find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
'Way of the future' for corporate clients revealed

'Way of the future' for corporate clients revealed

Bernadette Jew

A Gilbert + Tobin partner has highlighted an emerging platform that she says is bound to become a staple in corporate clients’ businesses across a number of industries.

Bernadette Jew (pictured), a partner in Gilbert + Tobin’s TMT practice, spoke to Lawyers Weekly recently about a white paper she completed, revealing how the firm is seeing more corporate clients opt for shared ledger arrangements rather than traditional blockchain.

“Private shared ledgers are still distributed ledgers, but they no longer fit the classic blockchain model,” Ms Jew said.

“A private shared ledger is still ‘distributed’ in that each participant still holds a distributed node on the blockchain platform and each participant can have their node located on a server co-located anywhere in the world, but the shared ledger is not fully centralised – where anyone can be a validator – and there is no longer full replication of data across all nodes. This generally means that full synchronisation is no longer necessary.

“Decentralisation of network control becomes less important on private shared ledger platforms, since all the nodes are operated by known parties. Because the consortium members and consortium operator are known to each other, they are able to satisfy certain regulatory and compliance requirements without relying on complex software protocols that the full blockchain solution offers, even between parties who do not necessarily trust each other. They can instead look to ‘real-world’ solutions for legal recourse.”

Ms Jew said shared ledger arrangements “promise to create a new age of the consortium”, providing corporate clients the opportunity to collaborate while reducing transaction and record-keeping costs, as well as streamlining business operations.

“The key difference [between blockchain and private shared ledgers] is achieving confidentiality,” Ms Jew added.

“Blockchain was designed for transparency; it’s often called the transparency machine … Private shared ledgers involve more centralised decision-making and governance in a decentralised environment. Sometimes in private shared ledgers there may be no consensus at all, and that is a huge benefit.

“All in all, in private shared ledgers, the solutions are much simpler and thats a huge benefit. What they’re doing is relying on more real-world governance and contractual arrangements, theyre not relying on the technology and the code to do all of the work, like in a public blockchain.”

Ms Jew said while many corporate clients jumped on the blockchain bandwagon as it hit the market, she believes there is now a distinct shift for those looking for private shared arrangements instead.

“We’re moving away from the early days of a fairly chaotic arrangement, whereby everyone just jumped on the technology, to a much more organised framework where the design of the technology and design of the consortium and the people working on the consortium are a lot more integrated,” she said.

“I think the private shared ledger is the way of the future.”

However, Ms Jew also noted that it is important for legal professionals to ensure their clients who are interested in this “new age of the consortium” are aware of how they can best support business, and are not just jumping on board for the sake of it.

“There’s no point in having a shared ledger [arrangement] unless you’re going to collaborate. It’s not going to work if corporates jump on the technology and then try and work out how to make it all work later on,” she said.

“If they’re going to collaborate with other corporations, you really need to know that they’ve thought through what the consortium framework is going to look like, what the governance is, and what contractual arrangements and operational rules are going to look like to make it work as efficiently as possible.”


Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

'Way of the future' for corporate clients revealed
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Lawyers welcome same-sex marriage reform
Dec 11 2017
Lawyers welcome same-sex marriage reform
Australian lawyers have welcomed the recent legalisation of same-sex marriage, after a prolonged nat...
Senate disallows double standards for temporary visa holders
Dec 8 2017
Senate disallows double standards for temporary visa holders
Lawyers have welcomed the Senate’s rejection of regulations imposing strict penalties on temporary...
Handcuffs, freedom
Dec 7 2017
Queensland clocks up more breach of bail offences
A new report about sentencing trends in Queensland shows the number of offenders who have been sente...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...