Roles of A Fintech Lawyer

Roles of A Fintech Lawyer

By Chibuzo Roman Ani esq

Much of today’s world is defined only by the extents of one’s imagination, that is to say that the only limit to what is and what can be lies in the imagination. Indeed the 21st century lawyer finds himself in a peculiar situation, one in which he must be creative enough to see or foresee a positive niche or innovative enough to improve one.

The increasing rate of technological advancement, customers’ desire for easier interface, faster and improved communication channels have all combined to make alternative banking – more formally known as Financial Technology (FinTech) an attractive option for opportunists.

With a terrain heavily regulated and easily susceptible to floodgate of litigations, the need for a dedicated in-house team and versed external counsel is all too important to remain afloat and keep up with the tides. 

So you want to become a Fintech lawyer, yes?

Anyone looking to jump from, say, general litigation into FinTech must delve into their research and find this space really interesting. Passion is highly important in this field, the pains of learning cannot be ignored and as I’ve come to learn it’s a lifelong process. So considering, this here is a brief but, sturdy insight into some niches a Fintech lawyer can fit into.

As a Regulator

Key stakeholders in the Fintech space include;

  • The Banks
  • The Fintech institutions
  • The Government
  • The Customers/General public

Between these major players are the lawyers who will make sure that none are stepping on each other’s toes. The concerns of the public are on privacy safety and customer satisfaction, the concerns of the government is on regulation, those of the institutional banks would be financial inclusion and information data and cash exchange and the Fintech lawyer comes into play in all these scenes to avoid a conflict arising from any section.

The Fintech lawyer should be able to guide and caution Fintech stakeholders on the variety of regulations extending to various sections like NITDA regulation, CBN regulations, the new Open Banking regulations, SEC rules etc. 

As an Advisor of sorts

As an advisor, a Fintech lawyer must understand the various positions of the parties involved. She should be able to guide a Fintech establishment on the creation of regulatory conforming tools that ensure the safety of customer data. He should be able to advise companies on their stance regarding negotiations and commitments. He also guides private partisans on their rights in regarding infringement of data.

Advisory to the government is not a far-fetched initiative as a Fintech lawyer may be required to extend his understanding of the FinTech space to the government to guide them on the notion of financial inclusion, and creation of government regulations. The new Open banking system in play would surely need an advisor to coordinate the terms upon which information and data can be exchanged between an Application program provider(API) and consumer.

Again, someone might have to represent in event of case proceeding in court, in case of a legal suit the Fintech lawyer has roles to play.

As noted by Seel, every FinTech start-up needs a regulatory compliance lawyer who would do the following, among others:

  • To advise on the legality of a proposed business model;
  • To help navigate complex and time-consuming registration requirements with regulatory agencies;
  • To help understand the regulatory context in which their bank partners are operating. According to Seel, “this allows the FinTech to speak to the real bank challenges surrounding a solution, and to partner with the bank to refine the solution as needed.”
  • To help with the design of RegTech products, specifically focused at helping banks to address regulatory challenges like Anti-Money Laundering, sanctions checking, customer due diligence, capital adequacy reporting, stress tests, and transparency.
  • To advise on specific regulations impacting product design (for example cybersecurity and privacy requirements for products and services in a particular jurisdiction.

FinTech is future-focused, and technology doesn’t necessarily always fit squarely within existing regulatory boxes. As lawyers in this space, we have an exciting opportunity to help influence and shape the future.


This work is published under the free legal awareness project of Sabi Law Foundation ( funded by the law firm of Bezaleel Chambers International ( The writer was not paid or charged any publishing fee. You too can support the legal awareness projects and programs of Sabi Law Foundation by donating to us. Donate here and get our unique appreciation certificate or memento.


This publication is not a piece of legal advice. The opinion expressed in this publication is that of the author(s) and not necessarily the opinion of our organisation, staff and partners.


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