Usman Sheikh

Usman M. Sheikh

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Usman Sheikh is Chair of the Blockchain & Fintech Practice. He is a Transactional Partner in Baker McKenzie's Toronto office and is also a member of the Firm's Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice Group. A highly regarded thought leader on blockchain and distributed ledger technology, Usman has briefed the offices of several prime ministers, as well as ministers, on blockchain's disruptive power, and is regularly invited to speak to business leaders and at global blockchain conferences throughout the world.

Usman was named as one of the "Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers" by Canadian Lawyer (2018) and as one of the top FinTech lawyers in Canada (Band 1) by Chambers for four consecutive years (2020 - 2023). Most recently, he was recognized in Toronto Life's The Influentials 2021 list, an annual feature that highlights Toronto's most influential people over the last 12 months.

Author of over 25 legal and academic publications, Usman is set to publish The Law of Blockchain Technology (Thomson Reuters) in 2023.

As a global thought leader on blockchain's disruptive power, Usman has lectured at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). He has also co-lectured with the heads of blockchain for Nasdaq and the TMX, and has also presented to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA), the Law Society of Ontario (LSO), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA), and several other regulatory organizations. Since 2019, Usman has also been serving as an Adjunct Professor with the University of Toronto (Faculty of Law), teaching a course entitled "Blockchain, Digital Assets, and the Law".

Practice Focus

Usman regularly advises clients on FinTech, blockchain and digital asset matters, both on corporate and litigation cases. He has provided legal counsel on cutting-edge token sales, NFTs, crypto asset trading platforms (aka currency exchanges), blockchain / FinTech mergers & acquisitions and cybersecurity breaches. He has also served as counsel on many of the most prominent and novel crypto litigation matters in Canada. Over the years, Usman's clients have included Canada's largest banks and stock exchanges, co-founders of Ethereum, supranational organizations, 12 of the largest crypto assets in the world, DeFi protocols, metaverse projects, as well as several fintech pioneers.

Professional Honors

  • Named as the top FinTech lawyer in Canada by Chambers Fintech (2019 to 2023)
  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2023
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2022
  • Chambers FinTech 2022 - Top Lawyer in Canada - December 2021
  • Toronto Life's The Influentials 2021
  • Who's Who Legal: Fintech & Blockchain 2021 - October 2021
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2021 - April 2021
  • Benchmark Litigation Star - April 2021
  • Lexpert Special Edition: Technology 2021 - February 2021
  • Named as the top FinTech lawyer in Canada by Chambers FinTech (2020 and 2021)
  • Recognized by Lexpert as a Rising Star (2019) and as a Leading Lawyer to Watch (2020)
  • 2020 and 2018 Acritas Stars rankings (2020 and 2018)
  • Future Star in litigation - by Benchmark Canada's Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys (2020 and 2016)
  • Identified in Chambers FinTech 2019 as one of top three FinTech lawyers in Canada (2019)
  • Recipient of the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) Legal Excellence Award - (2018)
  • Recognized in the Benchmark Litigation's "Under 40 Hot List" (2018)
  • Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada (2018)
  • Outstanding Subcommittee Chair Award - by ABA, Litigation Section (2016)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • The Advocates' Society
  • Toronto Lawyers Association
  • Completed the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) and the Trader Training Course (TTC)

Corporate Responsibility

  • Canadian Friends of the LSE (CFLSE), the national alumni association for the London School of Economics and Political Science in Canada - Former National President
  • Ontario Securities Commission Litigation Assistance Program (LAP), a pro bono program (the first of its kind in North America) that provides free legal advice to unrepresented respondents appearing in OSC enforcement proceedings - Co-founder and former member
  • London Goodenough Association of Canada (LGAC) - Former Director


  • University of Toronto (JD) (2005)
  • London School of Economics (MSc - International Relations) (2002)
  • McGill University (BA - First Class Joint Triple Honours, Political Science, Philosophy and History) (2001)