Overview

Justin practices at the intersection of law, banking, and innovation. Focusing on bank-fintech partnerships, regulatory, and licensing matters, and commercial contracting, Justin helps bank and fintech clients de-risk the future of financial services. Regardless of the legal issue or the technology involved, Justin prides himself on being his clients’ go-to attorney for navigating novel legal and regulatory issues.

Justin is a partner in BFKN’s Financial Institutions Group. Clients seek out Justin for help with managing and negotiating partnerships (Fintech and BaaS), payments issues (real time, wires, ACH, card networks, BIN sponsorship), digital asset matters, and other technology-focused concerns (financial privacy, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and data analytics and usage).

Justin helps scores of bank and fintech clients identify and evaluate prospective partners, negotiate program management and partnership agreements, obtain regulatory approval for BaaS and other strategic endeavors, and manage ongoing partnerships. In the last few years alone, he has helped clients launch products and services including credit, debit and prepaid cards, payment processing, real-time and faster payments services, commercial and consumer loans, digital asset custody, and investment products.

Private equity, venture, and traditional clients also retain Justin to thoroughly evaluate and diligence investment or acquisition targets. He specializes in evaluating licensed, regulated targets, including state and national banks, trust companies (including special purpose and non-depository trusts), payments companies (including payment facilitators, payment processors, and ISOs), lenders, loan servicers and debt collectors, money transmitters, insurance companies, and digital asset companies.

Justin also combines his deep understanding of technology and financial regulation to obtain licenses, no-action letters, and legal opinions from federal and state regulators across the country. His prolific advocacy has caused regulators to seek Justin out to help educate bank examiners and enforcement attorneys on the relevant risks of BaaS, Fintech partnerships, digital assets, and other technologies.

A cited authority on digital currency, lending, and fintech issues, his notable accomplishments in the field include creating a Financial and Emerging Technologies course that he teaches at Northwestern University Pritzker School Law, founding the Fintech practice at two AmLaw200 law firms, and organizing the first legal-themed digital currencies conference, the Block (Legal) Tech Conference.

Credentials

Admissions

  • State of Illinois

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

Experience

Newsroom

Speaking Engagements

  • The Price of Privacy
  • DePhi: Cryptocurrency for Social Good
  • Between a Technological Scylla and Charybdis: Navigating Legal Risks Posed by Innovative Technologies
  • Looking back to see ahead: Preparing for a Post-Pandemic Economy (Litigation Finance)
  • Looking back to see ahead: Preparing for a Post-Pandemic Economy (Lending)
  • The Illinois Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act
  • Block (Legal) Tech 2.0
  • ABA Annual Meeting, Section of Litigation, Crypto Mock Trial Demonstration
  • Don't Get Burned by Innovation
  • The AI- Demystifying Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • International Appeal of Blockchain and the Future of Cryptocurrency Investments
  • Crypto with Caution
  • Cryptocurrency: ICOs, SEC, and Other Issues
  • Biometrics, Blockchains, and Big Data, Oh My
  • Minimizing Risk in Crypto Litigation
  • Financial Technology and Innovation: The CFPB & The Future of FinTech
  • The BIPA Rollercoaster
  • The Illinois FinTech Regulatory Sandbox
  • Another Block in the (Supply) Chain
  • Blockchain Applications and Implications for the Legal and Accounting Industries
  • Truth without Proof?: The Process of Getting Distributed Ledger (Blockchain) Entries Into Evidence
  • Blockchain Regulation and Criminal Law
  • Food & Beverage Litigation Conference: A Look at Hospitality, Liquor and Food Liability
  • Legal Considerations for Businesses Considering Cryptocurrency or Blockchain Technologies
  • The Changing Landscape of the Customer Experience: The Digital Transformation of Lending
  • Focus on FinTech
  • Technological Traps for the Unwary: The Intersection of Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Legal Ethics
  • The Masters Series for Legal Professionals
  • Brave New World: Technologies Lawyers Need to Know
  • Risky (Legal) Business: Avoiding Common Mistakes by Entrepreneurs
  • Legal Underwriting, Characterizing (Pricing) Legal Risk and Legal Portfolio Management
  • Blockchain: A Legal Perspective on Current Regulation
  • Wise or Unwise: Decrypting the Advantages, Uses and Limitations of Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts

Publications

Recognitions

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

Organizations

  • Founder and Chair, Chicago Bar Association Financial and Emerging Technologies Committee (2017-Present)
  • American Bar Association Banking Committee
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