The FinTech landscape continues to evolve, with new and continuing litigation related to consumer financial services platform innovation, the economics of cryptotokens, features of a blockchain, and allegedly disruptive cryptocurrency trading practices. For clients involved in these matters, we provide the critical expertise needed to address these issues.

View Selected Experts

We examine every case to identify the most effective expert witnesses.

We examine every case to identify the most effective expert witnesses.

Christine A. Parlour

Sylvan C. Coleman Chair in Finance and Accounting,
Haas School of Business,
University of California, Berkeley

Christine A. Parlour is a finance expert who focuses on market microstructure, limit order markets, cryptocurrencies, FinTech, and payment systems. Professor Parlour provides expert testimony on a range of institutionally complex topics involving financial markets, institutions, cryptocurrency, and regulation. A former member of the Nasdaq Economic Advisory Board, she also previously served as visiting economist at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

For more than twenty years, Professor Parlour has researched issues related to the economics of financial exchanges. She specializes in financial markets, including equity markets, debt markets, and cryptocurrencies. In equity markets, she has examined price dynamics, competition for order flow, payment for order flow, and informed trading. Her research on cryptocurrencies addresses the effect of Central Bank Digital Currency on banking system stability, the costs of settlement on the Bitcoin Ledger, and how initial coin offerings (ICOs) differ from traditional funding.

Widely published, Professor Parlour’s award-winning research has appeared in leading finance and economics journals, including the American Economic Review, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Finance, and the Journal of Financial Economics. She is an editor at the Review of Finance; associate editor of the Journal of Financial Markets, the Journal of Financial Intermediation, and the Journal of Financial Services Research; and a former associate editor of Management Science and the Journal of Finance.

Professor Parlour has taught courses in investment analysis, FinTech, auctions and microstructure, and capital markets. She is a winner of the Haas School’s Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching.

She has held visiting academic appointments at INSEAD, the London School of Economics and Politics, and Paris Dauphine University. Professor Parlour is a past president of the Finance Theory Group.

We examine every case to identify the most effective expert witnesses.

Craig M. Lewis

Madison S. Wigginton Professor of Finance,
Owen Graduate School of Management,
Vanderbilt University;
Professor of Law,
Vanderbilt Law School

Craig Lewis is an authority on corporate financial policy, asset pricing, and financial market regulation. Professor Lewis is the former chief economist of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where he also served concurrently as director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis. At the agency, he focused on economic analysis in the financial regulatory process, and oversaw a wide range of activities related to agency policy, rulemaking, enforcement and examinations, and risk analysis.

Professor Lewis’s expertise includes convertible debt financing, corporate capital formation, equity analyst behavior, money market and exchange-traded funds, and textual analysis of corporate disclosures. He has testified before Congressional committees. In addition, he has consulted to corporations, public institutions, and government agencies on financial issues, including Dollar General, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, State Street Global Advisors, Union Pacific Railroad, the Federal Trade Commission, and the SEC. Professor Lewis has filed expert reports, and provided expert testimony in deposition and at trial.

Professor Lewis publishes extensively on topics related to financial institutions and markets, and serves as an editor for leading academic journals in finance. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Financial Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Corporate Finance, and Financial Management, among others.

The winner of multiple awards for teaching excellence, Professor Lewis has taught undergraduate, M.B.A., and Ph.D. courses on corporate and managerial finance and derivatives. He served as a visiting professor at Donau-Universität Krems in Austria, Goethe-Universität in Germany, and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Early in his career, Professor Lewis worked as a CPA at a major accounting firm.

We examine every case to identify the most effective expert witnesses.

Mark J. Garmaise

Professor of Finance,
UCLA Anderson School of Management,
University of California, Los Angeles

Mark Garmaise is a corporate finance expert who specializes in topics related to banking, entrepreneurship, financial contracting, and real estate. Professor Garmaise has provided expert testimony in high-profile cases involving breach of contract, valuation, and damages.

His industry experience includes FinTech, cryptocurrency, entertainment, financial services, investment banking, automotive, and microfinance. Professor Garmaise has also consulted with a U.S. bank on refining its residential mortgage delinquency model.

