Because it’s never too early to get the lawyers onside.
I was recently at a startup get together and casually asked the person standing next to me; “so when do you need to bring in the lawyers when you’re starting a business. After a couple of years?”
They stared at me in disbelief. I was worried I might be escorted out. It turns out that getting the legal stuff sorted early doors is key if you want to survive the early days of your business, and crucially, be prepared to scale when investors come calling or product order volumes start to increase exponentially.
So, in that spirit, if you’re struggling to sort out your vesting schedules, need help with your intellectual property, or can’t tell a service agreement from a pension enrolment document, try one of these 5.
DKLM Solicitors – so startuppy, they are based 5 minutes from the “Silicon Roundabout”, and even run their own meetup. DKLM’s slogan is “Our Differences Are Our Strengths”, which again, is suitably entrepreneurial, and the firm are making serious efforts to connect with the startup community. They are big internationally, too.
Taylor Wessing – the law firm have created their own online portal to help founders get to grips with what they need at different stages of the corporate life cycle. It’s called TW Tech Focus and you can find it here. The company have a particular focus on Tech City in London and Silicon Fen in Cambridge, they say, but will work with founders anywhere in the UK. You can find all kinds of useful downloads, including SEIS and EIS term sheets, on their site.
Lexoo – why hire a law firm, when you can hire a freelance lawyer? Lexoo is a disruptive platform, founded by ex-lawyer Daniel van Binsbergen that allows you to obtain fixed quotes for work within 24 hours, compare and review services provided, and pick a lawyer that’s right for you, instead of simply being assigned a junior partner. A great bet if you’re not ready to engage a firm.
Cooley – this US firm launched a platform in the UK, after successfully trialling it back in the states, to help it introduce itself, in the words of London Managing Partner Justin Stock, “to small companies that may become the big companies of the future”. The platform is full of useful content, news and views, and a great place for a founder to start their search for legal aid.
Waterfront Solicitors – so great they partnered with HHH! More info (as if you need it), they specialise in tech, startups, IP and what they don’t know about these subjects, probably isn’t worth knowing. As well as being tech specialists, they have also made it onto the influential Legal 500 and Chambers Directories – so you know they are serious about what they do.