Digital Asset Lawyers in London - Boodle Hatfield

Your lawyers since 1722

Digital Assets

Over recent years, digital assets have emerged, becoming increasingly important in modern society and investments - with around one fifth of the UK population now owning at least one form.

Innovation in the virtual world, increasingly known to many as the metaverse, is constantly evolving. We are attuned to the issues and the specific concerns that confront individuals investing in these assets.

The term ‘digital asset’ relates to electronic files that can be owned and transferred by individuals and businesses, and used as a means of payment for goods and services, or as a way of storing intangible content, such as computerised artworks. The much talked about phenomenon may, for some, provide short-term solutions or gains, but individuals creating, accessing, using and transferring the virtual currency or files need to be aware of the legal considerations that affect an individual’s short-term digital footprint and longer term digital legacy.

How we can help

Personal Tax & Estate Succession
Our specialist team can help you to identify your digital assets and put the appropriate arrangements in place to ensure that your digital legacy is protected and preserved, but equally that ownership security is not compromised in the process. This includes providing guidance on the complexities surrounding the rapidly evolving world of virtual assets, to avoid unexpected tax implications.

Family & Divorce
Our family team advise individuals on all stages of a relationship, whether it be in the lead up to nuptials, in the midst of a marriage, or on separation and divorce. Whilst going through these milestones it is important to consider how to protect your wealth, which can be made more challenging in the current digital age, when the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies makes them notoriously difficult to deal with in the context of divorce proceedings.

Digital artwork and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
The continued growth of minting and selling digital artworks as NFTs means they cannot be ignored. The creation, distribution, ownership and trading of these tokens raise a plethora of legal issues, including intellectual property, SMART contracts and taxation and are also starting to lead to disputes. As this new area develops and crosses from the arts and gaming sectors into others such as property, our advice will continue to evolve to ensure we can navigate the legal issues raised by digital assets.

Dispute Resolution
As this asset class evolves and develops, the courts are increasingly dealing with disputes relating to digital assets. The cases in this area range from the fall out of an exchange going into liquidation, disputes between investors and the exchanges and misappropriate of cryptocurrencies and NFTs from digital wallets. There have been a number of recent fraud cases where digital assets have been misappropriated and the English Courts have been grappling with how to deal with this. Case law has established a number of key principles but the law is fast moving in this area. If you have a dispute relating to a digital asset, it is imperative to act quickly. Our team can assist you when disputes arise.

Our digital assets group is underpinned by specialists from around the firm, who can advise on everything from corporate structuring and intellectual property through to tax, financial claims in divorce and estate planning.

Show your experts

Helpful resources

Cryptocurrency Law: An A-Z guide Our team of experts have set out a user-friendly glossary that defines the key terms that solicitors may use when working on legal cases involving digital assets. Read more A guide to Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) Simon Fitzpatrick, Fred Clark, Rosie Adcock and Ruby Dyce provide an introduction to the legal and commercial implications of NFTs looking at intellectual property, regulation, smart contracts, consumer rights and litigation. Read more Estate Planning with a digital footprint Partner, Hayden Bailey, highlights the importance of ensuring that your advisers are aware of digital asset holdings and points out the care needed to ensure the assets can be passed on, but equally that ownership security is not compromised in the process. Read more Divorcing with cryptocurrency The intentionally anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies make them notoriously difficult to deal with in the context of divorce proceedings, however, the wide-ranging powers of the English divorce courts, and the canny lawyers who work in them, are now proving more than a match for would-be wealth hoarders. Read more The lifecycle of a digital asset In a three part series, Associates, Alex Martinelli and Hugo Brown look at the lifecycle of a digital asset from getting started to where the value lies. Read more Digital asset fraud & theft Cryptocurrency and NFTs increasingly offer opportunities for scammers to profit from unsuspecting victims. In a two part series, Kellie Jones, Rosie Adcock and Alex Martinelli set out some strategies that can be put in place to reduce the chances of falling victim to such frauds and explore the options for enforcement where fraud and theft has already occurred. Read more Crypto/NFT fraud & theft: will the new gateway 25 assist? Litigation Partner, Kellie Jones considers whether Gateway 25 will make it easier for claimants to obtain orders requiring third parties to provide information in cases of cryptocurrency or NFT fraud. Read more View more

Expert Insights

Our team of experts shine a spotlight on new legal developments surrounding digital assets and offer insights on the emerging issues that could impact personal and business interests and investments in the digital age.