On MyShingle, we celebrate the solo and small firm practitioner, and those at the forefront of innovation in the legal field. Our newest project, 41 Legal Practice Areas That Didn’t Exist 15 Years Ago highlights solo and small firm practitioners who have embraced unconventional and upcoming niche practices from Cryptocurrency to Vaping Law.
This profile is of Aaron Pease, founder of Highbridge Law Firm.
His focus is on blockchain technology. Blockchain technology is famously known as the basis behind Bitcoin. Yet, the technology itself is being adopted across a wide variety of legal fields. As a digital ledger of transactions between two parties that is permanent and incorruptible, Blockchain technology aids in contractual problem-solving. Pease’s interview focuses on how Blockchain technology has begun to factor into his practice.
Aaron recently presented on the basics of blockchain for a D.C. Bar Lunch and Learn session. You can view his presentation here.
Q: What is your name, your law firm’s name and location and website?
Q: At what point in your career did you begin to focus on Blockchain Technology Law, and what was the motivation for choosing Blockchain Technology Law?
A: My background is in medicine and I see lots of problems being solved with BC technologies.
Q: Tell us a little about your work in Blockchain Technology Law. What types of clients do you represent and what are some of the legal issues you encounter?
A: I work in the tech space developing BC dApps for medicine, energy, aerospace, and most highly regulated markets.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Blockchain Technology Law?
A: It’s emerging. The law is evolving and is not yet into shape. But, although the “law of the horse” is applicable in most cases, I can see some cases where law will need to be made that is not yet adequately in context to the technology.
Q: What kind of background is necessary for Blockchain Technology Law?
A: I don’t think of it in limiting terms. Rather, I think it’s helpful to have a notion of applications (solutions) that solve systemic chronic problems central to industry like supply chain or disintermediation of services. I also think it’s important for attorneys to be counseling their clients from the client’s perspective. Many entrepreneurs are too busy competing to do a deep dive in “new” tech and when their outside GC has the chance to counsel the leadership team on operational issues that can change the game, it’s a good thing.
Q: How did you market your practice and gain a reputation in Blockchain Technology Law?
A: I’m still doing it. Constantly! I find that BC is a topic most lawyers have heard of, but few understand. Whether they get the information from me or another source they should get it. Like the internet, this tech is coming, and it will become ubiquitous. Better to be on the front of the wave than the back of it.
Q: As you know, this practice area really did not exist 15 years ago? How do you address or advise clients on novel or emerging issues for which there is no precedent?
A: Most operators in the space are aware that the law is evolving in the space. And, what most look for is to avoid an outlier or rogue decision from the bench that will chill business or opportunity.
Q: Tell us about one of your most interesting or challenging cases.
A: I have not represented any clients in the space – yet — as most clients are in the fin-tech space. Rather, I am the client.
Q: What advice do you have for other attorneys interested in Blockchain Technology Law?
A: More than understanding code or platform it’s more important to understand the “state of the market arc” capabilities and solutions to business problems. If a counselor at law has a sense of the regulatory (SEC) posture and operational application by segment, s/he can improve their value proposition to client services by suggesting solutions that solve real problems.
You can view Aaron’s presentation to the DC Bar on Blockchain here.
The Law Uninvented Profile Series is co-written and edited by MyShingle’s new Content Coordinator, Rachel Wallen.