Venture capital in London
The 'very commercial' team at Bird & Bird LLP 'knows the market extremely well' and provides 'efficient and pragmatic' advice to investors and investees across the full financing lifecycle, ranging from small seed-rounds to later-stage investments. Led by the 'responsive and practical' Struan Penwarden, who has niche debt venture capital expertise, the team is 'effective at cutting through the noise to distil complex and multi-faceted issues into a simple solution', on both domestic and international mandates - where it is able to tap into significant firm-wide resources throughout Europe. In addition, the firm's market-leading TMT reputation ensures that clients' intellectual property rights (IPR) are fully protected and effectively exploited. The 'calm and commercial' Geraint Lloyd has 'huge experience' in the sector and is particularly noted for his work for venture capital trusts (VCT) as investors. Recently promoted to partner, the 'insightful and thoughtful' Mark Rundall spearheads the firm's dedicated corporate venturing practice and is a key member of the team, which also includes the 'incisive and commercial' Joseph Stolerman. Shing Lo joined Latham & Watkins in early 2020.
‘Mark Rundall was absolutely fantastic at Bird and Bird. They took a very personal approach and were thoughtful and considerate of the fact as a founder I’m always rushed. Mark was: Knowledge rich. Gave great insight around the deal. Researched the investors and was clear on when I should hold my ground and when not to. Clear with advice.’
‘Geraint Lloyd has huge experience of venture capital transactions generally and Venture Capital Trust transactions specifically. He is commercial in approach and calm however difficult negotiations become.’
‘Their experience working on similar transactions was enormously helpful in benchmarking how hard to push on both legal and commercial terms. They were effective at cutting through the noise to distil complex and multi-faceted issues into a simple solutions. They also gave us confidence in terms of how their time was being spent – we had a strong sense that they were being efficient in their time and therefore ultimately our fees.’
‘Mark Rundall and Joseph Stolerman were always available and it was clear they were both equally up to speed on the transaction which gave us confidence that we were in good hands with either of them. They were incisive in their search for solutions, commercial in their advice and patient in terms of explaining the more technical legal concepts. I would strongly recommend both to any company raising VC funding. Mark was particularly helpful when it came to the sharp end of negotiations with our VCs.’
‘Strong life science specific experience across all legal matters, including licensing, equity investing and M&A. This also includes a strong grasp of the underlying technical side of the life sciences sector, especially that associated with biotech and pharma therapeutics.’
‘Deep sector experience and a flexible, open-minded approach – open to new ideas. In particular James Baillieu.’
‘I have always found the Bird & Bird Corporate team to be extremely efficient and pragmatic. When doing a fund-raising or company sale, I want direct advice and guidance and minimum time wasted and the B&B team always provide this.’
‘Struan Penwarden has been the leader partner on several transactions for us. He is always available when you need him, with practical advice and no waffle. He feels like a real partner on getting the transaction done for the best possible result.’
Columbia Lake Partners
Silicon Valley Bank
Ingenious Capital Management
National Digital Infrastructure Fund (managed by Amber Infrastructure)
Job and Talent Holding
- Advised London-based fintech start-up, Cuvva, on its £15m Series A funding round, led by RTP Global, Breega and Digital Horizons.
- Advised Immersive Labs on its $40m Series B fundraising.
- Advised Index Ventures on a $17m Series A financing of Cutover, a cloud-enabled work orchestration and observability platform.
Led by the 'exceptional' Chris Grew, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP has 'great knowledge and contacts in the sector', garnered from many years' experience advising tech-focused investee companies seeking to raise finance, as well as for a growing roster of investor funders. 'User-friendly and easy to work with', the team is active throughout the investment lifecycle, with 'flexibility on billing when working with truly early stage start-ups'. Able to leverage the expertise of lawyers based out of the firm's Silicon Valley office and also benefiting from US-qualified lawyers on the ground in London, the team is noted for the 'US mindset it brings to doing deals', which includes the ability to re-incorporate investee clients in the US. Praised for his 'versatility and ability to advise on deals of different kinds throughout Europe', Shawn Atkinson has been particularly prolific advising investors on late stage fintech transactions. The 'friendly and sharp' Ylan Steiner is a 'joy to work with', particularly for later stage investors. Recently promoted to partner, the 'focused and responsive' Jamie Moore has developed a particularly strong reputation in advising on investments into fintech and AI. Ali Ramadan joined Goodwin in mid-2019.
‘Great client service. Service is consistent and timely. Friendly and available. Great experience and knowledge.’
‘Ylan Steiner is a friendly, sharp, patience and experience leading corporate lawyer who we highly recommend. We have worked with him for many years and have been always impressed by his high quality service and work.’
‘Strong team with significant expertise and a deep bench of lawyers at all levels, and across all practice areas, meaning there is always an answer.’
‘Chris Grew – incredible experience and a great partner and adviser on transactions when is is engaged.’
‘Jamie Moore is focused, responsive and straight forward to deal with. He clearly knows his stuff.’
‘We were impressed with Shawn Atkinson and his team’s knowledge and experience of venture capital fund raisings and how highly they were rated by other VC investors. They were on top of the legal process and worked really hard to hit the various deadlines.’
‘The Orrick team brings a very US style mindset to doing deals – fast, practical, and not bogged down with formality. As a US VC, we value this a lot. This is on top of the normal stuff we’d expect, like responsiveness, quality execution, and market knowledge.’
‘Shawn Atikinson has been a great partner to us. He has a solid team, and is able to advise on deals of different kinds throughout Europe. We really value this versatility. He also always makes himself available, both to the lawyers on our team and our investment professionals. We view Shawn as one of our most trusted outside partners.’
‘We work primarily with Ylan Steiner (a partner), who has been a joy to work with. From our first conversation I felt complete confidence that Ylan would be able to get done what we needed in a quick time.’
Signal Media Ltd
Atlantic Bridge IV GP Limited
Amadeus Capital Partners
Vostok Emerging Finance
Marcel for Art
WaveCrest Growth Partners
Bought By Many
ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund
- Advising Kinnevik and Vostok New Ventures on Babylon’s up to $500m Series C investment round, which is the largest ever European health funding round.
- Assisting Sprints Capital with its investment in Vinted’s €128m Series E financing round, which made Vinted Lithuania’s first unicorn.
- Advised AI processor company Graphcore on its $150m Series D2 extension financing, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.95bn.
Led by the 'peerless' Robert Wood , the 'accessible and supportive' team at Osborne Clarke LLP has notable expertise in regional venture capital hotspots, including Reading and Bristol, and is viewed as a 'safe pair of hands' for investors and investees engaged in activity in the technology, media and communications sectors. The firm provides a cradle-to-grave service, with expertise running the gamut from fund formations and financings across the funding lifecycle through to exit strategies. Praised for his 'integrity and ethics', Mathias Loertscher provides 'exceptional support' to companies and funders, particularly as it relates to work within the technology, media and communications sector. As 'a truly great guy to deal with', Bristol-based partner Simon Jones has a strong reputation among investors and investees.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very responsive. Experienced and expert. Gets the job done with the least amount of fuss and the highest level of pragmatism. Clear and fair.’
