Drawing upon a ‘fantastic breadth of expertise’ and ‘good industry knowledge’, due to its longstanding presence in the market and familiarity of “what is market”, Bird & Bird LLP provides a ‘responsive and helpful’ service to funds and investees throughout the investment life cycle. The firm’s overarching knowledge, including across regulatory matters, commercial and IP-related matters within the tech space is also of huge value to clients, enabling the team to provide a one-stop-shop service to start-ups, in particular, as they scale up. Vastly experienced team head Struan Penwarden provides ‘sound practical advice‘ to investees and investors providing/seeking equity investment, as well as having a niche specialism advising providers of venture debt. Geraint Lloyd is also an experienced practitioner whose work spans both private equity and venture capital investments, including a considerable volume of work for longstanding client Albion Capital. The ‘superb’ James Baillieu is well-versed in handling investee and investor work within both the tech and life sciences sectors, and has also been pivotal to the firm’s growing number of clients within the corporate venturing space (as well as advising those receiving investment from these funds). The ‘fantastic’ Mark Rundall provides ‘very commercial’ advice to a varied client base that includes corporates, VCTs, venture debt providers and corporate venturers. Joseph Stolerman joined Index Ventures as a legal counsel in June 2021.
Venture capital in London
Other key lawyers:
Geraint Lloyd; James Baillieu; Mark Rundall; Adam Meisels; Dhruv Chhatralia; Arif Saleem; Francesca Mansell
‘The cost-effective team is proactive and has good industry knowledge.’
‘They are also willing to go the extra mile when required and provide better service to clients.’
‘Their breadth of expertise is fantastic, and they cover virtually all new bases for us as a business.’
‘Everyone is super responsive and helpful.’
‘Mark Rundall is fantastic. He’s virtually part of the family now, having been working with my co-founder and I for nearly a decade. He’s very commercial, patient, able to break everything down into simple terms, thorough and generous with his time.’
‘Both Struan Penwarden and Mark Rundall provide sound practical advice.’
‘James Baillieu is superb. He is quick and accurate in his responses, able to deal with minutae and grander strategy all with ease.’
Urban- Air Port
Mirae Asset Capital
Plant Meat (t/a THIS)
Hide Biotech Ltd
- Continued to advise longstanding client, Jobandtalent, on multiple funding rounds, including on its €88m Series C top-up round and its Series D €100 million financing.
- Acted for long term client Kreos Capital on a number of investments including in HungryPanda, as part of its $130m Series D funding round.
- Advised Cyber-focused business Immersive Labs on its $75m Series C funding round.
Spearheaded by the ‘vastly experienced and skilled’ Chris Grew, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP‘s ‘dynamic’ nine-partner team provides ‘commercial and pragmatic‘ advice to an increasingly balanced roster of company and fund clients within the technology sector. Active throughout the investment life cycle, from “idea to exit”, clients not only benefit from advice that is ‘current, accurate and on market’ (gleaned as a result of the huge volume of deals the group handles) but also attracts US investment and is able to undertake exit strategies via the US capital markets by virtue of its Silicon Valley office. Recognised as a ‘real heavyweight’, Shawn Atkinson ‘is not only a brilliant lawyer, but he actually knows the commercials and the market extremely well’, ensuring that he is a popular choice among a mix of investors and high growth technology companies. Recognised by one client as ‘one of a few junior partners in London to have the ability to face-down any US powerhouses,’ consequently Jamie Moore is highly valued by a more investee-focused client base, many of which are utilising disruptive technologies (including fintech). Investor-focused Ylan Steiner is also well regarded at a partner level, while senior associate Stephen Tallon, whose ‘ability to cut through the noise’ and ‘willingness to go the extra mile’ is valued by investors and investees alike. The arrival in May 2022 of Peter Sugden from RPC further bolsters the team.
Other key lawyers:
Ylan Steiner; Shawn Atkinson; Jamie Moore; Peter Sugden; Stephen Tallon; Christopher Perry
‘The team is super responsive, commercial, pragmatic and always have the best interests of our business at heart.’
‘Dynamic team with patience to manage a diverse group of investors and board members.’
‘Orrick provides world-class, obtainable support to the UK start-up ecosystem. They bring absolute confidence to their early-stage tech clients that their advice is current, accurate and on market.’
‘The reason we use Shawn Atkinson is that he is not only a brilliant lawyer, but he actually knows the commercials and the market extremely well. This gives a huge impact on our negotiation power.’
‘Shawn Atkinson – a real heavyweight with outstanding knowledge of industries and sectors in this space. Huge fun to work with.’
‘Jamie Moore is patient and supportive and also able to share market data so I know how I compare to other founder’s term sheets.’
‘Jamie Moore sees the bigger picture, knowing that by investing early in early-stage founders, he is laying the groundwork for a long-term relationship for the future.’
‘Jamie’s client-facing skills are backed by his experience – he is one of a few junior partners in London to have the ability to face-down any US powerhouses.’
Bought By Many (now ManyPets)
BMW I Ventures
PayPal Holdings, Inc.
Temasek Capital Management Pte. Ltd
Darsana Capital Partners
Vostok Emerging Finance
ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund
Atomico Management Ltd.
Piper Private Equity
Amadeus Capital Partners
Signal Media Ltd
Mission Health and Wellness Ltd
Imagine Mortgages (Generation Home)
Immense Simulations Ltd
- Advised Global Processing Services, a global payment technology platform, in its over $400m fundraising from Advent International and Viking Global Investors.
- Advised new unicorn Bought By Many (now ManyPets), a digital-first pet insurance provider, on its $350m Series D financing round.
- Advised Salesforce Ventures on several investments during the research period including its investment in the $650m Series C financing of WeFox.
With seven core venture capital partners spread across the firm’s London, Bristol and Reading offices, as well as being able to draw upon a sizeable presence in Europe, Osborne Clarke LLP has the strength-in-depth to handle a huge range and volume of purely domestic and cross-border mandates for a balanced roster of investors and investees. Led by ‘excellent’ Reading-based partner Robert Wood, the firm is active throughout the investment life cycle where it is able to ‘combine exceptional legal ability with a very commercial and practical approach to getting the deal done’, particularly on transactions within the technology and life sciences sectors. Particularly focused on TMT-related transactions, London-based Mathias Loertscher has a strong reputation acting for both funds and companies raising venture and growth capital rounds, as well as for shareholders of venture-backed businesses on their exits. Combining excellent technical skills alongside an ‘incredible commercial approach’, Reading based Rob Hayes has made a strong impact to the practice following his relatively recent arrival from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, partcularly in the context of life sciences mandates. An ‘absolute rising star’, Reading-based associate Elizabeth Yell has also impressed since joining from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP and provides ‘commercial and practical‘ advice.
Other key lawyers:
Mathias Loertscher; Justin Starling; Rob Hayes; Matthew Edwards; James Taylor; Elizabeth Yell; Robert Pook
‘They are market leaders in VC – they combine exceptional legal ability with a very commercial and practical approach to getting the deal done.’
‘They have an incredible knowledge of the technology and life science sectors in the UK and are therefore able to advise on what on all the key players in the space will need on investments.’
‘Rob Hayes – one of the very best in VC. Always approachable and a delight to work with. Technically outstanding combined with an incredible commercial approach is winning combination.’
‘Elizabeth Yell – an absolute rising star. She is exceptional – always brilliant to work with, she works incredibly hard to ensure that everything is dealt with properly on deals. She’s technically exceptional but also incredibly commercial and practical.’
Business Growth Fund
First Minute Capital
Science Creates Ventures
The Clean Growth Fund
- Advised Highland Europe on its Series C investment in Plentific, the leading platform for smart property management.
- Acted for Nexeon Limited – an advanced battery technology company – on a $80m refinancing.
- Advised AviadoBio Ltd, a pioneering gene therapy company focused on developing and delivering transformative medicines for people living with neurodegenerative disorders, on its $80m Series A financing round.
Deeply embedded into the venture capital ecosystem as a result of many years’ involvement at the very pinnacle of the market, Taylor Wessing LLP is consequently able to provide real world, cost-effective and commercial advice to a technology and life sciences centred investee-focused client base throughout the funding continuum. ‘Knowledgeable and experienced’ team head Angus Miln frequently takes the lead on advice to disruptive tech companies, including a considerable amount of recent later stage work for fintech companies, including for Monzo Bank which he advised on its oversubscribed Series H funding round. As well as his knowledge of venture capital work within the cleantech space, Howard Palmer is also very adept at handling fintech-related work, including for early stage fund Dawn Capital. Based out of Cambridge, Ross McNaughton is particularly effective at handling work for life sciences/healthcare companies throughout their growth strategies, and is well-suited to advising on matters with a transatlantic angle by dint of a period of time based out of San Francisco. 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. All named practitioners are based in London unless otherwise noted.
