Firms To Watch: Venture capital

The technology M&A practice at Ashurst has considerable expertise in venture capital work and acts for both investors and investees. The team's focus is on the fintech space, particularly regulatory issues, as well as transactional mandates.
As a boutique law firm that was established by Michael Buckworth, Buckworths  has a core focus on acting for tech-focused start-ups and SMEs. The scope of the work is broad and includes general commercial, employment and corporate mandates, as well as advice on fundraisings.

Venture capital in London

Bird & Bird LLP

Equally adept at advising investors and investees and also able to draw upon strong ancillary IP and IT expertise, Bird & Bird LLP provides ‘sound commercial advice‘ throughout the investment lifecycle. In addition to core expertise in equity investments and exit strategies (through IPOs or an M&A process), the firm has a fairly unique proposition on the debt venture side, an area that ‘excellent‘ team head Struan Penwarden has a market leading reputation, acting for core funders including Kreos Capital. Geraint Lloyd  is also one of the more experienced members of the team and brings significant commerciality and know-how of funds and investees engaged in healthtech and fintech, in particular. Of the more junior partners, the ‘phenomenal‘ Mark Rundall continues to impress as a result of his ‘commercially astute advice‘ to conventional investor clients (and investees), as well as corporate venturers. Associate Joseph Stolerman is also recommended, particularly for early stage work, including in relation to investments in the burgeoning cannabis market.

Practice head(s):

Struan Penwarden

Other key lawyers:

Geraint Lloyd; James Baillieu; Mark Rundall; Joseph Stolerman; Richard Bloomfield; Arif Saleem; Charlotte Pitt; Dhruv Chhatralia

Testimonials

The team is perfectly set up to help high-growth start-ups like us. This is down to a real emphasis on support and guidance that stretches just beyond legal advice. They will often give an impartial view on the commercial points at play, as well as be sensitive to our cost-constraints.’

They are thorough in their approach and we have always found them to be experts in the fields where we need advice. Specifically, I have found them to be extremely capable in the negotiation phase, managing the different stakeholders with firm but fair precision.’

The team provides sound commercial advice that is clear and succinct.’

Mark Rundall is a phenomenal lawyer. He’s so methodical, knowledgeable and responsive. He is also commercially incredibly astute and acts as a trusted adviser to our firm, as well as our lawyer.’

Struan Penwarden and Richard Bloomfield have provided excellent commercial advice with great communication on a number of venture capital and M&A matters.’

James Baillieu is diligent, quick and extremely easy to work with.’

Key clients

JobandTalent

Kreos Capital

Albion Capital

Orbit Capital

Urban – Air Port

OTO International

Plant Meat (t/a THIS)

Ingenious Capital Management

Adlib Digital

Macquarie Bank

i6 Group

Dementia Discovery Fund

Magmatic Gaming (Bravo)

Queens Limited

Perfect Ward Limited

Chiltern Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising long-standing client, Jobandtalent, on various transactions including its €88m Series C1 round led by InfraVia and its €100m Series D led by Softbank.
  • Acting for long-term client, Kreos Capital on multiple deals, including its loans to Branded. The debt was provided for Branded as part of an overall fundraising of $150m.
  • Advising Urban-Air Port Limited on its partnership with Hyundai Air Mobility (a Hyundai Motor Group division) to develop urban air mobility infrastructure.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP

Involved in a huge volume of deals as a result of its 'market-leading' company side offering as well as a thriving practice for fund clients, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP is able to impart 'highly commercial' advice. With numerous US-qualified practitioners and an ability to tap into the expertise of the firm's Silicon Valley office, the team excels at advising on mandates with a transatlantic angle and, as well as being able to seamlessly help clients execute a 'Delaware flip' procedure, it is also well-placed to undertake exit strategies via the US capital markets. US-qualified team head Chris Grew is active in transatlantic work and also has an excellent understanding of the European venture capital ecosystem, as a result of many years' experience assisting entrepreneurs and investors across hi-tech mandates. The 'versatile and highly knowledgeableShawn Atkinson is very adept at handling cross-border transactions, while the 'exceptionally knowledgeableYlan Steiner acts for investors on the later stages of the funding process. Recently promoted partner Jamie Moore  has developed a strong reputation for advising on investments into fintech and AI, while senior associate Janine Suttie has a balanced offering for investors and start-ups, advising on UK and international transactions.

Practice head(s):

Chris Grew

Other key lawyers:

Ylan Steiner; Shawn Atkinson; Jamie Moore; Janine Suttie; Stephen Tallon

Testimonials

They are highly knowledgeable on the commercial side and trends in the VC field.’

Very strong on venture capital, with a lot of experience to draw on, and very efficient on execution.’

Ylan Steiner is an exceptionally knowledgeable counsel – he helped guide me through a number of challenges around our fundraise with ease, speed and clarity.’

Shawn Atkinson is a great partner for us; a trusted adviser who helps us work on deals across Europe. Shawn is flexible, versatile, highly knowledgeable and always available to assist.’

Shawn Atkinson has immense knowledge on the commercials of VC deals and can advise not only on the legal side but is also very valuable when providing feedback on the commercials.’

Key clients

Secondmind Limited

PayPal Holdings, Inc.

Lilium

Vitruvian Partners

Graphcore

Kinnevik

Vostok Emerging Finance

Revolut

ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund

Atomico Management Ltd.

Piper Private Equity

Amadeus Capital Partners

Sprints Capital

EQT Ventures

Goodwater Capital

Coatue Management

Griffin Financial

Vyne Technologies

Imagine Mortgages

Immense Simulations Ltd

Bamboo Systems

PolSource Inc.

Oxx Ltd.

Scalapay Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisting Graphcore (an AI processor company) in raising $222m via a Series E financing round, which brings the company’s valuation to $2.77bn ; this followed a $150m Series D2 round for the same client in May 2020.
  • Advising PayPal on a number of transactions including its investment in the $300m Series C financing round of Neon Payments, the £18.9m financing of Modulr and the recent financing of Codat.
  • Advising lead investor Kinnevik and new investor Sprints Capital on their investment in the $155m Series D funding round of Vivino (developer of the world’s leading wine app).

Osborne Clarke LLP

With partners based in London, Reading and Bristol who have a core focus on venture capital work, including life sciences and healthcare-focused specialists Justin Starling  and Rob Hayes , who joined the firm in February 2021 from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLPOsborne Clarke LLP has the strength-in-depth to handle a range of VC work, running the gamut from fund formations and financings across the funding lifecycle through to exit strategies. The firm's longstanding experience in the market ensures that it has a 'deep but practical understanding of venture capital financings', enabling it to provide 'commercially-minded' advice on behalf a balanced roster of investors and investees. 'Extremely responsive' team head Robert Wood  remains a lynchpin of the practice, in particular as it relates to the TMC sector (including work involving investor syndicates). Mathias Loertscher is 'patient and attentive', acting for start-ups seeking early stage funding. Simon Jones has a good perspective from both sides of the negotiating table, as a result of his balanced offering for funds/angel investors and growth companies which are active in the TMC space. Associate Elizabeth Yell is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Robert Wood

Other key lawyers:

Justin Starling; Rob Hayes; Mathias Loertscher; Simon Jones; Matthew Edwards; Tom Try; Ken Wilkinson; James Taylor; Elizabeth Yell; Rob Pook

Testimonials

They have a deep but practical understanding of venture capital and cross- border financings. Very down-to-earth and highly intelligent.’

Highly commercially minded and very pragmatic. The firm treats work undertaken as a way to help shape business and relationships, not an academic exercise – the consequence is high-end work at a very reasonable price, reflecting the nature of the business.’

Robert Wood is extremely responsive and a pleasure to work with.

Mathias Loertscher is highly responsive, practical and highly professional.’

Mathew Edwards is patient, attentive, flexible and extremely efficient. He goes above and beyond in every aspect and is a joy to work with.’

Robert Pook is a good negotiator and very responsive.’

