crypto taylor wessing

What could go wrong?

Taylor Wessing lawyers can now show their gratitude to each other by giving out cryptocurrency.

Just a few months after a string of high profile crashes and collapses convinced many potential investors that crypto should be approached with caution if at all, lawyers in the firm’s corporate, IP and financial services teams are being provided with a digital wallet containing cryptocurrency issued by the firm.

“LAW Tokens” are intended to be bestowed by Taylor Wessing lawyers on their colleagues when they “demonstrate an outstanding contribution to the firm's culture and its responsible business objectives”.

A number of organisations have introduced systems which encourage staff to use an official channel to signal their appreciation of a colleague’s help or hard work, so that it's visible to management and can inform reviews and bonus discussions.

However, although Taylor Wessing’s crypto experiment was designed partly to recognise lawyers' "contributions to the firm’s friendly and positive culture”, it's also intended to give them “first-hand experience of interacting with distributed ledger technology and its unique characteristics", said the firm. "In short they will be understanding their clients’ technology and using it themselves.”

Bowling bumpers are being kept on for the lawyers, however, as LAW Tokens can’t be traded on the open crypto market or exchanged for other currencies, shielding staff from the thieves, scams, and volatility endemic in real world crypto.

Instead LAWTs are only transferrable “between whitelisted individuals" which "prevents the creation of a secondary market”, and can only be redeemed for non-cash benefits or to make charitable donations. 

It also has the handy side effect of exempting the firm from registration with the FCA under the Money Laundering Regulations.

Various practice groups collaborated on the blockchain initiative under the guidance of Gerard Frith, the firm's “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” and an “innovation leader and AI expert who loves to turn a gnarly problem into a beautiful solution”.

There's no respite in sight for TW lawyers. Corporate M&A partner Paul Thorpe said the firm had “exciting plans in relation to how we further evolve this technology and potentially link it to some of our other tech projects. Watch this space!” Given Taylor Wessing's patronage of portraiture, surely it's an NFT drop.

LU iconLet top firms and companies ping your app when they like you for a role. Whether or not you're looking to move, download LawyerUp on the App Store and Google Play.


Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 22 September 23 07:42

When crypto adverts appeared on the side of busses, you knew it was all over.

When law firms start getting involved, you know it's the 5 year anniversary of its death.

Anonymous 22 September 23 07:49

Just today, front page of bbc news: 'Hong Kong police are investigating allegations of fraud against cryptocurrency trading platform JPEX after investors complained of HK$1.3bn ($166m; £134m) in losses.'

I hope TW has a cunning plan to rip off LAWTs from its own lawyers, thereby educating them properly about crypto. That's more likely to place them in the shoes of clients who've been naive enough to invest.

Crypto Ignorant 22 September 23 09:02

This isn't actual crypto, though... is it? Isn't it more like rewarding lawyers with an M&S voucher? Which is what I would prefer anyway, but isn't as newsworthy 

Spotty Lizard 22 September 23 09:52

Actually, I think it is more like the green tokens you used to get in Waitrose, and which you could use to nominate which charity would get what share of the donation. 

"Choose the employee who gets the speshul claps."

Big 4 accountant staffer 22 September 23 09:57

The question is how much value of tokens is, say, an associate allowed to give each month. Is it meaningful or a complete joke in value. 

PwC have a similar scheme but if you can only give £30 a month then who cares. 

Crypto King 28 September 23 10:39

The comments on this thread demonstrate the lack of understanding of DLT. This is a great use case for the tech and TW are ahead of the curve as far as law firms go by implementing this scheme. It isn't the fact that it's revolutionary, but shows maturity and acceptance that DLT is going to be a part of everyday life. TW staff are lucky that they get to experiment with tokens in this way - free education!

Cynical Bastard 28 September 23 17:19

Nothing like embracing an embarrassingly dead trend from 2021 in late 2023 to say that you are a firm that doesn't have a clue.

Related News