The Fold Legal

If youre pioneering a new approach or just bringing fresh thinking to the tried and true, youll need to understand the regulatory implications and find the best way to manage them. This is The Folds favourite territory, and weve been helping financial services and credit businesses innovate since 2002.

Servicing clients Australia wide from offices in Sydney and Brisbane, The Fold offers a full range of regulatory, corporate and commercial legal services to financial services businesses. We are financial services specialists highly regarded for our industry knowledge and for strategic advice that addresses our clients needs. We believe the law doesnt have to be mysterious or complicated, and our mission is to make high quality legal services accessible and available for all.

Since 2013 The Fold has become the go-to regulatory and commercial advice firm for fintech, regtech, blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses, across multiple sectors. Were Legal Partner to Fintech Australia and Insurtech Australia and are members of both the Federal Governments FinTech Advisory Committee and ASICs Business Advisory Panel. This gives us unique insight into and the ability to contribute to regulatory policy development. We also leverage our excellent relationships at ASIC to deliver positive outcomes for our clients and regularly assist start-ups in establishing relationships with the regulators and facilitate the process (by using the Innovation Hub to engage with ASIC) to seek an early position from the regulators to inform the business model.

We are often told that the most valuable contribution we make is putting our extensive network at our clients service. Having worked for many years in the financial services sector, The Fold has a wealth of business relationships that it makes available to its clients to connect them to clients and others in our network to seek investment, pilot/partner opportunities, and other professional support. We have connected numerous businesses and fintech start-ups who have similar interests and specialisations with clients who can benefit from the use of their technology or collaborate together on projects.

Our contribution to the fintech ecosystem was recognised at the 2018 Finnie Awards where we were awarded Excellence in FinTech Support Services Professional Services. We were finalists in the 2019 Awards in the Excellence in Support Services category.

The Fold is ranked in the Chambers Global FinTech Guide, with Chairman Claire Wivell Plater ranked as a Band 1 Lawyer. Solicitor Director Charmian Holmes won FinTech Thought Leader of the Year at the 2019 Fintech Business Awards.

Key Policy Working Groups

The Folds Chairman Claire Wivell Plater co-leads the Digital Currency & Blockchain policy working group. We are also active in the following policy working groups:

  • Small Business Lending
  • Payments
  • Open Data (Open Banking)
  • Wealthtech
  • Crowdfunding

Main points of contact

Charmian Holmes Solicitor Director
07 3854 4202
[email protected]

Areas of expertise:
Corporate advisory/mergers and acquisitions
Venture capital raises/crowdfunding
Insurtech
Alternative risk structures, including peer-to-peer
Cryptocurrency trading platforms/blockchain

Jaime Lumsden Solicitor Director
02 8353 6605
[email protected]

Areas of expertise:
Financial services and credit regulation
Financial product design and distribution
Payments and FX
BNPL
Lending including P2P
Robo-advice and other wealth management
AFS and ACL licensing
Novel financial products
Cryptocurrency/blockchain
Fractionalised assets (regulatory advice)
Superannuation and other online calculators

Michele Levine Senior Associate
02 8353 6614
[email protected]

Areas of expertise:
Financial services and credit regulation
Product design and distribution
Payments and FX
BNPL
Cryptocurrency
Innovative / novel financial and credit products
AFS and ACL licensing

1 hour complimentary consultations for Fintech Australia members

The Folds niche is working with early stage fintechs to provide strategic advice on how to commercialise their technology, how their offering will be received in the market and establishing relationships with the regulator. If youre a start-up looking for some initial advice, get in touch with us to book a 1 hour complimentary consultation where you can discuss your business plans with one of our experts. We can advise on business structure, capital raising, regulation, licensing and partnering/piloting arrangement. Its an opportunity to get some useful legal advice without any ongoing commitment. Whilst you wont receive any written advice afterwards, youll have your initial questions answered and a clear direction for what the next steps are.

To book a consult, contact our Client Relationship Manager, Felicity Lyall, on [email protected]

Manuals, templates & tools

The Fold has created a comprehensive suite of legal manuals and templates that are a cost effective way for fintech start-ups to put the proper agreements and systems in place without too much legal spend. To purchase these templates, visit our eStore. If you need more information on what products might be suitable for your business, get in touch wed be happy to help.