Other key lawyers:
Howard Palmer; Josef Fuss; Alexandra Richardson; Ross McNaughton; Ian Moore
‘Angus Miln is knowledgeable and experienced.’
Beauty Pie Limited
Multiverse Group Limited
New Science Ventures
Goodwin‘s strategy several years ago of hiring some of the best names in the industry from numerous leading law firms is continuing to pay off. This, coupled with the firm’s strong corporate finance/funds heritage and US platform, has ensured that in spite of its relative nascence it is already a major presence in the market. Led by David Mardle out of London, but also drawing upon a strong presence in Cambridge, the team has ‘an impressive breadth of expertise and experience’ and is able to ‘handle the most complex transactions with calm authority’. Benefitting from a ‘very commercial mindset’, tech sector expert Ali Ramadan exemplifies the firm’s versatility in the sector, being equally at home handling early stage work for start-ups, as he is in a later stage scenario for investors. As well as conventional technology and life sciences venture mandates, Sophie McGrath also has a core focus on impact investing and ‘is simply stellar when it comes to healthtech deals’. Other recommended practitioners include ‘technical, commercial, cool headed and strategic’ Cambridge-based partner Elizabeth Rhodes; the ‘phenomenal’ Andrew Davis, whose workload includes a considerable amount of transactions in the proptech space; and associate Adam Thatcher, who divides his time between the firm’s Cambridge and London offices.
Other key lawyers:
Sophie McGrath; Ali Ramadan; Andrew Davis; Elizabeth Rhodes; Adam Thatcher; Kenny Walker-Durrant; Richard Bloomfield; Ella Donegan; Charles Baker
‘A team of people who are very experienced and show leadership – with a clear and obvious focus on client experience and best outcome.’
‘They have an impressive breadth of expertise and experience.’
‘They handle the most complex transactions with calm authority, anticipating and flagging issues which need urgent attention, working closely with management to get the transaction done in the most efficient and speedy way.’
‘Ali Ramadan has a very commercial mindset, is truly valuable in assessing risks, pragmatic and available.’
‘Sophie McGrath is simply stellar when it comes to healthtech deals. She doesn’t just understand the law and the commercial dynamics but also how to steer a ship in a storm if needs be.’
‘Andrew Davis is phenomenal. Andrew is a genius at explaining even the most complex legal issues in terms understandable to lay people and offering options for resolutions.’
‘Elizabeth Rhodes stands out for her truly exceptional ability – she is technical, commercial, cool headed and strategic.’
Lightspeed Venture Partners
Quanta Dialysis Technologies Limited
- Advised Quanta Dialysis Technologies on its completion of a $245m oversubscribed Series D funding round, the largest private funding round for a dialysis device company in history.
- Advised Matillion on its $150m Series E funding round, led by General Atlantic with participation from Battery Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Scale Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
- Advised Octopus Ventures on several investments including: Ibex Medial Analytics, Biofidelity, Taster, Contingent and Kleene.AI.
Even in the relatively short period since it was established in 2020, Latham & Watkins‘s ‘incredibly impressive’ London emerging companies team has rapidly gained market traction in the tech space. This success has been built upon the combination of the firm’s existing finance, corporate and UK/US platform, coupled with the intellectual capital of the lateral hires it made, and has enabled the firm to ‘service both investors and start-ups all the way from the top of the funnel with seed investments deals through to IPO and M&A’. Mike Turner is a ‘veteran of the industry’ and leverages his vast knowledge gleaned through his many years’ experience in private sector, as well as those formed during his tenure as a general partner in a technology-focused venture capital fund. An ‘absolute rock star’, Shing Lo ‘understands the plight of founders but also the commercial drivers of investors’, enabling her to provide very effective and efficient advice regardless of whether she is advising investors or investees. The ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ Robbie McLaren co-heads the team alongside Turner and Lo and is a key member of the practice that also includes ‘extremely responsive and commercial’ senior associate Samantha Peacock.
Mike Turner; Shing Lo; Robbie McLaren
Other key lawyers:
Aaron Bassett; Terry Charalambous; Jon Fox; Katie Kaplucha; Samantha Peacock; Samantha Si
‘The team provides extremely high quality work.’
‘You feel like they have thought of everything and have a strong command of all detail, highlighting the relevant items to you.’
‘They can service both investors and start-ups all the way from the top of the funnel with seed investments deals through to IPO and M&A. An incredibly impressive offering.’
‘Mike Turner is a veteran of the industry.’
‘Shing Lo is a highly-skilled partner.’
‘Shing Lo is an absolute rock star and my favourite London VC lawyer. She lives and breathes VC. She understands the plight of founders but also the commercial drivers of investors.’
‘Robbie McLaren and Jon Fox are responsive, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Sam Peacock is a rising star in the team. She leads on the majority of our investments and is extremely responsive and commercial. She makes my job easier by clearly setting out the points on which she requires instruction.’
ATAI Life Sciences
Bloom & Wild
Bessemer Venture Partners
HSBC Financial Technology Venture Capital Fund
HSBC Investment Bank Holdings Limited
Robin AI Limited
Union Square Ventures
Spilsbusy Holdings (t/a Aztec)
- Advised Atomico on the Series B Financing for Sorare, a France-based tech company operating an online fantasy football game using NFTs and blockchain technology.
- Advised OMERS Private Equity on the Series E Financing for Northvolt AB, a Swedish battery developer and manufacturer, specialising in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles.
- Advised Novo Holdings on co-leading a $245m Series D funding round for Quanta Dialysis Technologies, a medical technology leader delivering on its vision for more flexible and accessible dialysis care.
Marriott Harrison LLP
Although relatively small, Marriott Harrison LLP is able to draw upon ‘deep venture capital knowledge and experience’, enabling it to punch above its weight and to handle a huge flow of deals for both investors and investees in the tech sector. ‘Exceptionally insightful and innovative’ team head David Strong has a ‘tonnne of experience advising investors and high growth companies’, and has been pivotal to the firm’s success, leading from the front on early and growth stage investments, including for Accel Partners and Balderton. The ‘absolutely amazing’ Fran Spooner was promoted to partner in 2021, a testament to her growing visibility in the market, particularly among investee clients, who are appreciative of her ‘founder-friendly’ approach.
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Jacob; Jonathan Leigh-Hunt; Fran Spooner; Andrew Ross; David Bettis; Graham Halliday; Inbar Cohen; Uday Mehra; James Fleming
‘A small team but one that punches above its weight with deep venture capital knowledge and experience. They are also very responsive and you get full partner attention.’
‘The team is incredibly innovative and versatile.’
‘The firm was able to demonstrate that they had wide experience with start-ups from pre-seed to later stages; particular benefit to us as we continue to scale, having familiarity with the business from the beginning to Series A and beyond.’
Oxford Science Enterprises
- Advised Gresham House, Beringea and Acton on the £49.8m Series D financing of mpb.com, the world’s largest reseller of photo and video equipment.
- Represented spend-automation platform Soldo on its $180m Series C financing, led by Temasek.
- Advised top-tier investors Northzone and Lightspeed Venture Partners on $20m Series A financing of virtual travel platform Heygo.
Able to provide ‘high-quality advice based on their comprehensive knowledge of market norms’, Shoosmiths LLP remains visible in the market among a slew of very active investors, including Gresham House Ventures and Octopus Ventures. Birmingham-based team head Alastair Peet has been pivotal to the success of the team as a whole, effectively knitting together expertise across key regions, including the Midlands, Thames Valley and London, as well as successfully implementing cost-efficient document automation, which has proved particularly useful for volume investors, including Octopus Ventures. Also based in Birmingham, Alistair Hammerton is gaining significant traction among an investor-focused client base and is appreciated for his ability to provide ‘concise and accurate advice‘. ‘Methodical and balanced’ in his approach, London-based partner Steve Barnett provides ‘commercial and pragmatic’ advice and continues to grow the firm’s company side credentials. Other key members of the national team include corporate partner Sanjeev Sharma, whose work encompasses a significant amount of venture capital mandates and tax partner Tom Wilde, who is ‘a standout individual for his knowledge of the EIS and VCT rules’. Helen Burnell, who leads the firm's spHERe initiative to support female founders and venture capitalists, was recently promoted to partner.
