Toronto has an impressive and growing group of legal professionals who work in the blockchain space. This blog post is an attempt to list the people and their areas of focus (see the end of the table for the inclusion criteria and disclaimers).
|Lawyer's Name||% Blockchain|
|Brief Overview Of Their Blockchain Work|
|Aaron Grinhaus||10-20||Tax, securities and commercial law|
|Addison Cameron-Huff||100||Legal executive for blockchain companies (commercial/corporate)|
|Ana Badour||15||AML, payments law and financial services regulation|
|Binh Vu||More Than 10||Companies going public and corporate financing|
|Chetan Phull||95||Regulations, cross-border operations, contracts, and disputes|
|Danny Kharazmi||20||Securities and corporate commercial law|
|Dean Masse||25||Legal advice for securities offerings|
|Evan Thomas||More Than 10||Litigation, investigations and risk management|
|Geoff Cher||20-50||Financing, venture capital and securities compliance|
|Geoff Rawle||More Than 10||Cross-border STOs, trading platforms, and funds work|
|Ian Palm||20||Capital raising, M&A and commercial advice|
|James Longwell||10||Protecting and reviewing blockchain intellectual property|
|Jason Saltzman||More Than 10||Securities law and compliance matters|
|Laura Gheorghiu||10||Tax advice for Canadian tech companies|
|Lori Stein||13.5||Advises cryptoasset investment funds and managers|
|Marc Richardson Arnould||More Than 50||Structuring, financing, acquisitions and dispositions|
|Marcus Hinkley||15||Capital markets and M&A|
|Myron Mallia-Dare||15||M&A, advises on technology matters & securities|
|Parna Sabet-Stephenson||10-15||Drafting and negotiating contracts|
|Phil Long||15-20||Capital raising, securities regulation and contract negotiations|
|Ross McKee||10-20||Regulatory advice for issuers, dealers & exchanges|
|Sam Ip||15-20||Commercial technology law, particularly open-source|
|Usman Sheikh||90||Securities litigation, professional liability and class actions|
|Zain Rizvi||More Than 10||M&A, securities law, AML, and privacy|
The list above is of 24 lawyers who meet the following criteria:
- based in Toronto; and,
- at least 10% of their work is blockchain-related (according to them); and,
- have blockchain words on their profile page; and,
- that are known to me.
There may be other practitioners in Toronto who do great work in this area but it's either a smaller percentage of their clients (e.g. Allan Oziel who told me that this is now less than 10% of his work but once wasn't) or I'm not aware of them. If you think I'm missing someone please let me know: email@example.com.
Methodology And Disclaimer
The numbers above (and in some cases the descriptions) are, in most cases, based on emails with the lawyers. The descriptions are often editorialized to simplify the descriptions that lawyers provided, or drawn from their online profiles. This isn't a formal survey, or an academic article, this is a blog post. Some lawyers "guestimated" their percentage and a small number of them sent me a number based on their client files so please do not treat these as exact figures and do not use them for ranking practitioners. Furthermore, some of these people responded to an email that merely asked them if they do at least 10% blockchain work, and if they said yes, I've noted them as >10. They may do a lot more, or a lot less work, and the work that lawyers do changes over time.
All of the lawyers on this list do more than what the very brief descriptions say about them and I encourage anyone looking for a lawyer to carefully review all of the profiles on this list (click their name to see their official profile).
The % of work that someone does in the blockchain space isn't necessarily a reflection of their knowledge or expertise, but I think it's a good metric for whether people are included on a list of blockchain practitioners (but not for ranking them). "More Than 10" means 10-100%, and usually indicates I don't have an exact number supplied by the person.
This list is alphabetized to avoid an inference that this is a ranking of lawyers.
I've relied on self-reported numbers and there's no way to verify the provided numbers (and in some cases the person was just asked if this is 10% or more). I don't recommend using this number for any kind of ranking or understanding who is doing more or less work in this area. But any list must have criteria and so I've selected some. If you would like to make your own list (with different or the same criteria) you are welcome to use this one as a starting point.
Conclusion: A Growing Cluster of Expertise
This list isn't complete but so far as I know it's the first attempt to list the great (and growing) group of lawyers who make up Toronto's blockchain practitioners. The big picture on this is that there's an excellent set of lawyers in Toronto who make up a growing cluster of expertise in the emerging world of blockchain.