The 'responsive and knowledgeable' team at Bird & Bird LLP has 'a strong understanding of the market', ensuring that it is a popular choice among investors and investees seeking and receiving funding throughout all stages of the investment life cycle, from "idea to exit". As well as the team's core venture capital expertise, both in London and across many of its international offices, clients also benefit from access to concomitant tech and life sciences-related IP and commercial expertise, of particular value to start-ups, in particular, as they scale up. 'Commercially astute' team head Struan Penwarden is 'very well-versed in the venture market', including in relation to venture debt matters, and is 'able to deal with all the various nuances that come up along the way'. James Baillieu is pivotal to the firm's success for investors (including corporate venturers) and companies within the biotech and healthcare sector, drawing upon a broad skill-set that includes financing, M&A, commercial and IPO expertise. The 'brilliant' Mark Rundall is 'very knowledgeable and commercially astute', traits with which he imparts to good effect for investors and high growth companies in the tech and energy sectors, in particular. The 'extremely dedicated' Adam Meisels, who was recently promoted to partner, excels in cross-border transactions, particularly on matters with an Israeli nexus, where he has particular skill having previously worked in the country.
Venture capital in London
Other key lawyers:
James Baillieu; Mark Rundall; Adam Meisels; Francesca Mansell; Mark Penwarden; William Alms; Albert Mennen; Benjamin Simon
‘It is a great team that is proactive and very specialized on VC investments.’
‘Highly engaged and has a strong understanding of the market.’
‘The team is responsive and knowledgeable.’
‘Struan Penwarden is commercially astute and very well versed in the venture market and is able to deal with all the various nuances that come up along the way.’
‘The brilliant Mark Rundall is down-to-earth, very knowledgeable and commercially astute.’
‘Adam Meisels is extremely dedicated and competent.’
‘Mark Penwarden is fantastic.’
‘Albert Mennen is a standout associate who consistently goes the extra mile for his clients.’
Campden Hill Capital
Evli Growth Partners
Paladin Capital Group
Plant Meat (trading as THIS)
Railpen (Rail Pension Trustees)
Job and Talent Holding
- Acted for Campden Hill Capital on its participation in the $60m Series C round of ONTO Holdings.
- Acted for Tatum Holdings on its $41.5m Series A financing round.
- Acted for Kreos Capital, Europe’s leading venture/growth debt providers, on more than 40 loan transactions.
Although it remains a relatively new practice in the market, in a short space of time, under the assured guidance of David Mardle, Goodwin has firmly established itself as one of the leaders in the space, with a level of expertise in the tech and life sciences sectors that is a match for its more established US counterpart. Key to this rapid success story has been the firm’s hiring policy, which has cherry-picked some of the leading practitioners in the market at rival firms, as well as its holistic approach (drawing upon IP, employment and tax advice) which ensures that innovators and investors receive a joined-up service throughout the investment life cycle. Ali Ramadan has ‘exceptional start-up and biotech knowledge’, and has been integral to the firm’s success, providing ‘technically excellent advice’ to investees and investors throughout the funding cycle, including as it relates to work at the intersection of property and technology. With a core focus on impact investing, including on healthtech deals, Sophie McGrath continues to impress, as does Cambridge-based Elizabeth Rhodes and Andrew Davis, who has ‘immense gravitas for a young partner’. The investment the firm continues to make in the area is also highlighted by a number of recent internal partner promotions, including Cambridge-based practitioner Adam Thatcher, whose versatile practice includes work for investors and investees in the fintech, life sciences, healthcare and technology sectors, and Kenny Walker-Durrant, who has ‘incredible technical skills on the tech and life sciences sectors’.
Other key lawyers:
Sophie McGrath; Ali Ramadan; Andrew Davis; Elizabeth Rhodes; Adam Thatcher; Kenny Walker-Durrant; Richard Bloomfield; Ella Donegan; Charles Baker
‘Diverse expertise and capabilities throughout the firm means they can support early-stage companies across any legal matters.’
‘Solid team with a lot of experience. Flexible with fees. Very commercial advice. Know the market well.’
‘Ali Ramadan – calm in negotiations, very knowledge in the VC space and technically excellent.’
‘Ali Ramadan is exceptionally thorough in negotiations with investors, resulting in speedy and very positive results. He is also excellent at communicating complex issues to clients.’
‘Ali Ramadan has exceptional start-up and biotech knowledge.’
‘Andrew Davis has immense gravitas for a young partner.’
‘Kenny Walker-Durrant has great market knowledge, fast and pragmatic advice and turnaround on documents.’
‘Kenny Walker-Durrant – real talent with incredible technical skills on the tech and life sciences sectors.’
Probe Test Solutions Limited
Cleo AI Ltd
Ten Eleven Ventures
Gilde Healthcare Partners
Kaiser Permanente Ventures
Vivo Capital LLC
Kinnevik Capital Limited
Hoxton Farms Ltd
Omnipresent Group Limited
Oxford Science Enterprises PLC
Syncona Portfolio Limited
Lakestar III LP
Cherry Ventures Fund IV GmbH & Co
- Advised Kinnevik Capital Limited on its lead investment into Mews Systems as part of an $185m Series C round.
- Advised Oxford Science Enterprises PLC and Syncona Portfolio Limited on their investments into OMass Therapeutics Limited as part of OMass’s $100m Series B funding round alongside new investors GV, Northpond and Sanofi.
- Advised Omnipresent on its $120m Series B funding round.
Best-known for its investee offering but increasingly active for funds throughout the investment life cycle, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP provides ‘supremely knowledgeable and commercial’ advice and an ‘updated view on what is “market”‘, by dint of the sheer volume of transactions handled by the practice in the technology sector. Drawing upon the expertise of several US-qualified lawyers in its London office, as well as benefiting from a market-leading Silicon Valley offering in the US, the team has ‘a unique perspective in understanding US investor needs’ on their inbound investments and is also well-placed to represent investee companies seeking to scale up and to access the US capital markets as an exit strategy. The ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Jamie Moore excels in handing cross-border mandates for investors and high growth technology companies, and has ‘a unique ability to translate UK concepts for US investors’. Drawing upon strong connections within the venture capital ecosystem, including with venture capitalists, angel investors, and industry experts, Ylan Steiner remains pivotal to the firm’s increasingly well-established investor offering and ‘is well-versed in areas such as fundraising for companies at all stages’. A ‘very reassuring’ presence on deals, ‘given his market knowledge and reputation’, Jamie Moore combines deep sector knowledge in disruptive technologies, including fintech and AI, with a highly commercial mindset on transactional work, ensuring that he is a popular choice for investees in the space throughout the investment life cycle. Senior associate Christopher Perry ‘is able to clearly explain concepts/changes and proposed amendments in an effort to keep things moving’, and is gaining market recognition among technology and life sciences companies, as well as those investing in them. Christopher Grew heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Ylan Steiner; Jamie Moore; Shawn Atkinson; Stephen Tallon; Christopher Perry
‘Very knowledgeable and smart – their experience shines through in all our conversations, and they balance protecting our interests with being “market” and pragmatic.’
‘The practice has a unique perspective in understanding US investor needs and what’s most important in the UK/European market.’
‘Given the velocity of deals, has an updated view on “market” which can help streamline the back and forth.’
‘Brilliant commercial knowledge and quick execution.’
‘Ylan Steiner is a standout venture lawyer who possesses deep understanding of the startup ecosystem. With extensive knowledge of the unique legal challenges faced by startups, Ylan is well-versed in areas such as fundraising for companies at all stages.’
‘Shawn Atkinson is a pleasure to work with – he is extremely knowledgeable, fast and easy to communicate with.’
‘Shawn Atkinson: Responsiveness is incredible. Has a unique ability to translate UK concepts for US investors and why/why not it matters…or what we should care about most.’
‘Jamie Moore is very reassuring given his market knowledge and reputation.’
BMW I Ventures
PayPal Holdings, Inc.
Darsana Capital Partners
Vostok Emerging Finance
ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund
Atomico Management Ltd.
Amadeus Capital Partners
Signal Media Ltd
EDF Pulse Holding
- Advised GIC and Princeville Capital on their investments in EcoVadis’ €500m funding round and GIC on its investment in the $120m Series C financing of Factorial.
- Advised Onto, an electric car subscription platform intended to offer ownership of electric vehicles without having to purchase them, on its $60m Series C financing.
- Advised Foodics, a cloud-based technology and payments platform for restaurants in the MENA region, on its $170m Series C funding round – the largest SaaS Series C round in the MENA region.
