Racheal is a dynamic member of Chambers with an impressively diverse practice, far exceeding her 2015 call.
The common thread running through Racheal’s broad commercial practice is the provision of comprehensive targeted advice and representation on the purchase, sale, management, and recovery of high value assets, ranging from cryptoassets to art and cultural property.
Racheal is an internationally recognised leading practitioner in the field of cryptoassets (i.e. cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens or NFTs). Some of her career highlights to date include:
- securing the World’s first injunction to freeze misappropriated NFTs in Osbourne v Persons Unknown;
- securing service by NFT – a first in England and Wales and only the second in the World;
- representing a client in the FTX insolvency;
- being instructed as junior counsel in the single highest-value intellectual property cryptoasset claim to date; and
- advising a leading international auction house on its first NFT auction.
TERMS OF BUSINESS
The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Racheal will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Racheal accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2020 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.
- American Bar Association (ILS)Art and Cultural Property Steering Committee Member
- British Blockchain Association Advisor
- CAPVISION expert
- Chancery Bar Association
- International Bar Association
- Young Fraud Lawyers Association
Racheal is frequently invited to talk on cryptoasset, trust, commercial, art and financial regulatory law topics, particularly with a commercial focus, by leading London law firms, internationally recognised auction houses, and international authorities such as the Dubai International Finance Centre and the American Bar Association.
Racheal has delivered many seminars and speeches, and featured in many expert panels, including:
- Demystifying the Characteristics and Security of Digital Assets, Cryptoassets and Cryptocurrencies (The London School of Economics) December 2022
- Crypto Regulation: Are Service Providers & Users Ready? (ArbTech) November 2022
- From loss to recovery – Using tracing and the courts to get Crypto Back (City AM Crypto AM Summit) November 2022
- Managing Risks Associated with Cryptoassets (STEP Asia Conference 2022, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore) November 2022
- NFTs: Civil Recovery, Proprietary Status and Limitless Utility? (University of Oxford) October 2022
- Cryptoassets, the Blockchain and the Metaverse: Technological Innovation for the Art Sector (Royal Academy of Arts) July 2022
- Demystifying Crypto: What it means for your practice (Kingsley Napley and Young Fraud Lawyers Association) June 2022
- The Legal Status of Digital Assets (JMW Solicitors LLP) June 2022
- ‘NFTs: What does the future hold?’ (Institute of Art and Law) March 2022
- FinTech, RegTech, LegalTech and SmartTech: The Future for Business … and Lawyers (Dubai International Finance Centre) July 2021
- Blockchain Technology: A New Era for the Art and Luxury Goods Sectors (Dubai International Finance Centre) June 2021
- An Introduction to Blockchain, Smart Contracts and NFTs (Dubai International Finance Centre) June 2021
- NFTs, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Translating New Technology into Profit, May 2021
- Interim Account Freezing Orders under POCA - Latest Developments, May 2021
- "The Ivory Act 2018: a mammoth tusk" - Christie's Education (June 2020)
- Panelist - Mishcon de Reya Ivory Act Breakfast Seminar (March 2020)
- "Your Commercial Edge in Art Law: A crash course in speaking legal jargon with ease" - Christie's Education (October 2019)
- Speaker - Historic England Heritage Crime Workshop (January 2019)
- "Your Commercial Edge in Art Law: A crash course in speaking legal jargon with ease" - Christie's Education (October 2018)
- Agha Abdur-Rashid Niazi Prize, University College London (2015)
- Queen Mother’s Major Scholar, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple (2014)
- 4x4 BPTC Advocacy Award, BPP Law School (2014)
- Quoted in the Financial Times’ article “The lawless world of crypto scams” written by Joshua Oliver dated 19 September 2022
- Changing Perceptions: Non-Fungible Tokens are Legal Property (Christie’s Bulletin for Professional Advisors) Summer 2022
- NFTs as property: what next? (New Law Journal, Vol 172 7978) 13 May 2022
- NFTS: Setting the Record Straight (American Bar Association Section of International Law Art and Cultural Heritage Law Newsletter) June 2021
- Not the Emperor’s New Clothes: Why the International Art Market Must Embrace Blockchain Technology Now (Lexology) April 2021
- The Art of the Deal, (New Law Journal, Vol 171 7930) April 2021
- Reddit Investors vs. Wall Street: Market Manipulation or Legitimate Investment Activity, January 2021
- Fraud is a National Security Threat: RUSI Report, 26 January 2021
- How Senior Managers at Financial Institutions can Best Avoid Potential Personal Liability for Regulatory and Criminal Wrongs, November 2020.
