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Prof. David Yermack about his Keynote at Lexpo, the most important developments in his field of expe

We've asked the thought leaders and experts who will be speaking at Lexpo'18, legal innovation event:'What is the most important development in their area of expertise and how will it affect the upcoming years?'; 'What will they be talking about at Lexpo'18'; 'What they need to do or read to learn more about their area of expertise and if there is something else they would share?'

David, 'If you should pick one - what, in your opinion, is the most important development in your area of expertise over the past 5 years in the Legal Market, and how will it affect the upcoming years?'

Five years ago, digital currencies and tokens were unknown to most people and completely ignored by governments. Beginning in 2013 with guidance from FinCen in the United States, regulators from many areas of government have taken increasing interest in this type of property. This is now a growing practice area for many law firms.

'what will you be talking about at Lexpo'18'

I will be talking about new opportunities for lawyers to become involved in cases related to digital assets. These would include areas such as smart contracts, the fiduciary duties of software engineers, enforcement of judgments against cloud-based entities, and numerous other emerging legal problems.

When the legal professionals want to learn more about your area of expertise or the developments in this expertise, what do they need to do or read?

Many governments are issuing white papers with regulatory guidance on FinTech and digital assets. There is a lot of breaking daily news in online specialty publications, and increasing coverage of the area by the mainstream financial press. I read CoinDesk every day and talk to many attorneys in and around New York.

'Thank you! Is there something else or an insight that you would share with our readers

Distributed ledger technology and blockchains are viewed as "job killers" in many industries, because they are likely to automate functions that have been performed for centuries by bankers and accountants, among other white collar professionals. I think the situation will be far different for lawyers, however. Some routine legal work, such as foreclosing on assets of a debtor in default, may be superseded by smart contracts, and legal practice areas will need to change. However, it is abundantly clear that many novel legal problems are being created by this new technology, and this is a huge opportunity for the legal industry. Lawyers with backgrounds in computer programming or data analytics are likely to experience especially high demand.


About David Yermack

David L. Yermack is the Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation at New York University Stern School of Business. He serves as Chairman of the Finance Department and Director of the NYU Pollack Center for Law and Business.

Professor Yermack teaches joint MBA - Law School courses in Restructuring Firms & Industries and Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies, as well as PhD research courses in corporate governance, executive compensation, and distress and restructuring. Professor Yermack has been with NYU Stern since 1994. His primary research areas include boards of directors, executive compensation, and corporate finance. Professor Yermack has published more than 25 articles in leading academic journals in Finance, Accounting, Economics, and Law. Professor Yermack received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics (1985), Master of Business Administration (1991), Juris Doctor (1991), Master of Arts in Business Economics (1993), and Doctor of Philosophy in Business Economics (1994) from Harvard University.


The following Thought Leaders and Expert (all speaking at Lexpo'18) will be answering the same questions in this Series

  1. Ben Kingsley

  2. Philipp Kadelbach

  3. Karl Haraldsson

  4. David Fisher

  5. Oliver N Oram

  6. Shruti Ajitsaria

  7. John Alber

  8. David Rueff

  9. Nick Kirby

  10. Susan Lambreth

  11. Kim Craig

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