The ‘highly responsive‘ team at Osborne Clarke LLP provides a ‘very efficient, pragmatic and cost-effective service’ to investors and investees seeking or providing financing at an early through to late stage of the investment cycle. Its longstanding presence in the market, particularly as it relates to technology and life science spin-outs, scale-ups and exits, ensures that it is able to provide ‘an excellent balance between legal and commercial expertise’, while its international footprint enables the team to excel in multi-jurisdictional mandates. ‘Intelligent’ Reading-based team head Robert Wood deploys ‘great organisational and legal skills’ to good effect for funds and companies, particularly on later stage mandates often involving investor syndicates. Leveraging his broader corporate/M&A capabilities to good effect, London-based Mathias Loertscher is a popular choice among tech-focused companies on Seed and Series A financing, as well as on investment later in the growth curve – to include advise to shareholders on exit strategies. The ‘brilliant’ Rob Hayes displays a ‘very calm’ demeanour with a particular focus and expertise in working with high growth businesses and institutional investors in the technology and life sciences sectors. Justin Starling has a strong grounding in the life sciences and healthcare sector, utilising this very capably on pure venture capital deals, as well as for university spin-outs seeking to commercialise their innovations. ‘Superstar’ associate director Elizabeth Yell continues to gain market traction and is a firm favourite for both institutional investors and venture-backed companies as a result of her ‘incredible eye for detail whilst having the skills to drive and manage everything’. All partners are based in Reading, unless otherwise indicated.
Other key lawyers:
Mathias Loertscher; Justin Starling; Rob Hayes; Matthew Edwards; James Taylor; Elizabeth Yell; Robert Pook
‘It is a responsive team that is thoughtful and knowledgeable.’
‘They are experts in technology and life science spin-outs, scale-ups and exits.’
‘They provide an excellent balance between legal and commercial expertise.’
‘It is a highly responsive team, who all work well in the same direction to provide a very efficient, very pragmatic and cost-effective service.’
‘Robert Wood – intelligent, completely on top of things, great organisational and legal skills.’
‘Rob Hayes is very calm and in charge throughout. A brilliant lawyer who I am always happy to instruct on deals.’
‘Elizabeth Yell is a superstar who is always across every bit of detail on a deal. She has an incredible eye for detail whilst having the skills to drive and manage everything.’
‘Robert Pook – gets the job done every time.’
Highland Europe and Frog Capital
Advent Life Sciences
UCL Technology Fund
Business Growth Fund
Shareholders of Capdesk, including Fidelity International Strategic Investments
Led by Angus Miln, the 'very experienced' team at Taylor Wessing LLP provides 'high-quality' advice to a relatively balanced mix of investees and investors seeking or providing finance from an early stage through to an exit strategy. As well as transactional work, the firm is also 'very well-plugged into the venture capital ecosystem', with both Miln and the 'first-class' Howard Palmer continuing to advise the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) on the drafting of standard documentation to facilitate early-stage venture capital investment. As well as having deep expertise within the tech sector, the firm has a strong track record advising on life sciences/healthcare mandates, an area that Cambridge-based partner Ross McNaughton is particularly adept and can add value to clients engaged in matters with a transatlantic edge by dint of his previous experience working out of San Francisco. Indeed, the UK team as a whole regularly works in a cross-office capacity alongside colleagues spread across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with the 'very impressive and commercial' Josef Fuss noted, in particular for his 'excellent VC connections and with Israeli investors'. Alexandra Richardson excels in advising clients in IP-rich sectors including software, fintech, digital media and digital health companies, both on the investor and investee front. All named practitioners are based in London, unless otherwise indicated.
Other key lawyers:
Howard Palmer; Josef Fuss; Alexandra Richardson; Ross McNaughton; Ian Moore; Elinor Picton; Deepti Patankar; Oli Denne
‘They provide extremely high quality and timely work.’
‘The very experienced team is very well-plugged into the venture capital ecosystem.’
‘Howard Palmer provides a first-class service and advice at every step along our journey.’
‘The very impressive and commercial Josef Fuss has excellent VC connections and with Israeli investors, in particular.’
BeZero Carbon Ltd
New Science Ventures
Cooley (UK) LLP
No longer overshadowed by its more well-established US offering, Cooley (UK) LLP provides a compelling offering to clients forming, scaling and investing in high-growth often disruptive companies through a company’s life cycle. As well as its transactional prowess, which includes a considerable amount of transatlantic work, the ‘hard working and pragmatic team contributes to thought leadership in the sector’, including its continued involvement for the BVCA on revisions on Series A funding round model documents. ‘An incredibly experienced high-growth company advisor‘, US-qualified team head Ryan Naftulin has ‘unparalleled understanding of UK and US venture’. Aaron Archer is ‘a real powerhouse’ and ‘always keeps the commercial interests of all parties top of mind’.
Other key lawyers:
‘The hard working and pragmatic team contributes to thought leadership in the sector.’
‘Aaron Archer is a real powerhouse. He drives transactions hard and always keeps the commercial interests of all parties top of mind.’
‘Aaron Archer is incredibly efficient and focuses on the right issues. He is opinionated, but his opinions are good. Aaron is a standout player in his ability to deliver outcomes.’
Leveraging 'excellent market understanding and a great grasp of market developments', as well as being able to tap into a huge European and US network of offices, and full-service expertise across many complementary practice areas, including capital markets, Latham & Watkins provides 'highly commercial advice' on the company side, as well as for investor clients. The team is particularly adept at advising on complex and sophisticated transactions, with a degree of flexibility and insight into what is market in Europe and the US, which is, according to one client: 'particularly useful in the current challenging climate'. 'Incredibly responsive and engaged, whilst at the same time remaining commercial and clear on the bigger picture', Shing Lo has a richly deserved market-leading reputation and 'makes incredibly complex and stressful transactions much easier'. Lo co-heads the emerging companies team alongside Mike Turner and Robbie McLaren , who are also industry stalwarts and adept at guiding companies from their seed financing through to late stage financing, IPO and beyond. The team has also developed a strong roster of 'responsive and reliable associates', including Samantha Peacock, who displays a 'great attention to detail' and Samantha Si , who has a 'good commercial understanding'.
Mike Turner; Shing Lo; Robbie McLaren
Other key lawyers:
Samantha Peacock; Jon Fox; Katie Kaplucha; Samantha Si; Pierre-Axel Aberg
‘In bet-the-company transactions, they are not only deeply skilled, with outstanding and practical commercial knowledge, but they are also incredibly friendly, approachable and easy to get along with.’
‘Always available, always friendly and always providing excellent advice to get a transaction closed as quickly as possible. The best industry knowledge in the VC space.’
‘They have excellent market understanding and a great grasp of market developments.’
‘Shing Lo is the person you want on your side for high-stakes matters, and she should get all the praise that has come to her. She makes incredibly complex and stressful transactions much easier. Shing is a problem solver who thinks outside the box and comes up with commercial solutions.’
‘Shing Lo – Incredibly responsive and engaged, whilst at the same time remaining commercial and clear on the bigger picture.’
‘Samantha Peacock – great attention to detail, always moving deals forward at pace, really understands what we care about as a business.’
‘Samantha Si has good commercial understanding and is very reliable.’
ATAI Life Sciences
Bloom & Wild
Bessemer Venture Partners
Elwood Technologies Services
HSBC Financial Technology Venture Capital Fund
Under the guidance of the ‘commercial and practical’ David Strong, Marriott Harrison LLP continues to gain market share and is recognised for its ‘very responsive and cost-efficient’ service and ‘diligent execution of transactions’. Although the team continues to develop its investee offering, it remains best-known for its advice to institutional investors, including core clients Accel, Balderton and Lightspeed, particularly in relation to Series A and B financings. Frances Spooner has an excellent understanding of investor requirements, having spent time in her career on secondment at VC funds, and is developing a core focus on impact investing, as well as work for female founders. David Bettis provides ‘very reactive and pragmatic’ advice to core institutional clients, as well as a number of pan-European funds. Other key individuals include the ‘knowledgeable and meticulous’ Graham Halliday, who was recently promoted to partner, and Daniel Jacob, who is ‘innovative in finding solutions’ for entrepreneurs and companies. The team also has ‘a strong bench of diligent associates’, including Kimberley Lam’s Descamps, who is ‘calm, reliable and efficient’.
Other key lawyers:
Frances Spooner; David Bettis; Daniel Jacob; Andrew Ross; Graham Halliday; Bradley Heath; Inbar Cohen; James Fleming; Kimberley Lam’s Descamps
‘They’re very responsive and cost efficient.’
‘We trust them with all our venture deals and are the safest pair of hands in the market. They also have a strong bench of diligent associates.’
‘David Strong has excellent all-round knowledge.’
‘Daniel Jacob is innovative in finding solutions and very well networked.’
‘David Bettis is very reactive and pragmatic.’
‘Graham Halliday: Knowledgeable and meticulous, and a good communicator.’
‘Kimberley Lams-Descamps is calm, reliable and efficient, always adds value to the work she does for our team.’
Hack the Box
Union Square Ventures
Oxford Science Enterprises
The Moon Hub
- Advised Accel, Balderton, Creandum and Lakestar on the syndicated $78m Series A investment into Tesseract Technologies.
- Advised Hack the Box, the online cybersecurity training platform, on its $55m Series B round.
- Advised Oxford Science Enterprises on their investment into Oxford Ionics’ £30m Series A.
