Karen Ubell

Karen Ubell

Listen to pronunciation of my name
PartnerCo-Chair, Digital Currency & Blockchain
Karen Ubell
San Francisco
+1 415 733 6074

Karen Ubell is a partner in Goodwin’s Technology group and Co-Chair of the Digital Currency & Blockchain practice. She practices general corporate and securities law, focusing primarily on transactions and regulatory compliance in connection with the implementation and adoption of novel technologies, including but not limited to blockchain, distributed networks, cryptocurrencies, and digital assets. Karen represents investors and issuers in digital asset offerings, private financings and securities offerings, and advises startups and existing companies in the implementation and development of blockchain technologies and tokenization models. Karen also advises blockchain projects, digital asset trading platforms and blockchain industry groups on regulatory compliance as well as direct interactions with regulators, offering unique perspective and insight gained from her experience in the Division of Corporation Finance at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


Karen’s experience in the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and financial technology industries and deep knowledge of blockchain technology and applicable laws allows her to propose creative solutions and actively partner with clients to identify and design potential alternatives amid a complex and evolving regulatory landscape.

She has extensive experience serving as corporate counsel to emerging companies developing and implementing cryptographic tokens, digital assets and blockchain technologies. Karen advises companies on general corporate matters such as entity formation, debt and equity financing transactions and corporate governance matters and counsels companies on regulatory matters associated with launching blockchain networks and distributing digital assets. She also assists investors in creating novel structures or terms specifically designed to align and capture shareholder value in blockchain networks and digital assets.

Karen’s experience includes:

  • Advise industry-leading projects regarding developing and structuring blockchain networks including compliant distributions of digital assets and project launch
  • Facilitated first of their kind regulatory settlements on behalf of financial technology companies including digital asset issuers
  • Advise leading Silicon Valley venture capital funds regarding token-based investments and equity investments in blockchain technology companies
  • Advise industry leading DeFi projects on development and launch of novel DeFi protocols
  • Advise non-fungible token (NFT) issuers and marketplaces


Professional Experience

Prior to joining Goodwin, Karen served as Special Counsel at Cooley LLP in Palo Alto. Before Cooley, she served as an attorney in the Division of Corporation Finance at the US Securities and Exchange Commission.




University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law

(with Honors)

BAPublic Policy2003

Duke University



  • California
  • Georgia


Karen’s speaking engagements include:

  • “Nonfungible Tokens (NFTs) How high can they go,” Practicing Law Institute (virutual event) (September 22, 2021)
  • “Blockchain & Digital Currency National (Virtual) Institute,” American Bar Association (virtual event) (September 16, 2020)
  • “Blockchain, Tokens and Cryptocurrencies: Latest Developments,” Practicing Law Institute (virtual event) (September 10, 2020)
  • Capital Controls with Aaron Stanley and Kristin Smith,” Consensus (virtual event) (May 11, 2020)
  • Regulatory Panel,” Blockstack Summit, San Francisco (October 2019)
  • Exploring the legal and regulator implications of interacting with proof of stake networks,” TQuorum, Tezos Global Summit (September 30, 2019)
  • “Crypto Currency for the VC Back Office," VCBC, Palo Alto (July 31, 2019)
  • “The Basics of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies: What are They and What are Their Risks?” 2019 Lloyd’s Learning Week (June 19, 2019)
  • Understanding the Regulatory Environment,” TQuorum Paris, Paris (April 28, 2019)
  • “What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need?" Consensus, New York City (May 16, 2018)