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Justin is a partner in the Firm’s Financial Institutions Group. His practice focuses on providing his clients with strategies and solutions for minimizing risk in the digital economy.

FinTech

Banks, lenders, payments companies, private equity and venture capital firms, and brick and mortar clients seek out Justin for his deep understanding of FinTech and emerging technologies. When clients’ issues relate to financial privacy, cryptocurrency, blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, data analytics, or other advances, Justin is uniquely qualified to help them navigate the legal and regulatory obstacles to innovation.

A National Law Journal Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and FinTech Trailblazer and cited authority on digital currency, lending, and FinTech issues, Justin is a leader and innovator. His notable accomplishments include:

  • Founding and chairing the nation’s first FinTech-focused bar association;
  • Creating a Financial and Emerging Technologies Course that Justin teaches at Northwestern Law School;
  • Organizing the first legal-themed digital currencies conference, the Block (Legal) Tech Conference;
  • Founding the FinTech practice at two AmLaw200 law firms;
  • Being the only attorney recognized as an emerging leader by the Bank Administration Institute;
  • Drafting the first law review article focused on financial privacy and government-backed or central bank digital currencies; and
  • Being the first attorney to argue the admissibility of distributed ledger entries before two federal judges.

Justin is also a versatile advocate and counselor, equally capable of interfacing with government regulators, advising clients on investments in technology, or identifying and addressing the risks posed by new products and offerings. Regardless of the legal issue or the technology involved, Justin prides himself on being his clients go-to attorney for the future of financial services.

Litigation & Disputes

In addition to his deep knowledge of technology and financial services, Justin is an experienced litigator who has led dozens of matters, ranging from consumer class actions to complex contract and commercial disputes. In the last few years, for example, Justin has first- or second-chaired myriad litigation matters with millions or billions of dollars at stake. Recently, moreover, Justin secured a $15 million summary judgment award on behalf of a foreign manufacturer in federal court.

Representative Experience

Lending

  • Advised online lender about litigation risk stemming from its relationship with bank partners and potential “true lender” issues
  • Advised online lender about electronic signature audits and internal policies
  • Prepared AML/KYC policies for online lenders
  • Click here for additional Lending experience

Payments, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

  • Counseled Fortune 50 company and aviation company about the impact of PSD2
  • Advised large FinTech company about the litigation, tax, and technical risks associated with offering customers a hosted cryptocurrency wallet
  • Drafted insider trading, risk management, and other policies for company evaluating investment in cryptocurrency
  • Click here for additional Payments, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency experience

Outside General Counsel

  • Serve as Outside General Counsel for FinTech company focused on providing financial institutions with account opening software
  • Serve as Outside General Counsel for cyber incident response solutions provider
  • Serve as Outside General Counsel for management and information technology consulting firm operating in Illinois and Missouri

Litigation Matters & Investigations

Activities & Honors

  • Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and FinTech Trailblazer, National Law Journal (2018)
  • Emerging Leader, BAI (2018)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation (2018-present)
  • Pro Bono Award, Northern District of Illinois (2017)

