Ashlin Perumall is a partner in Baker McKenzie's corporate/M&A and IPTech practice groups in Johannesburg.
Ashlin specialises in technology-focused matters, including M&A and venture capital transactions, and the commercial aspects of intellectual property (IP). His practice extends to advising on emerging technology business models and establishing legal, compliance or diligence assessment frameworks for novel targets in various industries, where a high degree of technical expertise is required. These include acting as key advisor to clients entering the fintech (including paytech, open banking, digital banking and financial APIs), blockchain and distributed ledger tech, AI/Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) in the auditing industry and digital asset sector. He has over a decade of experience is assessing emerging technology and novel IP acquisition targets.
Ashlin has also worked in the Firm's London office and served as a Fellow to the World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in San Francisco as part of our partnership with the forum to address global, regional and industry policy issues in respect of 4IR technologies, conducting regulatory and policy research, and paper writing as part of the Digital Currency Governance Consortium (DCGC).
Representative Legal Matters
- Advised Tencent Holdings in respect of a Series B capital raise, including due diligence and transactional support, into Tyme Group Holdings.
- Advised PayPal in respect of a Series A funding round venture capital investment into South African-based fintech application programming interface (API) start-up Stitch.
- Advised OLX on the acquisition of Autotrader.co.za (Car Trader (Pty) Ltd), one of the largest online classifieds deals in South Africa.
- Advised Naspers on the 474,431 shares acquired in South African e-retailer, Takealot.com, acquired from Tiger Global Six T2 Holdings and certain minority shareholders.
- Provided regulatory and compliance advice to a blockchain-based securities exchange regarding its white paper for tokenised securities and utility tokens and other relevant crypto asset advice in respect of Australia, UK, EU and US.
- Advised Wipro-Unza on its African market entry and acquisition of the Canway Group and portfolio of luxury brands.
- Provided regulatory assessment and governance advice to a stablecoin-based settlement system in respect of its engagement with the South African Reserve Bank and licensing as a designated settlement system in terms of the National Payment System Act 78 of 1998.
- Advised a large technology multinational in respect of its virtual worlds project, including advice in respect of identity management governance, decentralised identifier program and consumer accountability.
- Advised one of the top five global crypto exchanges in respect of financial regulatory diligence and FSCA licensing for financial technology and crypto asset platforms in South Africa.
- Provided advice and structuring of IT/C commercial agreements in respect of an Internal Audit Artificial Intelligence Solution including assessment of data privacy-related work, commercial regulation and service level contracting with various customers of the entity.
- Lexology Legal Influencer for Africa and Middle East - Financial Services
- Winner, Rising Star Award, African Legal Awards 2021
- Winner, Best Use of Technology, African Legal Awards 2020
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Law Society of South Africa
- International Bar Association
- World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR)
- Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) Alliance - South African contributor
- South African Financial Blockchain Consortium
- Corporate Legal Operations Consortium
- South Africa (2013)
- University of Edinburgh (LLM, Innovation, Technology and the Law) (2020)
- University of the Witwatersrand (Advance Certificate in Company Law) (2015)
- University of Pretoria (LL.B.) (2010)
- Co-author, Pathways to the Regulation of Crypto-Assets: A Global Approach - World Economic Forum
- Presenter, Blockchain Africa Conference - Self-Sovereign Identity and the Role of Blockchain in Digital Identity
- Co-author, Are 'decentralized autonomous organizations' the business structures of the future? - World Economic Forum
- Co-author, Digital Currency Governance Consortium White Paper Series (Compendium Report) - World Economic Forum
- Co-author, Baker McKenzie Report - Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in Africa - Baker McKenzie