21 February 2018 at 10:50 BST

Law firms join blockchain platform

A group of top law firms have joined forces with an enterprise software company including Baker & McKenzie and Clifford Chance.


A software firm R3 has launched the Legal Centre of Excellence (LCoE) as a platform for the global legal community to get the latest updates and share best practices regarding blockchain technology and R3’s blockchain platform Corda. Ten law firms have joined, including Ashurst, Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Crowell & Moring, Fasken, Holland & Knight, Perkins Coie, Shearman & Sterling, and Stroock. R3 has developed the LCoE to collaborate with and gather feedback from the legal sector, helping law firms to better engage with the technology, while updating R3 on the specific needs of the legal community and their clients. Law firms are increasingly working with clients to provide specialist advice on how to handle the legal aspects of blockchain technology, such as structuring Corda business networks and drafting smart legal contracts.

Collaboration with R3

Members of the LCoE will actively collaborate with R3 and have access to R3’s research on blockchain that provides a view into the concerns of their clients, monthly project demos that give members a practical understanding of real world blockchain applications, as well as Corda training workshops that have specifically been developed for attorneys. This will ensure that law practioners have a strong understanding of the technology and are optimally equipped to advise their clients on new and emerging legal and regulatory issues associated with blockchain and Corda.

Open-source blockchain

Corda is an open-source blockchain platform designed to record, manage and automate legal agreements between businesses. These agreements take the form of smart contracts on Corda, linking business logic and data to associated legal prose in order to ensure they are rooted firmly in law.

Automatic execution

Richard Gendal Brown, CTO at R3, comments: 'A key feature of Corda is its ability to record an explicit link between human-language legal prose documents and smart contract code. This enables agreements between businesses to be executed automatically with minimal need for human intervention. The LCoE will allow R3 to directly engage with the lawyers that will be advising on and helping draft the smart contracts used by the network of Corda users across the globe.'

Financial services ecosystem

Jason Rozovsky, senior counsel and head of the LCoE at R3, comments: 'Lawyers hold a key position in the financial services ecosystem. Many of our clients are also clients of the world’s leading law firms, a number of which have joined our Legal Centre of Excellence. There is an overall benefit to our membership and the Corda community at large to collaborating with these firms about Corda and its capabilities early on, and to obtaining their valuable insights into the legal and regulatory environments in which Corda operates.'


R3 is an enterprise software firm working with a network of over 200 banks, financial institutions, regulators, trade associations, professional services firms and technology companies to develop on Corda, its blockchain platform designed specifically for businesses. R3’s global team of over 140 professionals in nine countries is supported by over 2,000 technology, financial, and legal experts drawn from its global member base. R3 is backed by investment of USD 107 million from over 40 firms.


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