January 07, 2013
While the market for mobile payments is evolving at a rapid pace, the law is still lagging far behind. What does it all mean for Canada’s corporate law firms looking to cultivate new practice lines?
Torys, for one, responded by pulling together 20 lawyers from other practice groups to form a payments and cards group last year. The impetus came from Blair Keefe, then chair of the firm’s financial institutions practice – and a member of the regulatory advisory group to the federal government’s task force, says Les Viner, the firm’s managing partner. "Blair came to me and said we need to be on top of this practice area, and we need to hire Ben Geva because he’s an international payments expert, and we need to put together an interdisciplinary group. I said ‘good idea,’ and he did it."
"We need to understand the intersection of finance and technology," says Les. "it’s mobile-payment technology. It’s retailers that give you coupons when you’re near their store by using GPS technology. It’s non-money money, like Facebook credits that are used to buy and sell stuff. It’s all these things that were never contemplated by the Bills of Exchange Act when it was passed well over 100 years ago. So this encompasses bank regulatory, technology, outsourcing, privacy, competition, dispute resolution, M&A and anti-money laundering expertise."
Read the full article here.