‘Robert Wood – Peerless. Intelligent, articulate, efficient and pragmatic. Katharine Ramsay – First class associate. Punches a long way above the title.’
‘Simon Jones is a truly great guy to deal with. Makes any issue seem simple and brings things down to earth without oversimplifying
‘Having worked with Osborne Clarke in London for the past two years, I found the whole team accessible and going beyond normal working hours and efforts to support the growth of our business. Whether it’s the next funding round, or an acquisition or legal disputes, the team is available on short notice to listen and support us. Just what you want from a lawyer and I really enjoy working with him.’
‘I’ve mainly worked with Mathias, who has been exceptional in his support for the growth of our company. Whether its getting up early, staying up late or even doing weekend work for a transaction with deadlines, I’ve never found him unavailable or inaccessible.’
Secure Code Warrior
Business Growth Fund
Rhythm AI Limited
- Advised Community Fibre on a £50m venture debt raise.
- Advised Oxford Photovoltaics on a £65m investment round.
- Advised UK Cloud on a £25m investment from Digital Alpha, the venture arm of Cisco.
Taylor Wessing LLP maintains a high-profile presence in the market as a result of its longstanding track record for investees and investors, as well as its ability to call upon a number of leading practitioners who display a 'wide knowledge across all areas of venture capital'. The 'strategic and well-connected' Angus Miln has a strong reputation in transactions within the technology and life sciences sectors, and leads the team out of London, which is well-versed at handling European mandates (where it is aided by lawyers in key offices including Berlin and Paris). The group is also increasingly acting on mandates with a transatlantic element by virtue of its recent strategic tie up with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Howard Palmer is a key member of the team and has particular experience advising investors and investees throughout the investment lifecycle, particularly as it relates to cleantech and fintech. The 'proactive and solutions-oriented' Josef Fuss is noted for his 'commercially sensitive and pragmatic advice' for hi tech-based investee clients within the digital health, AI and Big Data sectors. David Mardle and Adrian Rainey departed to Goodwin, and Mike Turner joined Latham & Watkins.
‘Hyper responsive, very commercially focused and strategic – Taylor Wessing have helped us through multiple fundraises and provided invaluable support.’
‘Angus Milne is an excellent lawyer and business partner, he is strategic and well connected and passes on the invaluable benefit of his experiences in fundraising and transactional work.’
‘Speed of service; 24 hour availability irrespective of vacations, weekends etc. Commercially sensitive and pragmatic advice with a wide knowledge of all aspects of venture capital. Their reputation as the leader in the field only enhanced our negotiating leverage.’
‘Josef Fuss – partner. Pro-active; solution driven; strong inter-personal skills which proved important given the complexity of the deal; constantly accessible.’
Beauty Pie Limited
SCA Investments Limited (Gousto)
Digital Staff Solutions Limited t/a Florence
Tokamak Energy Ltd
Monzo Bank Limited
Rekki / Benchmark
- Advised Vinted on its €128m Series E round financing.
- Advised Babylon Health, an international UK-based digital health subscription provider, on its $550m investment to cover chronic conditions, and expansion into the US and Asia.
- Advised UK bookkeeping automation platform Receipt Bank on its £30m Series C investment round.
Goodwin has quickly made an impact within the London and UK venture capital market thanks to a succession of recent impressive strategic hires from top-ranked peer firms, and is well-positioned to exploit the increasing amount of US capital flowing into the European market. Under the leadership of the 'knowledgeable and experienced' David Mardle , who splits his time between London and the Cambridge office, the team 'has a great deal of experience of market practice/commercial terms as well as legal considerations' and is thereby well-placed to represent both investees and investors throughout the investment lifecycle. The 'highly rated' Adrian Rainey and Ali Ramadan, who is 'able to seamlessly combine legal/technical and commercial/practical advice' for investors and investees, are also recommended at partner level, while associate Adam Thatcher has notable expertise in acting for emerging growth companies and venture capital investors in the fintech, life sciences, healthcare and technology sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Goodwin’s VC practice is unique because of the extensive experience they have from early stage start-ups through to later stage VC work – this helps them to be able to advise companies throughout their life cycle with a great deal of experience of market practice/commercial terms as well as the legal considerations. I found the knowledge of the team as to what large acquirers of VC practices (both US and UK) expect/want in M&A to be absolutely key and incredibly helpful.’
‘David Mardle is a brilliant team leader and has a wealth of knowledge and experience.’
‘An impressive roster of lawyers recruited from impressive peer firms in a short space of time. The team at Goodwin has certainly made an impact on the London and UK venture capital scene, replicating the success of its US colleagues. An excellent reputation in the field of life sciences, with a Cambridge offering which fits in well to the wider firm-wide ambitions. With the recent recruits, they provide a full-service offering for technology companies in the corporate field, which will undoubtedly grow over the years in light of the quality of the lawyers recruited.’
‘Ali Ramadan is a “go-to” lawyer for all matters venture capital-related, but also a particularly trusted adviser for general corporate and M&A work as well. He is one of those lawyers who simply “gets it” and is able to seamlessly combine legal/technical and commercial/practical advice all in one. Very responsive and hardworking, he is a stand out junior partner and is highly recommended, both on the investor side and on the company side.’
OMERS Ventures Europe
Charles River Ventures
Lakestar Venture Capital
Eight Roads Ventures
Mott Macdonald Ventures
- Advising Y Combinator’s Continuity growth fund on a Series F investment of £113m into Monzo Bank.
- Advising Achilles Therapeutics Limited on its £100m Series B tranched financing led by RA Capital Management and the existing founder investor Syncona Portfolio Limited.
- Advising Lakestar Venture Capital as lead investor on a $19.5m Series B investment round in Eigen Technologies Ltd.
The 'efficient, personable and commercially-minded' team at Marriott Harrison LLP provides 'nimble, high-quality and responsive' advice to a loyal and growing roster of institutional investors, including core client Balderton Capital. Under the guidance of the 'calming and sensible' David Strong, the team is best known for handling early to mid-stage start-up financing for AI, fintech and e-commerce entities, where it is appreciated not only for its 'ego-free and unfussy service', but also its 'ability to adapt its approach based on the complexity of the deal'. The 'thorough and diligent' Daniel Jacob provides 'sound advice' to entrepreneurs and companies seeking financing to grow.
Other key lawyers:
‘They have extremely focus business oriented capabilities and able to deliver agreements which are very easy to understand, to the point covering all necessary legal aspects. Timing is essential in many deals and they have always demonstrated to have focus on the deal and keep the pressure to execute in a timely manner.’
‘Strong team with good industry experience. They know the market well and bring a no-nonsense approach to the work.’
‘David Strong has great knowledge of the industry and leads an experienced team. Jonathan Leigh-Hunt has been around for a long time and knows his area well.’