The Fold offers a 5% discount on all our products for Fintech Australia members just get in touch with us to redeem this offer.

Blog Articles

The Fold publishes a regular blog that provides a frank take on issues affecting the financial services sector. We make our blogs relevant by telling you in plain English what it means for your business we dont just commentate.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive blog alerts, plus $50 off your next eStore purchase.

DLA Piper

Our multi-disciplinary team around the world leverages the technology experience of our corporate, financial markets, financial services, regulatory, employment, tax and intellectual property and technology practices to offer integrated, full service legal solutions to assist our financial services and technology sector clients navigate the increasingly complex environment at the intersection of transactions, technology and regulation.

We are independently recognised as market leading – DLA Piper recently received the award for FinTech Firm (Specialism) of the Year, in the 2018 Legal 500 UK TMT (Technology, Media and Telecoms) category. This accolade is based on empirical research undertaken by the Legal 500 research teams, which includes detailed submissions sent from all major law firms, and thousands of client testimonials.

In addition to providing quality legal advice, DLA Piper has a supportive culture founded on the diversity of our people, the communities we operate in and the clients we work with. We continue to support our clients and contacts through cross-selling, introductions from known networks and development of networking opportunities – of particular benefit to growing and disruptive Fintech market players.

Key legal services we offer in Fintech include:

  • Startup Best Practice: Advising entrepreneurs, including on a number of unicorns, on best practice across the startup lifecycle.
  • Employment advice: Advising on the full range of employment issues matters relevant to FinTech market players and disruptive businesses.
  • Venture Capital: Acting for leading global VC funds globally and acting for companies to raising e capital from VC funds.
  • Tech IPOs: We draw on leading global venture capital expertise and networks unavailable to other Australian firms, enabling VC funding to be explored alongside an IPO.
  • IP Strategy: Advising on all aspects of IP registration, protection and defence.
  • Tech M&A: Advise on high profile and complex tech M&A.
  • Corporate Venture and Innovation: Pre-eminent advisors to corporate venture and innovation teams globally.
  • Dispute resolution: Advising on the full range of litigation services and meeting client needs in regulatory, public policy and enforcement areas.
  • Global expansion: Advising on all aspects of global expansion for tech companies.
  • Fund Establishment: ESVCLP and corporate venture fund expertise.

We are different to other law firms as:

We can leverage our international network – A key point of difference in our service offering to FinTechs is that, as a global law firm, we are able to leverage not just our extensive experience around the world, but in particular for Fintech, our deep heritage in Silicon Valley. Our venture capital and technology practice sets us apart to provide the best advice and support to FinTech businesses of all sizes. We are firmly focused on providing best practice global transaction and legal support from the US and elsewhere so that our innovative and entrepreneurial clients can grow their business.

We foster an inclusive culture through networking and offering introductions – One of the biggest issues impacting those in the FinTech industry is access to funding as they seek to expand their businesses. Through our global network we are able to introduce and connect FinTech businesses to international sources of capital.

We have strong values – A business is also defined by its culture and its values. Our firm has clear values that we uphold which alter how we work with our people, our clients and our communities. We strive in all things that we do to:

Be Supportive —– Be Collaborative —— Be Bold ——– Be Exceptional

Our values are at the heart of who we are as a law firm.

Key Policy Working Groups

DLA Piper is active in the following policy working groups:

  • Payments Policy Working Group
  • Open Data Policy Working Group

Main points of contact

Joel Cox
Joel is one of Australia’s most active advisors to technology companies of all sizes from start-ups through to multi-nationals and an advisor to many technology focused venture capital funds in the Asia Pacific region. This includes Joel advising many of Australia’s fastest growing technology companies, including SaaS, financial services technology, ecommerce and cloud companies. Joel Cox has considerable experience advising on all aspects of public and private company M&A, equity capital markets transactions and private equity and venture capital transactions.

Sinead Lynch
Sinead is a trusted advisor on data protection, data security and privacy, cyber security, breach management and related compliance issues for clients operating in these sectors. She has a particular interest in data compliance issues of emerging technologies. Sinead also has significant experience in large scale, innovative sourcing transactions, managed services initiatives, telecommunications procurement and other strategic and complex IT, telecommunications and commercial projects for customers and suppliers in both the public and private sector.