Other key lawyers:
Steve Barnett; James Klein; Sanjeev Sharma; James Foster; Tom Wilde; Anna Robson; Rebecca Mauleverer; Alistair Hammerton; Alison Gilson; Grant Edwards; Helen Burnell; Adam Leszczynski; Charlotte Cannell
‘The team is extremely competent, knowledgeable and helpful. They are able to provide high-quality advice based on their comprehensive knowledge of market norms.’
‘Not only is the team highly professional, it is also highly valued on the inter-personal side – being able to share the more “human” moments of a high pressure deal process can really help when you’re “in the trenches”.’
‘Very friendly and approachable. They have a very commercial and pragmatic view that helps to get transactions done efficiently.’
‘The Shoosmiths team often goes above and beyond when matters become more complex and are unphased by challenging deals.’
‘Steve Barnett is highly intelligent, methodical and balanced in his approach.’
‘Steve Barnett provide very commercial and pragmatic advice.’
‘Sanjeev Sharma – an excellent client relationship partner, who not only is abreast of the large number of transactions that his team are handling for us, but is also always available as a valuable sounding board on a range of matters.’
‘Alistair Hammerton has been incredibly helpful on our matters. He is easily accessible and gives concise and accurate advice.’
Business Growth Fund
Gresham House Ventures
Faculty Science Limited
QBN Capital (Hong Kong)
Mercia Fund Management
YFM Private Equity Limited
Masabi Group Limited
XYZ Reality Limited
Clean Growth Fund
Triple Point Ventures
Highgate Technology Ventures (New York)
Harbr Group Limited
Speechmatics (Cantab Research Limited)
- Advised Masabi Group Limited, the operator of the Justride fare payments platform, on its significant growth capital raise from Accel-KKR.
- Advised FacultyAI on its significant $42.5m Series B investment from Apax Digital.
- Advising BGF on its £13m investment into Bambino Mio Limited and on multiple other transactions across the UK.
Led from Bristol by Chris Dyson and the ‘calm and strategic’ Rory Suggett, Ashfords LLP has a strong reputation among funds, as well as a growing roster of tech sector investees, particularly as it relates to early-stage financings. The team was also recently enhanced by the arrival of several lawyers with in-house fund-side expertise, including London-based Kim Hawkins who joined in February 2021 from now defunct impact EIS fund Earthworm VC. Praised for its market knowledge, gleaned from many years’ experience advising on transactions in the sector, the firm knows ‘where market standard is at any one time’, and is thereby well-positioned to provide the most appropriate advice dependent on where the company seeking investment is within its growth journey. Head of the firm’s corporate department and business services division, Andrew Betteridge also has significant venture capital expertise, as does Jocelyn Ormond, who has a particular niche advising companies and investors in the digital health/life sciences sector.
Chris Dyson; Rory Suggett
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Betteridge; Jocelyn Ormond; Kim Hawkins; Scott Preece; Ross Van De Velde
‘The team is particularly commercial and knows the market well and where market standard is at any one time.’
‘They are commercial, pragmatic and focused on providing useful feedback and guidance.’
‘Feels like they are acting for me rather than just throwing a load of information at me.’
‘Rory Suggett is commercial, practicable, fair, calm and able to think strategically and get into the detail.’
Ahren Innovation Capital
Global Satellite Vu
Episode 1 Ventures
- Advising biotech company, Iksuda Therapeutics, on its $47m Series A investment round led by Korean investors Mirae Asset and Celltrion.
- Advising Form3 on its recent $160m Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs, along with participation from Molten Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit) and existing investors.
- Advising BGF on leading a £33m Series B investment round in biopharmaceutical company PhoreMost.
Maintaining strong transactional traction within the life sciences space (one of the firm’s core overarching areas of sector strength) but also increasingly active for investors and investees on tech and energy transition matters, Brown Rudnick LLP has significant visibility in the market throughout the funding life-cycle (where it is able to add value by virtue of its concomitant IP and licensing expertise). Neil Foster has been one of the chief architects of broadening the firm’s offering (following his relatively recent move from Baker Botts (UK) LLP) in light of his company side expertise on cleantech matters, and on the investor front, for his corporate venturing knowledge. Foster co-heads the team alongside Mark Dorff, whose dual UK and US qualification (and ability to leverage the firm’s broader US network of offices) is a value add to his life sciences client base on transatlantic deals.
Mark Dorff; Neil Foster
Other key lawyers:
Tom Braiden; Tim Davison; Sage Revell; Nick Davies; Tobias Plowman
‘Sage Revell is particularly good – she is diligent, which gives reassurance as a client that one is in very good hands.’
Ananda Impact Fund IV GMBH & Co KG and BGF Investments LP
Energy Innovation Capital
Innovation World Limited
Recycling Technologies Limited
- Advised Coinfirm, an industry-leading blockchain analytics and anti-money laundering solutions platform, on an $8m Series A funding round with investment from five venture capital funds.
- Represented Bio-Rad Laboratories, an American developer and manufacturer of specialized technological products, in connection with its $8m investment into ODx Innovations Limited by way of convertible loan split into two tranches.
- Advsed the co-lead investors (and other participating investors) on a Series A investment round for Closed Loop Medicine Ltd.
With a strong presence in London and also able to leverage expertise from across the firm’s international network of offices, CMS is well-positioned to advise investors and investees throughout the funding life cycle, on both domestic and international mandates. In addition, the team which is co-headed by the ‘fantastic’ John Finnemore and Tony Waller, is also able to draw upon complementary strengths as a result of the firm’s full-service offering, including advice on IP-related issues, regulatory matters, licensing and, perhaps most importantly, a strong M&A and capital markets which is frequently utilised at the exit stage. The team is also ‘very supportive on the corporate side from an early stage’, and in this regard, start-ups have access to the firm’s well-received incubator, equIP, which provides invaluable support to IP-rich start-ups in the context of training, mentoring and network opportunities.
Tony Waller; John Finnemore
Other key lawyers:
Louis Glass; Niall McAlister; Tom Jameson; Sam Pout; Theo Godfrey; Elliot Cowan
‘Very supportive on the corporate side from early stage.’
‘Understood trajectory of the business, didn’t require lots of upfront fees and utilised VC package which meant we could get the advice we needed to be set up properly from the start.’
‘Pragmatic approach to billing when handovers/doubling up is required for better coverage.’
- Advised BrightEye, a VC fund specialising in investments in edtech, on a seed investment in Skiller Whale, a convertible loan investment in Sainaptic, a follow-on equity investment in Zen Educate (£2m), and a convertible loan investment in Sdui (€5m).
- Advised growth equity firm Turn/River Capital on its €315m strategic investment in Redwood Software, a leading provider of cloud-based business and IT process automation solutions.
- Advised Hiro on a Series A investment into game streaming platform Loco ($9m).
Benefitting from ‘a strong understanding of the life cycle of emerging companies’, Cooley (UK) LLP is well-placed to handle ‘matters very smoothly and appropriately’ for both investors and investees at any stage of the funding continuum. 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 team excels at handling cross-border deals and advising US-based investors. In this regard, US-qualified team head Ryan Naftulin ‘has an unparalleled understanding of the UK and US fundraising and company building process’. As well as his transactional work, Naftulin is also engaged in thought leadership and broader knowledge sharing, and is one of the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA)’s key advisers on its legal documentation and drafting committee which annually looks to review its standard documents. Aaron Archer is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has a strong understanding of the life cycle of emerging companies.’
‘They handle matters very smoothly and generally proportionately.’
‘The incredibly responsive Ryan Naftulin has an unparalleled understanding of the UK and US fundraising and company building process.’
Lightspeed Venture Partners
EyeBio (EyeBiotech Limited)
Ieso Digital Health
- Represented General Catalyst and Accel in their investments in the USD475 million Series H financing of Monzo.
- Represented Accel in its investment as part of the USD200 million Series C round in Genesis.
- Assisted QED Investors as the co-lead investor in ecommerce merchants Wayflyer’s USD150 million Series B financing round.
