Cyber Fraud & Cryptoassets

3VB is at the cutting edge of cases involving cyber fraud, cryptoassets and blockchain disputes worldwide.

Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 both rank 3VB as a Tier 1 set for Cryptoassets, with several individually ranked KCs and junior barristers. In the Legal 500 Bar Awards 2023, Hodge Malek KC was named Technology, Data and Crypto Silk of the Year. 3VB was also nominated for Technology, Data and Crypto Set of the Year, and David Quest KC and Chloë Bell for Technology, Data and Crypto Silk and Junior of the Year respectively.

Members of Chambers act on cases in the UK and internationally covering all aspects of cyber fraud and cryptoassets, including litigation and arbitration; freezing injunctions (including against “Persons Unknown”); Norwich Pharmacal/Bankers Trust disclosure orders tracing the proceeds of fraud; blockchain tracing; claims against cryptoasset exchanges; consumer rights; financial promotions; anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing; e-money regulation; financial services authorisation applications and regulatory enforcement proceedings (including by the Financial Conduct Authority); sanctions; smart contracts; and crypto securities transactions.

Highlights of 3VB’s recent and ongoing work in this area include:

  • The leading case on the interplay between English consumer protection law and the enforceability of arbitration agreements with a foreign seat in the context of cryptoassets: Payward Inc v Chechetkin [2023] EWHC 1780 (Comm).
  • The leading case on proprietary injunctions against cryptoasset exchanges: Piroozzadeh v Persons Unknown [2023] EWHC 1024 (Ch).
  • A dispute over entitlement to a cryptoasset trading account: Nexo Capital Inc v Shulev [2023] EWHC 1646 (Comm).
  • Acting in claims by Tulip Trading Ltd against various Bitcoin developers for c.$4 billion of alleged lost Bitcoin.
  • Providing expert evidence on English law in the U.S. FTX bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Acting in group claims against cryptoasset exchanges alleging breach of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and FCA Rules.
  • One of the first Bitcoin delivery up order cases: Mr Dollar Bill Ltd v Huobi.
  • Advising some of the world’s largest cryptoasset businesses on obtaining authorisation/registration by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • A major independent review of the money laundering and terrorist financing systems and controls of one of the UK’s largest cryptoasset exchanges, seeking registration with the FCA under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.
  • The first three cryptoasset cases before the Upper Tribunal: Gidiplus Ltd v FCA [2022] UKUT 00043 (TCC), Vladimir Consulting v FCA [2022] UKUT 168 (TCC), and Moneybrain v FCA [2022] UKUT 257 (TCC) and [2022] UKUT 308 (TCC).
  • Obtaining Norwich Pharmacal disclosure orders against a cryptoasset exchange in Australia in aid of tracing funds laundered as part of an international banking fraud in Malaysia and other jurisdictions.
  • The first Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) claim to consider the legal status of cryptocurrency.

David Quest KC is a lead author of the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) Legal Statement on Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts, which has been endorsed by courts in the UK, Singapore, New Zealand, and elsewhere. He is also a lead author of the UKJT’s further Legal Statements on Digital Securities and on Digital Assets and English Insolvency Law, and has a forthcoming chapter on cryptoassets in OUP’s Fin Tech & Digital Commercial Law (2024).

Hodge Malek KC, James Potts and Chloë Bell have written a new chapter on cryptoasset regulation for OUP’s Financial Services Law (5th edition, 2024), and James Potts and Chloë Bell have a chapter on cryptoasset litigation forthcoming in Banking Litigation (5th edition). Several members of Chambers have contributed to responses on behalf of COMBAR and the Chancery Bar Association to the Law Commission’s consultations on cryptoasset issues, including the status of digital assets as property and private international law issues.

Winner: UK Bar Awards 2023
The Lawyer Awards 2022: Chambers of the Year