Adam T. Ettinger


T: (650) 331-0120‬

Los Angeles and Palo Alto Offices

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Practice Areas:

  • Cyber-Risk, Privacy & Data Security
  • FinTech and Blockchain
  • Intellectual Property
  • Internet & eCommerce
  • Securities & Private Equity
  • Technology

Bar Admissions:

  • California


  • Boston University School of Law, JD
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Legal Studies at Oxford University

Large Law Firm Experience:

  • Sheppard, Mullins, Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Mr. Ettinger is a partner in the Corporate and Technology practice groups, and leads the firm’s FinTech and Blockchain practice group as co-chair.  Mr. Ettinger represents leaders in Blockchain technologies and digital currencies, social gaming, advertising, mobile apps, e-commerce, semiconductors, and networking technologies.  His clients have included AMD, Apple, BitGo, Brave,, DeviceScape, Fakespace, Get Satisfaction, Intel, Internet Devices (acquired by Alcatel), Lightning Labs, Magma Design, MasterCard, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Network Solutions Inc., Nimble Collective, Orchestria (acquired by CA), S3 (acquired by HTC), Self Aware Games (acquired by Big Fish), Tivo, and Undertone Networks. He has represented investors in investments including Hootsuite, Houzz, The Social+Capital Partnership, and SpaceX.

Before joining FisherBroyles, Mr. Ettinger was a partner and co-leader of the Blockchain Technology and Digital Currency Team at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, and an attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.  Mr. Ettinger also led the legal team at SmartAge as it negotiated over fifty partnerships with companies such as AOL and Microsoft, and raised $47 million dollars from Accel Partners, Softbank Capital, Ron Conway, Roger McNamee, Michael Dell and Vint Cerf.

Before law school, while with the Center for International and Strategic Affairs (CISA), he architected and coded the first system to track nuclear proliferation using overt information sources.  Mr. Ettinger also developed and integrated complex computer systems as a systems engineer with AT&T.

His practice focuses on blockchain asset regulation, venture capital and angel financing, technology development, joint ventures, channel relationships, intellectual property, licensing, privacy, advertising, and e-commerce. His cross-disciplines in both intellectual property and corporate law allow him to leverage both practice areas when structuring transactions for his clients, including the use of joint ventures and strategic alliances in the financing, development and licensing of technology.


Examples of Mr. Ettinger’s work:

Blockchain Technology and Digital Currency

  • Represented Akbank in its innovative agreement with Ripple for cross-border payments
  • Represented investors and blockchain companies in dozens of financings
  • Represented BitGo in its groundbreaking work with The Royal Mint (UK) and CME to “digitize” gold
  • Represented a premier digital currency payment companies in payment gateway and business partnership agreements with PayPal, Apriva, and other companies
  • Advised manufacturers of Bitcoin network verification equipment (mining equipment) in all aspects of business including semiconductor development agreements, distribution agreements, technology licensing, and venture financing
  • Founding Member, Digital Currency & Ledger Defense Coalition
  • Blockchain & Digital Currency industry practice team co-leader

Emerging Growth/Venture Capital

Representation of:

  • Lightning Labs in its Series A Preferred financing
  • NEA in its Series A Preferred financing of Tamara Mellon Brands
  • Pulmostics in its Series A Preferred financing
  • BitGo in its Series Seed Preferred financing
  • GoCoin in its Series A Preferred financing
  • SmartAge in its Series A Preferred and Series B Preferred financings ($47 million), and in its IPO filings
  • Social Concepts in its Series A Preferred financing
  • Angel investors in over numerous seed-stage and later stage financings
  • Investors in investments as diverse as Hootsuite, Houzz, Lucrative Gaming (fgl), The Social+Capital Partnership, and SpaceX