Under the expert guidance of the ‘outstanding and technically excellent’ Joseph Altendorff, Dentons‘ venture capital continues to gain traction in the market for a varied mix of clients, including investees, funds, family offices and corporate venturers. With a ‘good understanding of what’s important and a keen eye for detail’, as well as the firm’s core venture capital strength throughout the funding continuum, the team is also effectively able to leverage firmwide sector strengths in energy and financial services (among others), ensuring that it is well-positioned to provide guidance on specific regulatory issues, for example. The ability to draw upon the expertise of lawyers throughout the firm’s vast international network is also a strong selling point and has been utilised to good effect for investors, including Octopus Ventures, on its European investment strategies. ‘Trustworthy, responsive and pragmatic’ senior associate Joseph Collingwood is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
David McGrory; Iain Sutherland; Derek McCombe;James Davison; Joseph Collingwood; Nick Westoll; Annabel Mockridge; Danni Hofmeyr
‘The client friendly and experienced team provides pragmatic advice.’
‘They are a safe pair of hands on any VC deal.’
‘They have a good understanding of what’s important to us as their client and a keen eye for detail.’
‘Joe Altendorff is excellent to work with and always happy to talk through/propose creative solutions to specific issues.’
‘Joe Altendorff is knowledgeable about venture, and willing to go the extra mile for his clients.’
‘Joe Altendorff is outstanding. He is technically excellent, cool under pressure and could go toe-to-toe with any VC lawyer in the City.’
‘Joe Collingwood is trustworthy, responsive and pragmatic.’
Scottish Equity Partners
- Advised Octopus’ Titan and Apollo funds on more than 22 seed, Series A and Series B investments, including being “go-to” counsel for cross-border and international investments.
- Advised Evolution Equity Partners as lead investor on Elliptic’s $60m Series C funding.
- Advising unicorn Britishvolt on its Series B and C fundraisings from various institutional and strategic investors, including Glencore.
Appreciated for its ‘commercial awareness and pragmatism’, Harbottle & Lewis LLP provides ‘high-quality work’ to an investee-focused client base, within the tech and media space, from early stage access to SEIS/EIS capital through to follow on rounds of equity finance provided by larger institutional funds. As well as its sector knowledge, which is very much in the DNA of the firm as a whole, and its pure venture capital expertise, clients also benefit from the firm’s private client credentials, as well as on IP-related issues. ‘Extremely experienced and commercially astute’ team head Tony Littner ‘knows what is and is not market’, enabling him to provide the most appropriate guidance/advice to startups/entrepreneurs, as well as a small but growing roster of fund clients. ‘Knowledgeable, reliable and committed’ senior associate Tom Macleod regularly assists Littner on many of his transactions, and is also increasingly taking the lead on his own matters, including for high growth tech companies.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team delivers high quality work and legal advice on time and budget.’
‘We particularly appreciate their commercial awareness and pragmatism.’
‘The team has very strong experience in the venture capital space and is actively involved in the industry to ensure that they have up to date commercial knowledge.’
‘They think ahead to potential outcomes and what impact legal decisions now will have in the future.’
‘The extremely experienced and commercially astute Tony Littner brings a wealth of knowledge to any start up, investor or VC discussion.’
‘Tony Littner knows what is and is not market: he’s not afraid to tell you or the other side if anyone is being unreasonable.’
‘Tom Macleod is knowledgeable, reliable and committed.’
Smart Pension Limited
Kepler Interactive Ltd
Primer API Limited
Atom Learning Ltd
Kindred Concepts Limited
Secret Group Limited
Los Angeles Media Fund
Founder & Lightning
Client Share Ltd
- Advised Smart Pension Limited, global retirement savings technology platform provider, in connection with its £165m Series D funding round led by Chrysalis Investment.
- Advised Kepler Interactive Limited, a global game developer and publisher, in connection with its $120m investment from leading Chinese PC-client and mobile game developer and operator, NetEase.
- Advised Primer API, the low code payment automation platform provider, in connection with its $50m Series B funding round led by ICONIQ alongside existing investors.
‘Exceptional at early stage Series A and Series B venture capital work’, Mishcon de Reya LLP provides ‘an excellent service to companies and investors alike, that is cost-effective but of incredible quality’. The team, which is also able to leverage complementary strengths across IP, commercial contracts and data privacy, has practitioners in situ in the science hubs of Cambridge and Oxford, as well as in the tech innovation centre of London. ‘Fantastic’ Cambridge-based partner Chris Keen heads up the emerging companies team and is noted as the ‘the best of the best for advising early stage companies’, including as it relates to university spin-outs. Cambridge-based Charles Fletcher also handles a considerable amount of venture capital work in the context of his role as overarching corporate head.
Chris Keen; Charles Fletcher
Other key lawyers:
Tom McGuire; Nicola McConville; Erika McIntyre; Hayley Cross; Attilio Leccisotti; Geoff Dragon; James Court; Nicola Sole; Daniel Smith; Lizzie Wilson; Christia Malaktou; Ban Renshaw
‘Whenever we work with the team at Taylor Vinters, it feels like they become a part of our internal legal team and we’re all in it together. I find their advice to always be the perfect balance of legal/commercial and always considering what is in the best interests of the our company.’
‘Lovely to interact with, understand our business, smart and engaged. Practical and thoughtful. A pleasure to work with.’
‘The team is exceptional at early stage Series A and Series B venture capital work. It provides an excellent service to companies and investors alike that is cost-effective but of incredible quality, ensuring that early stage companies are receiving the very best advice from very early on.’
‘They are great people, really great culturally, and fit the culture of our company. Responsive and good service, whilst respecting associate’s work/life balance.’
‘The fantastic Chris Keen always takes great care to ensure the team he is building to work with us on transactions is the right one, which gives me comfort to know that our work will always be in the rights hands and helps to establish trust that is quickly needed in large transactions.’
’Chris Keen – the best of the best for advising early stage companies. He is always the person I recommend to early stage companies taking on investment. An excellent lawyer with a pragmatic and commercial approach.’
‘Hayley Cross – absolutely a rising star. She is brilliant technically and extremely commercial. A pleasure to deal with on deals.’
Blue Venture Fund
Vir Health Limited
Tickitto AI Limited
Marshmallow Technology Ltd
MMC Ventures and Anthemis Venture Fund
- Advised Marshmallow Technology on its $85m Series B investment round (having previously advised on its Series A and bridge rounds).
- Advised Petmedix on its $37m Series B Investment co-led by existing Investors Parkwalk Advisors, CIC, and Digitalis and with new investments from Tencent Holdings and Japanese corporation Kyoritsu Holdings.
- Advised Attest on its $60m Series B Investment round.
Withers LLP provides ‘very responsive and helpful’ advice to both investors and investees on mandates throughout the investment lifecycle, particularly within the life sciences and technology sectors. The team is also able to leverage the firm’s private client strength, of particular importance due to the growing involvement of family offices investing in the asset class. In addition, practitioners based in Boston and San Francisco ensures that the team is well-placed to take advantage of the flow of technology and capital across the Atlantic. James Shaw has longstanding experience throughout the funding lifecycle for entrepreneurs and investors and heads up a team that also includes the ‘extremely smart and very commercial’ Cambridge-based Susanna Stanfield, who acts for a number of Cambridge-based companies to help them commercialise their scientific discoveries or technology.
Other key lawyers:
Susanna Stanfield; Iain Cockburn; Sarah Melaney; Matt Peplow; Neil Jones
‘The team is very responsive and also very helpful.’
‘Advice is strategic and well explained.’
‘Withers in Cambridge has strong links with Cambridge University, where a lot of innovative ideas and startups are coming from.’
‘Susanna Stanfield is an amazing lawyer. Extremely smart, kind and very commercial.’
‘Matt Peplow is highly commercial and responsive.’
Automata Technologies Ltd
Molten Ventures PLC
Lick Home Ltd
Eight Roads Ventures Europe III LP
Oja Global Ltd (Restricted Group – Excl)
Cambridge Respiratory Innovations Limited
Altruistic Innovations Ltd (Restricted Group)
LocalGlobe XI, LP
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
Nature Metrics Ltd
Skiller Whale Limited
Project Provenance Limited
Codebay Solutions Limited (t/a Lodgify)
- Advised Molten Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit) on its investment into Thought Machine as part of the company’s $200M Series C financing.
- Advised Automata Technologies Ltd on its $50m Series B financing.
- Advised Digital+ Partners, as lead investor in the $42m Series B financing into Zencargo, with participation also from HV Capital.
