LILYA TESSLER leads Sidley’s FinTech and Blockchain group, which is recognized as a Band 1 practice in the 2024 Chambers FinTech guide and was named “FinTech Practice Group of the Year” by Law360 (2020). She focuses her practice on representing digital asset trading platforms, blockchain technology companies, U.S. and non-U.S. broker-dealers, financial services firms, and cryptocurrency funds. Lilya has been ranked by Chambers FinTech for FinTech Legal: Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies – USA – Nationwide (2020–2024), including a Band 1 ranking since 2022. She has also been ranked for her work in Crypto-Asset Disputes – USA – Nationwide (2024). In the 2024 edition of Chambers FinTech, clients are impressed by her “great understanding of what is going on in the digital asset tokenization space” and note that she “has a very big reputation in crypto” and that she is “very well respected in this space.” Lilya was named to The Texas Lawyer’s 2023 “Rising Stars” list as a part of the Texas Legal Awards, which spotlights the state’s top lawyers who are 40 years of age and under. She also was named a “Fintech MVP” (2022) and Fintech “Rising Star” (2019) by Law360.
Lilya advises technology companies on public and private securities offerings, including blockchain token distributions. She also counsels financial institutions and digital asset exchanges with day-to-day securities issues, private placement agent requirements, custody rule requirements, cross-border regulatory issues, money services business registration requirements, as well as FINRA and SEC regulatory inquiries. She advises several U.S. and non-U.S. FinTech companies, including robo-advisors and high-frequency trading firms in evaluating the broker-dealer and investment adviser registration requirements. She regularly advises clients in SEC and CFTC investigations and litigations that relate to complex digital asset legal and regulatory issues.
Lilya is a member of Sidley’s global Securities Enforcement and Regulatory practice, which was named the “Law Firm of the Year” for Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) in 2023 and for Securities Regulation in 2020 and 2017 by U.S. News – Best Lawyers, and received the 2019 Chambers USA Award for Financial Services Regulation. She works with transactional lawyers on structuring deals involving financial services and technology companies, digital asset exchanges and blockchain token offerings. She regularly assists both financial services firms and their vendors in negotiating U.S. and cross-border technology agreements for all types of services and considering the U.S. securities laws and broker-dealer regulatory issues associated with such technologies. Lilya has testified before the New Jersey Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee on the economic development opportunities presented by blockchain technology innovation.
Lilya is a frequent speaker and writer on various topics in FinTech, with a particular focus on distributed ledger technology, blockchain tokens and digital asset trading platforms. She participated in the Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies Roundtable hosted by Congressman Warren Davidson.
Lilya is co-chair of the Digital Chamber’s Token Alliance and is the founder and co-chair of the Digital Asset Regulatory and Legal Alliance (DARLA), an industry working group consisting of General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officers of prominent blockchain and digital asset businesses. Lilya is a certified public accountant, FINRA dispute resolution arbitrator and previously held FINRA Series 7 and 24 licenses.
Prior to joining Sidley, Lilya was co-head of the FinTech and Blockchain Group and a leader of the broker-dealer practice at another global law firm.