‘Nimble, high quality and responsive, with no fuss, at very reasonable rates. Authoritative on market terms and explaining the reason for them.’
‘Great team, always professional & easy to deal with. They have really solid VC experience. Definitely punch above their weight. Competitive on fees with a partner led service, so you get attention. Good turnaround times too and they seem to be building a decent junior team beneath the partners so have some depth there.’
‘The team at Marriott Harrison is absolutely stellar, I could not recommend working with them highly enough. Led by David Strong, the team is efficient, personable, commercially-minded, and a delight to deal with. We work with Marriott Harrison for every deal that we do, simply due to the excellent people working with David. The team listens to instructions well, and is able to adapt their approach based on the complexity of the deal. MH works in small flexible teams, with excellent oversight from David ensuring that their work is consistently up to scratch – I’ve never worked with lawyers as suited to the VC market as this team.’
‘Marriott Harrison offers a bespoke, thoughtful, available, ego-free and unfussy service which exactly meets the needs of our business.’
Guinness Asset Management
Maven Capital Partners
Bethnal Green Ventures
- Advised Balderton and Northzone on their £15m investment in Wagestream, the flexible wage app.
- Advised fintech startup Soldo on its $61m Series B fundraising led by Battery Ventures and Dawn Capital.
- Advised Thrive Capital in relation to its further investment in challenger bank Monzo as part of its £112m Series F fundraising.
With specialists dispersed across the firm's Birmingham, Reading, London and Leeds offices, Shoosmiths LLP provides an 'excellent service' to a strong investor-focused client base on matters throughout the funding lifecycle. Spearheaded by 'very commercial and savvy' Birmingham-based partner Alastair Peet, the firm's relationship with Octopus Ventures continues to inform a significant proportion of work handled by the team. On early-stage matters, clients also appreciate the firm's knowledge of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) process, where it is able to draw upon the expertise of Thames Valley-based EIS tax expert Tom Wilde . London-based Steve Barnett is primarily focused on advising companies and entrepreneurs.
Other key lawyers:
‘Highly commercial; solutions driven; highly experienced in VC work.’
‘The team has a real client focus and really understand the work that they do and, in particular the tax rules that apply to our funds. That really sets them apart from many other firms in the market who just don’t have that depth of experience.’
‘Sanjeev Sharma – pragmatic, sensible and a very safe pair of hands. Has an excellent grasp of what is important to us and doesn’t waste time on the things that aren’t.’
‘Tom Wilde – provides corporate tax support and is, in my view, the leader in this field for EIS and VCT investing.’
Winnow Solutions Limited
Masabi Group Limited
NVM Private Equity
Gresham House Ventures
YFM Private Equity Limited
Maven Capital Partners
- Advised Winnow Solutions, a developer of smart kitchen technology to assist commercial kitchens to reduce food waste, on its $20m Series B funding round.
- Advised Octopus on its participation in a $25m investment round for Sofar Sounds and 35 other investments.
- Advised Downing Ventures, along with Gresham House, on a £8m EIS and VCT investment into fintech company Funding Xchange.
The 'very dedicated and experienced venture team' at Withers LLP joined in mid-2018 from JAG Shaw Baker and has successfully transitioned its expertise to the new firm, maintaining its position in the market. Under the leadership of the 'super responsive and commercially focused' James Shaw , the London-based team has effectively tapped into the firm's network of offices throughout Europe, Asia Pacific and the US to advise venture-backed technology businesses looking to access international markets. The team has also effectively leveraged the firm's market-leading private wealth and charities/philanthropy practices to benefit from an increasing inflow of capital into the venture capital space from family offices. 'Fantastic' US-qualified senior associate Robert Glass provides 'pragmatic and commercially-minded' advice to investors and investees on technology sector mandates with a transatlantic element.
‘Very experienced in US & UK venture capital deals; adept at supporting emerging VC firms; professional; have gone beyond the call to deliver; technical capability very sound too.’
‘James Shaw has been a trusted adviser for almost a decade. His interest, attention to detail is great and responsiveness is best in class.’
‘Sarah Manderson (Associate) is extremely strong both as an adviser and in terms of managing the relationship with us. She’s a stand out for us.’
‘I believe Withers has an enormous expertise, in depth knowledge of VC practice and ability to guide companies and entrepreneurs in securing the best deals and help them in negotiating process which is set for the best outcome for the client. It is fundamentally the legal leadership aspect that was the most compelling in our case, to help us navigate in a complex set of circumstances for the best result possible.’
‘I have worked with Iain Cockburn, a leading partner at Withers, an experience which was great in terms of confidence and leadership that Iain and his team brought to our legal dealings.’
‘Easy to work with, extremely responsive, fantastic critical thinking and ability to find workable solutions to complex problems. Iain Cockburn has been a phenomenal partner to work with.’
‘James Shaw and his team have been super helpful and reactive to all questions and concerns we’ve had to date. Couldn’t ask for more collaborative and supportive team.’
‘Robert Glass is superb to work with, always super responsive and very commercially minded and flexible in his approach which makes our lives considerably easier. When we’re faced with a new situation he gives fantastic advice and guidance.’
New Science Ventures
Force Over Mass Capital
Mangrove Capital Partners
Kano Computing Limited
Automata Technologies Limited
- Advised the investor group (including Stride.VC, DMG Ventures, Octopus Ventures and Entrée Capital) on a Series B investment into Cazoo Ltd.
- Acted for London-based open source security company Snyk on its $150m Series C venture funding round.
- Advising Gauss Ventures, the lead investor, in relation to a Series B financing into Curve.
Recognised in the market as a 'very safe pair of hands', the Bristol-based team at Ashfords LLP includes numerous 'sensible people who really know what they are doing', based on many years' experience advising investors on technology financings. Chris Dyson and Andrew Betteridge co-head the team and have both developed strong funds relationships, ensuring a significant deal flow including early and later-stage financings and subsequent exit strategies. The arrival in late 2019 of Jocelyn Ormond from Simmons & Simmons enhanced the firm's credentials in relation to digital health-related venture capital, while London-based Giles Hawkins continues to grow the investee practice, particularly in the fintech and agrifood technology sub-sectors.
‘We have a long standing relationship with Ashfords which ensures continuity for our business. This deep background knowledge of the company also ensures that we are able to execute on corporate transactions quickly due to the ongoing oversight. The team are well versed in our background and requirements and endeavours to deliver the right advice/contracts to often short deadlines.’
‘Jocelyn Ormond is frequently in contact with us as a business to ensure that he has the latest updates and our thinking on future strategies. This is “off the clock” and ensures that Ashfords are able to react to our needs with minimal upfront diligence on our approach. Jocelyn ensures that his broader team are equally well versed in our corporate activities and always ensures that our requirements are delivered on time and within budget – which is greatly appreciated.’
‘The team are first rate, always on hand and always deliver a great service. Have a good mix of legal knowledge and pragmatism backed up by good knowledge of the VC industry.’
‘Extensive knowledge of me as a client having worked with them for 8 years. Ability to go the extra mile when needed.’
