ISLA hires Ashurst to cast legal eye over digital asset framework

Legal analysis will cover the association’s Global Master Securities Lending Agreement (GMSLA).

By Chris Lemmon

The International Securities Lending Association (ISLA) has appointed legal firm Ashurst to provide preliminary analysis on the Global Master Securities Lending Agreement (GMSLA) covering digital assets.

Ashurst will assess the provisional changes to both the title transfer and security interest over collateral frameworks, including opinions, of the GMSLA that may need to be extended, added, or changed to cater for digital assets: tokenised traditional assets, native digital securities, and forms of digital cash.

David Shone, director of market infrastructure and technology at ISLA, noted that digital assets and tokenisation are areas that are increasingly important to the association and its members, “offering new business opportunities, new solutions to locked-up liquidity issues, and new methods of risk reduction”.

He added: “The appointment of Ashurst to help chart our way through this landscape, ensures that the GMSLA agreements published by ISLA and used for securities lending activity globally, are able to support our membership’s ability to leverage these new opportunities. This is a key component in ISLA’s digital strategy and supports our ongoing mandate to establish standards for the Securities Finance industry.”

Etay Katz, finance regulatory partner at Ashurst, said: “This is a momentous junction of change for the industry, and our appointment further solidifies Ashurst’s reputation and standing as the global law firm of choice advising on Digital Assets transformation in global financial markets.”