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  • J McGlynn and M Bacina

Piper Alderman: First Law Firm to use Blockchain-Based Payment Guarantee

It's well known that our firm Piper Alderman is passionate about the opportunities provided by distributed ledger technologies. As part of our ongoing endeavours to partner with clients and together advance innovation and in particular blockchain and digital-assets, we are excited to announce we are the first Australian legal firm to execute a blockchain-based payment guarantee in a commercial contract, and may well be the first law firm in the world to do it.

National newspaper, The Australian had the exclusive, with an interview available here.

While it feels a bit Seinfeld "The Jimmy"-esque to refer to myself in the third person, the co-author of this piece, Michael Bacina said:

The transformative nature of distributed ledger technology is only just beginning and I’m thrilled to be a small part of helping to modernise and improve legal practice.

To make the magic happen, Piper Alderman teamed up with Lygon, a Blockchain business working with IBM Australia, major banks and property developers and which creating the first digital bank guarantee in property in the world just this February.

Acknowledging the major advantages this opportunity will offer to the legal profession, a craft heavily reliant on paper-based guarantees, Mr Bacina further commented:

Paper based payment guarantees have always suffered from inefficiency and risk and the Lygon platform, with the support of major banks and IBM blockchain technology, should help Piper Alderman and our client’s enjoy greater efficiency and security over guarantees.

He continued:-

Someone who would be the recipient of the guarantee would hold onto a piece of paper. If they ever wanted to call on that guarantee, they would have to bring that paper to the bank. The Lygon platform makes that process purely digital and in a highly secure way, so it replaces that very manual process and makes that way of calling on a guarantee very fast and very simple.

Justin Amos, described Piper Alderman’s use of Lygon’s platform as:

a watershed moment for the legal services industry

While Mr Bacina told the Australian that increased usage of a blockchain-based guarantee system would be "a win-win-win for law firms", he recognised that "the legal industry is slow to change". But in leading the way Piper Alderman will hopefully show other law firms that the power of blockchain technology and innovation is one that can legal practice and ultimately the clients whom we serve.


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