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Lawyers to continue to upskill blockchain, smart legal contract and cypto-asset knowledge

Clients and those working in IT, technology, blockchain or distributed ledger technologies (DLT) will be interested to see that lawyers, including those at Orlotan, are increasingly acquiring additional skills outside of traditional legal knowledge in order to be able to act most effectively for clients, who themselves are working in a rapidly changing environment, particularly accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lawyers working in commercial and litigation have been advised by Sir Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls (head of civil justice in the court system of England and Wales) that they need to stay up-to-date with evolving commercial and technological issues. “Major developments are imminent. They will mean that every lawyer will require familiarity with the blockchain, smart legal contracts and cryptoassets.”

To assist with this, The Law Society, in collaboration with the Tech London Advocates (TLA) Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Group, has released updated guidance - Blockchain: legal and regulatory guidance (second edition) - explaining in some detail details plus “legal and regulatory aspects of the technologies underpinning digital currencies and the booming market in 'non fungible tokens'”.

Distributed Ledger Technology, smart legal contracts and cryptoassets will likely form the infrastructure of the digital economy and basis for future transactions, which lawyers will continue to advise on.

The guidance also continues calls in relation to the increasing need for an effective regulatory framework, stating 'the UK must act quickly to clarify its policy approach and introduce new rules where relevant in order to give the market certainty and facilitate the development of efficient and orderly markets in cryptoassets,' the guidance states. 

Anne Rose, Co-Lead Blockchain Group, Mishcon de Reya LLP, suggests that a further update to the guidance is expected during 2022 on “Degov, the metaverse/virtual worlds and smart contracts” as well as an “annex of a more technical nature in conjunction with this update outlining some of the characteristics and key legal and practical issues to consider when deploying various token standards”.

Posted on 12 January, 2022 by Ortolan

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