Overview

The Cogent Law Group Financial Technology (FinTech) Practice is a multi-disciplinary group of attorneys, legal and industry professionals providing market-leading financial regulatory, technology and transactional experience to clients worldwide. Our FinTech team leverage years of expertise in Corporate Law, Digital Payment Processing, Financial Institutions, Tax Compliance and Reporting Issues, Transaction Structuring, Data Security and Privacy, Intellectual Property and more.  
 
Why Cogent Law Group

  • Cogent provides trusted advisors who understand the financial technology space, including blockchain/distributed ledger technology, in both legal and technical terms.  
  • Cogent attorneys have years of experience in blockchain/distributed ledger technology, cryptocurrency, and banking, including business and regulatory issues.
  • Cogent has direct connections to regulatory environments in foreign jurisdictions that are friendly to FinTech companies, including businesses working with, transacting in, or developing cryptocurrency.
  • Cogent attorneys have held high-level positions in large international law firms, multinational corporations, and/or government agencies and have served as start-up CEOs/ CTOs/ COOs and general counsel.
  • With several serving as in-house counsel, Cogent attorneys have been on both sides of the attorney-client exchange.  
  • Cogent partners with FinTech industry leaders, banks, governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), and countless other private innovative practices.
  • Cogent Law Group is a one-stop shop for any and all FinTech matters providing full-scale support from corporate formation, fund formation, funding, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and initial public offerings (IPOs), to regulatory compliance, AML/KYC, smart contracts, cyber security and privacy, finance, and capital markets.

Clients

Our clients range from Bitcoin ATM operators to some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. We advise our clients on a wide range of FinTech-related matters including, but not limited to:

  • Blockchain and distributed ledger technology
  • ICOs: our team has extensive experience structuring Reg D, Reg A, Reg CF, and Reg S offerings for companies with ICOs that have raised over 100 million USD
  • Corporate formation
  • Fund formation  
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and joint-venture transactions
  • Securities  
  • IPOs
  • Regulatory and compliance matters including the Bank Secrecy Act and state money transmission laws
  • Employment disputes
  • Data security and privacy  
  • Intellectual property prosecution and litigation  
  • Tax considerations including tax reporting of cryptocurrency transactions, structuring a new business, and operating in a foreign jurisdiction
  • Code auditing

Some of our cryptocurrency clients include:

  • Blockchain Capital
  • CryptoTender
  • CharonCoins
  • Coinstructive
  • Local Bitcoins
  • CryptoTender
  • Kerma Bit
  • OTC Coins
  • Shapeshift
  • About 37

The Cogent Law Group FinTech Team

Adella Toulon-Foerster
Adella is the Director of our FinTech Practice and has more than a decade of experience in financial services and digital currencies. She has expertise in the Banking Secrecy Act ("BSA"), Anti-Money Laundering ("AML"), and Know Your Customer ("KYC") rules. Adella also specializes in Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") requirements and guidance, written and ongoing AML compliance programs, state-by-state money transmitter laws and licensure requirements, as well as Bitcoin and Blockchain-like platforms.
 
In 2001, Adella co-founded an innovative company which built gold-backed payment systems—the second of its kind for immediate clearance and settlement of digitally backed micro-payments. She is both a legal and financial professional interested in Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, and the budding legislation and regulation surrounding these new technologies. As a result of Adella's passions, cutting-edge financial services have been the focus of her career since her work with digital coin currencies in the early 2000s.

John “Jack” Baumann
Jack is a corporate attorney with more than 30 years of experience in corporate transactional work, securities offerings and mergers & acquisitions. Jack’s experience includes extensive corporate transactional work at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, as well as KPMG and as Chief Legal Officer of several public and private companies.

Jack has developed expertise regarding cryptocurrency transactions and currently counsels Cogent clients regarding securities law aspects of ICO transactions, and with structuring transactions and private placements under Regulations D, A and CF.

Jack’s combined experience includes more than 30 years advising boards of directors and senior management teams in all forms of complex corporate transactions, securities offerings, acquisitions, joint ventures, investment advisory registration and all types of strategic business development initiatives.

During his time as CLO at Public Storage (NYSE:PSA), Jack orchestrated Public Storage’s $5 billion hostile acquisition of rival self-storage operator, Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc., which was the first hostile and first all-stock acquisition of a Real Estate Investment Trust. In addition to his experience with REITS, Jack’s specialized industry experience includes the Insurance & Financial Services, as well as Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Distribution sectors. Jack is admitted to practice law in New York.

Thomas Gross
Tom has over 30 years’ experience in both domestic and international transactions and regulation with two large international law firms and as Deputy Assistant General Counsel with a major federal independent regulatory agency.  His practice includes advising on legal and regulatory issues involving ICOs and blockchain, and he has been a speaker at numerous blockchain events to analyze these fast-paced topics.
 