Drawing upon a deep pool of talent across London, Cambridge and Oxford, following the recent merger with Taylor Vinters, Mishcon de Reya LLP provides a ‘practical, commercial and very cost-effective’ service to clients attracting and deploying capital in the innovation economy. Although the firm handles work through the funding cycle, it is best-known for its early stage prowess, where it has ‘the flexibility to understand the idiocyncracies of earlier-stage businesses’. Appreciated for his ‘conscientious and hands-on approach’, Cambridge-based Chris Keen remains pivotal to the firm’s success in the space and has built up a strong reputation in the field, including as it relates to university spin-outs, an area that, according to one client, he ‘has a better knowledge than anyone else’. Erika McIntyre is also very adept at handling early stage work for both investees and investors, with a level of ‘strategic thinking allowing her to align legal strategies with clients’ business objectives’. London-based Hayley Cross, who combines ‘practical, commercial advice with excellent legal knowledge’, is also a key member of the team and has been pivotal to growing the firm’s offering beyond its Cambridge roots. Charles Fletcher co-heads the team alongside Keen and has ‘a fantastic knowledge of EIS funds’.
Chris Keen; Charles Fletcher
Other key lawyers:
Nicola McConville; Erika McIntyre; Hayley Cross; Attilio Leccisotti; Geoff Dragon; James Court; Scott Parmenter
‘The cost-effective team has very strong knowledge of the early stage UK tech and venture scene.’
‘The team is the go-to practice for technology spin-outs, especially from Cambridge University.’
‘They are practical, commercial and very cost-effective in the advice they give to spin-out companies.’
‘There are few teams in the market with such experience and quantity of venture-backed deals.’
‘On the later stage companies, they provide commercial and balanced advice in a digestible and effective way.’
‘Chris Keen – the best of the best in spin-out VC investments. He has a better knowledge of the sector than anyone else.’
‘Charles Fletcher – a fantastic knowledge of EIS funds and the way in which exits need to be dealt with for us.’
‘Hayley Cross – a pleasure to deal with. Combines practical, commercial advice with excellent legal knowledge.’
Wayve Technologies Ltd
Focal Point Position Ltd
Acting for an Investor Syndicate on investment into Bibliu
Nucleome Therapeutics Ltd.
Oxford Ionics Ltd.
The Run Buddy Limited
Get a Drip Ltd
Yu Life Holdings Ltd
Molten Ventures PLC
Cranfield Aerospace Solutions Limited
Led from Birmingham by the ‘excellent’ Alastair Peet but operating very much as a unified national practice with other key resources in Reading and London, Shoosmiths LLP provides ‘sensible, actionable and practical advice’ to an increasingly balanced mix of investors and investees. Peet remains a popular choice among prominent fund clients, including Octopus Ventures, which benefit from his ‘very collaborative and consensual approach’ to transactional work as well as his intimate knowledge of the underlying documentation, having himself played a key role drafting and updating the model documents for the BVCA. Along with the ‘knowledgeable and commercial’ Alastair Hammerton, who heads the Midlands corporate team, Peet has also been at the forefront of utilising document automation, AI review, and data analytics to deliver efficiencies and insights for clients. In London, the ‘very knowledgeable’ Steve Barnett is ‘well connected in the venture capital market in Europe’, providing ‘very practical’ advice to his core company side roster, as well as a growing number of institutional investors on early stage funding. Other key members of the national team include Thames Valley-based corporate partner Sanjeev Sharma, whose work encompasses a significant amount of venture capital mandates; Reading-based tax partner Tom Wilde, who is a key resource on the crucial tax aspects associated with the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT); and the ‘excellent’ Helen Burnell, who leads the firm’s spHERe initiative to support female founders and venture capitalists. All named practitioners are based in Birmingham, unless otherwise noted.
Other key lawyers:
Steve Barnett; Sanjeev Sharma; Tom Wilde; Dan Sharman; Anna Robson; Helen Burnell; Alistair Hammerton; Adam Leszczynsk; Charlotte Cannell; Gregg Harris; Kat Hornsby
‘Shoosmiths has an excellent corporate team with a broad depth of experience and expertise across the gambit, including tax.’
‘The team offers sensible, actionable and practical advice with a focus on concluding transactions as quickly and equitably as possible.’
‘Steve Barnett’s practical approach stands out against more theoretical or adversarial approaches.’
‘Steve Barnett is well connected in the venture capital market in Europe and used to dealing with founders and early stage firms.’
‘Alastair Hammerton is the most knowledgeable and commercial transaction lawyer I have worked with.’
‘Helen Burnell is excellent.’
Intrepid Owls (t/a Restless)
Mercia Asset Management and Oxford Capital
Mercia Asset Management
Electric Sea Racing Limited
Big Green Smile Limited
Pentech Ventures, Outward VC, West Loop Ventures (USA), Pi Labs
AP Ventures Fund II GP LLP
JamJar Ventures LLP
Clean Growth Fund
Cantab Research t/a Speechmatics
- Advising Speechmatics on its $62m Series B fundraising led by US investor Susquehanna Growth Equity.
- Advising a consortium of four major institutional investors on their exit from Vauban to American tech giant Carta Inc.
- Advising Triple Point’s on the sale of its holding in Credit Kudos to Apple in a deal worth $150m.
The ‘extremely responsive’ team at Bristol-based firm Ashfords LLP provides ‘strong impartial advice on “what is market”, thereby enabling principal decision makers on the investor and investee side to make commercial and sensible decisions relating to venture capital funding. While the team is best-known for acting on earlier stage financing rounds, it is also adept at handling ‘complex cross-border transactions and is able to deal with technical subjects’. Key to this work is ‘excellent technician’ Chris Dyson , who combines deep industry knowledge with commercial and legal smarts to very effectively guide innovators and funders in the technology space. Jocelyn Ormond has a particular niche advising companies and investors in the digital health/life sciences sector. Dyson co-heads the team alongside Rory Suggett , whose investor side focus includes handling a raft of work for an impressive roster of fund clients includes the Business Growth Fund, which he regularly advises on its funding of early and growth stage companies.
Chris Dyson; Rory Suggett
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Betteridge; Jocelyn Ormond; Scott Preece
‘They provide strong impartial advice on “what is market” to assist principal decision making.’
‘The team is extremely responsive. It can be trusted with complex cross-border transactions and is able to deal with technical subjects.’
‘The friendly and collaborative Chris Dyson is an excellent technician with a pertinent and pragmatic approach to complex transactions.’
Global Satellite Vu
Ahren Innovation Capital
Episode 1 Ventures
DW Healthcare Partners |(specialist North American private equity investor)
- Advised Volution Ventures on a £26m funding round in digital payments start-up WeGift alongside Element Ventures, Clocktower Ventures, AlbionVC, SAP and CommerzVentures.
- Advised Gaia Fertility on a $20m Series A funding round led by Atomico.
- Advised Global Satellite Vu on a £15m investment round led by Seraphim Space Investment Trust, the world’s first listed Space Tech Fund.
Often working closely with the firm’s IP and commercial offerings, and also able to leverage the US network, Brown Rudnick LLP‘s venture team provides ‘sensible and measured solutions’ to investors and investees in domestic and cross-border transactions at every stage of the corporate life cycle. Team head Neil Foster ‘values simplicity over making things overly complex’ and is a popular choice among funders and start-ups in the technology and media spaces, as well as more recently a growing amount of energy transition matters. As part of his broad corporate and capital markets offering, UK and US-qualified partner Mark Dorff regularly handles tech and life sciences-related venture matters and has particular expertise advising European clients on US investments. Sage Revell, who was promoted to partner in February 2023, is also key member of the team, particularly in the context of life sciences venture mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Dorff; Tom Braiden; Tim Davison; Sage Revell
‘The team provides sensible and measured solutions.’
‘Neil Foster and Tim Davison are outstanding.’
‘Neil Foster values simplicity over making things overly complex.’
‘They know our business and the industries we work in well and are able to tailor their responses appropriately for us. Their knowledge of and expertise in their respective fields is exemplary. Perhaps best of all, they are easy to deal with and have become welcome extensions to our team.’
‘The Brown Rudnick London office understand what businesses want from their legal advisers: high quality advice that is framed in a commercial context that is not simply a description of the legislation itself but is delivered so that informed decisions can be taken quickly and accurately.’
‘They want to get deals done, not find barriers to prevent them.’
Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc
Highland Europe (UK) LLP (“Highland Capital”)
Japan Energy Fund
ABB Technology Ventures
Iceotope Group Ltd
- Closed a £50m Series B funding round for All Perspectives Limited (trading as “GB News”).
- Acted as corporate legal counsel for Highland Capital in respect of their role as lead investor for the £40m Series B fundraise by RedSift Limited.
- Represented Dermaliq Therapeutics, Inc., an independent private pharmaceutical company that was spun out from Novaliq GmbH in Germany, in connection with its $15m Series A round financing.
Led from London by Anthony Waller and John Finnemore, CMS provides 'highly competent and customer focused' advice to both investees and investors on work throughout the investment life cycle. The firm's full-service sensibility, which includes regulatory, commercial, employment and IP expertise, ensures that clients have the add-on services necessary for achieving scale-up in the technology sector. In addition, they have 'true global reach' across Europe, Middle East and Asia, and are well-placed to advise on cross-border issues associated with the increase internationalisation of the venture space. In this regard, Louis Glass, who is fluent in Hebrew, is particularly effective at handling deals with an Israeli investment element, where he 'truly understands the cultural subtleties of negotiating in Israel'.