Episode One Ventures
Guinness Asset Management Limited
TravelTime Platform (iGeolise Limited)
Whitehat Group Limited
Bruce’s Pet Care Ltd
Baby Mori Limited
- Advising an international investor syndicate on the $80m Series E investment round in global payments platform CurrencyCloud, led by Visa and Sapphire Ventures.
- Advising WhiteHat on a Series A investment round led by Index Venture with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures.
- Advising leading European investment fund Holtzbrinck Ventures on a Series A investment in ZenCargo.
Brown Rudnick LLP
Able to leverage the firm's broader IP and corporate credentials, Brown Rudnick LLP's particular expertise lies in representing stakeholders seeking to raise or provide capital on venture capital deals within the life sciences sector. Led from London by Mark Dorff (who is dual UK and US-qualified), the 'extremely knowledgeable and capable' team excels in handling mandates involving a transatlantic angle and is successfully able to navigate the differences between the UK and US venture capital markets. The arrival in early 2020 of a three-partner team from Baker Botts (UK) LLP, led by Neil Foster , enhances the scope of the firm's venture offering, adding credentials across the TMT, fintech and energy sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team I work with is extremely knowledgeable and capable in this area. The lawyers at Brown Rudnick are also very efficient.’
‘I work primarily with an Associate, Sayjel (Sage) Revell, and she’s top-notch. She’s highly intelligent, very hard working and very thorough. She’s one of the best associates I’ve ever worked with.’
RA Capital Management
- Advised RA Capital Management (alongside lawyers from the firm’s US offices) on a $120m Series B investment round in London-based company Achilles Therapeutics.
Drawing on the expertise of lawyers within the firm's broader corporate and private equity groups, CMS provides 'practical and pragmatic' advice to investors and investees in the technology sector. The 'superb' John Finnemore has a strong track record on early stage financings and is the head of the team alongside Tony Waller , who regularly handles funding rounds for investors and investees, as well as exit strategies. The team also frequently works alongside colleagues from across the firm's extensive network of offices on mandates with an international aspect. The 'brilliant and inspiring' Louis Glass , who splits his time between London and Tel Aviv, co-heads the firm's technology M&A team with Waller and is praised by investors and investees for his 'practical and pragmatic' advice across a range of technology, internet and e-commerce transactions.
‘Great team led by Louis Glass. Always personal and always practical and pragmatic. It never feels like you are on the clock. Always interested in checking in – very human.’
‘In business as in life you want to spend time with people who are brilliant and inspiring, but also fundamentally good humans whose company you enjoy. I’ve been fortunate to work with one of those in Louis Glass from CMS for my corporate fundraising and acquisition legal work. Major corporate transactions are not just stressful and complex, but can also be highly emotional in their nature. Louis Glass spent the time to build a trust and empathy based relationship with me over the years that ensured that when it came to the crunch he could successfully navigate me and the business through our transaction as painlessly as possible, with all the skill and dexterity of his experience and expertise in the field.’
‘In-depth knowledge of our business. They look after our interests and provide broad advice, based on legal expertise as well as on their experience with similar clients as us.’
Koru Kids Limited
Enterprise Ventures Limited
- Advised Smedvig Capital on a $20m investment into Masabi Technologies Limited, a company developing an SaaS based fare payments and ticketing platforms for commuters around the world.
- Advised Koru Kids on a £10m Series A fundraising led by Atomico.
- Acted for fintech company Mishipay on a Series A+ funding round led by American Express Ventures and Nauta Capital.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP's venture capital team is praised by media and technology entrepreneurs and start-ups for its 'holistic and cost-effective' advice on deals throughout the funding lifecycle. Led by Tony Littner, the team is best-known for its investee-side work and has also started to gain inroads into the investor market, including acting for a number of corporate venturers. Senior associate Tom Macleod 'has a rich understanding of the start-up ecosystem' and has a notable reputation for advising high-growth technology companies.
Other key lawyers:
‘H&L have been on our journey as a start up since day one, even though we have limited budgets and only a small understanding of the legal side of things, they have been amazing in breaking things down and offering time which is above and beyond their means. Always available whenever I needed them to answer questions, no matter how big or small.’
‘Stand out partner is Tom Macleod. He has been like an extension of our team, got to know individuals in my company and supported us through our growth, he has always introduced the right partners at the right times to keep costs down for us too.’
‘The ability to see both side of the equation – investors and founders. The firm always provides a balanced view. They know the VC area inside out and can do small and big deals alike. Love working with this firm.’
‘Anthony Littner – always available with a strong customer focus and commercial mind. Always looking for solutions. Sees all sides of the debate. Tom Macleod – sees many different viewpoints.’
‘Great communication and balancing of key strengths against fees to ensure a holistic service delivered in the most cost effective way.’
‘A very warm and hands-on approach, no question or query is deemed silly and you really get the sense that H&L act and feel like an extension of your own in-house legal team.’
‘Tom Macleod has been handling our account for the last few years and the experience has been second to none. Tom has a rich understanding of the start-up ecosystem and is very well placed to provide us with a top-class service.’
ENGIE New Ventures
Pixion Games Ltd
Gordon Ramsay Holdings Limited
Astrid & Miyu
- Advised technology innovator and leading UK workplace pensions provider, Smart Pension, on a strategic investment and new strategic partnership with pensions behemoth the Link Group, as well as a strategic investment from J.P. Morgan and other investors.
- Advised ENGIE New Ventures on its strategic investment in Vyntelligence, a smart voice and video notes platform which simplifies and digitises data acquisition using a guided video form or ‘storyboard’.
- Advised food technology innovator, Karakuri Ltd, on a £7m seed round, led by Ocado.
Co-headed by the 'exceptional' Rob Hayes and Justin Starling from Reading and also able to draw on resources in London, Oxford and Cambridge, the 'brilliant' team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP 'knows what needs to be done for early-stage companies without over-complicating'. It is also noted for its 'outstanding' technology transfer expertise and is involved in a raft of spin-out work. Clients benefit from the group's seamless integration with the tax team, particularly as it relates to EIS transactions. Reading-based associate Elizabeth Yell is a 'definite rising star' in the team for high growth technology businesses and numerous institutional investors.
‘Partners were surprisingly responsive to our questions and actively engaged in delivering many aspects of the work we needed to complete our spin out and seed round.’
‘The associates and partners we worked with at Penningtons were all very informative and readily provided the information we needed to understand the process, documentation and all the practical implications.’
‘I would pull out Attilio Leccisotti as he has been fantastic at supporting our company through a number of different rounds.’
‘They know what needs to be done for early stage companies without overcomplicating. This leads to sharp and efficient legal progress that serves the companies well both from a future proofing and a fees angle.’
‘Knowing when enough is enough is crucial especially for early stage companies. Not over complicating issues and having a time and cost efficient style for companies who really want to put their resources in to science and not legal fees is refreshing. The team also work well with their tax partners and this has been a very valuable additional service.’