His transactional experience includes complex multi-funded transactions ranging from $200-$500 million, representing both project sponsors, major lending institutions and rating agencies such as S&P.  Tom has served as General Counsel for a high-tech firm and advised clients such as Rolls-Royce/SAIC companies, Advanced Engineering, and has advised startup companies on a variety of legal and technical matters including funding and development issues.
 
As a member of the Adjunct Faculty in the Graduate Business School at George Washington University, he teaches courses on Corporate Governance & Securities, and International Business Transactions which include, among other things, crypto-currencies, ICOs and blockchain issues, AML/KYC, and OFAC and FCPA compliance, intellectual property on the Internet, and structure and compliance issues for international transactions.  His in-country experience includes over a dozen international countries in Southeast Asia, China, and Europe.
 
His background and education include a Master of Sciences in Applied Physics from Stanford University, work experience as a physicist in Silicon Valley and the Stanford Linear Accelerator, and several U.S. Government research laboratories such as Los Alamos and Livermore Labs.  One of his recent publications addresses the Howey test and Securities in Cyberspace: https://gwbflr.org/cyberspace-securities-a-changing-world/.

Evan Smith
Formerly the head of the IP practice group for the main technology office of a large international law firm, Evan has advised executives on worldwide IP protection and enforcement and built valuable patent portfolios for major U.S. and international companies. As a registered patent attorney, his experience includes patent prosecution in the medical, electronic, computer, and mechanical arts industries and successful industry-wide enforcement of several patent portfolios, including a key power-over-ethernet patent that ultimately generated $38 million in royalties.  

Evan was general counsel for Autoscribe Corporation, CEO of Eye Controls LLC, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of EyeTicket Corp., a partner at Greenberg Traurig and Sixbey Friedman Leedom & Ferguson, and senior counsel at both Blank Rome and Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox.

Mark Ghatan

Mark's entrepreneurial spirit runs deep as he pitched in with his family's business throughout his youth, and right up through law school, as he interned at various prestigious government bodies in the criminal law sphere. Following law school, Mark worked as a trademark specialist for a corporate investigations firm and then as an anti-money laundering analyst for a financial institution where he conducted hundreds of complex investigations. From there, he cofounded an educational media startup that turned news following into a fun game while starting a solo law practice in 2013.

Through his law practice Mark advises individuals and business in a wide range of areas, including business formation, intellectual property, employment, contract formation and litigation, compliance and real estate. Most recently, Mark's practice has geared towards building, refining, and auditing AML/BSA compliance programs and providing ad hoc compliance counsel to registered Money Service Businesses (MSBs) and small banks with high-risk lines of business, including those centered on cryptocurrency/Bitcoin transactions and international trade financing. Mark also advises pro bono clients through the Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Law Project at the New York City Bar Association, where he also served on the International Trade Committee.


Evgenia Sorokina
Evgenia is an experienced corporate and business transactions attorney with more than 15 years of experience in complex financing transactions and domestic and international mergers and acquisitions. Evgenia has earned law degrees and worked as an attorney in both Russia and the United States. She has handled matters involving corporate structuring and organization of businesses around the world.  

She has experience in advising FinTech companies on regulatory issues involving state money transmitter laws and FinCen requirements. Prior to joining Cogent, Evgenia worked at several large international law firms, including Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, Baker and Hostetler, and Pepper Hamilton. Evgenia is licensed in the District of Columbia and New York. She is fluent in Spanish, French, Russian and English.

Joshua Radbod

Joshua is a FinTech attorney and entrepreneur. Joshua is licensed in Maryland and has advised FinTech entrepreneurs and other early-stage companies on corporate formation, intellectual property protection, negotiating and closing joint development and marketing agreements, licenses, sales and service agreements, leases, and capital investment transactions. Joshua also communicates with state and federal regulators regarding client’s money service business status.

Some of Joshua's clients include cryptocurrency miners and traders, exchanges, and hedge funds. Joshua is an active member of the cryptocurrency community here in the District and New York and currently assists the Government Blockchain Association through their Legal and Legislative branch.

Maureen Murat  
Maureen is an attorney and entrepreneur with over a decade of legal experience. Prior to and during law school, Maureen was a paralegal with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and with the U.S. Attorney’s Officer for the District of Columbia. Her practice focuses on corporate matters, cryptocurrency regulation compliance, and securities and taxation matters.  
 
She has experience in advising startups on equity crowdfunding strategies and other compliance issues related to raising funds to grow a business. In addition to serving as Of Counsel to Cogent, Maureen is Chief Advisor at Crowdie Advisors, LLC, a business consulting firm. 

Miles Vaughn
Miles works in Cogent’s financial technology practice to assist companies with regulatory concerns. He has a strong technical understanding of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies and has recently been published on the use of DLT in financial record keeping systems.

Miles has work experience in both the public and private sectors, including the Federal Communications Commission, Department of Commerce, and Facebook. He is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and has extensive experience with both domestic and international privacy regulations. Miles is a graduate of the American University Washington College of Law and has a degree in Chinese Language Studies and International Relations from the University of Rochester.