Tony Waller; John Finnemore
Other key lawyers:
Louis Glass; Niall McAlister; Tom Jameson; Sam Pout; Theo Godfrey; Elliot Cowan
‘They have true global reach, and are highly competent and customer focused.’
‘Louis Glass truly understands the cultural subtleties of negotiating in Israel, which are very different from the UK and Europe.’
‘Louis Glass has superior negotiating skills and knowledge of Israeli law.’
British Growth Fund
Legal & General
Quantum Motion Technology
- Advised Hokodo in its Series B fundraise, with Notion Capital (a prominent UK-based VC) as the lead investor.
- Advised Legal & General Capital in its £65m Series C investment into Onto Holdings, a leading retail electric vehicle subscription service, at a valuation of £235m.
- Acted for Moneyhub, an open banking API provider on its £55m fundraise.
Covington & Burling LLP
Drawing upon the firm’s deep industry knowledge in IP-rich industries, and aided by strong commercial, capital markets and regulatory prowess, Covington & Burling LLP is a popular choice among investees and investors to advise on venture capital transactions throughout the funding continuum. Led out of London by Gregor Frizzell, and also aided by international offices in key jurisdictions, including the US, the firm excels at handling cross-border mandates, particularly within the life sciences space – where it is noted for its ‘depth of legal expertise and commercial acumen in the area of biotech spin-outs’. James Gubbins has vast experience advising early and growth-stage companies, as well as investors in the life sciences sector, including at the exit stage through an IPO. The ‘truly exceptional’ James Halstead excels at ‘providing pragmatic solutions to sometimes seemingly intractable problems’, including venture capital matters within the energy transition field.
Other key lawyers:
James Gubbins; James Halstead; Ben Land-Maycock; Katy Knight; Trudy Dargeviciute
‘The firm has a depth of legal expertise and commercial acumen in the area of biotech spin-outs: NewCo establishment, licensing/collaboration transactions, and equity incentive structures.’
‘The vastly experienced James Halstead is excellent at providing pragmatic solutions to sometimes seemingly intractable problems.’
‘James Halstead is truly exceptional.’
First Light Fusion
Oxford Science Enterprises (formerly Oxford Science Innovation)
National Grid Partners
Crescendo Biologics Ltd
Apple Tree Partners (ATP)
SV Health Investors
National Hockey League (NHL)
- Advised long standing client Oxford Science Enterprises on multiple investments including a £38m Series A round into Oxford Quantum Circuits Limited, the largest first round of investment raised by a UK company in the emerging quantum computing sector.
- Advising cutting edge energy transition firm First Light Fusion on its current fund raising targeting £400m.
- Advised Forbion and Sofinnova Partners, as co-lead investors in a $70m Series H financing round into F2G Ltd.
Dentons provides 'very commercially focused' advice to institutional investors as well as corporate venturers on their investments into and funding of a range of companies, including those in the energy and cybersecurity space. The team is stage agnostic and is equally as comfortable advising on Series A mandates, as it is Series C and beyond, and is able to effectively leverage complementary practice areas as a corollary of the firm's full-service offering. Although it handles a considerable volume of domestic mandates, the firm's sweet-spot lies in resourcing complex multi-jurisdictional matters, where it is effectively able to draw from the firm's vast global network. 'Very commercially-focused' team head Joseph Altendorff continues to lead from the front, although he is also often aided by 'a number of highly talented lawyers', including Joseph Collingwood.
Other key lawyers:
Iain Sutherland; Derek McCombe; James Davison; Joe Collingwood; Annabel Mockridge;Danni Hofmey
‘They have unique experience managing corporate venture capital activities. They have also a wide range of partners around the globe that are helpful for investments outside of the common geographies.’
‘They have a number of highly talented lawyers on the team, and when one isn’t available, they can plug in others who don’t miss a beat.’
‘The practice is very commercially focused in that the advice is well-tailored to the client’s interests and objectives.’
‘Joseph Altendorff is very commercially focused and does an outstanding job of bringing to bear legal, commercial and market realities.’
‘Joe Collingwood provided an excellent framework for me as the client to make the decision.’
Scottish Equity Partners
- Go to counsel for Octopus on its international work.
- Advised Alto Vita on a large Series A fund raising.
- Advising leading cybersecurity investor, Evolution Equity. on eight deals in 2022.
While it does handle some funds work, Harbottle & Lewis LLP remains best-known for its company side credentials, and the ability to guide investees in the media and entertainment and technology sectors from an early stage through subsequent funding sounds associated with scaling-up their operations. In this context, the team provides ‘very competitive pricing for early stage startups’, and is also noted for its ‘very forward thinking’, a consequence of which is cost savings for the client further down the line. Team head Tony Littner ‘knows the VC landscape inside and out’, and provides a ‘fantastic customer service’, particularly to entrepreneurial businesses in the technology sector. Senior associate Tom Macleod is also a key member of the team and as well as regularly providing vital support to Littner on his deals, is also developing his own practice, with a focus on servicing high growth tech companies throughout the funding continuum.
Other key lawyers:
Charles Leveque; Tom Macleod; Katerina Capras; Alex Gays
‘The team has fantastic knowledge and are always there to help. They are a diverse team and they offer very competitive pricing for early stage startups.’
‘They are very forward thinking, with an ability to think ahead in a commercial fashion and save the client money down the line.’
‘Anthony Littner knows the VC landscape inside out. He is sharp, responsive, laser focused, shrewd and provides a fantastic customer service.’
Kindred Concepts Limited
Kids Know Best Limited
Unsigned Group Ltd
- Advised global early stage specialist venture capital firm Antler on a series of follow on investments in relation to a number of their portfolio companies including Evyon and Vamstar Ltd.
- Advised Kindred Concepts Limited (Kindred Concepts) on a further series seed investment round from new and existing investors.
- Advised Maekersuite, a SaaS platform that enables professionals to create and manage video content, on its series seed investment round from Pink Salt Ventures, a female founded, London based pre-seed venture capital fund focussed on investing in female led/founded technology companies.
Although it has taken a while for the legacy JAG Shaw team to bed into their new surroundings at Withers LLP, the team has now well and truly found its footing, leveraging the firm’s strong private wealth credentials to good effect, as well as drawing upon its international footprint and broader full-service offering. This consolidated offering has proved very effective for early stage companies, in particular, as they scale up and require not only pure VC advice but also a range of commercial, employment and tax counselling. Drawing upon a ‘deep understanding of the early-stage and scale up ecosystem’, team head James Shaw is a ‘fantastic all-round trusted adviser’, whose underlying tech and science sector knowledge combines with transactional prowess to good effect for companies looking to scale up and for university spin-outs. In Cambridge, Susanna Stanfield ‘brings a calm presence to discussions and negotiations’ for both high-growth companies and investors in the life sciences and technology sectors. The ‘brilliant’ Sarah Melaney, who joined the firm at the beginning of 2022 from Brown Rudnick LLP, further enhances the firm’s transatlantic capabilities and ‘delivers first-class work’ for high growth companies and investors, including in relation to impact investment. The team is rounded out by Iain Cockburn, who ‘is driving forward the firm’s innovation and cost-efficiency and data management using legal tech’, in his new role as head of the client delivery programme.
Other key lawyers:
Susanna Stanfield; Iain Cockburn; Sarah Melaney; Phil Robinson; Mary Harley; Neil Jones
‘The team is excellent and very commercial, the lawyers are very professional and always on top of things.’
‘James Shaw is a seasoned practitioner when it comes to acting for early stage companies.’
‘Iain Cockburn is the consummate trusted advisor. Super strong legally but very sharp commercially.’
‘Our work with Withers is led by Susanna Stanfield. Susanna is delightful person to work with, who brings a calm presence to discussions and negotiations. Susanna recognises the depth of work required for each event/work package and while clearly excellent in her own discipline also recognises when to bring in colleagues with relevant expertise.’
‘The lawyers offer great outside-the-box thinking.’
‘The Withers team have provided a first-class service, with a bespoke understanding of the individual needs on our company, throughout its life cycle to date, from start-up to consolidation and early growth.’
‘James Shaw is a fantastic all-round trusted adviser. He has always been great to speak to whenever we are in sticky situations and is good at providing holistic advice which takes into consideration the peculiarities of our specific business. James takes a risk-based commercial approach depending on the situation, which is much more appropriate than the usual one size fits all approach that many firms take.’
‘Iain Cockburn is an excellent technical partner – he is driving forward the firm’s innovation and cost-efficiency and data management using legal tech.’
Ant Group (On EU side – existing Withers client in Singapore)
EastHORN Clinical Services
Trilogy UK Ltd
Nationwide Engineering Research and Development
Lick Home Ltd
Eight Roads Ventures Europe III LP
Oja Global Ltd
Cambridge Respiratory Innovations Limited
Altruistic Innovations Ltd (Restricted Group)
Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Critical Pressure Limited
Angular Ventures I LP
BioGeneration III Services BV
Honey Badger Capital Ltd
Good Harvest Ventures Management S.a.r.l.