Able to call upon ‘some extremely talented lawyers with great experience’ in the field, Browne Jacobson LLP ‘is knowledgeable in the legal proceedings for raising start-up capital’, ensuring that it is a very popular choice among entrepreneurs and start-ups, in particular. In this regard, Jon Snade has a particularly strong reputation among tech clients (including insuretech), many of which have been nurtured through the firm’s very propular GROW programme. ‘Very commercially minded’ Birmingham-based partner Mike Jackson co-heads the team alongside Snade and is noted for his work on behalf of regional start-ups and investors on venture-backed mandates in the automotive and greentech space. A growing fund offering includes a significant amount of work for corporate venturers and traditional investors, including BGF.
Jon Snade; Mike Jackson
Other key lawyers:
Harry Pearson; Shania Sood
‘The team has a diverse mix of partners involved in various aspects of advice. Associates have the opportunity to play a key role in the deal time, which can be good.’
‘Browne Jacobson has some extremely talented lawyers with great experience and a no-nonsense attitude to legal advice.’
‘They cut through to the salient issues and offer great value for money.’
‘The team at Browne Jacobson is extremely knowledgable in the legal proceedings for raising start-up capital.’
‘They explained all of the legal documents and requirements in terms that are understandable for people with a non-legal background.’
‘There’s a real empathy within the team and a level of client empowerment that I haven’t experienced elsewhere.’
‘Jon Snade provides excellent communication and advice.’
‘Mike Jackson really knows his area (venture capital) and is clearly very commercially-minded as well as knowing how to condense complex legal matters into plain speak.’
Mercia Fund Management
Dark Horse Technologies (T/A Omega Crop)
Enro Holdings (T/A Superscript)
Amalgamated Holdings Wilkinson Limited
Wilkinson Hardware Stores, Limited
Luxury Holiday Cottages
- Advised InsurTech pioneer Laka on its $12m Series A funding round led by Autotech Ventures, Ponooc and ABN Amro Ventures.
- Advised Foresight on its exit from third-party logistics and e-commerce fulfilment services provider Selazar Limited.
- Acted for Aceleron, a sustainable battery technology firm, on its investment with Mobility 54 Investment SAS, a subsidiary of Toyota Group, to accelerate battery innovation in Africa.
Covington & Burling LLP
Drawing upon the firm’s underlying life sciences sector strength and overarching IP credentials (as the ability to leverage the firm’s US resources), Covington & Burling LLP is a popular choice among investors/investees in relation to venture capital transactions. Gregor Frizzell leads team that also includes the ‘phenomenal’ Louise Nash and Simon Amies, who displays ‘patience and gentleness with all smaller emerging companies’.
Other key lawyers:
James Gubbins; Simon Amies; James Halstead; Louise Nash; Ben Land-Maycock
‘The team is unique in that it insists on clients having rapid access to the relevant person at the firm.’
‘Rather than having to working with one person on everything, clients get to speak to the rights person immediately.’
‘Louise Nash is phenomenal.’
Alchemab Therapeutics Ltd
Apple Tree Partners
Crescendo Biologics Ltd
GammaDelta Therapeutics Limited
National Grid Partners
Oxford Science Enterprises (formerly Oxford Science Innovation)
SV Health Investors
- Advised Oxford Science Enterprises Plc (formerly Oxford Science Innovation plc) on numerous matters, including its Series B investment in Oxford Nanoimaging Limited.
- Advised National Grid Partners on its investment into Cantab Risk Research Limited (d/b/a Risilience).
- Advised Alchemab Therapeutics Ltd on its Series A financing of up to £54m.
Regularly tapping into experts across its vast international network, as well as able to apply a multi-disciplinary approach by dint of the firm’s full-service offering, DLA Piper provides a holistic service to investees and investors on both domestic and multi-jurisdictional venture capital mandates. Praised for his ability to ‘drive convergence and compromise…that provide workable solutions’, Luca Gori is an effective adviser to conventional funds, corporate venturers and start-ups, including on deals within the fintech and insurtech sector. Gori co-heads the team alongside Jon Kenworthy.
Jon Kenworthy; Luca Gori
Other key lawyers:
Alexander Kolmakov; Dylan Kennett; Tim Harding; Irvin Shirvani
‘The team is able to see the bigger picture, and drive convergence and compromise with drafting proposals that provide workable solutions for all parties, while ensuring that as a client both our core objectives are met, and that any redlines are not given away.’
‘The team that assisted us was very proactive and flexible in providing us with the best solutions in respect to our needs even when unexpected issues arose.’
‘Luca Gori has taken the time to understand our fund, the strategic objectives of the transactions we are undertaking and he consistently delivers these for us in the conversations we have with third parties.’
Hyundai Motor Company
InfraVia Growth Fund
Phytome Life Sciences
T. Rowe Price Associates
- Advised Updata Partners on its $20m investment into Shufti Pro Limited, an early stage technology company providing identity verification services.
- Advising Marubeni Ventures on a £4m Series A3 investment in esports team manager Sannpa Ltd.
- Advised Land Technologies Limited on its c.£42m Series A fundraising round from Updata Partners (as lead investor) and other minority investors.
Although it previously had some capability in the space, primarily in relation to growth capital work, the emergence of Fladgate LLP as a serious venture capital player can largely be attributed to the arrival of the ‘amazing’ Howard Watt, who joined the firm as team head in May 2021 from Sheridans. Since that time, the firm has advised a slew of investor and investee clients on transactions at various stages of the funding life cycle in the tech space. ‘Cost-effective, efficient and brutally good at their job’, clients are particulary appreciative of being able to tap into Watt’s vast transactional expertise (both in private practice, as well as in-house at a fund), which ensures that the practice has ‘an up to date understanding of what is “normal” on a particular deal’.
Other key lawyers:
Graham Spitz; Jamie Hamilton; Yulia Leyko; Matthew Akehurst; Ellie Green; Mary Liu; Priya Vadgama
‘There are very few teams with the same breadth and depth of experience in the venture capital space.’
‘It is supremely powerful in a negotiation to have an up to date understanding of what is “normal” on a particular deal term and also to have multiple examples the legal firm on the other side of the transaction has previously proposed on the topic.’
‘They are cost-effective, efficient and brutally good at their job.’
‘Fladgate has proven itself to be a fully well rounded and serviced law firm which is exactly in line with the demands of its clients.’
‘The Fladgate team is great. They move super fast and are quite startup friendly. They always offer to jump into a call, or give support if needed.’
‘Howard Watt is amazing. He goes above and beyond. Truly thinks like a member of our team, and cuts to the chase all the time. He is indispensible.’
‘I believe that Howard Watt is, hands down, the best VC lawyer in the industry as is always my first recommendation.’
‘Mary Liu is very knowledgeable, super fast to execute next steps on the deal, and nice to work with.’
Tripledot Studios Limited
Ferox Games B.V.
Impulse Innovations Limited
AXA Venture Partners
Alpha Intelligence Capital Fund I
CommerzVentures II Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG
Volt Technologies Limited
Project A Ventures
Bridford Investment Ltd.
Jones Food Company Ltd.
- Acted for Tripledot Studios Limited, an innovative London-based mobile game developer, in connection with its $116m Series B funding round.
- Acted for Alpha Intelligence Capital and China Development Bank on their joint investment leading Instadeep Limited’s £72m million Series B fundraising.
- Acted for Impulse Innovations Limited, d.b.a. causaLens, on its $45m Series A fundraising round led by Dorilton Ventures and Molten Ventures (the VC that rebranded from Draper Esprit).
Combining transactional expertise with the industry sector experience of a full service law firm, Gowling WLG derives a significant volume of investor side work from funds, including in the context of renewables and tech venture capital mandates. Although the team handles its fair share of later stage mandates, its sweet-spot lies in advising on early to mid stage financings. Team head Ian Piggin has developed significant expertise in advising international investment syndicates.
Other key lawyers:
Kris Rogers; Chris Towle; Gareth Baker; Neil Hendron; Stephen Bowman; Róisín Bergin
HydrogenOne Capital Growth plc
Nova Innovation Limited
BGF Investments LP
Conegliano Ventures LP
- Advised clean hydrogen-dedicated investment fund HydrogenOne on venture capital investments into HiiROC Limited (£10m), and NanoSUN Limited (£9m).
- Advised HydrogenOne on a venture capital investment in Sunfire GmbH (Sunfire).
