Obtaining proper legal documentation is one of the most crucial parts of establishing a business or startup company. Working with a firm with experience in the startup industry can be really beneficial when setting up a company as they can ensure the documentation is correctly implemented, reliving stress for the founder and team from the outset.
Here, TechRound has compiled a list of the top firms, some which work exclusively with startups and others which work with companies of all sizes and at all stages of growth, each with lawyers able to advise startups on all legal matters.
Companies featured include:
- MBM Commercial
- Atkins Dellow LLP
- Founder Catalyst
- A City Law Firm
- Rocket Lawyers
- Harper James
- Lewis Silkin
- Everyday Legal
- Ignition Law
- Clarke Willmott
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Pictured: Stuart Hendry, Senior Partner
MBM Commercial is an award-winning commercial law firm that helps entrepreneurial businesses to start-up, scale up and go global. Because they completely understand the challenges and risks of scaling up and growing a successful business, this has shaped their values and culture.
They are specialists in corporate transactions with a particular focus on investment, technology and high growth. Their clients are businesses based throughout the UK, which are going through significant growth, either by investment, acquisition or by international expansion.
The firm are entrepreneurial in the way that they work and this involves giving clients high-quality and practical advice with a real focus on adding value. Start-up and spin-out activity is a central focus for MBM Commercial and they offer the same level of expertise and commitment to early-stage ventures as they do to Series B funding.
They are deeply passionate about supporting and working with young entrepreneurs and start-up companies, and support the eco-system through partnerships with Scale Space White City, Converge Challenge and Civtech amongst others.
The firm offers expertise across the commercial spectrum including corporate, employment law, intellectual property, data & contracts, commercial property, litigation, and fintech & financial services. Almost all of their transactional work is done on fixed fees at competitive prices and they want to make sure that clients have clarity on how they will be charged. The firm has 11 partners and offices in Edinburgh and London.
Founder(s): Rob Dellow
Atkins Dellow are a firm of friendly and approachable lawyers and solicitors always ready to talk business. They take great interest in helping first-time businesses to launch and support them through all stages of their growth.
They speak in plain English and focus on what’s needed to achieve the best possible outcome for the client, looking after personal and business matters wherever you’re based across the country.
They’re in business themselves and give realistic, commercial advice for businesses of all sizes and differing sectors. Examples of the types of businesses they help include those in the motor trade, beauty and aesthetics, property, marketing, dentists, entertainment and catering, waste and recycling, insurance, retailers, equine, IT, manufacturing and distribution, to name but a few.
They like to be at the end of the phone from the first entrepreneurial thought, through to deciding on a structure, starting up, re-structuring, sales and acquisitions, dealing with customers, employees, suppliers, and other professionals. If they can’t help with something that is outside their remit as lawyers, they’ll help find the right person who can. Their interest lies in really getting to know clients and engaging with them for the long haul. They want to be the first person they call, whatever they need.
They work closely with Enterprise Agencies, whose primary focus is start-ups. They like to think that clients, and potential clients, know they pick the phone up and get a quick answer to a problem before it grows into something unwieldy, without worrying about it costing them.
Offices are open Monday to Saturday so that they are more available to clients when they are free. They look after clients across the country and pride themselves on the quality of services and the depth of knowledge. Give them a call for your start-up business law answers.
Founder(s): Sam Simpson
Sam started his career as an IT engineer and progressed through consultancy to Technical Director, then Project Services Director in a £350m Systems Integrator. That business collapsed in 2013 and Sam became an accidental entrepreneur, starting an IT company, Roc Technologies, that grew from a standing start to £27m revenue in 3.5 years and was recognised by the FT as being the 17th fastest growing company in Europe. Sam exited that business to private equity in 2017.
Since exiting, Sam has been a prolific angel investor, making 27 investments in a wide range of early-stage businesses.
FounderCatalyst was created by Sam and a team of successful entrepreneurs, angel investors and lawyers to simplify and accelerate the early-stage investment legal journey. Being exited founders themselves, they have been through the highs and lows of running fast-growing businesses and have achieved successful exits to private equity.
Having a catch-up one day, they reflected on what they would do differently next time around, how challenging the process of creating quality legal documents had been and yet how important it was to have them in place before larger fundraisings and exit events. They discussed the cost of lawyers on start-up (precisely when you have no spare money!) the difficulty in finding one and how frustrating and overcomplicated the whole process turned out to be.
They help start-ups apply for SEIS & EIS advance assurance from HMRC. Advance assurance is a vital prerequisite to any angel funding round. Their platform then allows a founder to create all the required funding legal paperwork in 30 minutes rather than 30 days.
Finally, they manage the investment engagement between founders and investors and allow all parties to sign online. It’s a fixed price, cost effective solution. No hidden charges, monthly charges or sliding scales depending on how much you want to raise.
