Rafael del Castillo Ionov

Partner – Blockchain, Technology, Corporate & Commercial

Rafael del Castillo Ionov

Rafael del Castillo Ionov

Partner – Blockchain, Technology, Corporate & Commercial

Rafael has a strong academic and professional background in fintech, energy and other regulated industries. He is attorney of the Bar Association of Madrid (Ilustre Colegio de la Abogacía de Madrid) and was awarded a PhD in Law based on his thesis on “Legal structuring of private equity transactions” (La instrumentación jurídica de las operaciones de capital-riesgo).

He became General Counsel specialising in international projects for one of the world’s largest hydro-electric power generating companies, where he worked on renewable energy projects in Nigeria, Serbia, Romania, Venezuela, Armenia, Russia, Cuba, Kenya and India.

He graduated with Honours on the Executive Master in Business Administration Programme at Skolkovo Moscow School of Management. This gave him a wide-ranging commercial perspective of business issues as well as fostering an entrepreneurial mindset.

He worked for several years in Zug (Switzerland) for commodity trading companies and large retail distribution holdings, where he deep-dived in the blockchain ecosystem of Crypto Valley. After returning to Spain, he started a boutique law firm specialising in blockchain projects and digital law, where he advised Spanish and international projects on a wide range of blockchain related issues such as token emissions, NFTs, crypto-asset investment schemes, custody and compliance matters.

Rafael is also Lecturer for Corporate & Commercial Law at Universidad CEU San Pablo. He has published several research papers about private equity, corporate governance, contract law and company law. He is author of the first book on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and tokenization (2018). He is a regular speaker at conferences, round tables and seminars on blockchain, fintech, crypto-assets and digital law.

He is Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation of Spain, Coordinator of the Centre for Financial Markets Law and the Observatory for Blockchain & Crypto-Assets at Universidad CEU San Pablo (Madrid), Director of the Journal of Culture Law (Revista de Derecho de la Cultura), member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), member of ENATIC (Spanish Association of Digital Law Lawyers) and member of the European Directors and Board Members Association and the Association for Culture Law (Asociación de Derecho de la Cultura). He speaks Spanish, English, German and Russian.

Expertise includes advising on:

  • Digital law: blockchain advisory, tokenisation of assets, NFTs, metaverse, cryptocurrencies, decentralised finance (DeFi), drafting crypto-asset white papers, crowdfunding platforms
  • Infrastructure projects in emerging markets: construction, engineering and projects, FIDIC contracts and dispute resolution
  • Commercial contracts: including services agreements, agency and distribution agreements and PPAs (power-purchase agreements)
  • Corporate transactions: including joint ventures, shareholder agreements, international corporate expansion, structuring multi-jurisdiction corporate governance systems.


“Los retos regulatorios de las finanzas descentralizadas (DeFi): una perspectiva desde la propuesta de reglamento relativo a los mercados de criptoactivos (MiCA)”, chapter in Dinero Digital y Gobernanzas TIC en la UE, Thompson Reuters Aranzadi, 2022 (ISBN: 978841391300)

“Las fichas de servicio (utility tokens) en el mercado de los criptoactivos”, chapter in Guía de Criptoactivos MiCA, Thompson Reuters Aranzadi, 2021 (ISBN: 9788413462745)

“El mercado europeo de criptoactivos: las criptomonedas estables (stablecoins)”, chapter in Mercados Regulados 2021, Tirant lo Blanch, 2021 (ISBN: 9788413971674)

“Una breve aproximación al uso de tecnología blockchain como elemento transformador de la industria cultural y creativa”, in Revista de Derecho de la Cultura (RDC), Año 2019, Número 1 (ISSN: 2695-5458)

“Las Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) y la tokenización de la economía”, Thompson Reuters Aranzadi, 2018 (ISBN: 9788491778370)

“Las plataformas de financiación participativa -crowdfunding-. Su actividad y algunos aspectos específicos de su operativa: el análisis de riesgos -scoring- y la motivación de los gestores”, Thompson Reuters Aranzadi, 2018 (ISBN: 9788491971320)

“Las plataformas de financiación participativa como operadores de capital-riesgo informal. Problemas causados por la información asimétrica en el análisis de riesgos y retribución del equipo gestor”, chapter in Anuario de Capital Riesgo 2017 (p. 279-300), Instituto de Capital Riesgo (INCARI), 2018 (ISSN: 2444-2259)

“Los derechos del socio (arts. 93-97 LSC)”, chapter in Tratado de Sociedades de Capital, Comentario Judicial, Notarial, Registral y Doctrinal a la Ley de Sociedades de Capital, Thompson Reuters Aranzadi (p. 557-573), 2017 (ISBN: 9788491525349)

“El contrato de joint venture”, chapter in Los contratos mercantiles y su aplicación práctica, Bosch Wolters Kluwers, (p. 329-370), 2017

“El contrato de transporte”, chapter in Los contratos mercantiles y su aplicación práctica, Bosch Wolters Kluwers, (p. 147-187), 2017

“La información societaria: la contabilidad, el deber de información complementaria en la memoria y los instrumentos especiales de información (artículos 536, 537 y 538 de la Ley de Sociedades de Capital)”, chapter in Gobierno Corporativo: la estructura del órgano de gobierno y la responsabilidad de los administradores, Thompson Reuters Aranzadi (p. 951-977), 2015

“La operativa y las estrategias de inversión de las entidades de capital-riesgo”, chapter in El capital-riesgo: su operativa, Thompson Reuters Aranzadi (p. 152-196), 2012

“La valoración de la aplicabilidad de la normativa sobre concentraciones económicas a las operaciones de capital-riesgo”, Revista Española de Capital Riesgo nº 3/2012 (2012)

“La problemática que plantea la disciplina de grupos de sociedades en el ámbito de la actividad de las entidades de capital-riesgo”, Revista Española de Capital Riesgo Nº. 3/2011 (2011)

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  • Barcelona Madrid


Blockchain, Technology, FinTech, Corporate & Commercial, Construction, Engineering & Projects


    • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)
    • PhD on structuring private equity and venture capital operations (Universidad CEU San Pablo, Madrid)
    • Executive MBA at Skolkovo Moscow School of Management
    • Admitted to practice law in Spain (member of ICAM-Ilustre Colegio de la Abogacía de Madrid)
    • Bachelor of Laws (Universidad CEU San Pablo, Madrid)


  • Universidad CEU San Pablo
  • White Bear Trading (Chairman)
  • Law Trust Swiss GmbH
  • RusHydro International BV