- Advised PeakSpan on a non-participating Series C investment in Cognism to further develop its sales acceleration platform, which uses AI to help businesses grow.
Led from Cambridge by the ‘practical and responsive’ Zickie Lim and also able to marshal resources from Norwich and London, Mills & Reeve LLP handles a significant volume of early stage work, in particular, for both funds and investees, including a considerable amount of university spin-out matters. As well as standalone transactional work, Dona Ardeman‘s fund formation expertise also regularly leads to the subsequent downstream investments handled by these entities.
Other key lawyers:
Dona Ardeman; Edward Sloan; Vicky Protano; Rae Huizar; Christina O’Brien; Katharine Robinson; Natalie Selman; Kristian Shearsby
‘Zickie Lim has always been practical and responsive. A really effective legal advisor.’
‘Katherine Robinson was highly responsive and a clear communicator.’
IQ Capital Partners LLP
Turquoise International Limited (as manager of Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2)
Mercia Fund Management Limited
Sphere Fluidics Limited
Gravitee Topco Limited
100 Percent IT Limited
Rinri Therapeutics Limited
- In 2021, the firm advised IQ Capital Partners LLP on 21 investment deals, in rounds raising an aggregate of c. £281m.
- Acted for BGF on three investments into three early-stage start-ups this year, with BGF investment amounts ranging from £2m to £5m and an aggregate investment amount of just over £25m.
- Advised Sphere Fluidics Limited on the negotiation of the transaction and drafting of documents for the company to effect a $40m Series A equity investment round led by Sofinnova Partners and Redmile Group.
Primarily centred out of its Oxford office, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has ‘deep experience in understanding the requirements of both investors and investees’, particularly in the context of tech and life sciences matters. ‘Exceptional’ team head James Went is regularly at the forefront of the highest-profile mandates handled by the team, including a significant amount of university spin-out work. 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.
Other key lawyers:
Will Axtell; Kathy Hills; Dominique Sabatini
‘The team is very experienced and knowledgable about university spin-outs, familiar with the typical contract terms and therefore making the process as efficient as possible.’
‘Previously firms I’ve worked with have engaged in point-scoring at the clients’ expense, here a laser-like focus on the desired outcome left me feeling like we got tremendous value.’
‘They have deep experience in understanding the requirements of both investors and investees and developing appropriate legal frameworks to meet these.’
‘They have a knack for understanding the commercial considerations behind the legal implications, something that is not always the case in a law practice!’
‘James Went was exceptional, adroitly guiding us through a complex deal structure with a trade buyer whose revenue was three orders of magnitude higher than ours.’
First Light Fusion Limited
Bramble Energy Limited
Healome Therapeutics Ltd
MitoRx Therapeutics Limited
Digital Asset Services Limited (Coincover)
Orthox Holdings Limited
Oxford Flow Limited
coinpass Limited (coinpass)
- Acted for First Light Fusion on its $45m Series C fundraising from investors including Oxford Science Enterprises, Hostplus, IP Group plc and Braavos Capital.
- Advised London-based hydrogen fuel cell company Bramble Energy on its £35m investment round led by HydrogenOne Capital Growth plc.
- Advised OXDX on the completion of its spin-out from Oxford University and its £2.6m pre-seed funding.
Reed Smith LLP
Appreciated for its understanding of ‘business requirements and imperatives’ as much as its pure legal expertise, Reed Smith LLP is a popular choice on both sides of the fence, as a result of its conversance with ‘both the VC and investee company needs and concerns’. This manifests itself in transactions across a range of sectors, including in relation to media and entertainment matters, an area that the firm has vast institutional expertise. Michael Young is praised for his ‘abilitity to think outside-the box’ and heads up a ‘fantastic’ team that also includes Stephen Mooney, who is appreciated by early stage and fast-growth clients for his ‘flexible approach to finding the best solutions’.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Sanders; Sam Webster; Stephen Mooney; Matt Bowen; James Hatchard; Fiona McFarlane
‘Fantastic service, they are brilliant guys to have at your back.’
‘They are brilliant lawyers who also understand business requirements and imperatives. They work incredibly well with their media practice.’
‘Excellent technical knowledge communicated and explained very clearly.’
Since its inception in August 2018, Sheridans‘ venture capital team has rapidly made inroads into the market and comfortably punches above its weight as a result of a ‘genuine understanding of the venture capital market’ and its ability to draw from the firm’s overarching media and tech sector knowledge. ‘Responsive and pragmatic’ team head Nick Crabtree provides ‘level-headed and empathetic‘ advice to investors and investees through the funding life cycle of transactions (including a significant amount of work advising shareholders of venture-backed companies on the sale of those companies) involving gaming, crypto and blockchain technology. ‘Personable, kind and supportive’ senior associate Will Parker is gaining a strong reputation among founders/start-ups for his ‘holistic’ and ‘supportive’ approach throughout the fundraising process. Karen O’Grady joined in January 2022 from Memery Crystal (part of RBG Legal Services).
Other key lawyers:
Karen O’Grady; Will Parker
‘The firm has a genuine understanding of the venture capital market.’
‘They provide exemplary advice on our seed stage investments so our investee companies are not only fit for the next round of institutional Series A funding but through to further rounds and eventually to exit.’
‘All the individuals I’ve worked with are very quick to respond when our businesses need support.’
Tiny Rebel Games Limited
Bigger Games Limited
Love Ventures VC Ltd
Key shareholders of AI Music Ltd
London Venture Partners
Martine Rose Studio Limited
Moulton Goodies Limited
Wagmi United LLC
Swansea Football LLC
ABM Communications Limited (True Royalty TV)
Shareholders of Auroch Digital Limited
Draw & Code Limited
Marquee Arts Limited
Hashtag United Limited
- Advising Tiny Rebel Games Limited, the market disruptive blockchain and metaverse games developer, on is $6m Seed investment round, led by Fabric Ventures.
- Advising Lantum Limited, the provider of locum and workforce platform services to the NHS, on it Series B investment round, led by Finch Capital and in which the Future Fund participated.
- Advising Love Ventures VC on leading a £3m seed round into proptech start-up Ethical Introductions Ltd’s (t/a Just Move In).
Baker Botts (UK) LLP‘s London venture capital offering. Nevertheless, the firm still houses several lawyers within its overarching corporate offering boasting significant expertise in the space, including senior associate Sonia Namutebi, who ‘works tirelessly to ensure that the right solution is provided’ to life sciences, tech and energy companies, in particular. Tech-focused corporate partner David Marshall joined in January 2022 from Norton Rose Fulbright and softens the blow of the departure of former team head David Ramm to Crowell & Moring in June 2022.
Other key lawyers:
David Marshall; Sonia Namutebi
‘An exceptionally capable, dynamic and experienced team with a broad range of sector experience and an excellent grasp of the possibilities, and practicalities, of our sector.’
‘Sonia Namutebi works tirelessly to ensure that the right solution is provided, no matter what the circumstance.’
Serac Life Sciences
The Electric Aviation Group
Wavemakers Global Limited
Advanced Health Screening Limited
- Advised the innovative UK money transfer company Azimo on its acquisition by Israeli unicorn Papaya Global.
- Advised Ultreum Capital on the establishment of a partnership for development of Covid-19 vaccines between Indian and American biotech innovators.
- Advised RIMES on a $350m investment in the company by global investment firm EQT.
Led from the firm’s Bristol headquarters by Mark Shepherd, Burges Salmon LLP provides a “cradle-to-grave” service to an impressive roster of funds from fund formation, through to their downstream investments and exits. As well as work for conventional venture funds, the firm also has significant traction among family offices and pension funds, which are increasingly deploying capital for investments in early stage companies. On the investee front, the firm has visibility among start-ups, primarily by virtue of its involvement in several accelerator programmes. Edinburgh-based corporate finance partner Danny Lee is also a key member of the firm’s national offering and handles work for investors and investees, including within the tech, life sciences and renewable energy sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Danny Lee; Richard Spink; Tim Roberts; Alex Lloyd
- Advised Panoramic Growth Equity, a leading equity investor in fast growing UK companies, on its investment of growth capital into alcohol-free craft beer company Big Drop Brewing.
- Advised Fern Fibre Ltd and Octopus Investments Ltd on the acquisition of internet service provider, M12 Solutions Ltd, which operates under the ‘Giganet’ brand, together with a £250m funding package.
- Advised Legatics, a legal transaction management software provider, on an investment from Mobeus.
