Emergence of Blockchain: New Applications and Issues for Corporate Counsel

Navigating Choice of Law, Electronic Signatures, Enforceability of Smart Contracts, Money Transfer Licensing, Privacy, AML and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will familiarize corporate counsel with the technology and some of the current and potential uses of blockchain and distributed ledger technology (“DLT”). The panel will also discuss the legal and regulatory hurdles which companies may encounter in moving transactions and information onto a distributed ledger, including a blockchain.


DLT and blockchains are a decentralized, peer-to-peer networked database that stores a ledger of assets and transactions, and uses its network to authenticate transactions. This allows blockchain and DLT transactions to be verified, monitored, and enforced without a third-party intermediary. The best known use to date has been to document Bitcoin transactions, but companies are beginning to employ distributed ledgers for various other purposes.

Blockchains and DLT can enable computable and self-executing “smart contracts” that use computer code to execute actions within the contract cycle automatically when specific conditions are met. Such contracts can significantly reduce transaction time and costs, especially with repetitive or ministerial tasks such as payments on specified dates, supply chain deliveries, or automated trades in stocks and other financial instruments.

Various uses are now being tested for blockchain, including shipping and supply chain management, labor and employment, healthcare, government services, real estate transactions, commodities, shareholder records, banking and even the legal industry. It revolutionizes the way business is conducted in these and other industries. Corporate counsel will be called upon to advise clients in creating or participating in a blockchain, and will need an understanding of the technology as well as the legal ramifications of blockchain.

Listen as our authoritative panel explains the technology and protocols behind blockchain and DLT, and the potential applications across various industries. The panel will also discuss the some of the legal hurdles in implementing blockchain, including choice of law, regulations relating to electronic signatures, enforceability of smart contracts, money transfer licensing, privacy, anti-money laundering and know your customer issues.


  1. Characteristics of Distributed Ledger Technology and Blockchain
    1. Decentralized, Peer-to-peer database
    2. No intermediary required
    3. Authenticated transactions
    4. Difference between blockchain and DLT
  2. Smart contracts
    1. E-signatures
    2. Proposed Amendments to Delaware Corporate Act
    3. Automated tracking and enforcement
  3. Potential uses - shipping, supply chain management, labor and employment, healthcare, government services, real estate transactions, commodities, shareholder records, banking and capital markets
  4. Legal Concerns and Opportunities


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is a distributed ledger, and how does it change the way transactions and information are documented?
  • How can smart contract enforcement be embedded in a distributed ledger or blockchain?
  • What are some of the current and proposed uses for blockchain?
  • What legal issues arise with blockchain that are not present with more conventional formats for transacting business?


Josias N. (Joe) Dewey, Partner
Holland & Knight, Miami

Mr. Dewey is a financial services and real estate attorney and is considered one of the foremost thought leaders on blockchain technology. He regularly represents banks across the entire spectrum as measured by assets and scale, from community to global money center banks. Mr. Dewey also represents other financial institutions, including life insurance companies and funds involved in commercial lending transactions. His finance practice encompasses a broad range of asset classes and transaction structures. He has substantial experience in participations, syndicated transactions and other co-lending arrangements, representing lead lenders and participant lenders. He is also an experienced computer coder who has leveraged this skillset to develop workflow applications to speed up the lifecycle of finance and other transactions, reduce inefficiencies, address pain points and areas of friction, as well as reduce the incidents of human error. 

Adam Bridgers
Fisher & Phillips, Charlotte, N.C.

Mr. Bridgers represents businesses across the United States faced with employment-related issues. He regularly practices in the areas of employment litigation, labor relations, wage and hour law, and workplace privacy. He has litigated cases at both the state and federal levels, including several complex cases, such as collective wage and hour actions, unfair competition claims, and trade secret disputes.

Deb Dobson, Marketing Technology Manager
Fisher & Phillips, Atlanta

Ms. Dobson focuses her career on the marketing and technology arenas. She helps the Firm's attorneys and the Firm leverage marketing technology for marketing and business development. These technologies include app development, client relationship management software, social media and web technologies. She also explores new and emerging technologies that can be leveraged for marketing communications and business development.


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Corporate Law Advisory Board

Stuart M. Altman

Director, Corporate Legal Investigations


Mark H. Hain

General Counsel

Assurance America

Michael Hermsen


Mayer Brown

Matthew A. Karlyn


Foley & Lardner

Michael J. Missal

Inspector General

Department of Veterans Affairs

G. Thomas Stromberg


Jenner & Block

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