Dealing with legal matters is generally complex, requiring professional expertise but when the new-age phenomenon of cryptocurrencies is thrown into the legal mix, the complexity increases greatly and lawyers must ensure they are right up to speed to achieve a fair and equitable outcome for their clients.

This is particularly important in separation matters where assets need to be divided between partners, according to Parke Lawyers.

With several hundred virtual currencies in existence, and more coming into existence frequently, it is not just important to have knowledge of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Rather, as Parke Lawyers Managing Director and Business Law Specialist, Jim Parke said, having a thorough understanding of legal concepts relating to all cryptocurrencies and a basic working understanding of the blockchain and alternative technology that underlies them is a must.

“Many of these virtual currencies place great emphasis upon the privacy of the asset-owner and are specifically intended to be untraceable, which obviously presents particular challenges for lawyers.”

Parke Lawyers has assisted clients, including cryptocurrency start-up businesses, with commercial issues in relation to cryptocurrency markets.

It has also assisted, and continues to assist, in probate matters where encrypted entitlement to bitcoin has formed part of the estate.

Mr Parke said the practice is keeping up with developments in virtual currencies and enlisting the assistance of IT experts to provide specialised services where needed.

“We have experienced first-hand the difficulty of tracing, identifying and recovering even the most common cryptocurrency asse