Key clients

Highland Europe

Endeavour Vision

Seldon Technologies

Oxular

Business Growth Fund

Notonthehighstreet

Clean Growth Fund

Amphista Therapeutics

MOV.AI

Monashees

Blueyard Capital

Turbine Simulated Cell Technologies

Inotec AMD

Science Creates Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advised Notonthehighstreet and its management team on the sale of the company to growth equity company Great Hill Partners.
  • Advised Amphista Therapeutics, a leader in next generation targeted protein degradation approaches, on a $53m Series B financing round.
  • Advised BGF on a £6m investment in Oxford-headquartered Oxbotica – a global leader in autonomous vehicle software, as part of a $47m funding round.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Benefiting from well-established institutional fund relationships, as well as being experienced in the unique challenges faced by life sciences and technology start-ups throughout their growth strategies, Taylor Wessing LLP maintains its position at the pinnacle of the domestic venture capital market. The firm's deal volume, ranging from early stage financings through to later stage investments, ensures that it has practical and real world experience in transactions throughout the investment lifecycle, including cross-border mandates. 'Outstanding' team head Angus Miln has an excellent track record advising tech-start ups throughout the funding journey; he recently advised the UK Treasury on the establishment of its recent £975m Future Fund. Howard Palmer  has developed a particularly strong reputation advising investees and investors on venture capital work within the fintech and cleantech sectors. Josef Fuss  is also recommended, particularly in relation to his work for hi tech-based investee clients in the digital health, AI and Big Data sectors.

Practice head(s):

Angus Miln

Other key lawyers:

Howard Palmer; Josef Fuss; Alexandra Richardson; Ross McNaughton; Ian Moore; Elinor Picton

Testimonials

They are responsive, attentive to detail and very supportive in deals and in billing.’

The team is at the forefront of the corporate VC scene in the UK, EU and US. Its wealth of experience and calibre of clientele (both company and investor-side) enable it to have a deep understanding of the market, which has shone through in their advice.’

They are technically excellent and extremely commercial, always responsive and full of energy.’

Angus Miln is outstanding.’

Howard Palmer is an expert in his field, always calm and a pleasure to deal with and has gone out of his way to support the company on many key transactions and all of our fundraising milestones.’

Josef Fuss has proven himself to be a valued partner of the business and a strong negotiator that you’d love to have on your side. He is always available and goes the extra mile to ensure that we get the advice we need in a timely fashion.’

Alexandra Richardson is very sharp and a delight to work with.’

Key clients

Vortexa Limited

Lovecrafts Group Limited

Oxbotica

Multiverse Group Limited

Thought Machine Group Limited

Cazoo

Gousto

Curve

Dawn Capital

Monzo

Babylon Health

Future Positive Capital

Stylescape Limited

OMERS Ventures

Verdance Capital

Albo

Flink

Beauty Pie

Work highlights

  • Advised UK fintech Curve on its $95m Series C fundraising round in anticipation of its US launch and further European growth.
  • Advised Cazoo on its latest £100m funding round.
  • Advised Dawn Capital, a long standing client and early-stage VC fund on investments into various companies.

Goodwin

With a ‘real commitment by the firm to UK venture‘, as a result of numerous high-profile hires in recent years, the team at Goodwin has made a sizeable impact in the market for both investors and investees, which leverage its ability to provide ‘commercially strong and business-focused advice’. While the practice has also been active on purely domestic mandates throughout the funding lifecycle, it has been particularly effective in leveraging the firm’s strong US heritage. The ‘sharp and personable‘ Ali Ramadan is ‘able to cut through the noise to give pertinent advice’ to start-ups, high-growth companies and investors, including in the proptech space. ‘Excellent’ Cambridge-based associate Adam Thatcher  is also recommended as a result of his balanced company and investor side practice across the technology, healthcare and life sciences sectors. David Mardle leads the practice. Sophie McGrath is well regarded for her ‘unbeatable knowledge and experience‘ in the life sciences and technology industries.’

Practice head(s):

David Mardle

Other key lawyers:

Sophie McGrath; Ali Ramadan; Andrew Davis; Elizabeth Rhodes; Adam Thatcher

Testimonials

Goodwin has been exceptional to work with. They seem genuinely interested in forming deep relationships and I have felt supported throughout my journey to date.’

Very flexible in service provision – for example, tailoring an offer of support for a business that could afford very little by way of legal fees in order to provide valuable advice within the available budget.’

A very experienced practice following recent hires – a real commitment by the firm to UK venture capital.’

Commercially strong, flexible and business-focused.’

‘Sophie McGrath is one of the best VC lawyers in the market. She has unbeatable knowledge and experience, especially in the life sciences and technology industries.’

Ali Ramadan is sharp, personable and able to cut through the noise to give pertinent advice.’

Key clients

Hopin

Centessa

Hungry Panda

Achilles Therapeutics

Octopus Ventures

Wintermute Ltd

Streebees.com Limited

Cleo

Novo Holdings

Sprout.ai

Index Ventures

Y Combinator

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Omnipresent

Balderton

BTOV

Cinovic

Lauxera Capital Partners

Amadeus Capital Partners

Morningside Technology,

Samsung Ventures Investment Corporation

Crane Venture Partners

DST Global

Zetta Ventures Partners

Be Tomorrow Ventures

Brylyt Limited

Hoxton Farms

LabGenius

Manifesto Ventures

Trussle Labs

Work highlights

  • Advised Hopin on its $400m Series C funding co-led by new investors Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst, and existing investor IVP, with participation from returning investors Coatue, DFJ Growth, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures and Tiger Global.
  • Advised Achilles Therapeutics Limited on its £52.7m oversubscribed Series C funding round.
  • Advised Novo Holdings A/S on its $40m lead investment, as part of a $60m Series C funding round, into Exscientia Limited, with participation from Evotec AG, Celgene Corporation and GT Healthcare Partners Fund.

Marriott Harrison LLP

Under the guidance of the 'experienced, commercial and pragmaticDavid StrongMarriott Harrison LLP has 'good knowledge and experience in technology venture capital deals', including those relating to AI, fintech and e-commerce. Although the firm is active on deals throughout the investment lifecycle, it has developed particular expertise advising investor clients on early stage funding with a flow of instructions from core investor clients including Balderton Capital and Accel Partners. Much of the investor side work is handled by Strong, whose 'detailed knowledge of the BCVA standard documents' and 'ability to cut through issues quickly' is increasingly recognised by US clients investing into the UK. Corporate head Daniel Jacob has developed a strong reputation among entrepreneurs and start-ups securing the funding necessary to grow their businesses.

Practice head(s):

David Strong

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Jacob; Jonathan Leigh-Hunt; Andrew Ross; Fran Spooner; David Bettis; Graham Halliday

Testimonials

The firm is uniquely experienced in VC fundraises and advising founders on best practices for dealing with VCs.’

The firm has good knowledge and experience in technology venture capital deals and related matters.’

They have detailed knowledge of the BVCA standard documentation.’

The team is commercial, knows “what is market”, and is able to cut through issues quickly.’

They provided exceptional service and took a full team approach to working on our transaction.’

Despite having years of experience transacting at every stage of company growth, David Strong’s early stage expertise is a necessity for getting the companies we back off on a solid foundation.’

David Strong and Fran Spooner are very experienced, commercial and pragmatic lawyers who work to get transactions done quickly and efficiently without sacrificing attention to detail.’

David Bettis – excellent, patient, client communicator.’

Key clients

Accel Partners

Balderton Capital

Northzone

Guinness Asset Management

Kindred Capital

Mobeus

Steeleye

Maven Capital Partners

Beringea

Sova

Nothing Technology

XTX Ventures

Oxford Sciences Innovation

Crane

Stride

Work highlights

  • Advised leading VC Northzone on its Series B investment in Hopin, the remote live events company and fastest growing start-up in Europe.
  • Represented longstanding client Accel on its Series A investment into Primer, the UK fintech helping merchants consolidate their payments stack.
  • Advised freight logistics start-up Beacon on its Series A investment round of $15m led by 8VC and including Jeff Bezos.

Shoosmiths LLP

With experts spread across the firm’s Birmingham, Reading, London and Leeds offices, Shoosmiths LLP provides a ‘very efficient and commercial service‘, acting for investors and a growing roster of investees. The team remains most visible on early stage financings. ‘Very commercial and savvy‘ Birmingham-based team head Alastair Peet spearheads the firm’s established relationship with Octopus Ventures and has been particularly active advising it during the pandemic on supporting its portfolio companies, including through the provision of innovative convertible loan note structures. On early stage matters, clients also appreciate the firm’s mastery of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) process, an area that Thames Valley-based tax specialist Tom Wilde  is particularly proficient. London-based partner Steve Barnett  continues to grow the firm’s company-side visibility.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Peet

Testimonials

‘The firm provides a very efficient and commercial service.’