Kurt Tiam
Kurt Tiam has been exposed to all aspects of corporate and commercial transactions, venture capital financing and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. This includes extensive experience advising US multi-national companies on Asia Pacific M&A and on investment into Asia Pacific based companies. Kurt has worked on deals across all sectors, but with a particular focus on technology and life sciences transactions. Kurt has particular experience in China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Resources

  • Accelerate is DLA Piper’s dedicated online resource for entrepreneurs looking to be the next big…
    Through Accelerate, DLA Piper provides entrepreneurs with easy to read materials that clearly explain key legal and business issues every founder of a company should know. Our materials help founders learn about issues commonly faced at formation; understand strategies for protecting a company’s intellectual property crown jewels; get a handle on the essentials of good corporate housekeeping and employment and equity compensation considerations; and consider key issues around fundraising and liquidity.
    Our global platform positions us to provide resources that support global expansion, even for companies in the earliest stages. We also offer tools that enable entrepreneurs to generate commonly used documents for free on their own time in a self-service way.
    Through this portal, entrepreneurs can partner with DLA Piper’s emerging growth team to accelerate formation, growth and expansion.
    Accelerate was recently recognized by the Financial Times as one of the most innovative new products for attorneys.
  • TechLaw Our offices around Australia host TechLaw events throughout the year. If youre interested in attending these informative events email [email protected] and we can add you to our invite list.
  • A case study – Reinventure (Westpac Bank’s AU$150 million CVC fund): We are the exclusive providers of legal services to Reinventure advising on all aspects of their investment process. Our deep expertise in venture capital internationally means that we are trusted to advise them on global best practice in corporate venture capital. We listen to Reinventure’s market insights and have developed precedent investment documents for Reinventure which we constantly refine. We have provided training for their junior staff and network with Reinventure’s staff at levels. We have a thorough understanding of their investment thesis and portfolio companies and scout for investment opportunities for them.

Client testimonials

“We have found Joel and his team to be a highly valuable advisers in the legal area for corporate venture. From my perspective, they are also a good partner beyond legals. They are well connected across key markets.” Ron Arnold Managing General Partner, IAG Ventures

“Thank you for all the hard work that the DLA Piper team has put into the last 6 months. We are extremely excited to have this calibre of investors on the team. If you were to pick a Dream Team of Investors then Blackbird (VC), Telstra Ventures (Corporate VC) and Skip (Unicorn Skills), you would be hard pressed to find better. A massive endorsement of the team, the product and the vision.” Brad Parsons, CEO and Founder, Movus

“Joel Cox is a strong commercial lawyer who deals very effectively with emerging companies. He brought to the matters on which we have worked, a practical understanding of the risks and opportunities, a fine legal mind and great client skills. He has a genuine interest in disruptive businesses but exercises old style skill and efficiency. Deena Schiff – ex-Telstra Ventures CEO, Non-Executive Director to various technology companies

K&L Gates

K&L Gates is a global firm with a team of lawyers who have vast experience assisting clients in navigating the structuring, fundraising, regulatory, policy and business issues surrounding FinTech start-ups. Our fully integrated firm is poised to provide clever and efficient legal solutions that are representative of the FinTech industry.

Money can be tight in a start-up which is why we like to get in on the ground floor and work to build relationships to deliver maximum value. With this in mind, our offerings provide cost certainty and assist you through the various critical stages of the start up lifecycle.

We deliver results for our clients across the global FinTech ecosystem. Our strong reputation in this industry draws upon our firm’s:

reach and resources
interdisciplinary and collaborative approach
strength in corporate/M&A, regulatory, emerging growth
leading investment management and consumer financial services practices.

The FinTech industry encompasses a wide range of verticals, including payments, nextgen commerce, marketplace lending, asset management, blockchain, RegTech, and technology among others, and our cross-practice, global team of more than 100 FinTech lawyers has vast experience assisting clients in navigating the business, regulatory, intellectual property, tax, and policy maze that often characterises this industry.

Demonstrating our commitment to the industry, we are actively involved with several FinTech incubators across the globe, including FinTech Australia, H2 Ventures in Sydney, Financial Health Network (formerly CFSI) in the US and PNP Paris. Rather than just sponsoring these accelerators/incubators, we are involved at the grassroots level working directly with start-ups, including handling legal matters for incubators CFSI and H2 Ventures.

