Gunnercooke becomes foremost to receive cryptocurrency payments
The firm says the decision will allow it to work with more clients and its partners can receive payment in the way they wish
Gunnercooke believes it has become the first law firm out of the top 200 in the United Kingdom to accept payments in cryptocurrencies.
In the City, a litigation firm announced that it had partnered with coin pass, a cryptocurrency exchange that's registered with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority so that it can offer exchanges and take cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether.
Gunnercooke finance director Naseer Patel said that "only a few US law firms are accepting crypto asset payments and that his firm is proud to be at the forefront of innovation in the UK. Hence, we will be able to serve a wider variety of clients across multiple jurisdictions, in addition offering flexibility to our partners regarding secure payment methods."
Perkins Coie, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Steptoe & Johnson, and Frost Brown Todd have all recently begun accepting crypto payments, as have regional firms such as McLaughlin & Stern.
Global Legal Post understands that only single practitioners and smaller boutique firms, like Sheridans of London and Quinn Legal of the Isle of Man, have applied so far in the UK.
A decision to accept crypto payments by Gunnercooke comes as the firm seeks to expand its fintech and crypto practices. The firm has built a client base that includes 100's crypto developers, exchanges and platforms since it was founded in 2010.
In a recent transaction, crypto-staking company Attestant, one of Gunnercooke's clients, used Ethereum to pay the firm for consulting services. Legal and regulatory advice is provided to Attestant on matters related to stakes, a process that verifies cryptocurrency transactions.
Financial services and fintech partner Jamie Burnie said it was "critical" that Gunnercooke accept crypto in this way for its growing client base, which spans the entire blockchain and crypto asset ecosystems. He predicted that over the next decade, cryptocurrency would become increasingly accepted as a means of payment in general.
According to Bloomberg Law, US firms are accepting crypto payments cite client demand and the ability to attract new clients. A lawyer at Frost Brown Todd said that crypto clients often hold more crypto assets than they do fiat currency and want to avoid converting it into fiat currency to avoid substantial fees.
Although crypto is gaining ground among law firms as a means of payment until now, yet there are only a few that accept it for a very limited number of clients. Firms that support cryptocurrency emphasise the importance of due diligence to make sure clients' real identities are known and that cryptocurrency must be converted into cash before investing in it and exposed to its volatility.