‘Alistair Peet is very commercial and savvy.’

Key clients

Cowen Healthcare Investments

Lakestar Capital

Octopus Investments and Octopus Growth Capital

Business Growth Fund

Triple Point

Gresham House

Downing LLP

Hambro Perks

Mercia Fund Management

Beringea

JB Nordic Ventures Oy

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP (and multiple investee companies)

YFM Private Equity Limited

Bootstrap Europe

Burda Principal

Blackfinch Ventures

Matillion Limited

Harbr Group Limited

GeoSpock Limited

XYZ Reality Limited

SOC.OS Cyber Security Limited

Elmtronics Limited

Speechmatics/Cantab Research Limited

Wrisk Limited

Itch Petcare Limited

Firstcom Europe

Boostrap Europe

Work highlights

  • Advised Matillion on its $100m series D financing.
  • Advised Lakestar on its role as lead investor in a £30m series B investment round for data analytics provider Streetbees.com.
  • Acting for Harbr on its $38.5m Series A investment and secondary led by Dawn Capital and Tiger Global with Boldstart and other existing shareholders also participating.

Ashfords LLP

Able to provide a 'good overview of the market from multiple perspectives', Bristol-based firm Ashfords LLP is well placed to provide a 'very proactive and commercial service' to its core roster of fund clients and a growing number of company stakeholders engaged in tech-focused venture capital work. Chris Dyson is 'very easy to deal with' and provides 'very pragmatic' advice to single funds, as well as investor syndicates, on domestic and international fundraisings and exits. Andrew Betteridge is also one of the more experienced members of the team and is well regarded by a balanced mix of funds and growth company clients. Rory Suggett co-heads the team alongside Dyson and has particular expertise in advising emerging companies and investors.

Practice head(s):

Chris Dyson; Rory Suggett

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Betteridge; Jocelyn Ormond; Scott Preece; Ross Van De Velde

Testimonials

Proactive, partner-led and with a good overview of the market from multiple perspectives.’

Chris Dyson is very easy to deal with, doesn’t waste time on irrelevant issues and provides very pragmatic advice.’

Jocelyn Ormond and Scott Preece demonstrated significant expertise and pragmatism whilst advising the company in a large overseas Series A investment round.’

Key clients

Notion Capital

Form 3

BGF

Uncapped Limited

Guinness Asset Management Ltd

Frog Capital

Eden Ventures

eConsult Health

Iksuda Therapeutics

Work highlights

  • Advised an investor syndicate on the $68m Series C investment in Paddle, a SAAS revenue delivery platform.
  • Advising Form 3 (Back Office Technology Limited) on a strategic investment from new investors Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, 83 North and existing investor Draper Esprit.
  • Advising Uncapped Limited on a $26m series seed investment round led by Mouro Capital (a venture capital fund spun out of Santander InnoVentures) with participation from Iron Ventures and existing investors Global Founders Capital, Seedcamp, and White Star Capital.

Brown Rudnick LLP

Leveraging the firm’s strong overarching IP credentials and its significant resources on the ground in the US, Brown Rudnick LLP is well-suited to advising start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors on domestic and international venture capital work involving IP-rich products and services. Mark Dorff is adept at advising investees and investors on venture capital-related life sciences and fintech mandates, and is able to provide particular added value on transatlantic deals by virtue of his dual US and UK qualifications. Neil Foster co-heads the team alongside Dorff and has, since his arrival from Baker Botts (UK) LLP at the end of 2020, further strengthened the firm’s corporate and venture credentials, particularly as a result of his strong ties with investor and investee stakeholders in the technology and health sectors.

Practice head(s):

Mark Dorff; Neil Foster

Other key lawyers:

Tom Braiden; Tim Davison; Sage Revell; Nick Davies

Testimonials

A strong, very active and experienced team in tech/health-focused corporate transactions.’

Tim Davison is super efficient.’

Neil Foster has lots of experience.’

‘Neil Foster and Tim Davison have years of tech/health sector-related experience and a strong network amongst the major players – companies, investors and advisers.’

Thomas Braiden has offered outstanding support and advice throughout the transaction.’

Key clients

ABB Technology Ventures

All Perspectives Ltd, owner of GB News Ltd

Ananda Impact Ventures

Aviva Ventures

BetterPoints

BrandNudge

Carbon-ion Energy Solutions

Coinfirm

DeepTech Labs

Downing VCT

Energy Innovation Capital

Foundation Capital

Green Running

Green Steam

Highland Europe

Libertine

Nesta Partners

Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC

Recycling Technologies

Sasol New Energy

Social Venture Fund (SVF)

Work highlights

  • Advised Highland Europe on the $307m Series C preferred stock financing and tender offer for Zwift, Inc.
  • Advised Recycling Technologies Limited on the company’s £20m Series B investment.
  • Advised Foundation Capital on the £13.5m equity investment into Trade Ledger Holdings Limited.

CMS

Benefiting from core venture capital competence out of London, as well as being able to draw upon the expertise of lawyers on the ground in key venture capital-focused international offices, including Tel Aviv, CMS provides a 'responsive and helpful service' to investors and target companies throughout the funding lifecycle. John Finnemore  is one of the lynchpins of the practice and excels at advising investees and investors in the fintech and insuretech space. The 'commercially pragmaticTony Waller  co-heads the team with Finnemore and also had a core involvement in the establishment of the firm's incubator programme, which provides invaluable support to IP-rich start-ups in the context of training, mentoring and network opportunities.

Practice head(s):

Tony Waller; John Finnemore

Other key lawyers:

Louis Glass; Niall McAlister; Simon Morgan; Tom Jameson; Sam Pout; Theo Godfrey; Elliot Cowan

Testimonials

The team is always responsive and helpful and maintains an excellent balance between driving forward, using their own expertise, and collaborating and explaining trade offs when appropriate.’

Tony Waller has provided us with outstanding advice on multiple transactions. He is commercially pragmatic – both in his work, but also in billing.’

Theo Godfrey is really helpful. He explains things very well, is always available to speak with us and somehow to accommodate urgent requests. He is very friendly and helpful and very keen to ensure the best outcome for the client.’

Key clients

Genflow

BrightEye Ventures

Go Cardless

Make Positive Provar Limited

Cherryz Limited

Get Ground Limited

MARCorp

166 2nd LLC

Zoe Global

Tempo

Human AI

NetEase

Flagstone

Hiro

Freeline Therapeutics Limited

Reactive Technologies Limited

Nesta Partners

BGF

Beringea

Mercia Fund Managers

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise prominent edtech-focused VC, BrightEye Ventures on its global investments.
  • Advised Bain Capital on its $20m Series E investment into Go Cardless.
  • Advised Zoe Global, a start-up involved in human immune system tracking (some part of which was used in the Covid tracing effort) on its Series B fundraising.

Cooley (UK) LLP

The 'rock solid' team at Cooley (UK) LLP 'knows the venture business inside out' and is well-placed to provide 'commercial and result-oriented advice' to investors and investees throughout the funding lifecycle. Able to draw from the resources and knowledge of the firm's market-leading US offering and US capabilities on the ground in London, the firm excels at handling cross-border deals and advising US-based investors. US-qualified partner Ryan Naftulin excels at advising on mandates involving a strong transatlantic component, and co-heads the team alongside Aaron Archer, who provides advice to investors and venture-backed companies in the life sciences and disruptive technology space. Notably, Archer was also recently selected to advise the government on the establishment of the Future Fund.

Practice head(s):

Ryan Naftulin; Aaron Archer

Other key lawyers:

Tom Goodman; Eric Davison

Testimonials

The firm is rock solid and knows the venture business inside out, executing deals fast and very transparently.

The team provides commercial and result-oriented advice.’

Aaron Archer is emerging as the lawyer to beat in venture tech. He’s always on the ball and intensely focused on delivering results for his clients.’