‘The Penningtons VC team are a brilliant team with exceptional experience of early stage VC work. Their knowledge and experience sets them apart from others in the sector.’
‘Rob Hayes and Elizabeth Yell are exceptional and incredibly experienced. Attilio Leccisotti is a very talented Senior Associate and one to watch for the future. Elizabeth Yell is definitely a rising star.’
Grey Wolf Therapeutics
King’s College London
Business Growth Fund
Cambridge Innovation Capital Plc
- Advised on the auction sale of Process Systems Enterprise (backed by Albion Capital and IP Group) to Siemens.
- Acting for Reading headquartered Cloudfactory, on its $65m growth equity funding led by FTV Capital with participation from Weatherford Capital.
- Acted for Organox, a spin-out from the University of Oxford, on its £4.6m growth capital investment from BGF.
Growing rapidly in the market - with the latest addition to the team being the arrival of Nicola McConville to the firm's Oxford office - Taylor Vinters has a core focus on venture capital transactions, and is noted for its 'excellent work advising entrepreneurs' seeking to grow their businesses across a range of IP-rich industries. While the firm is active throughout the investment lifecycle, it has gained a particularly strong reputation for matters at the earlier stages of the process and provides 'good value for money for seed and Series A stage deals'. 'Pragmatic and thorough' Cambridge-based team head Chris Keen is a 'fountain of knowledge about the venture capital market'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Under Chris Keen’s leadership, the team at Taylor Vinters are the most genuinely startup-centric team I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with on corporate commercial (VC) transactions. The team operate as though they are themselves a startup offering, so understand the mentality of balancing pragmatism and risk more deeply than any other team I’ve worked with. I trust them fully to have our best interests in mind, mitigate against meaningful risks, and not spend too much time / energy focusing on things that ultimately don’t matter or are intellectual in nature only.’
‘Chris Keen is a fountain of knowledge – nothing he doesn’t know about the VC market.’
‘Chris Keen – incredibly knowledgeable; pragmatic, but thorough; a pleasure to work with. Geoff Dragon – extremely responsive and efficient.’
Eagle Genomics Limited
MMC Ventures Limited
- Acted for Unmade Ltd on its £4.75m Series A fundraising from existing investors Octopus Ventures and MMC Ventures.
- Advised longstanding client Audio Analytic on its $12m Series B round led by National Grid Partners together with participation from existing investors Cambridge Innovation Capital and IQ Capital.
- Acted for Pollen (t/a Verve) in connection with a $10m equity investment in the company from Sienna Capital.
Singled out for its work on the company side, Browne Jacobson LLP is also increasingly active on behalf of investors providing the funding and picks up significant deal flow throughout the investment lifecycle. Led by the 'exceptional' Jon Snade, the team has 'very strong fintech and insuretech credentials', with many investee clients leveraging the firm's novel GROW programme, which provides ongoing legal support as well as the provision of fixed-fee rates for more substantive legal queries. Birmingham-based partner Mike Jackson 'really knows his stuff', particularly in relation to automotive technology mandates.
‘The Browne Jacobson team are a professional group of people who work hard to get the deal done.’
‘Mike Jackson (partner) is a great adviser, going above and beyond what I expect most lawyers would do. He knows his stuff when it comes to corporate deals and the best way to achieve the intended outcome on a particular deal. He is always willing to have a chat – no matter what time of day.’
‘Good pragmatic advice with appreciation of the commercial aspects of a transaction.’
‘Good experience levels, quick response time, led on helping to resolve a key transaction issue, very approachable.’
‘Strong team set up with very strong FinTech / InsurTech credentials.’
‘Jon Snade, Partner and Harry Pearson, are our advisers of choice for anything related to corporate advice, predominantly fund raising.’
‘Incredibly responsive. Knowledgeable and always go over and above.’
‘Jon Snade – exceptional and supportive. I’ve recommended him for years and choose the firm because he is there.’
Hastee Pay Ltd
Digital Fineprint Limited
Eos Venture Partners
Enro Holdings Limited (t/a Digital Risks)
Promethean Particles Ltd
Mobeus Equity Partners LLP
Command Line Software Limited (t/a Impala)
RentE Limited (t/a Evezy)
- Acted for FinTech company Hastee Pay on £8m of investment (including £2m from IDC Ventures).
- Acted for Command Line Software (t/a Impala) on its $11m Series A investment round.
- Acted for InsurTech focused venture capital firm Eos on its investment as part of a Series B round investment totalling $20m in Concirrus Ltd, led by Albion Capital.
Cooley (UK) LLP's 'commercial and responsive' team has gained significant market share acting for investors and investees, effectively leveraging the depth of experience the firm has in the US. The 'highly engaged and experienced' US-qualified team head Ryan Naftulin has been key to the firm's heightened profile in the market and 'leads the charge on importing US habits into the UK'. The 'personable and capable' Aaron Archer is the other partner in the team and is developing a strong following among investors and investees as a result of his ability to 'not only provide excellent legal advice, both strategically and tactically, but also to do it in a fair and holistic way'.
‘They are starting to build a good venture practice in London, clearly have the legal & technical experience and are becoming well known in the industry being at the forefront of VC projects. It still feels like a small team in London but they are focused and effectively leverage the real depth of VC knowledge and experience they have in the US. Always commercial, responsive and quick to react.’
‘Ryan Naftulin is very commercial, pragmatic and smart. He’s seen most of it before so a wise head when you need it. Extremely responsive.’
‘Aaron Archer is a very personable and capable lawyer, commercial and responsive too.’
‘Cooley brings a strong experience set from the US and Europe – this global outlook is hugely beneficial in terms of best practices, prior experience in a multitude of situations that we face in our business financing startups. They are great people overall. They genuinely know what they’re doing.’
‘I work mostly with Aaron Archer who is a Partner on the Ventures team in the UK. He’s excellent because: a) he knows the market extremely well and is in very close touch with the startup and early-stage venture ecosystem, b) he is extremely quick in providing feedback and does so in a very commercial and practical manner c) he is diligent and very thoughtful in providing advice.’
‘Ryan Naftulin – highly engaged and experienced. Leads the charge on importing US habits into the UK.’
‘Cooley is simply the ‘go to firm’ in our industry. Their knowledge, network and pricing makes them the first firm I suggest startups speak with when they need a lawyer.’
‘Aaron Archer – fun yet professional. Startups like to have him on their side of the table.’
‘The team is at the cutting edge of thinking around the tech and healthcare space, which they own in the US and are building up rapidly in London. They have great lawyers, are quick at responding to requests, and are a valuable partner around the softer aspects of our relationship.’
Air Street Capital
Kheiron Medical Technologies
- Advised Accel and General Catalyst on investments in digital bank Monzo’s as part of its £113m Series F round.
- Advised social shopping app Depop Limited on its Series C £62m round led by General Atlantic.
- Advised General Catalyst on the on-demand food delivery service Deliveroo’s $575m Series G financing with Amazon as lead investor.