Digital Horizon GP Limited
C the Signs
Spilsbury Holdings Limited
Skiller Whale Limited
Project Provenance Limited
Codebay Solutions Limited (t/a Lodgify)
Kynos Therapeutics Ltd
The VENTURE Collective
- Advised Automata on its $50m Series B financing round in order to accelerate automation in the Life Sciences sector.
- Advised venture capital fund ETF Partners as co-lead investor on a £50m Series C funding round into The Modern Milkman, a sustainable grocery delivery service.
- Advised Kingsway Capital on its investment in CoinDCX’s Series D funding round, which totalled $135.9m.
The ‘experienced and approachable team’ at Browne Jacobson LLP provides ‘practical and pragmatic’ advice to entrepreneurs and companies utilising disruptive technology. Much of the work relates to early stage investments, with the firm’s own GROW programme, enabling startups ‘to access high-quality support at favourable rates’. Jon Snade is key to the firm’s success in the space, particularly for companies in the fintech and insurtech sectors, where he is not only active doing deals but also in the context of thought leadership, including his ongoing role for the Government and External Affairs Steering Group of Insurtech UK (the UK’s trade body for the Insurtech sector). Mike Jackson co-heads the team alongside Snade from Birmingham and has a particular focus for regional start-ups and investors on venture-backed mandates in the automotive and greentech space.
Jon Snade; Mike Jackson
Other key lawyers:
‘It is a diligent and friendly team.’
‘The team has good experience in the venture space and through their grow programme have a way for startups to access high-quality support at favourable rates.’
‘The experienced and approachable team provides practical and pragmatic advice.’
Enro Holdings (t/a Superscript)
Maven Capital Partners
Mercia Fund Management
Clean Power Hydrogen plc
Dark Horse Technologies
Benefitting from a heightened focus within the venture space in recent years, including - for the first time in the UK - a discrete internal emerging companies offering, DLA Piper continues to gain traction in the market for an investor focused client base within the tech and life sciences sectors, in particular. The firm is best-suited to handling Series A investments through to exit, although it does also handle some earlier stage work for many of its corporate venture clients, which are an important constituent of its investor client base, alongside institutional investors. Team head Luca Gori has ‘deep expertise in venture capital transactions’, particularly in the fintech and insurtech space, where as well as advising on purely domestic mandates, he is also adept at handling cross-border mandates, where he is able to draw from resources throughout the firm’s global network of offices. Senior associate Dylan Kennett has ‘an indefatigable work ethic’, which he effectively deploys for the firm’s core investor client base, as well as some investees.
Other key lawyers:
Jon Kenworthy; Alexander Kolmakov; Dylan Kennett; Irvin Shirvani
‘They are willing to jump on any engagement right away, dive right into what is important, and are quick to find the right commercial solution.’
‘They have a hands-on approach and bring real deal expertise to the table.’
‘I always feel protected and know they have my back and can trust the opinions they provide without question.’
‘Luca Gori has deep expertise in venture capital transactions, quickly understands the key issues and works out practical solutions.’
‘Luca Gori ensures the right level of attention is given no matter how important the issue at hand.’
‘The responsive Dylan Kennett has an indefatigable work ethic. Gets the appropriate resources looped in regardless of geography.’
Avalon Bay Communities Inc
Boston Consulting Group
Nordic Eye Management
NEVA / Intesa San Paulo
Riverside Acceleration Capital Fund
T Rowe Price
Westly Capital Management
99 Dynamics Limited
- Advised a consortium of investors (including Pfizer Ventures, Cambridge Innovation Capital, M Ventures, Taiho Ventures LLC, Seroba Life Sciences, and IP Group) on a $30m Series B investment in Storm Therapeutics Limited.
- Advised SoftBank Vision 2 Fund on their $50m investment (as lead investor) in Improbable MV Limited as part of a wider $150m round.
- Advising T. Rowe Price in the $120m Series C investment in Yulife.
Galvanised by the arrival in May 2021 of the ‘exceptional’ Howard Watt, Fladgate LLP continues to pick up market share for investors and investees across a wide variety of sectors, where it is noted for its ‘very commercially savvy and pragmatic advice’. Drawing upon in-house expertise, as well as significant experience in private practice, Watt has to date been particularly effective assisting on Series A mandates, including a considerable volume for Atomico, a loyal client of Watt’s which has followed him to his new role.
Other key lawyers:
Graham Spitz; Jamie Hamilton; Yulia Leyko; Matthew Akehurst; Ellie Green; Mary Liu; Priya Vadgama
‘Very solid understanding of venture, very commercial and efficient and very personable as individuals.’
‘They provide very commercially savvy and pragmatic advice.’
‘There are very few teams that have more and more relevant experience within the sector and can bring that experience to bear on the deals we are negotiating.’
‘Howard Watt is exceptional.’
‘Howard Watt is simply put, the best lawyer I have every worked with in my 20 year career.’
AXA Venture Partners
Doccla UK Ltd
AXA Venture Partners
Alpha Intelligence Capital Fund I
CommerzVentures II Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG
Abingdon Software Group
Planet A Ventures
LMC Software Ltd.
Bactobio Group Ltd
Round Room Live LLC
- Advised long-standing client Zappistore in connection with a £170m investment from funds advised by Sumeru Equity Partners, a prominent US private equity house.
- Acted for Atomico as lead investor on a $16m Series A investment into UK-based employee benefits platform Ben, based on a pre-money valuation of $57m .
- Advised Zouk Capital in its capacity as the manager of the £400m Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, a fund set up by the government in partnership with the private sector on an investment into Char.gy, a provider of lamppost electric vehicle charging points.
Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘very experienced in VC-related transactions’ within the tech and life sciences sectors, acting on behalf of investees and investors, and in the latter case also often being the law firm of choice for the initial fund structuring mandate. Cambridge-based team head Zickie Lim has vast experience in the field, particularly at an earlier stage, including continuing to handle a considerable volume of work relating to university spin-outs. Also based in Cambridge, Dona Ardeman provides a holistic approach to early stage-focused funds, acting as she does on both their fund creation and subsequent transactional work. Principal associate Edward Sloan leads the firm’s efforts from the London office and is appreciated for his ‘ability to find solutions to tricky problems’ for investors and investees.
Other key lawyers:
Dona Ardeman; Edward Sloan; Christina O’Brien
‘They are very experienced in VC-related transactions.’
‘Ed Sloan worked tirelessly throughout the process of finalising our investment deal. The firm never used their processes as a way to delay or not assist with a challenge. They always found a way.’
IQ Capital Partners LLP
Albion Capital Group LLP
Northern Gritstone Limited
Regenerate Ventures Limited
Turquoise International Limited
Mercia Asset Management Limited
VGC Partners LLP
Zero Carbon Capital Limited
113 Botanicals Limited
NRG Therapeutics Limited
Sphere Fluidics Limited
Gravitee Topco Limited
Momentous Therapeutics Limited
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Cambridge Oncology Limited
Steel City Interactive Limited
FactSet Research Systems, Inc.
Evonik Venture Capital GmbH
Rainbird Technologies Limited
Rinri Therapeutics Limited
Haatch Ventures LLP
Arquer Diagnostics Limited
Kidney Research UK
52 North Health
- Advised long standing deeptech VC investor client, IQ Capital Partners LLP and Nasdaq listed FactSet Research Systems, Inc on their investment alongside Nasdaq, Inc in a $26m Series B round.
- Advised Software DevOps platform, Gearset on a $55m fundraising from Boston based growth equity firm, Silversmith Capital Partners.
- Advised IQ Capital Partners on its investments in:Nyobol, a British fast charging battery spin-out from Cambridge University, as part of a £50m Series B fundraising and Speechmatics, a speech recognition company, as part of its $62m Series B funding round.
The 'excellent' team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP 'goes the extra mile for its clients', which include many life sciences and "deep tech"-focused entities, from an early stage, through to latter rounds of investment. In this context, the core venture team, which is led by Matthew Martin and James Went, from London and Oxford, respectively, is also able to lean into the expertise provided by employment, tax and IP practitioners to provide a very comprehensive service to these companies on their growth journey. Much of the investee-side work relates to university spin-outs, with Oxford University and Imperial College particularly fertile sources of instructions.
Matthew Martin; James Went
Other key lawyers:
Will Axtell; Kathy Hills; Adam Carling; Dominique Sabatini; Lindsay Chadwick
‘It is an excellent team that is always goes the extra mile for the client.’
‘Calm and composed advice and deep experience in the niche of academic spinouts.’
‘James Went and Dominique Sabatini are stand-out. Both individuals are extremely quick to respond, above and beyond the communication expectations of other legal professionals, and always calm and considered in their view.’
‘James Went – highly responsive and attuned to client needs.’
‘Will Axtell – very flexible and pragmatic.’