Key clients

General Catalyst

Accel

Institutional Venture Partners (IVP)

Andreessen Horowitz

Snyk

Wagestream

Humio

Decibel

Ogury

Burda Principal Investments

Felix Capital

Hoxton Ventures

LocalGlobe

Stride VC

Immunocore

Lumeon

Cledara

Rem3dy Health

Unmind

WeGift

Work highlights

  • Advised co-leads Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst and participant Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) in connection with investments in Hopin.
  • Acted for Snyk on its $300m Series E financing round, having previously represented the client in connection with its Series D financing round worth $180m.
  • Advised Bain Capital Ventures as lead investor in recurring payment platform GoCardless’ $95m financing round.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Leveraging the firm's well-regarded IP and technology capabilities, Harbottle & Lewis LLP's venture capital team provides 'exceptional and solution-oriented advice' to media and technology entrepreneurs and start-ups, through every step of the funding process, from early stage access to SEIS/EIS capital through to follow on rounds of equity finance provided by larger institutional funds. Team head Tony Littner takes the lead on the majority of the firm's work for investee clients, which praise the 'strategic' nature of his advice. The firm also continues to grow the investor side of the practice and has begun to pick up some notable mandates from corporate venturers. Appreciated for his 'thorough' advice, senior associate Tom Macleod is gaining significant market visibility.

Practice head(s):

Tony Littner

Other key lawyers:

Tom Macleod

Testimonials

They provide exceptional and solution-oriented advice.’

‘They collaborate and always look for the best solutions.’

Anthony Littner is very quick thinking and takes a strategic viewpoint on all advice given. Anthony will be thinking about what is around the corner in 1-5 years and shares his experience from the outset. This ultimately not only protects the company but is cost effective.’

Tom Macleod is thorough with his work.’

Tom Macleod is extremely personable, very sharp legally but willing to be pragmatic when appropriate.’

Key clients

Smart Pension

Primer API Limited

DeepCode AG

ENV (ENGIE New Ventures)

GMG Ventures

Laundryheap

StorMagic

Electric Noir Studios

Pavegen

Validus Risk Management Ltd

iM Global Partner

Punchdrunk Global Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised global savings and investments technology platform provider, Smart Pension, on separate strategic investments from Natixis Investment Managers, one of the world’s largest asset management firms, and Barclays.
  • Advised UK fintech, Primer API Limited (Primer), on multiple rounds of funding, including a £14m Series A fundraising led by Accel.
  • Advised DeepCode AG, a Swiss technology company at the forefront of semantic AI-driven code analysis, on its acquisition by Snyk Ltd, a market leader in developer application security.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins' emerging companies team has gained acclaim from both investees and investors as a result of its 'versatile and highly competent' offering which has shown a 'willingness and ability to flex on venture capital deals.' The firm's US heritage and its capital markets prowess, on both sides of the Atlantic, ensures that it is particularly adept at advising on investments utilising US capital; it also has the flexibility to advise on exits via IPO. Mike Turner  'has masses of experience' at handling TMT-related venture capital deals and is a key member of the team that also includes the 'very commercial' Shing Lo, who has 'an excellent understanding of the market - on both UK and international deals'; Lo spearheads most of the firm's work in the early stage financing space. Robbie McLaren also contributes to the firm's healthcare and life sciences expertise.

Practice head(s):

Robbie McLaren; Mike Turner; Shing Lo

Other key lawyers:

Jon Fox; Samantha Si; Samantha Peacock; Katie Peek; Terry Charalambous

Testimonials

A high quality team with good bench strength following all of the recent big name hires – show real commitment by the firm to the sector.’

Their integrated service offering is particularly useful on our international deals and the service provided is of a consistently high quality. Even though Latham & Watkins is known as a high billing firm, we have been impressed with their ability to flex on VC work. We think they understand the value of the working in the tech ecosystem.’

Although the VC practice at Latham & Watkins is new, they have proven themselves to be extremely versatile and highly competent, with a great breadth of capability with lean and efficient staffing precisely suited to VC transactions. The VC team have advised on a number of high-profile deals and have a prestigious roster of VC and tech company clients, including up and coming companies with environmental or social impact goals.’

Mike Turner has masses of experience and is always a real pleasure to work with.’

Shing Lo is our go-to for early stage and growth stage work VC deals. She has a very commercial approach and an excellent understanding of the market – on both UK domestic deals and international deals.’

Robbie McLaren is very commercial and responsive.’

‘Jon Fox has an outstanding work ethic and command of detail.’

Katie Peek is efficient, pragmatic and gave good advice on both technical and commercial points.’

Key clients

8VC

ATAI Life Sciences

Atomico

Bloom & Wild

Burda Principal Investments

Carbon Clean

Citi Ventures

Coatue Management

Comply Advantage

Darktrace

Exscientia

Fertifa

Hoxton Ventures

HSBC Ventures

KKR

Moneybox

Novo Holdings

Reface

Spout Care

TQ Ventures

Union Square Ventures

VEON Ventures

Whirli

Wolt

Zencargo

Work highlights

  • Advised Bloom & Wild, Europe’s largest online florist, on its £75m Series D fundraising round.
  • Advised Whirli, the toy sharing subscription service, on its £4m Seed funding round.
  • Advised Hoxton Ventures on its investment in Skin Analytics Ltd’s Series A fundraising round.

Taylor Vinters

Benefiting from a well-established presence in Cambridge, as well as a growing London offering, Taylor Vinters has a ‘very good understanding of the UK venture market’, from both an investor and investee perspective. While the firm is active throughout the investment lifecycle, it focuses on seed and early stage financings. Chris Keen has a ‘real feel and empathy for the commercial needs of technology entrepreneurs and start-ups and has an excellent reputation in the technology and life sciences space (including in the context of university spin-outs). Charles Fletcher co-heads the overarching emerging companies and corporate team, which was strengthened by the arrival in January 2021 of Erika McIntyre  from Withers LLP, who has experience across later stage financings and exits.

Practice head(s):

Chris Keen; Charles Fletcher

Other key lawyers:

Tom McGuire; Nicola McConville; Hayley Cross; Erika McIntyre; Geoff Dragon; Maeve O’Hare; Attilio Leccisotti

Testimonials

The firm hasvery good understanding of the UK venture market.’ 

‘Chris Keen has a real feel and empathy for the commercial needs of technology entrepreneurs and start-ups.’

‘Attilio Leccisotti is diligent, clear and responsive.’

Key clients

University of Bristol/ Purespring Therapeutics

Congenica

Corrosion Radar

GAM

Playfair Capital

Thriva Limited

Marshmallow Technology Limited

Farewill

Modern Milkman

Featurespace

Grafton Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for University of Bristol on its Purespring Therapeutics spin-out, securing £45m from Syncona Limited.
  • Supporting Congenica on its £40.6m funding to help drive further commercialisation of rare and inherited cancer applications, expand into oncology, wellness and pharma collaborations and to continue its global expansion.
  • Advised Featurespace on its £30m Series G financing led by Merian Chrysalis Investment Company and including participation from a number of existing investors.

Withers LLP

Following a number of departures, including that of Erika McIntyre  to Taylor Vinters and Robert Glass, who moved in-house, Withers LLP maintains a solid offering for investors and emerging companies, advising on fundraising activity throughout the investment lifecycle, particularly within the life sciences and technology sectors. ‘Experienced‘ team head James Shaw  is very well-versed in advising on university spin-out mandates, an area that the firm has shown a clear ongoing focus on thorough its Cambridge office, which is headed by Susanna Stanfield. The team’s ability to leverage the firm’s private client credentials is also a key strength, particularly in light of the increased private wealth capital in the space.

Practice head(s):

James Shaw

Other key lawyers:

Susanna Stanfield; Iain Cockburn; Neil Jones; Sarah Melaney

Testimonials

‘The Withers team work seamlessly with our team – they understand the urgency and timelines needed to execute at pace. Pragmatic advice and execution at all times whilst being superbly professional and a pleasure to work with. I cannot recommend them highly enough.’

‘Iain Cockburn is extremely responsive, commercially-minded (which is always appreciated) and knows the market well. To boot, he is pleasure to work with.

‘Iain Cockburn – great counsel, insightful, super smart and commercial. A true partner to our business and the ultimate professional.’

‘Iain Cockburn is a pleasure to deal with; exceptionally knowledgeable, meticulous on deals and always on hand for ad hoc advice.

‘James Shaw is an exceptional lawyer, who knows how to think outside the box and to adapt to the start-up needs. He heads the team but is very involved in deals. He does roll up his sleeves.’

‘Iain Cockburn is a young corporate partner, very solid.’

‘Susanna Stanfield runs the Cambridge office and does great work with entrepreneurs linked to Cambridge University.’

‘Iain Cockburn gives great advice, is incredibly available for a partner and is really committed to making sure everything is done right.’

