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Smart Contracts: Role of Counsel, Best Practices for Limiting Vulnerabilities

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will prepare counsel to help clients avoid the risks associated with vulnerabilities in "smart contracts." The panel will discuss best practices for the planning, drafting, and integration of traditional contract language designed to limit potential liabilities that may arise when vulnerabilities interfere with smart contract performance.


While smart contracts have the potential to revolutionize business transactions, vulnerabilities in the operational accuracy and security of the underlying code pose a substantial risk for companies deploying the technology. Similar to traditional software, programming errors can result in all manner of unintended consequences. Even if the code works as intended, hackers' theft of over $1 billion in virtual currency since 2016 demonstrates the magnitude of the potential loss from security threats.

Capable practitioners add value to their clients during the planning, drafting, and implementation of traditional contracts governing the use of smart contracts and other blockchain enabled software. In smart contracts, counsel must understand the full range of contingencies and outcomes available with a software product that operates on a blockchain and prepare to expand their usual advisory role to address these issues.

Attorneys must also be prepared to lend insight during the software development process by identifying and correcting business or regulatory issues commonly raised before deployment of smart contracts and tailor remedies that encourage non-pecuniary resolution once a hacker exploits a vulnerability or a customer raises a dispute.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses how corporate and deal counsel can expand their responsibilities and add value to clients deploying this expanding technology, along with some critical considerations during the planning, drafting, and implementation phases of the software coding.



  1. Smart contracts
    1. Vulnerabilities
    2. Potential risks
  2. Best practices/product counseling
  3. Limiting exposure


This panel will review these and other crucial issues:

  • What is counsel's role in software and blockchain programming and product strategy?
  • What are the vulnerable areas in smart contracts, and what strategies will mitigate risk?
  • What role do natural language agreements play in supplementing smart contract terms?
  • What strategies can counsel use to provide remedies after a hacker exploits a vulnerability, or if the code is just plain wrong?


Larsen, Kari
Kari S. Larsen

Perkins Coie

Ms. Larsen represents clients in U.S. and EU regulatory, legislative, risk management, compliance and internal control...  |  Read More

Lom, Andrew
Andrew James Lom

Partner, Global Head of Private Wealth
Norton Rose Fulbright US

Mr. Lom is Co-Head of the firm’s Asset and Wealth Management International Business Group--U.S. and a member of...  |  Read More

Markey, Melissa
Melissa L. Markey, CISSP

Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman

Ms. Markey focuses her practice on developing practical, operationally focused cybersecurity, privacy and life sciences...  |  Read More

Nossa, Daniel
Daniel Nossa

Steptoe & Johnson

Mr. Nossa is a Member of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC’s Houston office. He is a securities and derivatives lawyer...  |  Read More

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