Co-author of Butterworths Lexis Nexis’ ‘The Encyclopaedia of FORMS AND PRECEDENTS (5th ed.)’ July 2022
Civil Fraud & Asset Recovery
Racheal is a leading junior widely recognised both nationally and internationally for her civil fraud practice, particularly in the field of cryptoasset recovery. She regularly appears before the High Court of England and Wales (KBD, ChD and Commercial Court Divisions) to recover stolen cryptocurrency and NFTs by way of interim injunctions, worldwide and domestic freezing orders, disclosure orders (under the Norwich Pharmacal and Banker’s Trust jurisdictions) and ancillary permissions for service out of the jurisdiction by alternative means, including NFT. This work is multi-jurisdictional in nature given that the defendants are commonly ‘persons unknown’, corporates and cryptoasset market participants, including exchanges and marketplaces, often located internationally. Racheal is therefore familiar with the legal frameworks in place in Cayman, the Seychelles, BVI, Mauritius, the Maldives, the United States, Singapore and Dubai, and well versed in liaising with local solicitors and counsel to seek enforcement of domestic orders.
Racheal co-authored the COMBAR and Chancery Bar’s Joint Response to the Law Commission’s Consultation on Digital Assets in November 2022. Further, Racheal is a British Blockchain Association (BBA) expert advisor. As a BBA advisor, Racheal represents the UK in prestigious blockchain and metaverse focused events and advises the UK Government on its blockchain and cryptoassets policies.
D’Aloia v (1) Persons Unknown (2) Binance and Others  EWHC 1723 (Ch)
A widely reported landmark judgment being (i) the first reported contested cryptoasset recovery case (ii) providing for service of legal documents by NFT; and (iii) finding a good arguable case of constructive trustee liability of exchanges to the claimant as a victim of fraud at the hands of persons unknown.
Secured an urgent cryptocurrency injunction freezing stablecoin, and both Norwich Pharmacal and Banker’s Trust disclosure orders enforceable against fraudulent persons unknown and five global cryptocurrency exchanges, (including the largest cryptocurrency in the World, Binance). Permission also secured to serve proceedings by way of a NFT airdrop to wallets utilised by the fraudulent persons unknown for the first time in England and Wales, and for service out of the jurisdiction in Cayman, Seychelles, BVI and Thailand.
The matter is ongoing. See here for some press coverage:
Osbourne v (1) Person Unknown (2) Ozone Networks Inc  EWHC 1021 (Comm)
World first reported case establishing a precedent that NFTs are legal property, distinct from what they represent (e.g. a digital work of art), capable of being held on constructive trust and frozen by way of injunctive relief. Racheal secured an urgent injunction to freeze stolen NFTs and a Banker’s Trust disclosure order enforceable against the World’s largest cryptocurrency marketplace, OpenSea, headquartered in New York.
The matter is ongoing, see here for some press coverage:
SD v Persons Unknown, Huobi Global Ltd  EWHC 280 (QB)
Racheal secured an urgent cryptocurrency injunction, a worldwide freezing order, and Norwich Pharmacal and Banker’s Trust disclosure orders enforceable against persons unknown and Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi.
Insolvency & Restructuring
Racheal accepts instructions from creditors, liquidators, and others in the context of multibillion and multimillion pound corporate insolvencies. She has been instructed in the leading cryptoasset exchange insolvencies to date, including by an institutional client overseas connected to the November 2022 insolvency of cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. Prior to this, Racheal was instructed by overseas liquidators in connection with one of the first cryptocurrency exchange insolvencies. As such, she is multi-jurisdictional insolvency proceedings, including US Chapter 11 proceedings.
Racheal is therefore one of the best placed juniors at the International Bar to advise parties with regards to crypto-specific insolvency events and recovery and other matters in the weeks, months and years thereafter.
Non-Contentious Cryptoasset Advisory
Racheal’s non-contentious cryptoasset practice predominantly consists of providing:
- contractual, consumer law, intellectual property, regulatory taxonomy, data protection and tax advice on NFT ‘drops’ (i.e. launches) and initial coin offerings (ICOs) for new cryptocurrency tokens;
- advice on and assisting with the drafting of smart contracts to govern cryptoassets working alongside coders; and
- regulatory advice on how her clients can best place themselves to secure Part 4A FSMA permissions from the UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to carry on cryptoasset activity in the UK, drawing on her in-house experience as an FCA associate while seconded in 2018.
Racheal is one of the leading worldwide authorities on the sale, acquisition, and recovery of NFTs. She is frequently called upon to advise in collectors, art galleries, auctions houses, artists and corporates behind global brands on all legal aspects of NFT drops, including:
- the taxonomy of tokens (i.e. whether the NFTs constitute regulated or unregulated tokens);
- anti-money laundering (AML), counter-terrorist financing (CTF) and sanctions compliance;
- promotional considerations;
- Gambling Act considerations; and
- Intellectual Property licensing.