Covington & Burling LLP
Leveraging the firm's strong IP capabilities and benefiting from a familiarity with US documentation, the 'highly motivated and responsive' team at Covington & Burling LLP provides 'pragmatic corporate solutions'. The group acts for investors and investees on cross-border venture capital-related work with particular experience in the life sciences sector. The 'brilliant' James Gubbins has expertise throughout the investment lifecycle and regularly advises on potential exit strategies.
‘The C&B team are highly motivated, responsive and bring a significant, sector-specific knowledge base to businesses covering all aspects of corporate, commercial and private financing expertise. In particular, their partners bring significant pragmatic corporate solutions based on practical risk analysis to support the interests of it’s clients’
‘James Halstead brings a deep/detailed knowledge of corporate, commercial and financing matters, with an emphasis on pragmatic solutions that support the company’s objectives/interests. James also brings detailed solutions that are coupled with and address the historical and specific circumstances of the business. Where solutions call for additional subject matter expertise, C&B can call on the strength of their partnership/team to ensure integrated and robust solutions are implemented.’
‘The team is passionate about its work, we as clients are not stuck with one partner or associate. Covington ensure that the relationship between our organisations is spread amongst a number of individuals in each firm. This means that somebody can always be reached. Furthermore, we are not restricted to a small pod of individuals, if we need input on a specific industry or discipline in a specific county, we are directed to the expert, immediately. We do not have to funnel all our work through one partner so that partner can bill all the hours.’
Bridge Valley Ventures
GammaDelta Therapeutics Limited
National Grid Partners
- Advised IP Group, Johnson & Johnson Innovation Development Corporation and Cambridge Innovations Capital on the Series B funding of Cambridge-based company Inivata Limited.
- Advised National Grid Partners Limited, the investment and innovation arm of National Grid Plc, on its investment into CNIguard Ltd.
- Advised Tencent Holdings Limited as lead investor on a $20m Series A financing in blockchain business Everledger.
Under the leadership of the 'proactive and attentive' Joseph Altendorff and David McGrory (based in London and Edinburgh respectively), Dentons is 'increasingly visible in the market' for a balanced mix of founders, funds and corporate venturers. The group is also able to leverage complementary practice areas including the IP, tax and corporate departments, and also utilises the expertise of venture capital practitioners in strategic locations globally including the US, Singapore, France and Germany.
Other key lawyers:
‘We found the team energetic, pragmatic and approachable. We particularity appreciated the speed in which they delivered their advice. They also negotiated with the other side very well.’
‘Joe Collingwood was very helpful and delivered the reports on time.’
‘Approachable, adaptable and extremely pragmatic. Ability to deliver brilliant products and great strategic advice within a limited budget.’
‘Outstanding knowledge of the market allows relevant assessment of deal value against market norms. Ability to breakdown technical advice into easily digestible proposals to allow quick business decisions and approvals from senior stakeholders. Extremely personable. Joe Collingwood is unwaveringly positive and calm – his knowledge and experience far exceeds his qualification levels. The person you want on your team to get the deal done!’
‘Joseph Altendorff – Joe has supported us on two successful capital raises. What stands out is his deep knowledge and understanding of the sensitives around term-sheet negotiation. Raising capital is a very stressful process and Joe’s calm and confident stewardship made all the difference.’
‘Joseph Collingwood – Joe was instrumental in supporting our negotiations and deal closures of our 2 latest investment rounds. Joe was able to understand the complexities and politics of each round. What made Joe unique in my mind is his ability to explain to the executives the key issues that needed clarity in order to facilitate a deal.’
‘The venture capital team at Dentons is incredibly passionate about working with young companies and supporting investors in the process. We have been working with Dentons for six months now and I’ve been very impressed with how attentive the team has been and their keenness to understand our business and integrate our systems and processes together. They clearly know the US and UK market very well, and are capable of providing great steers when working on investments. For me, their proactively and willingness to support our portfolio companies is what sets them out from the crowd.’
‘Joseph Altendorff is a dynamic individual with a solid grounding in the UK venture capital market. He is proactive, attentive and willing to get resources on a deal from the Denton’s network where appropriate.’
Hybrid Air Vehicles
ATAI Life Sciences
Two Rivers Media
Scottish Equity Partners
- Advised San Francisco-based Ripple Labs on its strategic investment into Azimo Limited, a UK-headquartered digital money transfer business.
- Advised Naked Energy, the Hybrid solar electricity and heat business, on its Series A fundraising led by EIS fund Earthworm.
- Advised ClearMacro, the London based SaaS company, on its debt and equity investment, with a software code escrow, by British Columbia Pension fund.
Gowling WLG has a sizeable roster of funds clients seeking to deploy capital into life sciences, technology and energy sector-focused businesses. While he has expertise throughout the investment lifecycle, team head Ian Piggin is particularly known for his experience in early-to-mid stage financings, many of which increasingly involve an international component.
Other key lawyers:
Panoramic Growth Equity
- Advised leading venture capital investors Draper Esprit (together with three of its affiliated co-investors) and Panoramic Growth Equity on the sale of Pod Point to EDF Energy.
- Advised Tonik Energy on its Series B fundraising from Japanese investment house, Mitsui & Co.
- Acted for Panoramic Growth Equity on its £1.5m Series A investment into healthy snacking company Freed Foods Limited.
Headed up by Robbie McLaren, Latham & Watkins' emerging companies practice received a major boost as a result of the arrival of Mike Turner from Taylor Wessing LLP and Shing Lo from Bird & Bird LLP in early 2020. Both practitioners have strong expertise acting for investors and investees, with Lo, in particular, noted for her 'wealth of experience advising companies on early rounds of equity'. Following the expansion, the team is able to effectively guide technology companies through initial funding rounds and on to a trade sale or IPO on a London or US exchange.
‘The Latham & Watkins team has depth and breadth, particularly in its London practice. I’m always looking for what gives me confidence that we’re getting the right balance between our legal position and pragmatic business realities. L&W gave me that confidence in a major and complex transaction.’
‘Team has recently grown by the addition of known names in the industry, making it a leading VC practice. Hugely experienced team.’
‘Mike Turner – vastly experienced and a “go to” lawyer in the sector.’
‘Shing Lo brings a wealth of experience to the team, expanding on the early stage advice, and rounding the team out.’
Union Square Ventures
- Advised Hyundai on its investment into AppyParking, a company providing parking apps and services for drivers.
- Advised Selina Hostels as it raised Series C financing, which was one of Europe’s largest fundraising rounds in 2019.
- Advised Coatue Management on its equity investment in Snyk, a London-based provider of cybersecurity analysis tools.
Mills & Reeve LLP
Mills & Reeve LLP has expertise on the fund structuring side. Cambridge-based partner Zickie Lim heads up the downstream work on the venture capital front and as part of her broad-ranging roster of work has developed a particularly strong reputation for handling university spin outs. The arrival of principal associate Kristian Shearsby in 2019 from Covington & Burling LLP provides increased visibility in the London market; he heads up the firm's corporate team in the City, which is picking up a significant amount of life sciences-related venture capital work.