Drawing upon ‘a deep knowledge of venture capital deal structures’, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides ‘creative solutions’ and a ‘commercial approach’ for investors and investees on deals throughout the investment lifecycle, including on tax-incentivised matters relating to EIS and SEIS-qualifying investments. The team, which is co-headed by the ‘knowledgeable and commercial’ David Coates and the ‘exceptional’ Rebecca Burford, is also well-placed to leverage the firm’s overarching private wealth strength and thereby to exploit the increasing tendency among ultra-high-net-worth individuals and family offices to invest in the asset class.
David Coates; Rebecca Burford
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Clarke; Hamish Perry
‘We have found the team to be not only highly capable but creative in their thinking, responsive when dealing with our requests, and also very empathetic when dealing with a novice leadership team not familiar with legal intricacies.’
‘The team delivers exceptional value for the depth of knowledge and commercial approach they provide.’
‘David Coates is very responsive, knowledgeable and commercial and a pleasure to work with.’
‘The exceptional Rebecca Burford provides high-quality advice.’
Puma Private Equity
Silicon Valley Bank
- Advised Appital Limited on its £2.5m seed funding round led by Frontline Ventures.
- Advising Panecea Group and its shareholders on the investment by Cow Corner Investing Ltd into the Group.
- Advised Puma Private Equity on its investments in Deazy, a software developer marketplace platform that offers businesses access to system vetted developers, and Everpress.
Well-positioned to withstand the vagaries and alteration of working practices faced by law firms (due to Covid-19), by virtue of its existing alternative business model, Keystone Law has performed well in recent years on behalf of a balanced mix of investee and investor clients. Clients have access to numerous experienced practitioners within the team who have knowledge at advising on EIS, SEIS and VCT fundings, including Dee Sian, Catherine Williams and Nadim Zaman, who are all adept at advising on work throughout the funding life cycle.
Other key lawyers:
Dee Sian; Catherine Williams; Nadim Zaman; Charles Frank; Albert Mennen; Paul Ranson
‘Keystone is an international network of senior professional lawyers with their own specialisms working outside of a traditional practice structure.’
‘This gives the benefits of a very high-quality team and supporting network without the full cost implications.’
‘Catherine Williams is a fabulous corporate lawyer who has gone the extra mile to support and grow our business for the last 7 years. She is ably supported by Paul Ranson and Suzy Schmitz (contracts) and Paul McCourt (tax) all of whom are highly recommended.’
Mobeus Equity Partners LLP
Calculus Capital Limited
True Global (early stage investor)
Redrice Ventures (early stage investor)
Ozo Innovations Limited
Trinny London Limited
Teatro San Cassiano Group Ltd
The Fink Family Office
Indra Renewable Technologies Limited
Frank Body Limited
Instinct Studios Limited
Konektio (formerly InVMA Limited)
The Blogger Programme Limited
The Nue Co
- 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 The Nue Co on its £18m Series B investment by Pamoja Capital.
- Advised longstanding client, Calculus Capital, on its investment in Brouhaha Entertainment.
Drawing upon its broader corporate finance/private equity credentials, as well as being able to avail itself of a multi-disciplinary approach whch feeds into regulatory and IP expertise, in particular, Norton Rose Fulbright has strong credentials among investors and investees in relation to venture capital and growth equity mandates. Fintech/insurtech is a particular sector strength, an area that the firm is able to add value by virtue, not only of its transactional strength in the area but also its regulatory knowledge. Global head of the fintech practice Sean Murphy is particularly well-suited to advise both funds and start-ups in the sector and is able to draw upon a deep well of experience in the space, including during a period spent in Silicon Valley with a leading US law firm. Emerging markets venture capital work is also a strength, an area that Bayo Odubeko is particularly adept, primarily in relation to Africa-based mandates. Victoria Birch and Sophie O’Connor co-head the team.
Victoria Birch; Sophie O’Connor
Other key lawyers:
Sean Murphy; Oliver Stacey; Bayo Odubeko; Matthew Findley; Stephen Rigby; Nicholas Berry; Mark Maurice; Victoria Scopes; Bryan Park; Juliet Gordon
OCGI Climate Investments
Paga Group Ltd
Stena Drilling Limited
Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund
- Advised longstanding client Starling Bank on its latest £322m Series D funding round (its largest ever fundraising round).
- Advised Althelia Sustainable Ocean Funds on a number of investments into cutting edge ocean sustainability technologies including into Biomega Group and SafetyNet Technologies Limited.
- Successfully developed a Transform product to enable the firm to advise onstrategic minority investments in a time and cost effective manner by creating efficiencies across the diligence and transaction documents processes.
Led by Jeremy Willcocks, who has ‘incredibly strong market awareness’, Arnold & Porter is particularly well-positioned to advise investors and investees in the life sciences space, where both investors and investees benefit not only from the firm’s transactional strength but also its IP, commercial and regulatory prowess. The firm also continues to generate work in the cannabis sector.
Other key lawyers:
Ewan Townsend; Sean Scanlon; Tom Wilson
‘Jeremy Willcocks and Tom Wilson are enormously underrated and genuinely excellent in terms of supporting corporate M&A and venture-backed transactions.’
‘Jeremy Willcocks and Tom Wilson have an incredibly strong market awareness, work extremely hard, and are always available and happy to help.’
- Advised leading synthetic DNA manufacturer Touchlight Genetics on its renegotiation of license and exit from JV.
- Advised leading synthetic DNA manufacturer Touchlight Genetics on its current funding round of $125m.
Bringing together deep sectoral understanding of the digital economy, including the rapidly evolving fintech space, with M&A and corporate finance transactional strength which permeates throughout the firm, Ashurst is well-equipped to advise on both early stage matters, as well as later stage financings and exits. The ‘extremely commercially-minded’ Jonathan Cohen heads up the firm’s tech M&A practice and is regularly engaged in venture capital work for investors and investees. Tara Waters is also a key member of the team both on the transactional front, as well as by dint of her multi-disciplinary knowledge of the fintech sector.
Jonathan Cohen; Tara Waters
Other key lawyers:
Jacob Gould; Shaz Ali
‘They have a successful track record with other FinTechs and technology firms, so they were able to answer all of our questions straight away and have developed quite a strong and trusted reputation within the VC and startup space.’
‘The fantastic Jonathan Cohen is excellent at pulling together the right cross-border teams for our international transactions and helping to guide the process from behind the scenes to ensure we get a seamless and consistent service.’
‘Jonathan Cohen not only understands the legal matters, but he is also extremely commercially minded – he knows when to push and when to give. He has been a very strong partner to us throughout our journey.’
Vauban Technologies Limited
The Original Fit Factory
British Business Bank
Outrun Venture Partners LLP
Asto Digital (powered by Santander)
Online Giving (dba Enthuse)
Nomura Digital Office
Aya Technologies (dba Alena)
Islamic Finance Guru
- Advised Monument Bank on its £60m of fundraising and support on its establishment as a fully regulated digital neo-bank in the UK.
- Advising Bp Ventures on numerous UK-related tech investments and follow-on investments including in relation to Flylogix and Grid Energy.
- Advising IHS Markit on its $1.15bn disposal of OPIS to Newcorp.
Combining a ‘strong grasp of the relevant substantive law with pragmatic and business-focused advice’, Bristows LLP is well-versed at advising investee and investor stakeholders, on mandates throughout the investment life cycle, particularly in the firm's sector specialisms. Marek Petecki ‘knows the VC and life sciences industry inside out’ and is a key practitioner within the team that also includes the ‘fantastic’ David Horner, who is particularly adept at advising on university spin-out mandates. Iain Redford heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Marek Petecki; Matt Dennis; David Horner; Sophie Rees; Nick Cross; Emma Charlton
‘They combine a strong grasp of the relevant substantive law with the pragmatic and business-focused advice critical for successful venture capital transactions.’
‘They have a strong understanding of the market trends for deal structure and terms, which is extremely important in negotiating venture deals.’
‘Exceptionally pragmatic, thorough and a delight to work with.’
‘Marek Petecki – hands-on, commercial outlook, knows the VC and life sciences industry inside out.’
‘The fantastic David Horner is very approachable and speedy with appropriate, well thought out solutions.’
‘Nick Cross provides an exceptional service and value for money.’
Johnson & Johnson Innovations
Oxford Sciences Enterprises plc
Francis Crick Institute
IP Group plc
- Advised Johnson & Johnson on a Series A round for AviadoBio.
