Case Studies

The World’s Largest Investment in Distributed Ledger Technology

Client:

R3

Team:

Partners Paul J. Pollock, Sean-Paul Brankin, Carlton Greene, and former partners Jenny E. Cieplak, Mitchell L. Rabinowitz, Jennifer A. Ray, and Cari Stinebower
Senior counsel: Scott Lessne
Counsel: former counsels Masha Smith and Paolo Cioppa
Former associates: Simon Leefatt and Jennifer Rodriguez

Challange:

Financial technology innovator R3 was formed in 2015 with a small team in New York and a consortium of nine financial institutions. The company rapidly expanded its customer base and its operations, to more than 100 employees and customers including more than 80 of the world’s biggest financial institutions. R3 needed a legal framework to allow a large and diverse group of members to work together on evaluating, developing, and implementing distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions for the global financial industry.

Solution:

Crowell & Moring acted as general outside counsel to R3 from its inception, including from the creation of its initial nine-member consortium through its initial equity funding round. This included creating the frameworks for both the consortium and financing, developing an intellectual property strategy, and tax planning. We helped R3 develop a strategy for sharing technology and ideas and engaging in collaborative development while protecting R3’s interests in its intellectual property. The firm’s reputation for handling FinTech and market structure transactions was crucial in securing consensus with banks from around the world that were operating in divergent regulatory environments. Our integrated team of corporate and regulatory lawyers has also assisted in developing a compliance framework for a nascent technology in a heavily regulated space.

Result:

In May 2017, R3 successfully raised $107 million in financing - the world’s largest investment in a DLT company. The unprecedented transaction will allow R3 to continue to build out its enterprise DLT platform. More than 40 global financial institutions from across Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas made an investment. 

This transaction received worldwide media coverage, including from The American Lawyer, The Street, Reuters, CNBC, Tech Crunch, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, International Business Times, and Fortune.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

It was a massive amount of legal work. We were seeing issues each and every day that had never been tackled before. We had to rely on these guys at Crowell to lead very complicated and, at times, tense negotiations.

- Charley Cooper
Managing Director, R3
Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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