A&O Shearman’s tech innovation hub, Fuse, has welcomed Enigio into its current cohort. The two companies are working together to accelerate the digitalisation of trade finance, given the importance of English law in global trade and trade finance.

The new Electronic Trade Documents Act, which received Royal Assent in July 2023, means that electronic trade documents will be capable of having the same legal recognition and functionality as their paper equivalents. This is a major breakthrough that will unlock a key legal barrier to digitalisation of trade finance.

In anticipation of these legal changes, A&O Shearman announced Enigio as one of fifteen technology companies to join Fuse’s seventh cohort earlier this year. Enigio is a tech company that offers solutions to ensure consistency, integrity, traceability, and possession of digital information. 

Its trace:original platform can be used to securely transfer both value and data between any entity and/or organisation without the need for onboarding.

Patrik Zekkar, CEO at Enigio said, “We are delighted to partner with A&O Shearman at a perfect time for companies and banks to reap the benefits of using digital documents and negotiable instruments which are legally recognised under UK law; making it simpler, faster, safer and more sustainable for all businesses to trade globally,”

“This is a major opportunity to extend liquidity to corporates in a harmonised and legal way using electronic negotiable instruments. With the new law in force, Enigio’s trace:original is a game-changer that enables all companies to fully digitalise their end-to-end transactions.”

Catherine Lang-Anderson, partner in A&O Shearman’s trade and commodity finance practice, said, “The much anticipated Electronic Trade Documents Act 2023 has recently received its Royal Assent, so welcoming Enigio into our Fuse cohort is perfect timing. We expect this landmark change in law to be a further catalyst to digitalisation of trade finance but there is still much to be done and we are only at the beginning of this exciting journey. 

“As an industry, we need to collaborate closely to ensure that new products and techniques develop in a way that is consistent with the legal changes. At A&O Shearman we are committed to being at the forefront of innovation in trade finance and a priority for us is to help our clients take full advantage of the new digital landscape as it further develops.”

Shruti Ajitsaria, A&O Shearman partner and head of Fuse, stated, “Part of our role in Fuse is to engage with clients to understand how they would like us to evolve the way in which deals are done. Trade finance is an area which we have understood is being transformed and we are thrilled to be working with Catherine and the Enigio team to help us and our clients navigate the opportunities ahead.”

The partnership between A&O Shearman and Enigio is a significant step forward in the digitalisation of trade finance. The two companies are well-positioned to help clients take advantage of the new legal landscape and accelerate the adoption of digital trade finance solutions.