Ploughshare Innovations Ltd
Mint Neurotechnologies Ltd
Moa Technology Ltd
Ground Truth Labs
- Advising moa Technology – a crop protection discovery company spun out from Oxford University – on the completion of their £35m Series B financing round.
- Advising Seloxium – whose technology enables the extraction of high-purity metals from waste water – on its spin-out from Oxford University and seed funding let by Oxford Science Enterprises.
- Advising Imperial College spin-out TOffeeAM on its £5m Series A fundraising led by Presidio Ventures Europe (part of Japanese trading and investment group Sumitomo Corporation) and East Innovate, with IQ Capital.
Reed Smith LLP
Combining deep media and technology industry expertise, with a compelling corporate finance offering, Reed Smith LLP is a popular choice among investors and investees, which are appreciative of its ability to provide ‘responsive and pragmatic advice’ throughout the investment life cycle. Michael Young heads up a strong team, that as well as able to draw from a strong pool of talent in London, including Stephen Mooney, can also leverage experts from across the firm’s global network, including out of the US.
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Mooney; Sam Webster; Mark Sanders; Matthew Bowen; James Hatchard
‘The firm provides a fantastic service, which utilises an excellent combination of corporate finance advice and industry expertise in media and technology.’
‘Cross-department collaboration is a strength.’
‘The highly professional offering provides responsive and pragmatic advice.’
Led by Nick Crabtree, the 'fantastic' team at Sheridans provides 'responsive and commercial' advice to media and tech-focused investors and venture-backed businesses on fund-raising throughout the funding life cycle. As well as his pure venture expertise, Crabtree has strong sell-side M&A credentials which is beneficial to shareholders of venture-backed business in the context of an exit strategy. The 'exceptional' Will Parker , who was recently promoted to partner, 'always goes above and beyond' for his investor-focused client base, while the 'knowledgeable, responsive and pragmatic' Catherine Ramsay , who joined from Gannons Commercial Law Limited, enhances the firm's overarching capabilities in light of her expertise advising on employee incentive schemes.
Other key lawyers:
Will Parker; Karen O’Grady; Catherine Ramsay
‘The Sheridans team is extremely experienced in venture capital, along with excellent experience in M&A which is also helpful.’
‘Their team is fantastic to work with, responsive and commercial with the ability to move at speed, which is helpful when working within competitive rounds and multiple high-profile parties with tight deadlines.’
‘The exceptional Will Parker always goes above and beyond, and has an attention to detail that is second-to-none.’
Tiny Rebel Games Limited
Dawn Technologies Ltd
Spirit AI Limited
Those Beyond (formerly Cauldron Entertainment)
Sense Street Limited
Karta Creative Limited
Electric Theatre Collective
Automated Creative Limited
5DC Holding AG
Auluk Investments Limited
- Advising the principal selling shareholders of Supermassive Games Limited in the sale of the company to Nordisk Games.
- Advising FirstPartyCapital on its role as lead investor in the seed funding round into Lightbox TV, and in which Aperium Ventures and Astus also participated.
- Advising Those Beyond on the £6m seed investment round led by Cherry Ventures and in which Playfair, Seedcamp, and Cassius also participated.
Allen & Overy LLP
Drawing upon its vast international network which enables it to 'cover deals in almost any jurisdiction, whether the US, Europe or emerging markets', Allen & Overy LLP is gaining increased traction in the market for high-growth companies seeking to scale up and attract invest globally. The 'very knowledgeable, user-friendly and responsive' team head William Samengo-Turner has 'great market knowledge' within the tech sector and is able to leverage his previous time spent in Silicon Valley to good effect on transatlantic mandates. Praised for his ability to provide 'practical advice which is rooted in strong technical ability', senior associate Josh Little regularly advises early stage companies grow their businesses, as well as handling some investor work, including for corporate venture arms.
Other key lawyers:
Eimear Coady; Josh Little; Charlotte Rowlandson
‘The team has tremendous depth and reach – it has the ability to cover deals in almost any jurisdiction, whether the US, Europe or emerging markets. They also take a very tailored approach to a particular deal, understanding the commercial dynamics, which leads to timely and efficient execution.’
‘Diverse team. Seem to be on top of market developments, acting for a host of large UK start ups.’
‘Will Samengo-Turner is very knowledgeable, user-friendly and responsive. In particular, he understands the need to cut the legal advice appropriately to suit a particular deal – which leads to timely and efficient execution.’
- Advised Quantexa on its $129m Series E funding found, which values the company at $1.8bn.
- Advised Checkout.com, the global payments processor, on raising $1bn in its Series D funding round at a valuation of $40bn.
- Advising a Middle East-based oil & gas major’s venture arm on various investments in emerging technology companies.
Appreciated by funds, corporate venturers and investees for its ‘extremely knowledgeable and collaborative’ approach, Ashurst ‘s multi-disciplinary tech M&A practice is active throughout the funding life cycle, from Series A through to growth equity finance and exit strategies. This highly collaborative approach has been particularly effective within the fintech sector, where clients also benefit from access to the firm’s market-leading financial services regulatory prowess. Jonathan Cohen provides ‘pragmatic and effective advice’ and heads a growing team that also includes Tara Waters and Jacob Gold, whose ‘excellent technical advice’ is lauded by clients including the British Business Bank.
Other key lawyers:
Tara Waters; Jacob Gold; Shaz Ali; Dillon Fuzi
‘The team is experienced, extremely knowledgeable and collaborative.’
‘Jonathan Cohen is always on hand to provide
‘Jacob Gold and Tara Waters are both exceptional, with excellent technical advice delivered in a commercial and pragmatic way.’
The Original Fit Factory Ltd
Bp Technology Ventures Ltd
Robert Bosch GmbH
Lyra Investment Management
Vauban Technologies Ltd
British Patient Capital
Aya Technologies (Alena)
British Business Bank
- Advised The Original Fit Factory Ltd on various acquisitions as it continues to build a substantial global footprint, including the acquisitions of TruFusion, VirtualRun and Wolfson Brands.
- Advised BP Technology Ventures Ltd on various equity investments including in FlyLogix Limited Dynamon Limited and its participation in the Series C funding round of Oxbotica Limited.
- Advised Robert Bosch GmbH on its acquisition of the autonomous driving start-up FIVE AI.
Bristol-based firm Burges Salmon LLP handles a considerable amount of investor-side venture work as an offshoot of the firm’s broader private equity and corporate finance offering. The team has particular expertise in core areas of sector focus for the firm as a whole, including tech, financial services and energy, with the ‘exceptional’ Richard Spink appreciated for his ability to provide ‘commercial advice’ to institutional investors, as well as a considerable amount for family offices. Mark Shepherd heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Danny Lee; Richard Spink; Alex Lloyd; Tim Roberts
‘The client-centric team provides creative solutions.’
‘The exceptional Richard Spink is very easy to work with and provides commercial advice.’
‘The advice we seek is relevant, practical and actionable – it’s super important that we get proactive support. The support we get is first class.’
‘All the team we work with take time to develop a strong understanding of our business and our objectives. Consequently, I always feel that advice and support is appropriately tailored, relevant and practical. It’s a real strength of the team that this approach to building relationships with clients extends to the team working with the partner.’
Zetland Capital Partners
Panoramic Growth Equity
BGF (formerly Business Growth Fund)
Bridges Fund Management
- Advised EQUANS UK Holding Limited on its investment in specialist net zero digital start up OnGen Limited alongside Scottish Enterprise and Innovate UK.
- Advising Eider Vertical Farming on a £50m investment by Slate Asset Management.
- Advised long-standing client, inland surfing company, The Wave, on its significant investment from Sullivan Street Partners.
Deloitte Legal advises a fairly balanced mix of investors and venture-backed businesses within the fintech and life sciences sectors seeking or providing investment throughout the funding life cycle, as well as at an exit stage. In addition to the core legal expertise that numerous experienced practitioner including Charles Claisse and Glafkos Tombolis can provide, clients also benefit from access to the firm’s broader financial and consultancy services, ensuring they receive a holistic service through their growth strategies.
Charles Claisse; Chris Hardman
Other key lawyers:
Glafkos Tombolis; John Alder; Jack O’Shea
- Acting for GoHenry on its Series B round and on M&A transactions.
- Acting for Norgine Ventures on various transactions.
- Acting for Apse Capital on various investments.
Drawing upon an innovative mindset that in many ways mirrors the entrepreneurial nature of venture capital start-ups, the alternative business model utilised by Keystone Law ensures that clients receive a ‘highly pragmatic and commercial’ service throughout the funding continuum. The ‘fabulous’ Dee Sian is ‘incredibly diligent’ and is particularly accomplished at advising funds on EIS and VCT investments, including within the technology, leisure and retail sectors. The ‘exceptional’ Charles Frank has an investee focus to his practice, advising companies seeking funding, as well as on M&A processes with regard to an exit strategy.
Other key lawyers:
Dee Sian; Catherine Williams; Nadim Zaman; Jeremy Davis; Winston Penhall; Simon Holden; Charles Frank
‘Great, very active and approachable team.’