‘The team are very knowledgeable about investment and the legal process. They are efficient, always on time and carefully control their time and promised budget. They have excellent communication skills and are able to influence people using their persuasive abilities.’
‘Zickie Lim: outstanding legal expertise, provides creative solutions to any blocks in negotiations. Savvy in handling CEOs and Investors to complete a transaction.’
Mercia Asset Management PLC
IQ Capital Partners LLP
Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures
Cambridge Innovation Capital
Foresight Group LLP
Albion Capital Group LLP
Microsoft Corporation – M12
Evonik Venture Capital GmbH
- Handled fund creation and portfolio investment work for IQ Capital Partners.
- Assisted with portfolio investment work for UCL Technology Fund on seven portfolio investments with an aggregate investment of £41.1m.
- Advising Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures on its £5.35m Series A investment round in Skyports, a London-based urban air mobility infrastructure provider and drone delivery operator.
Co-headed by the 'excellent' Howard Watt and Nick Crabtree , who arrived in mid-2018 from former venture capital boutique JAG Shaw Baker, Sheridans' team has made sizeable inroads into the market, acting for a balanced mix of investors and investees, which appreciate the firm's 'depth of knowledge and proactive communication'. While the team has expertise throughout the funding continuum, it has a particular strength in growth stage financings and M&A exits for venture-backed companies.
‘Sheridan’s always go the extra mile for us and their depth of knowledge, their proactive communication and breadth of practice areas makes it such a refreshing combination.’
‘Howard Watt is the best. We call all our entrepreneur friends and recommend Howard in the strongest possible terms.’
AXA Venture Partners
Bossa Studios Limited
Flux Systems Limited
Qualis Flow Limited
The Goat Agency
Tailify Software Limited
- Advised Atomico as lead investor on a $100m Series B investment round into vertical farming Company Infarm.
- Advised Vinehealth Limited on its £1.2m seed investment round led by Playfair Capital.
- Advised Flux on its £6m Series A investment led by eVentures, as well as Flux’s ground-breaking commercial partnership with Barclays (which involved Barclays taking an equity interest in the company).
Baker Botts (UK) LLP
Led out of London by David Ramm, following the departure of Neil Foster to Brown Rudnick LLP in early 2020, Baker Botts (UK) LLP advises investees and a considerable number of corporate venturers on deals throughout the investment lifecycle. As a former scientist and engineer, the 'efficient and dedicated' Ramm is able to provide deep insight to IP-rich businesses looking to gain funding, including those in the life sciences and fintech sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘As an entrepreneur, I highly value a legal team who are true experts in their field, can argue with them to make sure I have both sides of the case clear, and then work tirelessly with me along the path I choose. Baker Botts is such a firm. They’re focused, get right to the point with minimal waffle, and get the results I need. For a London firm, they’re also pretty decent value.’
‘The most memorable individual was David Ramm, one of the partners. Instilled complete trust from day one, was efficient and dedicated, and handled any queries myself and the team had at a moments notice. Never under-delivered or over-promised and was very professional through out.’
Serac Life Sciences Limited
Green Running Ltd
Nesta Partners Limited
Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC
Ananda Impact Fund III GMBH & Co KG
London Trust Media Incorporated.
Ananda Impact Fund
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited
Grid Smarter Cities
Nesta Partners Limited and Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC
- Advised AbbVie Ventures on the ongoing investment in Artios Pharma Limited, particularly in relation to the second round of Series B investment.
- Advised Unity on its Series A Investment by Venrex Investment Management.
- Advised Flex-e-Card Limited (FEC), a FinTech company providing gift card solutions to the shopping mall sector, on its acquisition by EML Payments Limited.
Bristol-based firm Burges Salmon LLP handles a considerable volume of venture capital work (particularly in the energy sector) as part of the firm's broader private equity and corporate finance offerings, led respectively by Mark Shepherd and Richard Spink. In addition to advising traditional venture investors, the team is also seeing an uptick of work from pension funds, and is increasingly active on the private wealth front for ultra high-net-worth individuals and family offices.
‘Burges Salmon have become my go to firm.’
‘Mark Shepherd has a strong grasp of both the legal and commercial aspects of transactions. He is a pleasure to deal with and he attracts and retains very strong associates who turnaround matters in a very timely manner.’
‘The partners we deal with are all exceptionally capable. Significantly, they have an ability to tune to the culture and style of our organisation and frame both their advice and their approach to match our own. That makes the relationship far more interactive and less transactional and more valuable as a consequence.’
‘Exceptional service. No drama, calm, reassuring guidance with real depth of expertise and experience.’
‘Richard Spink and Tim Roberts, are both excellent practitioners that give you great confidence as a client and get the job done without fuss. They have all the necessary skills and experience from relationship management and technical.’
‘The service is consistent, tight deadlines are always met, communication is very good. Broad spectrum of legal services. All work as one team, core team may bring in expertise from different legal areas if required but still maintain a consistent approach with one main contact.’
Beechbrook Capital LLP
Mobeus Equity Partners LLP
LDC (Managers) Limited
BGF (formerly Business Growth Fund)
Octopus Investments Limited
Bridges Fund Management
- Advised Hermes GPE – the BT pension fund – on a follow-on venture capital investment into the Bridges Ventures lead co-investment fund structure, which was used to fund an investment in Viva Gym Group.
- Advised Gordon Investments, the investment vehicle of Alf Gordon, one of Scotland’s highest profile entrepreneurs, on the purchase of the Institute of Certified Practising Accountants – a key step in the process of building up a new niche technology business catering to the needs of blue-collar contractors, offering insurance, legal advice, accounting advice and other services.
- Advised fintech business Ordo in connection with an equity investment by NBS Ventures.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP takes a multi-disciplinary approach to work in the sector, and draws on the expertise of lawyers from the corporate, capital markets and tax teams to advise funds, private investors, founders and investee companies across the entire lifecycle of investment. Leveraging the firm's market-leading private wealth practice, the team also regularly advises family offices and high-net-worth individuals as investors in the space. Chris Putt is the primary contact at the firm; alongside his traditional venture capital work, he also has venture debt expertise.
‘Commercially oriented, experienced, committed, loyal, diligent, rigorous, ethical, fast, excellent quality/price balance, kind.’
Shore Capital/ Puma VCT
Business Growth Fund
Ace & Co
Zeal Networks SE
Silicon Valley Bank
- Advised on the launch of Coinbase’s debit card offering.
- Advised Kreos Capital VI (Expert Fund) LP on a variety of multimillion-dollar/euro growth investments, including into JenaValve, ViCentra and BeMyEye.
- Advised on an investment in BusinessOptix, a technology business based in Guildford, by Naples Technology Ventures (a VC based in the US).
With expertise in the technology and digital media space, Kemp Little LLP provides a 'commercial and pragmatic' service to founders and management teams, advising on the financing requirements for all stages of the funding cycle. The team's cross-departmental approach enables it to provide advice which accounts for the relevant governance and regulatory issues. The group is also active in the fintech space, and draws knowledge from experts from across the corporate, regulatory and data protection teams. Corporate partner Charles Claisse handles venture and growth capital mandates.
