providing real-time information, and reducing costs. Business leaders around the world are recognising the compelling cases for blockchain technology. In fact, more than half of surveyed senior executives say blockchain has become a critical priority.”
One challenge, said Chung, is that the novelty of distributed-ledger technology and its technical nature means organisations can find it confusing to embed blockchain into their everyday business functions. Carlton Fields’ blockchain consultancy aims to solve that by giving clients access to the legal and technical expertise needed to build blockchain-powered apps, products and services.
The consultancy is partnering with South Korean blockchain-as-a-service provider and developer B-square Lab to help clients integrate blockchain technology with their legacy IT systems.
Weissman said: “Having the technical and consultative know-how to deliver comprehensive blockchain solutions across industry is powerful.”
Chung joined Carlton Fields’ New York office in February having previously been a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan for just under two years. Prior to that he was chair of Baker McKenzie's North American insurance practice.
Weissman has been at Carlton Fields for the past five years of a career spanning more than four decades, which has also seen him work in partner roles at Edwards Wildman Palmer, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, and Graham & James.
Blockchain technology is being used to disrupt a range of industries, including trading platforms, supply chain monitoring and insurance.
A number of other firms are stepping up their blockchain advisory efforts. Last year Bird & Bird published a blockchain report outlining the potential regulatory hurdles of various blockchain applications.
Last week Facebook’s digital currency project Libra, which will run on blockchain technology, named HSBC’s chief legal officer Stuart Levey as the CEO of the Libra Association.
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