Key clients

SaltPay

Wise (formerly TransferWise)

Acin

Festicket

Kano

HomeToGo

Snyk Limited

Mologic

HS Holiday Search GmbH

dott

VaxEquity Ltd

SoundCloud

The Business of Fashion

Keapstone Therapeutics Ltd

Kynos Therapeutics Ltd

Arachnys Limited

In3Bio Research Ltd. (formally Bioven)

LocalGlobe

Stride.VC

Draper Esprit

Gauss Ventures

Sweet Capital

Eight Roads Ventures

LDV Capital

Felix Capital

Project A Ventures

ETF Partners

Anthemis Group

Mangrove Capital Partners

Morningside Venture Investments

Keen Venture Partners

V-Bio Ventures

Amity Corporation Ltd (formally EKO Group Holdings Ltd)

Crane Ventures

Index Ventures

Semantic Ventures LLP

Force Over Mass Capital

Creandum

Latitude

Work highlights

  • Acted for Stride.VC and the syndicate of investors on their Series C investment into Cazoo, a car buying and rental website aimed at disrupting Britain’s used car industry.
  • Acted for Draper Esprit as lead investor of the $125m Series B financing of Thought Machine, a UK-based fintech company that specialises in cloud native core banking technology.
  • Advised Morningside Venture Investments on a £20m investment into an Imperial College London spin-out company, VaxEquity Ltd, which accelerated the production of a vaccine to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and is dedicated to developing saRNA vaccines for serious and life-threatening diseases.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Maintaining a strong deal flow for tech-based start-ups seeking early stage funding, and also increasingly visible at a later stage for a growing roster of investor clients, Browne Jacobson LLP has a balanced perspective of deals in the UK venture capital marketJon Snade has developed particular expertise in insuretech matters (including for start-ups that have been nurtured through the firm's well-received and cost-effective legal support offering, Grow). Birmingham-based corporate partner Mike Jackson co-heads the team with Snade and regularly advises regional start-ups and investors on venture-backed mandates in the automotive and greentech space.

Practice head(s):

Jon Snade; Mike Jackson

Other key lawyers:

Harry Pearson

Testimonials

The team is very responsive to business needs and are very practical in assisting on various projects.’

The firm is the leading InsurTech adviser in the market; great experience with the unique challenges of the sector.’

The team is very responsive to business needs and are very practical in assisting on various projects.’

They have a knowledgeable team.’

Key clients

Eos Venture Partners

BGF

Mercia Technologies

Magma Partners

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Jaxjox Inc

Command Line Software Limited (now Impala Travel Technology Ltd – T/A Impala)

ThingCo Limited

Biosite Limited

Laka Ltd

Aceleron Ltd

Hastee

Enro Holdings (T/A Superscript)

Coconut Platform Limited

Onto Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Eos on its investment as part of a Series B investment round totalling $26m in Concirrus Ltd, which was led by Albion Capital with subsequent participation from CommerzVenures.
  • Advised Command Line Software (now Impala Travel Technology Ltd – t/a Impala) on its $20m Series B investment round led by Lakestar.
  • Advised Jaxjox(a connected home exercise technology company) on the raising of £8m by way of subscription by individual investors and on a placing of shares to Guernsey Investment Fund PCC Limited raising £2.48m.

Covington & Burling LLP

Tapping into the firm's strong overarching IP credentials and US experience, Covington & Burling LLP has a particularly strong reputation in acting for investors and investees in relation to life sciences and healthcare-related venture capital mandates. James Gubbins is pivotal to the firm's success in the space and is well-versed at handling deals throughout the funding spectrum, including on behalf of investor syndicates. Gregor Frizzell leads the group.

Practice head(s):

Gregor Frizzell

Other key lawyers:

James Gubbins; Simon Amies; James Halstead; Louise Nash; Ben Land-Maycock

Testimonials

A very competent practice which we have used for a number of years and so has a deep institutional knowledge of our company and its history.’

The people are first class, diversity is exceptional, their broad knowledge of technology is above any other firm we deal with and they are true collaborators.’

The individuals not only have legal perspective, they also have commercial and industry specific perspective.’

Simon Amies is a master team player and top lawyer in health and sustainable innovation.’

The highly impressive Ben Land-Maycock worked incredibly hard to consolidate comments from a large and difficult syndicate.’

Key clients

Aerobotics

BenevolentAI Limited

GammaDelta Therapeutics Limited

Immune Regulation Limited

LifeArc

National Grid Partners

Salesforce Ventures

Sofinnova Partners

SV Health Investors

Tencent Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised LifeArc with respect to its investments in numerous companies.
  • Advised National Grid Partners on its investment into CNIGuard Ltd., alongside Energy Innovation Capital.
  • Advised Immune Regulation Limited on its $53m Series B financing.

Dentons

With a cross-disciplinary offering that draws on the expertise of practitioners in the IP, employment and financial regulatory groups, Dentons delivers a 'high-quality experience' to a growing roster of early stage companies and investor clients. Leveraging strong relationships with stakeholders throughout the VC sector, the 'bright and hardworking' Joseph Altendorff  is able to effectively provide a 'very joined-up service' to clients, ranging from start-ups to institutional fund clients. On the investor front, Altendorff played a pivotal role in securing instructions from new client Octopus Ventures (including US transactions) and has also been central to the firm's efforts to strengthen its ties with corporate venturers. Edinburgh-based partner David McGrory  co-heads up the team alongside Altendorff.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Altendorff; David McGrory

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Collingwood; Kimberley Goh

Testimonials

The team is extremely helpful/proactive, highly professional, and easy to work with. It is always striving to create value and deliver a high-quality experience.’

A well connected VC practice with a global reach. Good experience with VC investments in seed through to Series B.’

When presented with legal or even operational roadblocks the Dentons team are outstanding at taking the time to find (often multiple) creative solutions to the issue while always being mindful of sensitivities.’

Joseph Altendorff is an excellent client friendly partner. He is bright, hard-working, and able to offer legal advice that is focused on the clients objectives.’

Joseph Altendorff and Joseph Collingwood are a stand-out team who are always ready to provide helpful advice / guidance, and are also very generous with their network. I highly recommend their work in the venture capital arena.’

Joseph Altendorff is the consummate professional who knows how to deal with all sorts of personalities and takes the rough and the smooth with a smile. He understands venture capital in depth and more importantly which points are important which are not – super commercial and very responsive. He is well connected in the VC eco system, deeply engaged and truly cares about the clients and deals he advises on.’

Joseph Collingwood provides excellent and pragmatic advice. He is able to think strategically, as well as to cover the detail.’

Key clients

Octopus Ventures

Evolution Equity Partners

Marks & Spencer plc

Capita Business Services Limited

Yusuke Kubo

Adjacent V1 LP

Bennett Winch Ltd

REACH Accelerator UK Limited

Norma Investments and Vollin Holdings

ATAI Life Sciences

BehindBras Group Ltd

Power by Britishvolt plc

Scottish Equity Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised new client Octopus on numerous UK and US transactions (seed, series A and series B) in the UK and US, including investments into Wefarm, Altitude Angel, Stackin, Legl and more.
  • Advised new client Evolution Equity Partners as lead investor on Quantexa’s £50m Series C, valuing Quantexa at over £250m, with major participation from pre-existing backers Dawn Capital, Albion VC and HSBC.
  • Advised Marks & Spencer, on investment opportunities in the brand and retail space.

DLA Piper

While DLA Piper handles a noticeable amount of traditional venture capital work for investees and institutional investors, its core strength lies in its representation of corporate venturers, both on fund formation and pursuant downstream investments. Particular sector strengths include the TMT, sports and media industries, and clients also benefit from access to the firm's vast global network of offices, as well as a dedicated online resource for entrepreneurs through the firm's Accelerate offering. London corporate group head Jon Kenworthy handles a significant amount of venture capital work throughout the investment life cycle and is a key member of the team that also includes Luca Gori, whose strength includes work for private equity and venture capital investors.

Practice head(s):

Jon Kenworthy; Luca Gori

Other key lawyers:

Dylan Kennett; Tim Harding

Testimonials

‘Luca Gori has built a team of professionals at varying levels who all deeply understand us as a client: what makes us tick, what we need, what we want and how we work.’

‘Great communication and collaboration, alongside strong market knowledge.’

