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The rise of blockchain technology ventures raising money preternaturally through initial coin offerings and token generation events (collectively, ICOs) is a capital formation disruptor, one which has and will continue to spawn considerable futures, fortunes, failures — and frauds. Blockchain-based ICOs have, through 121 offerings closed during January-August 2017, raised over $1.78 billion, with an expected amount at year-end 2017 of over $3 billion according to publicly-available estimates. While IPOs raised about $12 billion (and startups $22 billion) thus far in 2017, the amount raised through ICOs is impressive for a new asset class. By some sources ICOs have exceeded angel, venture capital, and seed funding reported during some months of 2017. The shrouded world of blockchain technology and range of offerings masks identities and sourcing of investors in ICOs. It is speculated that funds have been primarily sourced from early investors profiting in cryptocurrency technologies.

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Photo of Douglas E. Arend Douglas E. Arend

Douglas E. Arend focuses his practice on commodity futures, derivatives and securities, with an emphasis on managed funds. He represents registered and exempt investment advisers, commodity pools and hedge funds, proprietary trading firms, introducing brokers, futures commission merchants and broker-dealers. Douglas concentrates on…

Douglas E. Arend focuses his practice on commodity futures, derivatives and securities, with an emphasis on managed funds. He represents registered and exempt investment advisers, commodity pools and hedge funds, proprietary trading firms, introducing brokers, futures commission merchants and broker-dealers. Douglas concentrates on complex transactional and regulatory matters, including public and private offerings, fund formation, business structuring, registration and compliance. His public fund experience includes SEC registered offerings, and compliance with the Securities Act of 1933, the Dodd-Frank Act, the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.

Photo of Rebecca G. DiStefano Rebecca G. DiStefano

Rebecca DiStefano concentrates her diverse practice in the areas of securities regulation, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions law and serves on the firm’s Blockchain Task Force. Rebecca counsels public and private companies in areas including private placements, registrations, Regulation A+ qualifications, and

Rebecca DiStefano concentrates her diverse practice in the areas of securities regulation, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions law and serves on the firm’s Blockchain Task Force. Rebecca counsels public and private companies in areas including private placements, registrations, Regulation A+ qualifications, and crowdfunding under the JOBS Act of 2012 and the Securities Act of 1933. Related to these transactions, she advises companies and their boards regarding attendant corporate governance best practices, fiduciary duties, continuing disclosure and reporting requirements of Regulation A+ and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as secondary trading issues and the initial and continued listing of corporate securities on the stock exchanges and electronic quotation systems. Additionally, she structures and organizes for clients non-U.S. regulated investment vehicles including private equity funds, funds of funds, and hybrid funds. Rebecca regularly represents her clients before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA.

Photo of Carl A. Fornaris Carl A. Fornaris

Carl A. Fornaris is Co-Chair of the firm’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. With 27 years of legal experience, Carl advises a broad range of financial services firms – banks and their holding companies, money services businesses, investment advisers, securities broker dealers, gaming

Carl A. Fornaris is Co-Chair of the firm’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. With 27 years of legal experience, Carl advises a broad range of financial services firms – banks and their holding companies, money services businesses, investment advisers, securities broker dealers, gaming firms, Fintechs, cryptocurrency firms and other institutions – on all aspects of their business. These include formation and licensing, capital-raising transactions, acquisitions and divestitures, USA PATRIOT Act/BSA/AML compliance and OFAC sanctions programs, cryptocurrency regulation, mobile money and FinTech, federal and state agency enforcement proceedings, Dodd-Frank Act compliance and COVID-19/CARES Act economic stimulus program advice (ranging from Small Business Administration PPP loans to Federal Reserve Main Street program loans). Throughout his career, Carl has counseled clients in their dealings with the Federal Reserve, OCC, FDIC, FinCEN, SEC, FINRA, Florida Office of Financial Regulation, New York Department of Financial Services and other state supervisory authorities.

Carl is also active representing lenders and credit parties in financing transactions, particularly credits to non-U.S. loan parties, asset-based credits, acquisition financing and stand-by letters of credit.