A City Law Firm
Founder(s): Karen Holden
Karen Holden is founder of A City Law Firm, a Legal 500 Innovative Law Firm which has recently won various awards. These include most Innovative Law Firm, London and the Best Small Business, with founder Karen also receiving Freedom of the City for her work with female entrepreneurs. She set the firm up 14 years ago herself, so has been a start-up, scale-up and entrepreneur, meaning she understands the highs and lows of business and can help others navigate the landscape.
The firm specialises in start-ups, scale-ups, investment and exits for many businesses, but with a particular passion for disruptive technology companies. They help founders with draft documents, give practical advice, negotiate terms with funders and offer a comprehensive package from start to finish. All their costs are fixed, or they offer monthly payment plans to spread cashflow over 12 months with monthly touch in calls. Many of the clients are innovating in biotech or are specialising in AI, VR, Drones , automated vehicles and block chain so they are used to bespoke terms and advice. They help export and import from and to overseas and work with all levels of investment, from seed funding to £150 million.
The firm also runs a Female Founders Growth Program to help founders scale and prepare or investment as part of its diversity and entrepreneur program. Recent experiences include working with a start-up to secure £3.5 million in the financial tech space, securing all legal work, negotiating terms and progressing the deal through various stages, helping a company buying out an investor after a dispute and starting again with legal advice to help negotiate settlement terms. They have also recently worked with a failed start-up after a £20 million investment looking to go insolvent was re-structured with their advice, and they are now trading, and they have also worked with a new Zealand company imported to the UK alongside a UK company looking to export, seeking funding from the Middle East.
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Founder(s): Henry Humphreys
Henry Humphreys is a corporate lawyer who has worked for big City international law in London and Asia, was seconded from there to work in the tech teams at ITV and Channel 4, and then did what few other lawyers have the cohones to do and set up his own firm – Humphreys Law / HLaw – in 2017, on his own without external capital and as a solo founder.
And for founders particularly, you can assume that he “gets it” as regards how hard the journey to scale can be; and his firm is genuinely independent, aligned with its tech clients in a way that compares favourably with the institutionalised City competition that are full service for all sectors. And it’s focused just on tech, which means that HLaw lawyers are not being forever being pulled off into other sectors. And it’s independent in that it’s not part of a wider network of firms – so HLaw gets to choose who it refers clients to internationally and who it brings into deals to advise its clients where offshore advice is needed.
London-based HLaw is now 30 or so people with all bases for tech covered: investment work; M&A; tax; intellectual property; data protection; regulatory; funds; commercial contracts; etc.
Henry has pulled together a team of A star lawyers who have chosen to focus on the vertical technology sectors and advise companies and investors at all stages of the cap table, from seed to late stage and exit acting for companies, and investors and fund managers. There are few other UK boutique firms that can boast dedicated tax and funds teams.
His firm has been ranked amongst the big City and international beasts from the outset, ranked amongst the top 20 firms for venture capital in Europe by PitchBook in 2018 and most recently 17th in PitchBook’s 2021 list of UK venture capital firms, punching well above its weight amongst a roster of Goliaths.
Pictured: Tom Ward, Corporate Partner
Fieldfisher specialises in advising startup businesses on everything from fundraising and M&A to IP protection, regulatory compliance, tax and equity incentives.
Our startup practice is led by corporate partner Tom Ward, who specialises in mergers and acquisitions and venture capital transactions, working with a range of innovative UK and US venture-backed growth companies and funds on early stage financing rounds primarily in the technology sector.
Across the firm, our lawyers have a track record of working with IP-rich, data-led and regulated technology companies, especially in the digital, ecommerce, AI/VR, gaming, healthtech, SaaS, and fintech sectors, on M&A, fundraisings, joint ventures, and corporate governance.
In 2021, the Fieldfisher UK team advised on around £174 million-worth of venture capital transactions at the Seed/EIS or Series A stage of funding, in addition to a number of M&A deals involving startup and early stage tech clients.
Fieldfisher works closely with startup accelerator Founders Factory and Fuel Ventures on the funding side and a variety of startup clients on the investee side.
Highlight deals from the past year include:
· Advising UK-based IT service management company Helecloud, founded in 2016, and its selling shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Helecloud to Switzerland-headquartered market peer, SoftwareONE (October 2021).
· Advising Creator Fund on its participation in the seed financing of AI company Cogitat Ltd (September 2021);
· Advising Founders Factory portfolio healthtech company Karmacist on an SEIS/EIS seed investment from angel investors (August 2021).
