CORA by McDermott: Future-proof Legal Compliance with Authorization Obligations 

McDermott Will & Emery

Learn how CORA, built by McDermott using BRYTER, gives decision makers a first overview of possible authorization obligations.

McDermott Will & Emery is a leading international law firm with more than 1,400 lawyers with over 20 offices across Europe, North America, and Asia. The firm works with leaders around the world to advance missions, break barriers and shape markets – regardless of practice or industry boundaries. The lawyers cover the full spectrum of business and corporate law, and in seeking to deliver the best client service McDermott uses technology like BRYTER’s no-code platform to build digital solutions for clients.

The challenge: complex and fast-changing financial regulatory requirements

Companies that are active in the financial sector or wish to provide services relating to financial instruments, lending business or payment services are subject to supervision by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and/or European Central Bank (ECB) for the protection of investors and the market. One of the most important instruments for the supervision of an institution is the obligation to obtain a license from BaFin/ECB before carrying out its activities.

German and European law recognizes a large number of such licensing requirements, first and foremost for the conduct of banking business and financial services, for payment services and today also crypto services.  Anyone who carries out an activity requiring a license without the necessary permit may run into serious problems with the financial supervisory authority, which may then prohibit further business activity and impose further sanctions or criminal proceedings. This is where CORA comes in.

The solution: a self-service digital tool – CORA

McDermott’s legal tech tool, Check of Regulatory Authorizations (CORA), built using BRYTER, is designed to give decision makers, in-house legal professionals, and other organizational stakeholders a first overview of possible authorization obligations. The tool helps them to navigate the highly complex landscape of the German and European financial regulatory laws.

Companies exploring new projects and business models within the financial sector often require a first indication on whether such new business requires a license and what the respective parameters are. The tool is intended to provide an easier introduction to the subject matter and examination of the query, to allow everyone a simple first examination – am I moving into regulated territory? What is crucial in order to be able to conduct my business without a license?

Renate Prinz, McDermott Will & Emery

For a business model, whether it requires a license or not can often be a decisive factor in determining whether it is a viable, functioning business model. Regulation brings with it far-reaching obligations in terms of compliance, capital requirements, and managing director qualifications. This requires a very specific business structure, which needs to be taken into account at an early stage when planning a new business model in order to set the right parameters.

But even for existing business models, it can be important to run through a “safety check” to see whether everything is covered from a regulatory point of view or whether you need to make further adjustments or extend your license.

Philip Uecker, McDermott Will & Emery

CORA is here to help. The platform offers a self-service interface to check for possible authorization obligations. In addition, McDermott has a strong financial regulations team, which can help to clarify further questions or manage the entire compliance process on behalf of their clients.

Of course, the tool is no substitute for comprehensive legal advice in this very complex field, but in our experience, an initial free and non-binding indication of whether you are in the regulated area or not is often very important and helpful for companies

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