Carl is a past General Counsel of the Florida International Bankers Association and sits on its Board of Directors. Previously, he served as Head of Legal and Compliance for the Latin America region of Barclays Bank PLC, with responsibility for managing legal and compliance matters throughout the region. Carl is an adjunct professor in the Business Law Department of the University of Miami Business School.

Photo of Barbara A. Jones Barbara A. Jones

Barbara A. Jones is a member of the firm’s Global Securities practice group and serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s interdisciplinary Blockchain & Cryptocurrency practice group. She is also co-coordinator of the firm’s interdisciplinary Conflict Minerals Compliance Initiative. Barbara maintains a diverse corporate

Barbara A. Jones is a member of the firm’s Global Securities practice group and serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s interdisciplinary Blockchain & Cryptocurrency practice group. She is also co-coordinator of the firm’s interdisciplinary Conflict Minerals Compliance Initiative. Barbara maintains a diverse corporate and securities law practice across industry groups, emphasizing complex international and domestic transactions, including blockchain and cryptocurrency transactions, private and public financings (including token offerings), dual listings, mergers and acquisitions, strategic collaborations and joint ventures, and licensing transactions. Her practice includes serving as a trusted advisor to public and private company boards of directors on governance and complex regulatory reporting and compliance issues. Barbara’s clients include financial institutions, private equity and venture capital groups, and companies in blockchain, life sciences and biotechnology, information technology, energy (traditional and renewable), mining, defense and security, telecommunications, media, entertainment and sports. Barbara is also active in the representation of Olympic athletes and sports-related organizations.

Barbara practiced U.S. law in London from 1990 through 2003, and headed the international capital markets practice of a major U.S. law firm from 1999 to 2003 before relocating to Boston. From 1997 to 1999, she served as Vice-President, Assistant General Counsel and Regional Counsel for capital markets with J.P. Morgan Securities Ltd. in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Since returning to the U.S., she has continued to actively represent public and private companies, private equity groups and investment banks in the European, Scandinavian, African and greater Asian markets, including China.

Barbara is a past chair of the ABA’s Subcommittee on International Securities Matters. She is a frequent speaker at conferences relating to cross-border securities matters and strategic alternatives.

Photo of Marvin A. Kirsner Marvin A. Kirsner

Marvin A. Kirsner is a shareholder in the Fort Lauderdale office where his primary areas of practice deal with corporate, transactional and industry specific tax issues. He serves as the Co-Chair of the State and Local Tax (SALT) Practice.

Photo of William Mack William Mack

William B. Mack is a co-chair of the Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. He is experienced in advising companies on regulatory and compliance matters relating to the Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, the Exchange Act, Anti-Money Laundering laws and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

William B. Mack is a co-chair of the Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. He is experienced in advising companies on regulatory and compliance matters relating to the Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, the Exchange Act, Anti-Money Laundering laws and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules.

William’s practice involves all aspects of broker-dealer regulation, including Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) membership, supervision, employment, research, soft dollar arrangements, chaperoning of foreign broker-dealers, social media, use of foreign finders, anti-money laundering rules, alternative trading systems (ATS), exchanges, and market making issues. He also provides regulatory guidance to investment banking clients in connection with securities offerings and related trading issues.

Photo of Maria Sendra Maria Sendra

Maria Sendra has built a disruptive technology and finance practice that helps companies to scale innovation globally by leveraging capital markets, private equity, and technology relationships in key jurisdictions around the world. She has managed international teams of over 500 experts, in helping

Maria Sendra has built a disruptive technology and finance practice that helps companies to scale innovation globally by leveraging capital markets, private equity, and technology relationships in key jurisdictions around the world. She has managed international teams of over 500 experts, in helping to globally scale start-ups, as well as Fortune 500 companies, venture capital, private equity and investment banking efforts in disrupting a wide variety of industries, including data analytics, finance, IoT, energy, cleantech, biotechnology and genomics, digital healthcare, entertainment, consumer goods, real estate, digital and smart cities, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, retail and e-commerce sales and scaled revenue strategies. She has structured and managed domestic and international manufacturing, R&D, distribution, financing, licensing and strategic alliances and businesses linking California innovation to financial markets in New York, London, all over Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.