Further, Racheal has drafted term texts and text templates to inform the programming for smart contracts, as well as advised on the redrafting of associated website terms and conditions and wider policies so as not to expose her clients to contractual and consumer rights challenges.
Media and Entertainment
Racheal has been recognised as "one to watch" in the field of art and cultural heritage law.
While acting as Senior Counsel at The British Museum, Racheal advised the General Counsel in relation to all aspects of the Museum’s work, including on loans, insurance, tax, intellectual property, data protection and corporate governance, corporate sponsorship, and has drafted and negotiated various commercial and public agreements.
Racheal has advised international auction houses with regards to their terms and conditions of sale and consignment agreements. For this, she has drawn on both her (i) expertise in auction house liabilities and best practices and (ii) unique insight into blockchain technology, smart contract formation and programming, and how this interacts with current international legal frameworks. Her advice has culminated in the successful sale of NFTs of multimillion pound digital and ‘flat’ artworks both in London and US salerooms.
Outside of cryptoassets, Racheal advises her international art gallery clients on the regulatory taxonomy of fractionalised artwork offerings and assist them with applying for Part 4A FSMA permissions from the FCA to offer shares and other securities for sale in the UK.
Racheal has advised widely on the regulation of the imports, exports, and sale of endangered species, including on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species 1973 (CITES), Council Regulation EC/338/97 (the Regulation) and the Ivory Act 2018. This has culminated in the reported case of Arabian Oud Company Ltd v The Director of Border Revenue  UKFTT 00127 (TC) where Racheal successful defended Border Revenue’s seizure of illegally imported agarwood (a protected species) by renowned luxury Middle Easter perfumier, Arabian Oud Company.
Racheal is a co-author of Butterworths Lexis Nexis’ ‘The Encyclopaedia of FORMS AND PRECEDENTS (5th ed.)’ July 2022, having contributed in particular to commentary and forms concerning compliance with the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive for Art Market Participants.
Racheal is regularly invited to speak to art world clients, including at The Royal Academy of Arts, The Institute for Art and Law and The National Gallery.
Arabian Oud Company Ltd v The Director of Border Revenue  UKFTT 00127 (TC)
Racheal acted for UK Border Force in the First Tier Tax Tribunal in an appeal brought by luxury Middle Eastern perfumier, Arabian Oud Company, with a retail store opposite Selfridges on London’s Oxford Street. Arabian Oud Company had imported goods, including agarwood products, (which are protected under CITES), from Saudi Arabia to the UK. Border Force seized the goods as liable to forfeiture as they had been imported contrary to the Regulation. The Tribunal refused the appeal finding that the decision to refuse to restore goods was not unreasonable for the purposes of section 16(4) Finance Act 1994.
Racheal has been advising on intellectual property (IP) matters since she was Senior Legal Counsel at the British Museum in 2018. Since then she has specialised in the drafting of IP licences in respect of NFTs for incorporation in the associated smart contracts.
Racheal also has an active contentious IP practice. She is presently instructed as a junior in the single largest IP cryptoasset related litigation in the World with a quantum in the many billions of Pounds.
Banking & Financial Services
Racheal accepts instructions from firms, including corporates linked to cryptoasset services and the art world, to advise on obtaining regulatory approval in the UK.
Her advisory work includes drafting regulatory taxonomy advices for review by insurers, funders, and others (i.e. with respect to whether tokens and activities in relation to them – including promotional activities - are regulated or unregulated and associated next steps). This work also encompasses reviewing whitepapers and advising on associated matters such as consumer rights and data protection.
Racheal’s financial regulatory practice started in 2017 when she was seconded to the FCA. During her time there, Racheal was appointed as an Associate within the Enforcement and Market Oversight Team (Retail 3) and the Criminal Prosecution Team. Racheal independently drafted the FCA’s internal practice manual on Prosecuting Corporates, with a strong focus on anti-money laundering, sanctions and counter terrorist financing compliance, POCA. Further, Racheal managed a team of six associated and steered a £60M regulatory investigation concerning the provision of defined benefit pension transfer advice as the Principal Investigator.
Racheal advises widely on cryptoasset class actions. This includes preliminary and formal written advice on class action composition, relevant causes of action (including those founded in consumer rights and competition law), prospects of success and other matters going to ATE insurance and funding more generally. She has done so on the basis of competition law and consumer rights based claims in relation to cryptoassets and cryptoasset firm services.
Racheal appears led and on her own in multi-million-pound data protection class actions, involving the drafting of opinions for litigation funders.
Racheal has advised large household brands on how best to engage with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in active investigations concerning unlawful data processing.