‘Due to the way Keystone is structured it feels like each lawyer acts like an entrepreneur and has the same mindset when it comes to making sure the firm is constantly innovating.’
‘Dee Sian is fabulous – incredibly diligent, proactive and commercial.’
‘Charles Frank was quite outstanding – provided an excellent service which delivered very good value for money, purely because of the efficiency with which he dealt with all issues.’
True Capital Limited
Vertical Future Limited
Root Capital LLP
Myzone Holdings Limited
777 Partners LLC
Kelp Industries Ltd (trading as Kelpi)
- Advised Datamaran on its successful $13.3m Series B funding round led by Fortive Corporation and supported by American Electric Power.
- Advising Vertical Future Limited on its £21m Series A fundraising.
- Advising 777 Partners in relation to its investment into United Star Group.
The 'very diligent and hard working' team at Norton Rose Fulbright is increasingly focused on venture capital work as an offshoot of its corporate finance and private equity practices. Leveraging the firm's strong regulatory offering, the team has developed a particular niche advising on fintech-related matters, including as it relates to blockchain and crypto-currency. The 'very pragmatic and forward thinking' Victoria Birch has been central to the firm's success in the space, which has been built on repeat instructions for both investors and investees, as well as very effective use of legal technology to streamline the investor experience (including the firm's nascent strategic minority investment product, which has proved very popular among the venture arms of financial institutions and corporates). Sophie O’Connor also handles a significant volume of venture mandates, and alongside Birch was instrumental to the development of the aforementioned product.
Victoria Birch; Sophie O’Connor
Other key lawyers:
Oliver Stacey; Oliver Stacey; Bayo Odubeko; Matthew Findley; Stephen Rigby; Nicholas Berry; Mark Maurice; Victoria Scopes; Juliet Gordon
‘The very personable team has superb strength in depth in the team, and is very diligent and hard working.’
‘Victoria Birch is very pragmatic and forward thinking. She goes above and beyond to help her clients achieve their objectives.’
‘Nico Berry – one of the best, if not the best corporate lawyer I have worked with. Knowledgeable both in terms of legal knowledge and sector, commercial and manages a great and reliable team. I would work with him every time if I could (and recommend him to the right kind of clients when the opportunity arises).’
OCGI Climate Investments
Paga Group Ltd
Stena Drilling Limited
- Preparing Bactobio Limited, a biotechnology company that creates a safer and greener world by harvesting valuable metabolites from biological dark matter, for its Series A Funding Round and advising on the consolidation of its corporate governance structures.
- Acting for COWA, a bitcoin mining company focussing on the use of sustainable energy in its processes, on its $100m Series A funding round and follow on debt and equity rounds.
- Advised NEAR Foundation – the foundation behind the NEAR Protocol, the carbon-neutral layer-1 blockchain network – on their early stage investment into Calimero Limited by way of advanced subscription agreement and token warrant arrangements.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Drawing upon the expertise of both US and UK-qualified practitioners based in London and a longstanding Palo Alto offering, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has quickly gained a foothold in the London market (since opening in August 2018) among UK and European tech companies looking to scale-up and to attract capital from US investors and other stakeholders. Headed by founding London partner Daniel Glazer, the ‘client-centric team has good market knowledge and experience’ and is active throughout the investment life cycle.
Other key lawyers:
Stacy Kim; Michael Labriola; Richard Goold; Jose Campos
‘The team is almost uniquely qualified to work with private companies raising money with venture capital firms, especially those based in the US.’
‘The client-centric team has good market knowledge and experience.’
‘Michael Labriola brought his considerable experience to bear in direct engagement with the other parties to unblock contentious issues with pragmatism and firmness.’
- Advised Checkout.com on its $1bn Series D funding round.
- Represented Blackstone Growth as lead investor in RELEX Solutions’ €500m funding round.
- Advised Remote on its $300m Series C funding round.
Leveraging the firm’s overarching IP, commercial and regulatory prowess, Arnold & Porter is best-suited to advising life sciences start-ups/corporates throughout their funding life cycle, both domestically and on transatlantic issues by dint of its US resources. As well as acting on life sciences matters, team head Jeremy Willcocks has experience advising on investments in the cannabis and cybersecurity space, and is able to provide pure venture capital advice alongside broader corporate finance/M&A capabilities by dint of his comprehensive transactional skillset.
Other key lawyers:
Ewan Townsend; Sean Scanlon; Tom Wilson; Emelia Hunt
Policy Platforms Ltd (Trading as Polyloop)
- Advised leading synthetic DNA manufacturer Touchlight Genetics on its renegotiation of license and exit from JV.
The 'user friendly' team at Bristows LLP provides 'outcomes focused and sensible' advice for corporate venture arms, institutional investors and university-spin outs providing and seeking investment within the life sciences and tech sectors, in particular. Marek Petecki is key to the firm's success in the area and provides 'considered and thoughtful advice' throughout the funding life cycle. check Iain Redford heads the team and handles some venture capital work as an extension of his broader corporate finance, private equity and M&A offering.
Other key lawyers:
Marek Petecki; Louise Eldridge; David Horner; Nick Cross; Sam Munday
‘The team is personable, responsive and thoughtful.’
‘The team is user friendly, outcomes focused and sensible.’
‘Marek Petecki is considered and thoughtful, humble, engaged, creative and direct.’
‘Marek Petecki – very user friendly and all round great chap.’
‘Sam Munday is a strong associate.’
Johnson & Johnson Innovations
Oxford Science Enterprises plc
Francis Crick Institute
IP Group plc
Neu Health Digital Ltd
Ēvolvere Biosciences Ltd
- Advised OMass Therapeutics on its $100m Series B financing.
- Advised lead investors Syncona and Cambridge Innovation Capital on the spin-out of Mosaic Therapeutics from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and associated $28m Series A funding round.
- Advised FundamentalVR on its $20m Series B funding.
The arrival in June 2022 of David Ramm from Baker Botts (UK) LLP has significantly enhanced Crowell & Moring‘s venture capital credentials in light of his longstanding investee-side expertise throughout the investment life cycle. Ramm combines transactional prowess with deep tech-related industry knowledge, enhanced by his credentials as a former scientist and engineer. He co-heads the firm’s overarching corporate and transactional team alongside Simon Evers .
David Ramm; Simon Evers
Other key lawyers:
Electric Aviation Group
Health Medical Bank
My Wealth Cloud
- Advised Glint Pay on its equity financing by Seedrs and Sibanye-Stillwater.
- Advised Jellagen on its equity financing by Cardiff County Council, Development Bank of Wales and Thai Union.
- Advised Serac Life Sciences on its equity financing by various high net worth individuals.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is ‘incredibly knowledgeable and experienced in VC investments’ for both investors and investees. The team, which has a targeted VC offering as well as being able to leverage the firm’s broader TMT M&A group, is also well-placed to advise on cross-border mandates by virtue of its international network. ‘Fantastic’ team head Jon Gill is ‘vastly knowledgeable and reactive’, and takes the lead on the most notable work handled by the team, including in the corporate venturing space.
Other key lawyers:
Lizzy Tindall; Louise Finnie; Waltter Kulvik; Richard Kyle; Catherine Eley; Paul Pugh; Sebastien Bonneau
‘The team is incredibly knowledgeable and experienced in VC investments. They were able to quickly understand the complex legal issues involved in our transaction and provide clear and concise advice.’
‘Jon Gill is a fantastic partner – he is vastly knowledgeable and reactive.’
‘Very commercially aware, sensible pragmatic approach. Can-do attitude and very efficient.’
‘Jon Gill is very thorough and delivered the deal on time and to budget.’
Sussex Place Ventures
YFM Equity Partners
Legal & General
Mercia Technologies PLC
Perwyn Private Equity
Combining ‘efficiency, creativity, and strategic acumen’, Fieldfisher provides ‘solutions-driven’ advice to investors and venture-backed businesses, seeking or providing funding throughout the investment life cycle. Leveraging the firm’s broader regulatory expertise, the team is particularly effective at advising on transactions within the fintech and healthtech sectors, where Thomas Colmer provides ‘highly actionable’ advice. Manchester-based Tom Ward co-heads the team alongside Colmer and has a strong track record advising on early stage mandates, including through EIS funds.
Tom Ward; Thomas Colmer
Other key lawyers:
Mark Walker; Keith Woodhouse; Andrew Oliver
‘The team is highly experienced in VC-backed investments.’
‘They are solutions-driven, always finding innovative ways to address complex issues.’
‘Their uniqueness lies not just in their knowledge and professionalism, but in their approach to service, which seamlessly combines efficiency, creativity, and strategic acumen.’
‘Tom Ward’s blend of deep legal knowledge, market insight, and outstanding communication skills sets him apart from competitors. We have particularly valued his proactive approach and commercial acumen.’
‘Thomas Colmer is excellent. His hand-holding approach and leadership are extremely valuable for all stakeholders and his communication is clear and concise, and his advice highly actionable.’
