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Preston J. Byrne

Preston J. Byrne is a partner for crypto and digital commerce at Brown Rudnick LLP.
Summary

Preston J. Byrne is a blockchain consultant and lawyer. Through his consulting business, Tomram LLC, he serves as advises law firms, corporate counsel, and the public sector on commercial issues regarding cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and distributed network technologies. 

Preston formerly founded Monax Industries, a blockchain infrastructure provider, and was the company's Chief Operating Officer and general counsel until July 2017. He was responsible for legal and compliance functions, as well as new business development and marketing. Previously, the company was known as Eris Industries, becoming Monax in October 2016. 

Byrne holds a Masters degree in International Relations. He is qualified in English law, and currently training in American law. He is a fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. 

In 2011, he worked for law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner as a securitisation and derivatives lawyer before transitioning to Norton Rose Fullbright in 2013. 

Byrne was also the lead author of *Burning Down the House*, which was a paper that opposed the UK Conservative Party’s Help to Buy mortgage subsidy programme. The paper was featured in a number of publications.

Biography

Preston's journey began in 2007 when he joined Berwin Leighton Paisner as a Paralegal for five months. Following this, he embarked on his legal education at The College of Law, London, where he excelled in his studies, earning commendations for CPE/GDL and LPC qualifications, as well as achieving an LL.B. degree with a 2:1 classification.

Byrne further honed his legal expertise as an Associate at Berwin Leighton Paisner from September 2011 to June 2013, specializing in securitization and derivatives. He then joined Norton Rose Fulbright as an Associate from June 2013 to October 2014, continuing his work in securitization and derivatives law.

In June 2014, Byrne took a significant step in his career by co-founding Monax Industries, a groundbreaking blockchain infrastructure provider based in London. Serving as the company's COO and General Counsel, he played a pivotal role in establishing Monax as a leading smart contract infrastructure provider. Monax was the first company to open-source a "permissioned" blockchain design, known as Eris Industries, in 2014. The company later rebranded to Monax in October 2016.

After leaving Monax in July 2017, Byrne joined Byrne & Storm, P.C. as a Partner from November 2018 to February 2020. During this time, he continued to contribute his legal expertise to various commercial and blockchain-related matters. Following his tenure at Byrne & Storm, P.C., Byrne served as a Partner at Anderson Kill from March 2020 to August 2022, specializing in technology law.

Currently, Preston J. Byrne continues to make significant contributions in the legal field as a Partner at Brown Rudnick LLP, a prominent law firm. In this role, he advises on a wide range of commercial issues related to cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and distributed network technologies.

Beyond his legal pursuits, Byrne has pursued academic achievements. He earned an LL.M. in U.S. Law from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2018, where he received the prestigious CALI Award for achieving the highest score in U.S. Law and Legal Institutions. Additionally, his master's thesis on post-Marxism and European and U.S. free speech jurisprudence garnered him another CALI Award.

Published work

One of Preston's significant publications is "Sense and Sensitivity: Restoring Free Speech in the United Kingdom," a briefing paper published by the Adam Smith Institute. In this work, Byrne calls for reform of the Public Order Act 1986, the Malicious Communications Act 1988, and the Communications Act 2003. He also proposes enacting a legal non-discrimination provision similar to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

Other noteworthy publications by Preston are: 

“Burning Down the House: Why Help to Buy Will Ruin Britain's housing market”, a briefing paper by the Adam Smith Institute. In this paper, Byrne presents a critical analysis opposing the UK government's Help to Buy mortgage subsidy scheme. 

“Charity Investments Made Simple” by the Charity Finance Group.


Vision

Preston J. Byrne's vision revolves around the intersection of law, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies. As a blockchain consultant and lawyer, he envisions a future where legal frameworks and commercial practices align seamlessly with the transformative potential of blockchain, distributed networks, and cryptocurrencies.

By advising law firms, corporate counsel, and the public sector, Byrne seeks to contribute to the development of comprehensive legal strategies and regulatory frameworks that foster innovation and enable the adoption of blockchain technologies. His vision is to bridge the gap between traditional legal systems and the decentralized nature of blockchain, ensuring that legal compliance and commercial opportunities are effectively addressed in this emerging landscape.


Recognition and Awards
At the University of Connecticut School of Law, Preston received CALI Award in June 2018 for achieving the highest score in European Human Rights. Additionally, in November 2017, he was honoured with another CALI Award for attaining the highest score in U.S. Law and Legal Institutions among the UConn LL.M. (US Legal Studies) Class of 2018. In March 2013, Preston J. Byrne was granted the title of Fellow by the Adam Smith Institute, a prominent London-based neoliberal think tank.

References
Preston J. Byrne
Residence
Washington, USA
Occupation
Entrepreneur, columnist, law professional, blockchain consultant, advisor
Known for
Brown Rudnick’s Digital Commerce Group (Partner), Not Legal Advice (Columnist)
Accolades
CALI Award (University of Connecticut School of Law), Fellow (Adam Smith Institute)
Education
LL.B. (CPE/GDL (Commendation), LPC (Commendation), (2:1), English law, The College of Law, London Bloomsbury/London Moorgate), M.A. (Hons, International Relations, University of St. Andrews), LL.M. (U.S. Law, University of Connecticut, School of Law)
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