Gowling WLG signs on as founding member of Blockchain Research Institute

08 June 2017

The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) today announced the addition of significant public and private sector support for its groundbreaking blockchain research program. Gowling WLG is among the BRI's founding private sector members, and is the first law firm to get involved.

Funded by companies and governments worldwide, the BRI is a multi-million dollar, Toronto-based research initiative aimed at investigating blockchain strategies, implementation challenges and market opportunities.

Led by Don and Alex Tapscott, the BRI's global team of experts is exploring the impact of blockchain on a number of key sectors - including financial services, manufacturing, energy and technology - and is investigating how it will change the way companies are managed.

In addition to Gowling WLG, other founding private sector and financial industry members of the BRI include IBM, Accenture, Liberty Global, NASDAQ, TMX Group and Thomson Reuters. Founding public sector members include the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto.

"Gowling WLG is honoured to be the first international law firm to support BRI's landmark initiative. It's exciting to be included among an illustrious group of partners who are investigating the strategic application of blockchain technology," said Peter Lukasiewicz, CEO of Gowling WLG Canada.

"Our commitment to blockchain research and implementation shows clients that we're with them every step of the way as they explore distributed ledger technology. We're here to provide them with the advanced legal guidance they'll need as they navigate uncharted territory and uncover new and more effective ways to do business," added Mark Tamminga, partner and leader of innovation initiatives at Gowling WLG.

As a law firm committed to innovative service delivery in the context of its clients' changing business needs, Gowling WLG has advised a number of FinTech companies on blockchain-related matters and is rapidly growing its advisory capabilities in these areas.

The firm served as counsel on one of the world's first blockchain listings, and has hosted several high-profile blockchain conferences featuring sessions with global FinTech industry leaders. In addition, partner Usman Sheikh is authoring the upcoming book, The Law of Blockchain Technology.

Gowling WLG has achieved widespread recognition for its dedication to harnessing new tools, technologies and approaches to offer clients greater cost certainty, efficiency and value. Last year, the Financial Times ranked the firm as one of the top two most innovative law firms in Europe at its FT European Innovative Lawyers Awards.

The firm was also shortlisted in the "Innovation in the Business of Law: Redesigning the Service Model" category at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards North America, and took home the OpenText Elite Award for Most Innovative Project in the Legal Sector in 2015.