Acet Circular Solutions (t/a Again)
Basinghall Tech Fund
Board Intelligence Ltd
Better Half (t/a Paired)
Bower Collective Ltd
Carmoola Group Ltd
Circle Up Growth Partners
Complement Therapeutics Ltd
Digital Insight Technologies Ltd (t/a Xapien)
Dronamics Global Ltd
EB Research Partnership
E Fundamentals Group Ltd
FF Meander Ltd (t/a Byway Travel)
FF Poplar Ltd (t/a Poplar Studios)
FF Indie Ltd
Field Doctor Ltd
Fuse Universal Ltd
Genesis Global Technology Ltd
Glimpse Protocol Ltd
Growth Catalyst Partners LLC
Guardian Angel Network Ltd
Guider Global Ltd
Guinness Asset Management (EIS funds)
Hammock Financial Services Ltd
Howard Holdings (trading as Landways)
Messier Holdings Ltd (t/a Pinwheel)
MNAI Data Solutions Ltd
Oh Goodlord Ltd
Osprey Flight Solutions
Oya Space Ltd
Perkier Foods Ltd
Phides Holding Limited
Quanterium Technologies Ltd (t/a Compose)
Risk Ledger Ltd
Saas Hospitality Ltd (t/a HotelRunner)
SideQuest Meta Ltd (formerly Wanyoo)
Singletrack Systems Ltd
Superfluid Finance Ltd
SWEN Capital Partners
Tembo Money Ltd
The Know Media Group Ltd
Tortoise Media Ltd
Truffle Invest Ltd
Tyme Food Ltd
Visor Commerce (t/a OnBuy.com)
5Y Technology Ltd
- Advising new US private equity fund client Growth Catalyst Partners (GCP) on 5 acquisitions in 2022 including its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Alaco Limited from various sellers, to create a new global risk consultancy Sigma7.
- Advising new US private equity fund client SymphonyAI LLC on its acquisition of the NetReveal financial crime platform from BAe Systems plc.
- Acting as lead M&A legal and tax advisers on the sale of Singletrack, an engagement, research management and analytics platform purpose-built by industry professionals for capital markets, to Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused private equity firm.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Michael Jacobs leads the firm's growth capital sector team, working in tandem with the wider firm's extensive bench of private equity and corporate specialists. Recent work of note has included advising on capital raisings and investments, in particular for venture capital arms of major corporates.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management
Sustainable Development Capital
Drawing upon ‘an impressive depth of knowledge and experience in the tech sector’, boutique firm Humphreys Law provides ‘flexible and pragmatic advice’ on mandates throughout the investment life cycle. The team is particularly adept at advising on investee matters, providing ‘tailored legal advice that is both practical and effective’, as a result of the firm’s ‘keen understanding of the needs of founders and entrepreneurs’. Leveraging ‘excellent knowledge in the VC market’, founding partner Henry Humphreys is at the forefront of the most significant mandates handled by the team, including a considerable volume in relation to fintech, health tech and AI.
Other key lawyers:
‘They have an impressive depth of knowledge and experience in the tech sector.’
‘The team offers an excellent knowledge and understanding of the venture capital market, and provides flexible and pragmatic advice.’
‘They are invested in the success of their clients and have a keen understanding of the needs of founders and entrepreneurs. Consequently they are able to provide tailored legal advice that is both practical and effective.’
‘The team is tightly knit, very focused, and highly responsive. It is uniquely nimble and approachable, combining experience and reach with a boutique service.’
‘The individuals in the team have both the depth and experience and the confidence to advise commercially and pragmatically.’
‘The brilliant Henry Humphreys is very client-oriented and has an excellent knowledge in the VC market.’
BCB Group Holdings
Fuel Ventures VC
Connecterra Holdings Limited
Edison International plc
Heal Capital VC
Lian Capital VC
Simsan Ventures VC
- Advised Encode Club as it raised $5.5m on its journey to become the #1 hub for blockchain and crypto education.
- Advised GapMinder – one of the leading venture capital firms in Romania – on its investment into OutThink.
- Assisted long standing client, Feel Holdings, in securing a £1.66m equity investment from Btomorrow Ventures.
Lewis Silkin's corporate finance and investment practice has a track record of work on funding rounds, follow-on financings and seed investment. The key names are corporate finance head Timothy Leeson and fellow corporate finance partner David Willbe, who also co-heads the firm’s technology sector group
David Willbe; Timothy Leeson
‘Lewis Silkin has great technical capability but distinguish themselves with their culture – good people who listen and provide outstanding customer service.’
‘David Willbe has an outstanding legal skill set, combined with excellent problem-solving. Combines being highly commercial with finding good practical solutions. Provides outstanding customer service. If a deal needs energy and commitment, there is no better person. Outstanding.’
‘They are incredibly talented, reputable and accessible. They have also accommodated to our financial circumstances as we have grown. Specifically, we started using Lewis Silkin when I was pursuing our pre-seed round, so before we really had any money at all, in the interest of building a trusting relationship. We have no intention of changing firms any time soon.’
‘David Willbe is incredibly knowledgeable, and quickly applies that knowledge to our circumstances in effective and creative ways. He has also fought forcefully but appropriately on our behalf on multiple occasions – we have been incredibly impressed.’
Vezeeta Holding Limited
Breed Reply Investments Limited
X R Games Limited
Phlux Technology Limited
Volta Audio Limited
Unlikely Artificial Intelligence Limited
JLL Capital Partners
- Advised Unlikely Artificial intelligence, an artificial intelligence company, founded by the originator of Alexa, on its first seed round with institutional investors, led by Octopus Ventures and Amadeus Capital Partners.
- Advised X R on a £5.9m funding round co-led by existing investors Praetura Ventures and Maven Capital Partners.
- Advised Vezeeta on a $11m follow-on financing.
Acting on its own as well as forming an integral part of the firm’s global emerging companies and venture capital practice, which can draw from the firm’s US expertise, in particular, Morrison Foerster is adept at advising global investors on late-stage and strategic financings in the technology and life sciences sectors. One of these, is SoftBank, which the firm continues to regularly advise, through its technology-focused venture capital investment vehicle, Soft Bank Vision Fund. Andrew Boyd is one of the primary contacts.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Boyd; Gary Brown; Simon Arlington; Stuart Alford; Patrick Barrett
‘Commercial approach and pragmatic advice.’
SoftBank Vision Fund
Ally Bridge Group
Virgo Investment Group
Emerson Collective LLC
Base10 Partners LLC
- Advised SoftBank Vision Fund II as lead investor in a $190m Series C financing round of UK fintech platform PrimaryBid.
- Advised SoftBank Vision Fund II in its investment in Ripples Capital Limited, the BVI holding company of Dubai-headquartered `ghost kitchen’ provider Kitopi.
- Represented Ally Bridge Group in connection with the $600m Series D financing of CMR Surgical Limited, a global surgical robotic systems developer.
Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a ‘detailed knowledge of the fund raising regulatory environment and issues inherent in VC investing’. The national team, which includes offices in Nottingham, Birmingham and London, is particularly adept at advising on tax-related investments regarding EIS and VCT funds. Splitting her time between the London and Birmingham offices, Kavita Patel is a key member of the team, as a result of her work for funds clients, both in relation to structuring work and on subsequent downstream investments. Nottingham-based partner Duncan James also handles a considerable amount of VC matters, including work for family-run companies, in his role as national corporate head.
Duncan James (National Head); Kavita Patel (Head of Investment Funds)
Other key lawyers:
Roger Harcourt; Peter Mayhew; Jody Webb
‘The firm has a strong expertise in venture capital fund raising and investment gained over many years working for many VC firms.’
‘The firm has detailed knowledge of the fund raising regulatory environment and issues inherent in VC investing.’
Foresight Group LLP
Octopus Investments Limited
Blackfinch Investments Limited
BGF Investments LLP (bgf)
Tympa Health Technologies Limited
- Advised Blackfinch on several EIS/VCT development capital investments (both new and follow on).
- Provided ongoing support to Foresight Group LLP with various EIS/VCT/IHT portfolio companies.
- Provided ongoing support to BGF Investments LLP with various portfolio companies.
Waterfront Solicitors LLP
Led by Angus Young, Waterfront Solicitors LLP is 'great at helping companies at the early stage of the market', where its compelling mix technology industry knowledge, flexible pricing and commerciality are strong selling points. Matthew Cunningham recently became head of legal at Hack the Box, although he continues to handle work in his capacity as a consultant to the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Matt Cunningham; Charlotte Lang
‘They are great at helping companies at the early stage of the market (i.e seed level companies).’
‘Matt Cunningham is an affable and good operator. Really enjoy working with him and his team.’
‘Attention to detail and a collaborative approach with their clients.’
Virtual Internship Partners
- Advised Shufti Pro in relation to its $20m Series A round led by Updata Partners VI LP, a tech-focused growth equity firm.
- Advised Virtual Internship Partners in relation to a $14.3m Series A round led by Hambro Perks and including Sequoia India (Surge Ventures), Arsenal Growth, Kaplan, Ascend Vietnam Ventures and STIC Investments.
- Advised Neurofenix in relation to its $7m Series A round led by Albion Capital Group and including InHealth Ventures.