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Digital asset disputes & crypto recovery

Magnifying glass focused on the whole globe

Our team of digital asset dispute experts assists clients with all disputes relating to cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and blockchain technology. This includes advising on disputes concerning investments in digital assets and crypto funds and ownership/management disputes involving digital asset service providers. We frequently advise on the recovery of digital assets, often in circumstances where there has been fraud or hacking activity, or where assets are held by exchanges.

The global economy has been transformed by the emergence of the digital assets sector. It is unsurprising that given this growth and the increasing maturity of the blockchain ecosystem, Harneys has advised on numerous contentious matters in this area. These notably have a British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands nexus driven by the large number of cryptocurrency exchanges and digital asset service providers operating through companies incorporated in these jurisdictions, in addition to the prevalence of BVI and Cayman structures through which crypto and digital asset projects have been organised.

Our team routinely assists with the recovery of digital assets and clients choose us because of our innovative, quick and effective approach. The resolution of digital asset disputes and crypto recoveries typically entails the use of blockchain analysis and asset tracing – which has included tracing assets through mixed funds or ‘tumblers’ – combined with assistance from the civil courts and from law enforcement agencies.

Our experts have also advised on the liquidation of funds and entities invested in digital assets and will advise on how any risks arising from the exposure to highly volatile assets classes can be managed in a way that is in the best interests of creditors and other stakeholders.

Given the nature of this work Harneys frequently accommodates clients wishing to use alternative fee arrangements. Harneys also accepts payment in cryptocurrency.

Recent highlights and capabilities include:

  • Investigating instances of hacking of digital accounts and wallets and the theft of digital tokens or other assets.
  • Tracing, preservation and recovery of tokens and other digital assets.
  • Seeking and obtaining courts orders for disclosure against unknown persons (often hackers or scammers) and obtaining freezing orders against those persons and any accounts and wallets associated with them.
  • Claiming for the recovery of stolen assets, including where the defendants are initially unknown.
  • Recovering digital assets from centralised cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Advising on the winding down and liquidation of corporate entities with investments in cryptocurrencies.
  • Liaising with exchanges, token issuers and law enforcement agencies with a view to identifying and achieving the quickest and most effective route to recovery of assets.
  • Advising on disputes regarding the rights in NFT and their marketability.

Other digital asset services

Harneys also has a highly knowledgeable, market-leading global digital assets team that has been launching digital asset focussed funds in the BVI and Cayman since 2015 and routinely advises on a wide range of projects within the DeFi, Blockchain and Web3 space, including NFTs. For more on our legal and regulatory advisory services, as well as our fast-track formation offering, visit our Blockchain & digital assets page.

Team members

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