- Advised Orca Computing on a Series A financing provided by Octopus Ventures.
- Advising the lead investor on a $32.5m Series A financing of vaccine development company, SpyBiotech.
Strengthened from London by the arrival of Thomas Colmer from PwC Legal in September 2021 and also benefitting from a strong regional offering, Fieldfisher provides ‘calm and measured support’ to innovative growth companies and investors in heavily regulated sectors, including tech, media and life sciences. The ‘exceptional’ Tom Ward heads up the team from the firm’s Manchester office and is particularly adept at advising on early stage financings within the tech space, although he has also been active of late acting on several Series C+ mandates as companies scale up.
Other key lawyers:
Thomas Colmer ; Janita Good; David Wilkinson; Tim Bird; Christine Phillips; Andrew Oliver
‘They understand the needs of venture backed startups like no one else, have got our best interest as a company and as founders at heart.’
‘The team has been an excellent business partner for us.’
‘They lift the jargon and translate into plain english complex problems with clear practical solutions.’
‘Commercial, practical, friendly, founder-centric advice.’
‘Calm and measured support.’
‘In pressurised situations they have been a calming and practical influence and helped resolve very tricky matters in the least stressful way.’
‘Tom Ward is a great guy, gets stuff done. We trust him implicitly.’
‘The exceptional Tom Ward is extremely diligent, always prompt, especially with tight deadlines and always ready to clarify any matter and ensure we get the best terms and deals in the transactions we undertake.’
Basinghall Tech Fund
Board Intelligence Ltd
Better Half (t/a Paired)
Bower Collective Ltd
Carmoola Group Ltd
Circle Up Growth Partners
Coda Platform Ltd
Complement Therapeutics Ltd
Digital Insight Technologies Ltd (t/a Xapien)
Dronamics Global Ltd
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
Guardian Angel Network Ltd
Guider Global Ltd
Guinness Asset Management
Hammock Financial Services Ltd
Messier Holdings Ltd (t/a Pinwheel)
MNAI Data Solutions Ltd
Oh Goodlord Ltd
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
Tembo Money Ltd
The Know Media Group Ltd
Tortoise Media Ltd
Truffle Invest Ltd
Tyme Food Ltd
Visor Commerce (t/a OnBuy.com)
- Advised no “code, low code” FinTech business Genesis Global on its $200m+ Series C equity fundraising.
- Advised fast-growing e-commerce platform OnBuy.com on its £35m Series A+ equity financing round involving investors from Klarna, Play.com and Terra Firma as well as Bring Ventures and Fuel Ventures.
- Advised UK headquartered MedTech company Ultromics on its $33m Series B funding round led by the Blue Venture Fund with participation from Optum Ventures, GV, and existing investor Oxford Sciences Innovation.
Niche venture-tech boutique Humphreys Law is a ‘lean, agile and nimble outfit’ which is particularly well-suited to advising start-ups and funds on deals throughout the life cycle in the tech and crypto space. Key to the firm’s success in the space is founding partner Henry Humphreys, who ‘goes above and beyond to provide detailed and commercially sound advice’.
Other key lawyers:
‘An absolutely amazing team.’
‘Incredible level of service, attentive, going the extra mile, technically extremely strong, incredible project management of complex deals.’
‘Very impressive all round.’
‘They are a lean and nimble outfit, highly responsive and knowledgeable in their field.’
‘They offer trustworthy, honest advice, weighing up the legal and commercial risks.’
‘Henry Humphreys keeps matters clear and simple; relaxed bed side manner, eassy to talk to and able to explain complex ideas clearly.’
‘Henry Humphreys also goes above and beyond to provide detailed and commercially sound advice.’
BCB Group Holdings
Connecterra Holdings Limited
- Advised BCB Group on its blockbusting $60m Series A financing.
- Advised Zapnito Limited, a London based community SaaS platform provider, on its £3.3m Series A investment from Octopus Ventures.
- Advised Keebo, a fast-growing, London-based challenger credit card company on its seed funding round.
Morrison Foerster’s global emerging companies and venture capital team includes key strategic offices in the US and Asia, the London team draws upon a significant amount of private equity and growth equity experience for an investor-focused client base, particularly in the financial services, technology and bio tech sectors. Most of the work is at a later stage of the investment life cycle, including a considerable volume of work for core firmwide client Softbank Vision Fund. Former practice head Amit Kataria left the firm in 2022.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Boyd; Gary Brown; Dan Coppel; Simon Arlington; Stuart Alford
SoftBank Vision Fund
Whale Rock Capital Management
American Industrial Partners
Ally Bridge Group
Virgo Investment Group
- Advised SoftBank Vision Fund II in its investment in Dubai-headquartered Zeta Investments Holdings – one of the largest single investments in a banking-tech start-up.
- Advised SoftBank Vision Fund II in its investment in Paris-headquartered online marketplace for authenticated pre-owned luxury and fashion goods, Vestiaire Collective S.A.
- Represented Ally Bridge Group in the $600m Series D financing of CMR Surgical Limited.
Combining transactional, regulatory and tax expertise, Shakespeare Martineau LLP‘s Kavita Patel is a popular choice among funds clients both in relation to structuring work and on subsequent downstream investments (including those in the VCT space). Nottingham-based partner Duncan James has an investee-side focus that includes a considerable amount of work for family-run companies.
Duncan James; Kavita Patel
Other key lawyers:
Roger Harcourt; Catherine Moss; Oliver Gutman; Jody Webb; Peter Mayhew
‘Their deep experience, access to partners specialising in other areas and project management skills mean transactions are completed efficiently and issues identified before they become problems.’
‘Kavita Patel has considerable experience and strong project management and organisational skills.’
‘Oliver Gutman provides good, clear advice on tax matters.’
‘Its a strong team – diligent, care about your priorities and timescales and also very responsive which for us is probably most important.’
‘Peter Mayhew is always happy to pick up the phone when we are doing a deal.’
Foresight Group LLP
Octopus Investments Limited
Blackfinch Investments Limited
Tympa Health Technologies Limited
- Advised Blackfinch on several EIS/VCT development capital investments (both new and follow on).
- Providing ongoing support to Foresight Group with various EIS/VCT/IHT portfolio companies.
- Supported LocateBio with a £10m investment round to further advance its proprietary pipeline of regenerative orthobiologics products.
Waterfront Solicitors LLP
The ‘commercial and user-friendly’ team at Waterfront Solicitors LLP is ‘very knowledgeable in the start-up venture space’ on behalf of an investee-focused client base that is appreciative of its ‘incredible agility’ on funding transactions, as well as its ability to advise on overlaying IP considerations related to running a tech business. ‘Calm and thoughtful’ team head Matthew Cunningham is a ‘steady pair of hands‘ for entrepreneurs/founders, as well as an increasing number of early stage funds.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is commercial and user friendly.’
‘The team has shown incredible agility in connection with not only our day to day needed legal advice but also in more complex transactions.’
‘They are first and foremost business partners rather than another legal firm.’
Hack the Box
Virtual Internship Partners
- Advised Shufti Pro, a global market leader in AI-powered KYC solutions, in relation to its $20m Series A round led by Updata Partners.
- Advised Hack the Box, a cyber security training platform, in relation to its $10.6m Series A round led by Paladin Capital.
- Advised Jellyfish Pictures, a multi-award winning digital visual effects and animation production company, in relation to a minority investment in the company by private equity firm, Key Capital Partners.
White & Black Limited
Oxford-based technology-focused boutique White & Black Limited provides ‘sensible, proactive and responsive’ advice to investors and investees seeking or providing financing throughout the investment continuum, including a significant amount of spin-out work generated from Oxford University’s tech and science park at Begbroke. Team head John Allen is ‘a highly capable, creative and commercially pragmatic advisor’, whose work often includes significant international components.
Other key lawyers:
Phil Riman; Jonathan Williamson
‘The firm shows commercial aptitude and looks to provide focused tangible value to specific client needs.’
‘I have always found them to be sensible, proactive and responsive.’
‘Their advice is well thought out and clearly presented and I trust them to represent my best interests.’
Ability Matters Group
Trizell Holding SA
- Advising cleantech group and its shareholders on a major investment by US-based consortium of funds.
- Advising on multiple investments by VC-backed Swedish business Humly EdTEch AB.
- Advising existing investors on institutional investment of £tens of millions in leading healthcare business.