Professor Garmaise analyzes a range of complex issues affecting real estate markets, entrepreneurial firms, venture capital, and private equity. He has published papers on mortgage terms, the performance of small business lenders, and the effects of financial constraints on entrepreneurs. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Finance, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

An award-winning instructor with more than two decades of experience, Professor Garmaise teaches MBA and executive courses on corporate finance, venture capital, and private equity (including investment strategies such as the use of special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs). He is a former senior associate dean of the MBA program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Previously, Professor Garmaise served on the faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

FinTech, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency Capabilities

Cornerstone Research has consulted to clients and supported leading market microstructure experts on a wide range of issues pertaining to:

  • Reported volume integrity and market quality on major cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Token price discovery across cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Price impacts of large cryptocurrency orders
  • Wash trading allegations on specific cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Auction mechanisms
  • Assessment of the impact of stable coins on cryptocurrency markets

In regulatory investigations and private litigation arising from the initial distribution of cryptotokens, clients have retained Cornerstone Research to evaluate drivers of a token’s value through an economic lens. This includes assessment of fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as well as stable coins. Our analyses have helped address issues within the context of the Howey Test, which lays out the general approach to determining whether an asset should be considered a security.

We leverage significant experience in complex securities cases and valuation assignments and apply it to cryptocurrency-specific issues. Cornerstone Research has conducted damages analyses in matters relating to cryptocurrency trading and token valuation. Our assignments have included:

  • Evaluating rescission damages claims for heavily traded cryptocurrencies
  • Valuing companies whose primary assets are illiquid cryptotokens
  • Analyzing damages claims through a comparison of the economic value associated with cryptocurrency trading strategies

Cornerstone Research assists clients in analyzing blockchain transactions, voting delegation, and proof of work or proof of stake designs. We have evaluated:

  • Underlying blockchain code for scalability and operability
  • Genesis block allocations and traced movements in cryptotokens for the purpose of assessing damage claims. This includes syncing nodes and using APIs (application programming interfaces) as part of the data processing and analysis.

As technology has begun to change the way consumers interact with financial products, new types of disputes have emerged. Our experience with traditional consumer financial products provides a solid foundation to assist clients with regulatory and litigation matters arising from new technology. For example, we have evaluated how existing consumer finance regulation applies to new platforms and how borrowers interact with developing technology for loan products. We have also analyzed financial “robo-advisors” and how automated investment strategies perform relative to alternative portfolios under different risk-return scenarios.

Cornerstone Research has extensive experience with assessing how government regulations apply to cryptocurrency and assisting clients with responses to government entities including the CFTC and SEC. This includes assessing allegations of unregistered securities offerings, estimating alleged harm, and evaluating claims of market manipulation. Our staff and experts have experience presenting analysis directly to regulatory entities.

Featured Publications

19 January 2022

SEC Cryptocurrency Enforcement: 2021 Update

Under the new administration, the SEC has continued its role as one of the main regulators in the cryptocurrency space.

10 November 2021

CME Ether futures: How is the contract designed?

The authors discuss how the CME Group calculates the price index underlying futures contracts based on the cryptocurrency Ether.

10 May 2021

SEC Cryptocurrency Enforcement—Q3 2013–Q4 2020

The SEC brought 75 cryptocurrency-related enforcement actions from Q3 2013 to Q4 2020, allegations of fraud and unregistered securities offerings w...

24 November 2020

The CFTC’s Approach to Virtual Currencies

A review of the CFTC’s regulatory and enforcement approach to cryptocurrency in the United States.

30 July 2020

Trends in CFTC Virtual Currency Enforcement Actions—2015–Q2 2020

This report analyzes CFTC enforcement actions against virtual currency market participants, including traders, issuers, exchanges, and service prov...

17 December 2018

What Does Blockchain Mean for Dispute Resolution?

Nicole Moran discusses how using blockchain technology in the collection and analysis of data and documents could affect dispute resolution.

21 June 2018

Economic Considerations for ICO Regulation and Litigation

The authors examine economic considerations for initial coin offering regulation and litigation in this Bloomberg BNA article.

28 December 2017

Bitcoin Futures: A Closer Look At CME’s Contract Design

The CME bitcoin futures contract puts in place a structure that may provide some stability to the volatile bitcoin market.

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For more information or assistance with a specific matter, please contact us.