Blockchain – Critical Questions for Lawyers and Legal Practice


Theatre G08, Ground floor
Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton


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Since the launch of bitcoin in 2009, cryptocurrencies and the encrypted, decentralized blockchain protocol that underpins them have grown from abstract theories to a transformational force that is disrupting the way many industries will operate for decades to come. Decentralized ledger technology and smart contracts could ultimately reshape many industries, including financial services, intellectual property, logistics and supply chain, the internet of things, energy, health care, insurance and the sharing economy. In particular, the landscape for financial products and services integrating blockchain technology is evolving rapidly. Whether launching funds to invest directly or indirectly in digital assets or creating new coins or tokens in connection with the launch of new distributive networks, clients operating in this area will have specialized needs that lawyers must be prepared to address.

About the Speaker Timothy Spangler is a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School, an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law and Director of Research at the Lowell Milken Institute. He has practised for two decades in New York, London and Los Angeles, where he has advised on the formation, structuring and negotiation of a wide variety of investment vehicles, as well as on the full spectrum of securities and regulatory issues typically associated with such transactions. He has worked on a wide range of funds, including hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, funds of funds and funds investing in particular countries or sectors. He and his investment funds practice are recognised by Chambers Global and The Legal 500. He speaks and writes regularly on issues related to private investment funds and alternative asset classes. He is the author of An Island Apart: Britain, Brexit, and Bonaparte's European Dream (2017), One Step Ahead - Private Equity and Hedge Funds after the Global Financial Crisis (2013, with paperback just launched in March 2016), The Law of Private Investment Funds (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition 2012) and the editor of Investment Management: Law and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2010). Tim is a member of the Private Investment Fund Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Discussant Alan Tsen Alan Tsen leads Stone & Chalk Melbourne and is passionate about making Victoria a world class fintech hub. Alan previously worked in the tax and legal practice of a Big 4 accounting firm in Melbourne, Australia, specialising in international tax and structured financing deals. He is the founding CEO of Fintech Victoria - a Victorian government seed funded organisation, which aims to amplify, grow and connect the Victorian fintech ecosystem. He is also the chairman of Fintech Australia, a member of the Federal Government’s Fintech Advisory Group and a member of ASIC’s Digital Finance Advisory Committee.

This event is co-hosted by the Centre for Corporate Law and the Transactional Law Group at Melbourne Law School.