Technology Development, Manufacturing and Distribution

  • SAAS agreements for security companies Orchestria (acquired by CA) and BitGo
  • IP spin-out from SRI to create a new venture funded by Mayfield Fund and U.S. Venture Partners
  • Technology development and channel license agreements for Bigfoot Networks (subsequently acquired by Qualcomm Atheros after investments by North Bridge Venture Partners, Venio Capital Partners, and Palomar Ventures)
  • Manufacturing, OEM and VAR agreements with Dell, Foxconn, Gigabyte, and Asus
  • Semiconductor development and manufacturing agreements with TSMC and Uniquify
  • All operational contracts for AboveNet Communications (subsequently acquired by Zayo for $2.2 billion) from its initial formation through its IPO

Operations of Digital Businesses

  • Counseling for apps in the “top 10” in the iOS and Android app stores including Card Ace: Casino (Self Aware Games, subsequently acquired by Big Fish)
  • Multi-million dollar agreements with commercial and investment banks for enterprise-wide IT protection
  • Online advertising agreements, ad tech licenses, and counseling for NAI, FTC and state law compliance for companies including Connexus and Undertone
  • Photography guidelines for fan-based celebrity photography

Thought Leadership


Speaking Engagements

  • Blockchain and Media @ The Battery, November 19, 2019. Video recording here.
  • “The Blockchain: Technology, Law and Regulation”, UCLA School of Law, Law 932, Guest Lecturer, January 2019.
  • “Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions of Security Tokens”, World Blockchain Forum, November 9, 2018.
  • “Financing of Start-Ups and Emerging Growth Companies”, UCLA School of Law, March 9, 2018.
  • “How To Think About Regulating Cryptocurrency”, FinTech SV Cryptocurrency Law Panel, San Francisco, February 6, 2018.
  • “Blockchain Innovation and Opportunity, The Legal Landscape,” Consensus 2017
  • “Regulatory Landscape of Digital Money,” Cureativ’s State of Digital Money Conference, July 22, 2017
  • “Innovations in Fundraising,” Cureativ’s State of Digital Money Conference, July 22, 2017
  • “Legalities Surrounding the DAO,” at the Los Angeles Ethereum Meetup, April 27, 2017
  • “Social Impact of Blockchain,” at The New Context Conference, DG717 Digital Garage, San Francisco, November 4, 2016
  • “Negotiating the Series A Preferred Term Sheet,” Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, November 2, 2016
  • “AR/VR Overview,” August 26, 2016. Sheppard Mullin Partner, Adam Ettinger, moderated an AR/VR panel of executives from SilVR Thread, Visionary VR, Zugara, DAQRI and Digital Reign Productions. The panel discussion focused on the impact of AR/VR technologies in corporate, entertainment, marketing and education in 2017.
  • “Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Following the CFPB: Consent Order In Re: Dwolla‚ Inc.: Ensuring That New Payment Offerings and Services Effectively Protect Sensitive Customer Information‚ Both in the U.S. and Abroad,” American Conference Institute for Emerging Payment Systems, July 28, 2016
  • “The Impact of Blockchain on Securities Transactions,” American Conference Institute’s Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technology Conference, April 13, 2016
  • “American Conference Institute’s ACI Crypto Virtual and Digital Currency Conference,” June 24-25, 2015
  • “Legal Implications of Bitcoin,” APEX All Payments Conference, February 24, 2015
  • “Strategic Alliances for Early Stage Technology Companies,” UCLA Office of Intellectual Property, January 13, 2015
  • “Startup Innovation with Bitcoin,” UCLA VC Fund, June 5, 2014
  • “Creating and Funding the Next 100 Great Bitcoin Companies,” Inside Bitcoins, April 7, 2014
  • “Moving Bitcoin Forward: Bringing Trust, Legitimacy, and Transparency to the Market,” Inside Bitcoins, December 4, 2013



  • Member, Board of Advisors, Blockchain Legal Association
  • UCLA VC Fund
  • Founding Member, Digital Currency & Ledger Defense Coalition