Taylor Wessing rewards lawyers with crypto tokens  

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By Thomas Connelly on


Redeem for benefits

Taylor Wessing has launched a new incentive programme that sees lawyers awarded crypto tokens for “outstanding contributions” to the firm.

The scheme, which is understood to be the first of its kind in the legal market, will enable lawyers in the firm’s corporate, IP and financial services teams to collect special ‘LAW Tokens’ in their own digital wallets.

TW says lawyers will be able to award tokens to other lawyers who “demonstrate an outstanding contribution to the firm’s culture and its responsible business objectives”. Exchanged through the blockchain, tokens can also be redeemed with the firm for monetary vouchers or a charitable donation.

The token’s smart contract has been designed to enable transfers between “whitelisted” individuals only, in a bid to prevent a secondary market.

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Angus Miln, TW executive board member and head of emerging companies and venture capital, said:

“A very significant number of our clients in the tech space are developing distributed ledger applications and we are representing an increasing number of blockchain and crypto businesses, as well as investors in — and acquirers of — those businesses. We want our people to develop the skills necessary for us to continue to expand our practice in these areas.”

A group of the firm’s lawyers in the corporate and emerging companies and financial services regulatory teams, headed up by blockchain specialist Miguel Dinis Lucas, worked closely with Gerard Frith, the firm’s entrepreneur-in-residence, as well as members of the firm’s tech, information and IP team to create and launch the project.

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So they are being rewarded with nothing?

Little Britain

“Threeee magic beans”


I’ll take actual cash, thanks…tf lol

Pro bono request

Can any tax lawyers on here advise how this would be treated from a tax perspective? Presumably you would still have to pay income tax on earning the tokens and CGT if you traded the tokens? How would the liability be calculated if the tokens have no cash value? Unless there is any favourable tax treatment this is just a gimmick.

Trying to navigate the tax world

I’m not an expert (trainee looking to go into tax with 2 seats in it) –

1. Likely yes. Definitely if they are exchanged for monetary vouchers, in which case they’ll be treated as such (essentially similar to salary apart from reporting requirements).

If it’s for a charitable cause, it will likely depend on whether you can choose said charitable cause and whether they can only be exchanged for charitable purposes or can be exchanged for other assets of value. Given in this case they may also be turned into monetary vouchers, it would likely count as income arising to the individual, with potential subsequent tax relief on the charitable donation.

2. Yes on CGT (although rules still developing), subject to the allowance. Crypto is an ‘asset’ for CGT purposes and hence tax arises even if eventual outcome is cash (which is itself outside the remit of CGT) with no other capital use. This is generally contingent on perceived value, and the fact they limit this to ‘whitelisted’ people suggests this is likely to be the case.

If tokens have no cash value at all, then nothing on the income tax front, but CGT might still be possible if there is value attached generally, i.e for a collector.


What’s the exchange rate to the king’s notes? Without that information they are as good as useless.


TW will do literally anything except reward us in the right way


Yep – NQ salaries fine/sort of in-line with competitors (if you mostly look at the lower to mid end of our competitors!) but mid to senior salaries are a joke, especially given the expectations of some key clients and partners.

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