‘Luca Gori is the consummate professional and the only UK lawyer we trust with our corporate venture capital work. Even when work is shared throughout his team he is always available and always on it. He has won over our internal legal team, our VC team and target companies alike.’

‘Always helpful and collaborative in their dealings. Transparent and real-time communication across important items.’

Key clients

Edison Partners

Eldridge Industries

EQT Ventures

ABHH

Rugby Football Union

Zilico

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization

Organigram Holdings

Durable Capital Partners

Samsung Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advised Edison Partners as lead investor on gohenry’s $40m, Series A round.
  • Advising Durable Capital Partners as investor in the £240m financing round of Cazoo, a used car resale technology platform.
  • Advising Isotropic Systems Limited in respect of the £22m convertible loan scheme provided by the Future Fund.

Gowling WLG

Forming an integral part of the firm’s mid-market private equity capabilities, Gowling WLG‘s group handles a significant volume of venture capital mandates for a varied roster of venture capital houses, corporate venturers and investees. While it is active on deals throughout the funding space, the team has developed particular strength in advising on early-mid stage financings in the life sciences, technology and energy space. As well as handling domestic mandates, team head Ian Piggin has developed significant expertise in advising international investment syndicates.

Practice head(s):

Ian Piggin

Other key lawyers:

Kris Rogers; Chris Towle; Gareth Baker; Neil Hendron; Stephen Bowman; Róisín Bergin

Testimonials

The team always bring a clear understanding of the commercial complexities and the necessary innovation to overcome the unique risks a fast moving deal throws up.’

Key clients

PeakSpan Capital

Panoramic Growth Equity

Tonik Energy

Business Growth Fund

Draper Esprit

Forte Energy

InfraCo Africa

Zzoomm plc

Work highlights

  • Advising leading venture capital investor Draper Esprit on the merger of Crowdcube and Seedrs, the sale of Pod Point to EDF Energy, and participating in new investment rounds from Series A through to Series D.
  • Advised Zzoomm Group Limited, a builder and operator of full fibre broadband networks, on securing an equity investment of up to £100m from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is able to provide a comprehensive service to investor clients thanks to its ability to advise on initial fund structures, as well as subsequent downstream investment work. Cambridge-based partner Zickie Lim is regularly at the forefront of the most significant work handled by the team (including a number of mandates involving Future Fund contributions); she has carved out a particularly successful niche in handling university spin-outs.

Practice head(s):

Zickie Lim

Other key lawyers:

Dona Ardeman; Kristian Shearsby; Katharine Robinson; Vicky Protano; Tom Causer; Rae Huizar; Daniel Rathbone; Christina O’Brien

Testimonials

The firm provides a very attentive service.’

The team has a good understanding of the challenges facing private equity-backed start-up SMEs.’

‘The wonderful Vicky Protano has been tenacious and resilient through some difficult deal transactions and managing conflicting investor interests.’

Key clients

IQ Capital Partners LLP

Haatch Ventures LLP

Esprit Capital Partners LLP

BGF Investments

UCL Technology Fund / Albion Capital Group LLP

PragmatIC Printing

Foresight Group LLP

Maven Capital Partners UK

SoftIron

Arquer Diagnostics

Rinri Therapeutics

Sphere Fluidics

Biocrucible

BFG Partners

Kinomica

Kidney Research UK

Work highlights

  • Advising IQ Capital Partners on numerous investments, including (i) a Series B round raising $125m in Thought Machine Group; (ii) a Series C round raising $85m in Privitar; and (iii) a Series B round raising $25m in Concirrus.
  • Advising BGF Investments on six investments in rounds raising £19.4m, some acting solely for BGF, and some for a syndicate of investors including BGF.
  • Advised SoftIron on its $34m Series B equity investment round from its existing investor base (a collection of high-net-worth individuals, institutional investors and private companies).

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Following a number of high-profile departures, including that of Rob Hayes  and Justin Starling  who joined  Osborne Clarke LLP in January 2021, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP maintains a significant offering for investees, as well as handling university spin-outs from its Oxford office. James Went is one of the main contacts for this work and is appreciated for his ‘responsiveness and clarity of thought‘, acting for venture-backed companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. Corporate tax expert Kathy Hills is also a key resource in relation to investments made through tax efficient schemes, including the government-backed EIS and SEIS initiatives.

Practice head(s):

James Went

Other key lawyers:

Kathy Hills

Testimonials

Excellent understanding of the client, nuanced yet clear language, broad consideration of circumstances.’

James Went is responsive and displays a great clarity of thought.’

Key clients

Seedrs Limited

Evotec SE

Orca Computing Limited

Bramble Energy Limited

First Light Fusion Limited

Celleron Therapeutics Limited

Mind Foundry Limited

Oxford Flow Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Celleron on the establishment and €37m funding of its spin-out SynOx Therapeutics Limited.
  • Acted for Oxford Flow on the investment by the Georg Fischer group into Oxford Flow’s water and industrials business and its further fundraising of £12.5m from new and existing investors.
  • Acted for First Light Fusion on its funding round led by Oxford Sciences Innovation and IP Group, raising $25m from existing and new investors.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP

Venture capital work forms a core component of Baker Botts (UK) LLP‘s broader private equity/M&A offering, particularly for technology, life sciences and energy-focused start-ups and growth businesses. Clients benefit from the firm’s experience throughout the funding lifecycle, aided by comprehensive US resources. As a former scientist and engineer, team head David Ramm combines excellent subject matter knowledge of the underlying businesses with expertise in venture transactions. The team maintains a solid flow of work from corporate venturers.

Practice head(s):

David Ramm

Other key lawyers:

Derek Jones; Nigel Stacey; Sian Williams; David Marshall

Key clients

Dell

Abbvie Inc.

Unity Europe Limited.

Burges Salmon LLP

Headed out of Bristol by Mark Shepherd, and aided by a growing offering from the firm's Edinburgh office, Burges Salmon LLP's 'flexible, helpful and approachable' team is well versed in advising its investor-focused client base, which includes conventional VCTs, pension funds and family offices, on investments in core areas of industry strength including the energy and infrastructure sectors. On the investee front, the firm has visibility among start-ups, primarily by virtue of its involvement in several accelerator programmes.

Practice head(s):

Mark Shepherd

Other key lawyers:

Danny Lee; Richard Spink; Joanna Monaghan; Alex Lloyd

Testimonials

The firm shows an engagement and willingness to get involved with the start-ups.’

The team is very flexible, helpful and approachable.’

The people we have dealt with have been very knowledgeable about their subject area and good at communicating the important stuff, offering opinion and experience as well as dealing in facts.’

Key clients

Kreos Capital

Beechbrook Capital LLP

Mobeus Equity Partners LLP

LDC (Managers) Limited

BGF (formerly Business Growth Fund)

Octopus Investments Limited

Ingenious Investments

Vitry Enfant

Bridges Fund Management

Causeway Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Embark Group on its purchase of Sterling ISA Managers Ltd, a platform provider, and Zurich Investment Services (UK) Ltd, a fund manager, from the Zurich Group, together with an associated institutional investment round.
  • Advised Inverleith LLP on its acquisition of a majority of the share capital of, and subsequent investment in, outdoor clothing brand company Montane Limited.
  • Advised Reevoy Capital, a provider of invoice financing to Indian-based SMEs and part of the Wayra incubator programme, on its seed funding round, which attracted multiple investors.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides a 'commercial and solution-oriented' service to a balanced mix of investor and investee clients on deals throughout the investment lifecycle. The team is particularly well equipped to handle mandates in the TMT, healthcare and fintech sectors. The firm's private wealth expertise has led to a significant amount of work for family offices, a growing class of investor in the venture capital ecosystem. Chris Putt co-heads the team alongside Rossana Conti  and is noted for his corporate venture debt expertise, as well as his work for entrepreneurs and family offices.

Practice head(s):

Chris Putt; Rossana Conti

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Burford

Testimonials

The team was very commercial and solution-oriented.’

An awesome team that is ready to serve effectively, no matter how inconvenient. During our transaction, they were very reachable and made themselves available like we were the only clients.’

‘The firm is unique in thinking on behalf of their clients, both predicting the issues, providing creative yet simple solutions and also carefully managing both expectations and relationships to ensure a smooth outcome in the most difficult situations.’