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • The Price of Privacy
    March 3, 2021 (Northwestern Journal of International Business and Law Symposium)
  • DePhi: Cryptocurrency for Social Good
    November 18, 2020
  • Between a Technological Scylla and Charybdis: Navigating Legal Risks Posed by Innovative Technologies
    July 15, 2020
  • Looking back to see ahead: Preparing for a Post-Pandemic Economy (Litigation Finance)
    May 15, 2020 (Webinar)
  • Looking back to see ahead: Preparing for a Post-Pandemic Economy (Lending)
    April 21, 2020 (Webinar)
  • The Illinois Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act
    November 1, 2019 (Chicago Bar Association)
  • Block (Legal) Tech 2.0
    October 24, 2019
  • ABA Annual Meeting, Section of Litigation, Crypto Mock Trial Demonstration
    August 9, 2019
  • Don't Get Burned by Innovation
    May 6, 2019 (Ice Miller CLE)
  • The AI- Demystifying Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
    April 24, 2019 (Chicago Bar Association)
  • Crypto with Caution
    April 18, 2019 (The DuPage Foundation)
  • International Appeal of Blockchain and the Future of Cryptocurrency Investments
    April 18, 2019 (Chicago Bar Association)
  • Cryptocurrency: ICOs, SEC, and Other Issues
    April 18, 2019 (Chicago Bar Association)
  • Biometrics, Blockchains, and Big Data, Oh My
    April 10, 2019 (Washington University School of Law)
  • Minimizing Risk in Crypto Litigation
    April 2, 2019 (Athena Bitcoin & Blockchain Chicago)
  • Financial Technology and Innovation: The CFPB & The Future of FinTech
    March 22, 2019 (Loyola Law School's Consumer Law Review Symposium)
  • The BIPA Rollercoaster
    March 15, 2019 (FinTech and Chicago Bar Association)
  • The Illinois FinTech Regulatory Sandbox
    March 7, 2019 (Chicago Bar Association)
  • Another Block in the (Supply) Chain
    March 1, 2019 (National Precast Association's Annual Conference)
  • Blockchain Applications and Implications for the Legal and Accounting Industries
    December 20, 2018 (Half Moon Education Seminar)
  • Truth without Proof?: The Process of Getting Distributed Ledger (Blockchain) Entries Into Evidence
    December 6, 2018
  • Blockchain Regulation and Criminal Law
    November 9, 2018 (John Marshall Law School Symposium)
  • Food & Beverage Litigation Conference: A Look at Hospitality, Liquor and Food Liability
    October 16, 2018 (Perrin Conferences)
  • Legal Considerations for Businesses Considering Cryptocurrency or Blockchain Technologies
    October 16, 2018 (The FinTech Symposium)
  • The Changing Landscape of the Customer Experience: The Digital Transformation of Lending
    October 9, 2018 (Lend360)
  • Focus on FinTech
    September 26, 2018 (FinTex and Chicago Bar Association)
  • Technological Traps for the Unwary: The Intersection of Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Legal Ethics
    June 2018 (Chicago Bar Association)
  • Risky (Legal) Business: Avoiding Common Mistakes by Entrepreneurs
    May 2018 (1871 Chicago)
  • Brave New World: Technologies Lawyers Need to Know
    May 2018 (Chicago Bar Association)
  • The Masters Series for Legal Professionals
    May 2018 (The Master’s Conference)
  • Legal Underwriting, Characterizing (Pricing) Legal Risk and Legal Portfolio Management
    October 2017 (2017 Fin (Legal) Tech conference: A Conference About Law’s Future)
  • Blockchain: A Legal Perspective on Current Regulation
    October 2017 (FinTank Chicago Blockchain Summit)
  • Wise or Unwise: Decrypting the Advantages, Uses and Limitations of Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts
    September 2017 (Chicago Bar Association)

Articles & Publications

  • June 16, 2021Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
  • Deconstructing the Digital Dollar: Protecting Financial Privacy from Surveillance Capital
    Spring 2021International Business Law Journal
  • Debtors Should Seek Privacy Oversight Before Data Sales
    May 13, 2020Law360
  • Hiring ex Machina: Preparing for Illinois's Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act
    September 23, 2019Law.com
  • Understanding Software Developer Liability and Mitigating Legal Risk
    September 2019Bloomberg Law
  • The Curious Case of Crypto Valuations
    July 3, 2019Law360
  • Cryptocurrency and Your Retirement Plan: What's in Your (Crypto) Wallet?
    Summer 2019Journal of Pension Benefits
  • 3 Lessons From A Crypto Mock Trial
    February 22, 2019Law360
  • PSD2 Prep: Strong Customer Authentication and the Ramification of US Merchants Doing Business in Europe
    November 28, 2018Corporate Counsel
  • Omnia mutantur, nihil interit: How to Handle Crypto-Assets as a Trustee
    Fall 2018American Bankruptcy Trustee Journal
  • From Crypto-Anarchists to Big Business: Addressing Anti-Competition Concerns in the Blockchain Sphere
    August 31, 2018
  • Cryptocurrency Security-Status Questions Clarified by SEC
    August 30, 2018Daily Journal
  • How Blockchain Use Can Block Competition
    August 28, 2018Law360
  • SEC Take on Tokens Clarifies Some Crypto Community Quandaries
    July 2018Jenner & Block’s Consumer Law Blog
  • SDNY Rules CFPB Unconstitutional, Creating Split of Authority and Raising New Questions
    July 2018Jenner & Block Consumer Law Round-Up
  • Will Insurance Cover Cryptocurrency Claims?
    July 2018Business Insurance
  • Amid Increased Enforcement Activity, SEC Reportedly Issues Cryptocurrency Subpoenas
    March 2018Jenner & Block Financial Services Blog
  • Navigating Cryptocurrency Regulation: Common Sense in an Uncommon Industry
    January 2018FinTech Weekly
  • Decrypting the Ethical Implications of Blockchain Technology
    November 2017Legaltech News
  • Insurance and Regulatory Hurdles to Blockchain Adoption
    September 2017Law360
  • Insurance Issues
    2012IICLE Business and Commercial Litigation Handbook
  • The Future of Deferred-Prosecution Agreements: Congress Tries a Little Oversight
    May 9, 2008BNA White-Collar Crime Report, Vol. 3. No. 10

News

Education

Washington University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2007

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., History, summa cum laude, 2004

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State of Illinois
  • State of Ohio
  • State of Indiana
  • State of California
  • State of New York
  • State of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - District of Connecticut
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