The goal of the practice, as counsel to the global FinTech industry, is to be poised to provide strategic and efficient legal solutions that are representative of the FinTech industrys constantly evolving platforms, services, and technologies. Our progressive approach to the FinTech space ensures that we are able to provide our clients with legal advice that is line with the cutting-edge advancements typically seen in the industry.

Hall & Wilcox

Our Fintech team understand the challenges clients face in this evolving sector. Recognised as leading lawyers in their field, our team can advise on all aspects of financial services and IP/IT law affecting both new and established participants.

Our team comprises of financial services, tax and corporate experts who provide specialised advice to fintech companies. We are developing a reputation for our expertise in the area of non-cash payments, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. Our team regularly advise fintech companies on all aspects of their business including establishment, licensing, AML/CTF and software development.

In addition to our financial services advice, we provide a full suite of legal services that might be required by a startup (or established) fintech company, including general corporate, commercial, IP, IT, tax, employment, property, and dispute resolution.

Collectively, our fintech expertise includes:

  • AFSL, ACL, ADI and RSE regulation and licensing;
  • Blockchain/cryptocurrencies;
  • Payments;
  • IP / IT;
  • Funds management;
  • Superannuation;
  • Group life insurance; and
  • Anti-money laundering.

We are up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry and are involved with peak industry bodies within the industry. Hall & Wilcox has a partnership with Asia’s leading independent fintech innovation hub, Stone & Chalk. This partnership aligns with our Smarter Law strategy and our strong focus on fintech, financial services and insurance industries.

At Hall & Wilcox, we see ourselves as more than just a service provider to our clients. We aim to build long-lasting personal relationships with our clients and become a long-term trusted adviser. This approach is supported by our practice of Smarter Law, which challenges us to implement technology in the delivery of legal services.

Main points of contact

John Bassilios
Special Counsel, Corporate and Commercial, Banking and Financial Services
+61 3 9603 3580
[email protected]
Bio

Areas of expertise:

  1. Corporate and commercial
  2. Licensing
  3. Funds management
  4. AML/CTF
  5. Blockchain /cryptocurrency

Adrian Verdnik
Partner, Banking and Financial Services
+61 3 9603 3579
[email protected]
Bio

Areas of expertise:

  1. Superannuation
  2. Funds management
  3. Licensing

James Bull
Senior Associate & Head of Frank Startup Practice
+61 3 9603 3635
[email protected]
Bio

Areas of expertise:

  1. Corporate and commercial
  2. Startups
  3. Capital raising
  4. Mergers and acquisitions

Policy working groups

Hall & Wilcox are active in the following policy working groups:

  • Blockchain Working Group
  • Wealthtech Policy Working Group

Resources

Frank – We are committed to startups via our frank service offering, which supports entrepreneurs with frank advice, resources and access to our networks.

COVID-19 Resource Centre – With the current COVID-19 situation which is impacting businesses in the industry, we have developed a hub aimed at providing resources and tools to help businesses navigate legal and business uncertainty.

King & Wood Mallesons

Tackling the fintech opportunity head on, our Fintech team offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. To date, King & Wood Mallesons have collaborated with high profile financial services organisations as well as fintech concept creators and new start-ups, to shape and build new fintech products.

We have a deep understanding of both the local and international financial services regulatory landscape and through our relationships with regulators and industry bodies, we are at the forefront of the latest fintech legislative developments.

Equipped with deep industry insight and contemporary legal thinking, we are well known as one of the leading innovative fintech teams in Australia.

Key legal services and expertise we offer in Fintech include:

  • Regulatory: we’re across all segments of the market covering government, corporates and the regulators. We advise on ground breaking transactions, create policy and advise on future implications as well as advise on regulatory strategy, investigate financial crimes, implement systems and develop products.
  • Strategic advisory: we are at the centre of policy development, working with government and regulators to ensure regulatory reform meets the ever-changing needs of the Australian market. We always engage with clients early in their journey to assist to ensure that their fintech businesses are commercially and legal viable.
  • CDR: Scott Farrell led the review into Open Banking and recommended the implementation of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime.
  • Blockchain and other innovative technologies: we are advising market participants, government and industry bodies, both domestically and internationally, on the use, risks, impact and creation of blockchain applications and have published innovative open source smart contract architecture for collaboration with the wider legal and tech community.
  • Market entry: we are advising new market entrants including entrepreneurs, start-ups and neobanks on appropriate market entry strategies and on establishment matters including commercial and regulatory issues;
  • Tech M&A and venture capital: drawing on our leading corporate/M&A and venture capital expertise we help with successful IPOs from structuring, corporate governance, regulatory, prospectus development, market announcements and subsequent agreements;
  • Disputes: we offer strategy development, as well as support, on contentious financial services regulatory matters;
  • Banking and finance: we navigate and shape regulatory change as well as develop innovative finance solutions for sophisticated transactions. We have the dominant market share in both non-bank and bank RMBS and ABS securitisation transactions along with new entrants in the fintech space;
  • Tax: structuring matters including in the context of M&A activity, as well as compliance and contentious tax matters;
  • IP: all aspects from strategy development through to advisory matters such as registration, protection and defence;
  • Employment: we advise on a full range of employment issues matters ranging from contracts, industrial and recruitment to terminations issues;
  • Corporate & commercial: in addition to establishment work, we advise on exit or re-integration projects, as well as funds establishment and other corporate venture activity.

Policy working groups that our team leads

  • Blockchain
  • Payments

Main points of contact

Scott Farrell

Scott Farrell has over 20+ years’ experience and is one of the region’s most innovative lawyers in the space of financial markets and financial systems law, working with leading national and international financial regulatory bodies and financial institutions developing new market infrastructure, structures, clearing and payment systems, exchanges and products – and leading on the development of new laws.

Scott advises on the creation and use of smart contract architecture and distributed ledger technology applications, including their interaction with existing legal and regulatory frameworks. Currently his work focuses on new sector developments such as Consumer Data Right, Open Banking, the NPP and development of financial market blockchain infrastructure.

Hannah Glass

Hannah Glass advises start-ups and incumbents on emerging issues in the fintech space, including regulatory, licensing and structuring matters and specialises in blockchain technology and payments.

She works with a broad range of clients including start-ups, industry bodies, corporates and government bodies advising on the evolving legal and regulatory issues associated with the implementation and application of innovative technologies to existing systems including with respect to blockchain technology, cryptographic assets and digital currencies. Hannah was named an “Up and Coming” lawyer in the 2019 and 2020 Chambers and Partners FinTech Guide.

Kate Jackson-Maynes

Kate Jackson-Maynes is a thought leader on regulatory considerations relevant to the implementation of new financial services technologies and market entry of innovative fintech companies. With 15+ years’ experience in financial services advisory matters, she works closely with banks, credit providers and start-ups and focuses on financial crime (AML/CTF, sanctions and POCA), Australian financial services and Australian credit licensing, responsible lending, payments and market entry.

We can help you navigate the top FinTech issues in 2020

Consumer Data Right & digital identity

Appointed by the then Australian Treasurer (Finance Minister), Scott Morrison to lead the Review into Open Banking, KWM Partner Scott Farrell recommended the implementation of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime across the Australian economy.

Scott Farrell, has recently been appointed by the Australian Government to lead the inquiry into the future direction of the CDR regime. The inquiry will look at additional ways to give consumers greater choice and convenience when it comes to selecting service providers through better control of their data.

KWM continues to lead the conversation on the development of the CDR regime having jointly published a white paper in May 2019 on the ramifications of an ‘open data’ future for companies in other industry sectors and the broader Australian economy.

Blockchain & smart contracts

Our team draws on its experience in advising market participants, government and industry bodies, both domestically and internationally, on the use, risks, impact and creation of blockchain applications and have published innovative open source smart contract architecture for collaboration with the wider legal and tech community.

We have been closely involved in various innovative and potentially transformative projects incorporating novel uses of blockchain, including working with ISDA on the transformation of the global derivative market to smart contracts having jointly published the practical framework for smart derivatives contracts.

Digital payments

Our work with Australian regulators, industry bodies, financial institutions and new market entrants has allowed us to contribute to the development of the Australian payments industry and acquire unprecedented knowledge and understanding of the current environment affecting the industry and its players.

This has enabled us to advise banks, financial institutions, card issuers, providers of financial market infrastructure, payment providers, telcos, utilities, insurers, credit reporting agencies, loyalty and other marketing scheme managers, government organisations on payment systems and relevant regulatory concerns.