‘Always available and responsive; very commercial and pragmatic and highly professional and cost effective.’
‘High integrity, super professional, client friendly, excellent professional manner of working with clients and the other side.’
Behaviourall Technologies / Subscribbe Limited
Four Seasons Ventures LLP
- Acting for Codilink on a late-stage investment from Guinness Asset Management and Maven Capital Partners.
- Acting for Gyana on an investment round led by Fuel Ventures.
- Acting for Motorway Online on its series A fundraising from Marchmont Ventures and LocalGlobe.
Reed Smith LLP
Led by the 'responsive, knowledgeable and commercially minded' Michael Young and recently strengthened by the arrival of Sam Webster from Mayer Brown International LLP, Reed Smith LLP handles a considerable amount of venture capital work from within its broader corporate group. Focused on company side representations, clients benefit from 'specialist industry resources across sectors and territories', ensuring that they are well advised on equity financings throughout the funding lifecycle from a domestic and international perspective.
‘A very good corporate venture capital team with extensive knowledge of the sector.’
‘The team is responsive, knowledgeable and commercially minded. They are great business partners and we enjoy working with them. Their access to the rest of RS’ specialist industry resources across sectors and territories is very helpful.’
‘Mike Young: available at all times with a positive a sound approach to all issues.’
‘Michael Young – extremely good at client handling, extremely responsive and excellent at focusing in on the key issues. He is a man you definitely want at your side in any transaction.’
‘Mike Young leads the team and is always extremely responsive. ‘
Keystone Law's venture capital specialists include Dee Sian, Nadim Zaman and Catherine Williams; all three offer expertise in private equity, while also handling a broad range of other corporate matters for VC clients, covering buyouts, investment and financing, among others. Clients are drawn from sectors including tech, healthcare, media and energy.
Other key lawyers:
Dee Sian; Nadim Zaman; Catherine Williams
Fink Family Office
True Capital Limited
City and County Healthcare Group Limited
Nova Founders Capital UK Limited
CFS Aeroproducts Limited
Le Chameran Ltd
Calculus Capital Limited
Plimsoll Productions Limited
Ozo Innovations Limited
- Acted for City and County Healthcare on the acquisition of 20 homecare branches and five extra care schemes from Carewatch.
- Acted for Fink Family Office and Lord Stanley Fink on a series of UK investments.
- Advised on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Plimsoll Productions Limited to LDC and roll over by management, exercise of warrant by third party investor, employee options, third party financing and flowering share structure.
Led by corporate partner Jeremy Willcocks, Arnold & Porter is able to tap into the expertise of numerous IP practitioners and regularly handles later stage venture deals within the life sciences and TMT sectors. Inbound US investment mandates are a key area of focus for the team, as is its work for investors in the burgeoning cannabis market.
Other key lawyers:
At Dorsey & Whitney, Frances Doherty is the principal contact for venture capital work and regularly advises funds and emerging technology companies on early and late stage financings. The group utilises the firm's strong international presence in Asia and North America to comfortably handle cross-border mandates.
Praised for its 'strong technical capabilities and highly commercial approach', Shakespeare Martineau LLP displays 'deep sector expertise and knowledge of the VCT market and growth capital investments' from its London and Midlands offices. Team head Kavita Patel 'talks the language of a fund manager' and excels at advising on early stage investments involving tax considerations, including matters relating to the EIS.
‘They talk the language of a fund manager, not many advisers can do that.’
‘Over the years we as a company have had to deal with many legal firms and individuals within those firms, but what makes SM unique is that their service levels are at a much higher level than other firms. You can talk to the team and they deal with your needs efficiently and quickly and work with you to develop the right solution.’
‘Deep sector expertise and knowledge of the VCT market and growth capital investments.’
‘Kavita Patel can think through a problem quicker than any adviser i know, really impressive to deal with at all levels of a project.’
‘Strong technical capabilities and highly commercial approach.’
Mobeus Equity Partners
Secure Retail Limited
- Advised Foresight on numerous deals involving state-aided capital financing, in particular investments through Venture Capital Trust and Midlands Engine Investment Fund funds under their management.
- Advised Earthworm on numerous deals under the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
- Acted for Secure Retail Limited and associated companies under their management (Target Group) in connection with the sale of the Target Group to a newco funded by private equity investment from NVM Private Equity, bridge financing and management rollover.
Waterfront Solicitors LLP
Led by the 'knowledgeable' Matthew Cunningham , Waterfront Solicitors LLP's team provides a 'cost-effective service' to founders and investees (as well as a growing number of funds) on technology-related venture capital mandates. As well as receiving direct instructions from clients, the team also picks up a significant amount of referral work from other law firms.
Other key lawyers:
‘Waterfront punch so far above their weight. We regularly end up against clients who have engaged “magic circle” firms and Matt Cunningham and his team dance around them.’
‘Very professional, and knowledgeable, keen to help and provide meaningful advice and honest opinions. Overall, they are reliable partners and they give you the sense of being partners with you, as opposed to a strict “client-lawyer” relationship.’
‘Very competent team, quick on turnaround and able to focus on the issues.’
‘I have worked with Matthew Cunningham for a number of years – he is knowledgeable and deliberate in his work and reasonable in his pricing.’
Workable Technology Limited
Hack the Box Limited
Marathon Venture Capital Fund
Metavallon Venture Capital Fund
New Model Venture Capital / Fig VC
Welcome Travel Technologies Holdings Limited
Exseed Health Limited
Digital Delivery Consulting Limited (3pointsDIGITAL)
- Advised Plandek on a $3.3m seed capital investment in the company led by Perscitus LLP.
- Advised Neurofenix on a seed capital investment in the company led by Cambridge Angels.
- Advised Marathon Venture Capital Fund on its $1.3m seed capital investment in cybersecurity company, Hack the Box.
White and Black Limited
Oxford-based technology boutique White and Black Limited is 'incredibly approachable and easy to work with', and has a sizeable roster of venture fund, corporate venturer and founder clients, and regularly handles spin-out work stemming from Oxford University. Led by Phil Riman, the team has 'the track record and experience to deal with complex multinational matters', particularly those involving Japanese investors.
‘I like the sense that this is a flexible boutique firm but with the track record and experience to deal with complex multinational matters.’
‘They are incredibly approachable and easy to deal with. Aside from being very capable lawyers, they are great people and this makes it easy to build the all important trust and understanding between client and adviser.’
NVM Private Equity
Scottish Equity Partners
Trizell Holding SA
- Advised Tonic Games (formerly Mediatonic) on an investment by Synova Capital to support its growth in strategic partnerships, original game development and support for third party developed games.
- Advised UK-based technology company, Moixa Energy Holdings, in relation to Honda’s equity investment.
- Acted for Zzoomm Plc and its group companies on a series of funding rounds during 2019.