Key clients

Franline

Flashpoint Capital

Kreos Capital

Bestport Ventures

Shore Capital/ Puma VCT

IDG Capital

Business Growth Fund

Ace & Co

Takumi

Zeal Networks SE

Battery Ventures

Fika

Duco Technologies

Silicon Valley Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Silicon Valley Bank & Kreos Capital on a $70m PIPE deal of one of its investee companies, Mereo BioPharma Group plc, with Orbimed Private Investments VII, LP, Orbimed Partners Master Fund Limited, Orbmied Genesis Master Fund, L.P. and 22 other investors introduced.
  • Advised Veloce Esports on a multimillion-pound Series A investment round.
  • Advised Daystar Power, a leading provider of hybrid solar power solutions to businesses in West Africa, on its $38m Series B investment from a consortium of investors.

Deloitte Legal

Following its absorption of technology-focused City-based firm Kemp Little LLP in February 2021, Deloitte Legal now has a notable venture capital offering. Charles Claisse was one of the new arrivals and leads the firm's corporate team, which has a core focus on assisting IP-rich technology start-ups (including fintech entities) with growth through the funding lifecycle.

Practice head(s):

Charles Claisse

Other key lawyers:

Andy Moseby; Glafkos Tombolis; Deborah Angel; Adam Kuan

Keystone Law

Utilising the firm’s alternative business model, Keystone Law is particularly well equipped to advise venture capital clients. With experience in advising clients throughout the funding lifecycle, Catherine Williams has also gained particular acclaim for her ‘brilliant‘ support to small start-ups on early stage fundraising efforts. The ‘experienced and knowledgeableDee Sian focuses more on investor-side mandates and is accomplished at handling EIS, SEISS and VCT transactions. Nadim Zaman is also a key name to note. Sector strengths include the technology, healthcare and media industries.

Other key lawyers:

Dee Sian; Nadim Zaman; Catherine Williams; Albert Mennen

Testimonials

Very personal service, built up of specialists across the various facets of deal law who dip in and out as needed with a lot of in practice depth of experience.’

‘The firm is very pragmatic and solution-oriented.’

The practice is incredibly nimble, meaning expertise can be pulled from other departments if necessary, ensuring that every aspect of the engagement can be covered.’

The knowledgeable practice shows genuine care and empathy for its clients.’

Dee Sian is very experienced, knowledgeable and understanding. She is meticulous with her work, always having the interests of the client at front of mind.’

I would highly recommend Catherine Williams to any early stage company seeking to raise VC funding.’

The brilliant Catherine Williams has consistently gone well beyond the extra mile to support the company and its management team and shareholders and consistently delivered a very high-quality of service.’

Key clients

Kano Computing Limited

Mobeus Equity Partners LLP

Calculus Capital Limited

True Global

Ozo Innovations Limited

PrecisionLife Limited

Trinny London Limited

FitnessGenes Limited

Ecoveritas Limited

Teatro San Cassiano Group Ltd

The Fink Family Office

Datamaran Limited

Connected Innovations Ltd

Scaleup Capital

Indra Renewable Technologies Limited 

Frank Body Limited 

Work highlights

  • Advising Teatro San Cassiano Group Ltd on its corporate restructuring ahead of its proposed £70m joint venture for the purpose of recreating the world’s first public baroque opera house (dating back to 1637) in Venice, Italy, while being managed out of the UK.
  • Advised Kano Computing, on its investment by Microsoft and others, following various historical financings totalling over $40m from the likes of Index Ventures, Kanye West, Breyer Capital and others.
  • Advised Indra Renewable Technologies Limited on its Series A fundraise by Gulf Oil and Clean Growth Fund.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright handles a regular stream of instructions for investors, investees and corporate venturers . A considerable amount of this venture capital work sits within the fintech sector, an area in which Sean Murphy  has particular expertise, both on the transactional side, as well as advising on accompanying regulatory concerns. Many of the mandates handled by the team have a cross-border element and the firm has a particular strength advising on Africa-based emerging markets mandates, which the ‘outstandingBayo Odubeko has a particular focus on. Murphy co-heads the venture capital and growth capital team.

Practice head(s):

Sean Murphy

Testimonials

‘Norton Rose Fulbright has a very strong team with extensive experience in all issues relating to corporate, commercial and venture capital. No matter the knotty issue, NRF finds and executes alternative solutions to deliver value.’

‘Bayo Odubeko and Louise Finnegan are outstanding. They work selflessly and professionally, and consider our issues their issues. They take every win for their clients as a win for themselves, so they give everything.’

Key clients

Starling Bank

Funding Xchange

OGCI Climate Investments

Telus Communications

Paga Group Ltd

Green Africa

Revenio Capital

Northern Trust

Zego

Work highlights

  • Advising Northern Trust on its investment into Zodia Custody with joint venture partnerSC Ventures by Standard Chartered.
  • Advised Starling Bank on its latest £272 million Series D funding round, valuing the company at £1.1 billion pre-money, confirming its status as one of Britain’s newest unicorns
  • Advised commercial motor insurer Zego on its US$150m Series C round of funding, valuing the business at US$1.1bn and making Zego the UK’s first privately heldInsurTech “unicorn.”

Reed Smith LLP

Praised as 'the entrepreneur's secret weapon', Reed Smith LLP provides a 'very responsive and commercial service' to investees throughout the funding lifecycle and is noted for its 'innovative approaches to fees' and its 'belief in building long-term relationships'. As 'an original and clear thinker', team head Michael Young  is frequently at the forefront of the most significant company-side mandates handled by the team and is effectively able to leverage his corporate finance expertise to guide clients from idea through to exit.

Practice head(s):

Michael Young

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Mooney

Testimonials

Always very knowledgeable on the subject area with sound commercial judgement and the ability to explain complex issues clearly.’

Clearly on your side, very calm and rational, very thorough, very responsive and extremely commercial.’

The team at Reed Smith has been absolutely amazing! They have helped us through ups and down, always with great rigour & speed, could not recommend them more.’

These are the guys you want to have at your back – the entrepreneur’s secret weapon. They also are extremely open to innovative approaches to fees and really believe in building long term relationships.’

Michael Young is an original and clear thinker.’

Michael Young has been basically a friend, adviser and lawyer in that order through the years.’

‘Stephen Mooney is an excellent partner who has dealt with some difficult investments for us; he is very commercially minded and also has great attention to detail.’

Sheridans

Following the departure of former co-head Howard Watt  to  Fladgate LLP in May 2021, Sheridans remains a notable presence in the market, particularly as a result of its ability to provide 'very business-minded' advice to investors and investees. While the team is active across a range of sectors, it has been particularly effective in leveraging the firm's overarching strength in the gaming sector and has handled some notable mandates in the gaming investment space. The 'exceptionally focused' Nick Crabtree 's practice includes advising shareholders of venture capital-backed companies on the sell-side in an M&A context.

Practice head(s):

Nick Crabtree

Testimonials

They are very business minded, having the experience of being in-house counsel means they don’t waste time on obscure legal possibilities or arguing unreasonable positions.’

The team straddles a neat balance between the strength of big deal experience with the personal approach of a smaller size firm.’

Nick Crabtree is exceptionally focused on the client and helping them to achieve their objectives.’

Nick Crabtree provides excellent communication, is personable and fun to work with even on difficult problems.’

Key clients

Atomico

AXA Venture Partners

Bigger Games Limited

CommerzVentures

Revolt Ventures

Draper Esprit

Kennet Partners

Tripledot Studios Limited

Anthemis

London Venture Partners

Jigsaw Ventures

Talis Capital

Makers Fund

Cherry Ventures

Morpheus Ventures

Marchmont Ventures

Flux Systems Limited

Rentify Limited

Lockwood Publishing

Ballie Limited

Supermassive Games

The Goat Agency

ABM Communications Limited (True Royalty TV)

Work highlights

  • Advised Supermassive Games on an equity investment by Nordisk Games, and the shareholders of Supermassive Games on the secondary sale of shares to Nordisk.
  • Advised Lockwood Publishing on a $25m investment round led by Tencent, in which existing investor Novator also participated.
  • Advised Draper Esprit on its £6m Series B investment round into deeptech business Focal Point Positioning Limited.

