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Decrypting the Situs – Conflicts of Laws Challenges in Cryptoasset Litigation


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Chloë Bell and Joshua Cainer consider cryptoasset litigation and the challenges that litigation with a foreign element present in their latest article entitled “Decrypting the Situs – Conflicts of Laws Challenges in Cryptoasset Litigation”.

Litigation involving cryptoassets will frequently have a foreign element to it. Conflicts of laws rules will therefore be highly relevant to resolving such disputes.

The article below focuses on, first, outlining what features of cryptoassets and distributed ledger technology (‘DLT’), the technology on which cryptoassets depend for their existence, give rise to difficulties in private international law. Secondly, it gives an overview of the key methodological questions which need to be resolved at the outset of an analysis of private international law issues. The third and fourth sections of the article contain the main focus of our analysis, in which we explore existing jurisdiction and applicable law regimes and how they might be applied and/or adapted to apply to so-called ‘external disputes’, namely disputes which involve engagement with the real world and do not solely concern matters internal to the DLT network.

You can read the article here.

About the Authors

Chloë Bell is regularly instructed in commercial and chancery matters. She has provided advice in a number of cases on the interpretation of contracts and has experience appearing led and as sole counsel in court on commercial matters. She has written on this topic and is currently advising on a cryptoasset case involving misappropriation in a cross-border context.

Joshua Cainer joined Chambers in 2020 following the successful completion of his pupillage. Joshua is building a busy practice  across all of Chambers’ areas of practice and is also a member of the Attorney General’s Junior Junior Scheme.

Find Out More

If you would like to discuss any of the issues covered in this article please contact Chloë or Joshua directly or via their practice management team; David Smith on (+44 (0)20 7427 4905) or Colin Bunyan on +44 (0)20 7427 4886.

Barristers: Joshua Cainer | Chloë Bell
Categories: Legal Blog & Publications | Commercial