James Burnie

James Burnie

Senior Associate

Eversheds Sutherland

James is Head of Blockchain and Cryptoassets at Eversheds Sutherland and a Senior Associate in financial services.

Listed in the Legal 500 as a recommended lawyer, he advises financial institutions on all aspects of EU and UK financial regulation. This includes advisory, project and transactional work in connection with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (including MiFID II implementation), the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation, the FCA Handbook and PRA Rulebook (including advice on capital instruments), the Alternative Investment Fund Managers and UCITS Directives (including advice on managers’ duties and distribution), the Second Payment Services Directive (including scope issues) as well as passporting, authorisation and conduct of business issues more generally.

He is a member of Eversheds Sutherland's Digital Financial Services and FinTech team, and works with companies ranging from small start-ups to large financial institutions. His experience includes: advising on the first successful UK-based ICO, and since then advising a range of firms on crypto-currencies and tokenisation using blockchain; advising firms in the FCA sandbox, including those setting up blockchain solutions businesses; advising firms on setting up automated advice / robo-advice solutions; advising on the acquisition of FinTech companies; and advising a large financial institution on creating a financial management App.

His cryptoassets and blockchain work is award willing, receiving “Standout” at the FT Innovation in Legal Expertise Awards 2018; “Highly Commended” at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2017 and “Highly Commended / Runner Up” at Legalweek: The British legal Awards 2017.

He has an MA in law from Cambridge University, and a specialist corporate and commercial LLM from the London School of Economics, where his specialisms included Information Technology and the Law. James is currently a lecturer with the FINTECH Circle Institute, and publishes on FinTech matters, including with the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law. He has also worked on secondment in-house at Legal & General Investment Management Ltd.

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