Arnold & Porter

As part of the firm's wider M&A group and also utilising the firm's broader IP and commercial contract strength, Arnold & Porter's venture capital offering is particularly adept at advising investees and investors on life sciences-related mandates, from early stage through to exit. Jeremy Willcocks has a strong track record in the space and is also picking up work in the burgeoning cannabis investment market.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Willcocks

Other key lawyers:

Ewan Townsend; Tom Wilson

Testimonials

‘The ability to access the senior members of the team and the strength in depth. They are remarkably technically adept and user-friendly (in terms of accessibility) and give straightforward advice in a cost-effective manner. Not to mention, significant expertise in the life science and biotech sector makes their support invaluable to companies operating within that area of business.’

‘Tom Wilson and Jeremy Willcocks (with the former working under the supervision of the latter) are an exceptional team and both significantly underrated by the market. On the commercial side, Ewan Townsend has to be one of the rising stars of the biotech sector.’

Key clients

Touchlight Genetics

In-Q-Tel, Inc

Work highlights

  • Advised British bio-pharmaceuticals company Touchlight Genetics on its seventh funding round and a concurrent acquisition.
  • Advised a London-based security start-up on two investments.

Fladgate LLP

Led by the 'very commercial' Graham Spitz, Fladgate LLP's 'hardworking' growth capital group is particularly active in early stage funding rounds, acting for a growing investor-focused client base that includes family offices, institutional investors and smaller funds. The arrival in May 2021 of the 'absolutely outstanding' Howard Watt  from Sheridans adds excellent experience in acting for investors and investees in the European venture capital market.

Practice head(s):

Graham Spitz

Other key lawyers:

Howard Watt; Jamie Hamilton; Anthony Shatz; Yulia Leyko

Testimonials

‘Clear, hardworking and detailed. They are a pleasure to deal with at all times.’

Howard Watt is an absolutely outstanding lawyer. Fast, precise, very commercial.’

Graham Spitz is very commercial.’

Jamie Hamilton is an exceptional talent.’

Key clients

Zouk Capital

Ocado Ventures

Jones Food Company

83 North

Marathon Ventures

Privet Capital

Bridford Investments

BDMI GmbH

June Fund

Dale Ventures

IMMJ Systems

Playzido

Fiinu

Mizrahi Tefahot Bank

Truesight Ventures

Homelink Healthcare

Next Big Thing

Work highlights

  • Advised Zouk Capital in its role as the appointed manager of the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) – a £400m fund set up by the government in partnership with the private sector.
  • Advised Bridford Investments, a privately owned venture and growth capital investor, in its capacity as lead investor in an equity capital fundraising round by Meatless Farm Limited.
  • Advised BDMI as lead investor in the Series A round of Zephr Inc. Ltd, a London-based startup developer of B2B software which allows digital media businesses to optimise their online subscription models and paywalls and to maximise advertising revenue.

Humphreys Law

Venture capital work forms a core part of niche technology and media-focused boutique Humphreys Law, which has an ability to provide 'clear and trustworthy legal and commercial advice' to an investee-focused client base. 'Helpful and trustworthy' founding partner Henry Humphreys is 'knowledgeable of and experienced in the early stage venture market'' He is aided by a combination of full-time employees and consultants that includes 'very smart' tax expert Annette Beresford, who is able to provide invaluable input to clients on EIS-related mandates.

Practice head(s):

Henry Humphreys

Other key lawyers:

Annette Beresford

Testimonials

‘The firm provides detailed, clear and trustworthy legal and commercial advice.’

The attention to detail of the team is particularly impressive.’

They have a very refreshing and modern approach compared to some of the more established names and at a lower price point too, which feels like you are getting value for money.’

All the advice we have received has been completely in the best interest of our business and we are confident in recommending Humphreys Law as an outstanding law firm to work with, especially for businesses in the technology sector.’

Henry Humphreys has been clear, helpful and trustworthy.’

‘Henry Humphreys is clearly knowledgeable of and experienced in the early stage venture market.’

Annette Beresford is a very smart lawyer.’ 

Key clients

Fuel Ventures Limited

Connecterra Holdings Limited

BCB Group

Juno Bio Limited

Outfund

Feel Holdings Limited

Drone Defence Services Ltd

Dynamify Limited

Lian Group

Interlay Ltd

Digme Fitness

Glisser

Miroma Ventures

Downing Ventures

Book In Beautiful / Nearcut

CScreens

Founders Bank

GAN Plc

Red Hot Penny

Ada Ventures

Oxygen House

Tymit

Okeo

Work highlights

  • Advised Connecterra on its €7.8m series B funding round.
  • Advised Outfund on its late-seed funding round where in aggregate £37m in equity and debt was raised as Outfund committed itself to lending £100m to e-commerce and subscription-based businesses during 2021.
  • Advised crypto trading company BCB Group on its $4.5m convertible debt raise from US venture capital funds focused on backing blockchain ventures.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

With a particularly strong presence throughout the Midlands, Shakespeare Martineau LLP advises investees and investors on regional and national early stage work, particularly within the healthcare sector. Splitting her time between the Birmingham and London offices, Kavita Patel  heads up the investment funds team and is particularly adept at handling early stage investments involving tax considerations, including matters relating to the EIS.

Practice head(s):

Kavita Patel

Other key lawyers:

Roger Harcourt; Catherine Moss; Oliver Gutman; Peter Mayhew

Key clients

Foresight Group LLP

Octopus Investments Limited

Blackfinch Investments Limited

HK Pharma Limited / Alturix Holdings Limited

Q Doctor International Limited

Medishout Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Blackfinch on several EIS/VCT development capital investments.
  • Providing ongoing support to Foresight Group LLP with various EIS/VCT/IHT portfolio companies.
  • Supported MediShout with a £1m seed round into an app for frontline hospital staff to resolve facilities and equipment issues.

Waterfront Solicitors LLP

Benefiting from 'deep expertise in venture capital topics', Waterfront Solicitors LLP provides a 'fantastic service' to entrepreneurs and a growing number of funds on investments in the technology sector. 'Professional yet compassionate' team head Matthew Cunningham  is 'strong in negotiations, while maintaining a conciliatory relationship with all sides', qualities which are particularly appreciated by his impressive roster of technology start-ups involved in seed and early stage growth strategies.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Cunningham

Other key lawyers:

Angus Young

Testimonials

It is a very responsive team and has been very helpful with a number of early stage start-ups.’

The team is reliable, responsive, creative, collaborative and communicative.’

It is a very professional firm, with deep expertise in Venture Capital topics. They provide a fantastic service with a friendly and personal approach throughout the entire process.’

Matt Cunningham is very responsive and always helpful.’

Matt Cunningham is strong in negotiations, while maintaining a conciliatory relationship with all sides.’

Matt Cunningham was our main contact and was stand out! He avoided using jargon and explained what we needed to know. He made sure to quickly get on the same wavelength as us, allowing us to quickly work out which parts of our deal needed more attention and which parts were peripheral.’

Key clients

Workable Technology

Hack the Box

Plandek

Neurofenix

Metavallon Venture Capital Fund

Douleutaras.com

Welcome Pickups

Exseed Health

Virtual Internship Partners

Vigil AI

Work highlights

  • Advised Neurofenix, UK health tech start-up developing products to assist the rehabilitation of stroke survivors, in relation to a seed investment in the company led by Cambridge Angels.
  • Advised Exseed Health, a UK health tech start-up developing products for male fertility testing, in relation to a seed investment in the company led by Hambro Perks.
  • Advised Metavallon, a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage technology start-ups, as lead investor in relation to its seed investment in VALK, a UK fintech developing an end-to-end digital transaction solution for private and illiquid markets.

White and Black Limited

Co-led by experienced venture capital and private equity partners John Allen and Phil Riman  from the firm's Oxford office, White and Black Limited has a strong offering for technology-based fund and founder clients seeking and providing financing. The firm works closely with the University of Oxford's fast growing technology and science park at Begbroke, particularly on university spin-out work.

Practice head(s):

John Allen; Phil Riman

Testimonials

‘Provide great service to clients, good lawyers and good to work with.’

‘John Allen – very commercial, good at managing the deal and getting it done.’

Key clients

NVM Private Equity

Highland Europe

Scottish Equity Partners

Tonic Games

Vectair Systems

Matchesfashion.com

Zzoomm PLC

Moixa Energy

Trizell Holding SA

Apeiron Biologics

Work highlights

  • Advised smart battery tech company Moixa Energy Holdings on a multimillion-pound investment by Japan-based Itochu Corporation.
  • Advised Vectair and its shareholders on an investment by a US-based consortium of funds.
  • Advised a European national investment fund on the English law aspects of an investment in an organisation based in a developing country.