· Advising Carmoola, a fintech startup focused on the car finance market, on a seed financing round led by VentureFriends with participation from Truesight, Clocktower, Inmotion Ventures and OH Ventures (July 2021); and
· Advising UK-based ecommerce business OnBuy.com on its £35 million Series A+ round with strategic retail and tech investors, including Knut Frängsmyr (Deputy CEO of Swedish fintech Klarna); Richard Goulding (founder of the online marketplace Play.com); Guy Hands (founder and chairman of UK-based VC fund Terra Firma Capital Partners); Scandinavian VC firm Bring Ventures, Norway Post venture arm; and London early-stage growth specialist VC fund Fuel Ventures, among others (July 2021).
Founder(s): Anthony Rose & Laurent Laffy
Founded by Anthony Rose and Laurent Laffy, SeedLegals was created to simplify the laborious legal processes associated with funding rounds. Anthony Rose – the man behind the BBC iPlayer – and Laurent Laffy, an experienced angel investor, bonded over their dismay at being charged astronomical legal fees for the same documents they needed at every funding round. They decided to change it, and SeedLegals was born.
Fast forward to 2022, and SeedLegals has cemented its place as the UK’s number one platform for funding rounds, cap tables and share option schemes, working with over 35,000 companies. Small business owners are joining SeedLegals everyday, closing up to 20 funding rounds per week.
SeedLegals shrinks funding round timeframes from the industry average of three months to a matter of days by integrating every component of a funding round into an automated process. In addition to legal documents, SeedLegals is pioneering an industry shift towards agile funding. This way, entrepreneurs are able to raise small amounts frequently, easily taking investment when opportunities arise.
As SeedLegals continues to scale, the team has launched more solutions, allowing users to create a pitch page for investors, get SEIS/EIS advance assurance, manage their fundraising legals, grant staff share options, claim R&D tax credits and more. SeedLegals currently employs 140+ people and operates in the UK, Ireland, France, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Pictured: Carla Murray, Partner & Head of Commercial
Setting up your own business is both exciting and daunting.
With so many considerations it can feel a little overwhelming and that’s before you get to the legal matters. Its therefore important to work with a team of trusted advisers who can provide practical support and advice when you need it, allowing you to concentrate on what’s important, getting your business off the ground and working for you!
By working with you and your business needs, Myerson aims to ensure the right team of sector experts are available to support your business every step of the way. From complex, high-value, international transactions to advising on the bedrock activity involved with running a business, everything Myerson do is aimed at helping you achieve commercial success.
Naturally, they aim to protect you from disputes, so rest assured, should a situation become contentious, they have one of the largest and most respected commercial litigation teams ready to act on your behalf.
Myerson support start-up’s with: Investment, Corporate Structures, Shareholder Agreements, Commercial Contracts and Terms and Conditions, Websites, Apps, Software Development and Implementation, Intellectual Property Rights (ownership and exploitation), Tax and Estate Planning, Leases, Employment Law and Contracts, Data Protection and Direct Marketing, Disputes, Technology specialisms and more.
Myerson Solicitors are a trusted legal adviser in Manchester. With over 40 years of experience, the team has one of the largest Corporate and Commercial teams in the North West, acting for owner managed businesses, SME’s, start-up’s and individuals, locally and nationally.
At Myerson, you will discover a team of exceptionally talented lawyers who are passionate about making a genuine difference to their client’s businesses and lives.
Rated as a ‘Top Tier 1’ law firm by international directory The Legal 500, the team were also recognised as the ’Corporate and Commercial Business Team of the Year 2021’ at the Manchester Legal Awards.
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Pictured: Helen Goldeberg, COO
LegalEdge provides flexible in-house legal counsel services to fast growth Seed, Series A and Series B companies.
Using people, processes and technology, they set up a cost effective, efficient legal function to manage legal work, contracts and risk, simplify contract templates and processes to bring in customers and revenue faster, protect brand, data and other key assets, make hiring, retaining and incentivising staff easy and efficient, identify, monitor and reduce legal and compliance risks to prevent firefighting, prepare for milestones such as international expansion, funding rounds and exit (including ensuring you are ‘due diligence’ ready), provide training to enable ‘self-service’ so your team know what they can do and what to escalate (e.g. contracts, employment law, GDPR, IP Protection, etc) and prioritise what’s important and get on with it.
They are in-house lawyers who work as part of clients’ operations team to keep control of risk, workflow and priorities. They don’t over-lawyer, they don’t do long complex contracts or explanations, and they don’t put the clock on and leave it on. They get deals done and help clients achieve business goals. With an experienced lawyer as a single point of contact they get to know the business quickly to manage legal matters effectively and add value to a company.
There are no hidden costs. They work to set budgets so clients know how much they’re spending and what they’re getting for their money. Support can be scaled up or down depending on volume and urgency. Clients’ legal budget is under control and people, assets and brand are protected.
Pictured: Mark Edwards, Chief Product Officer in the UK
Founders of startups need to be aware of the legal hurdles they have to overcome in the early stages and in the future.
While large corporations and wealthy individuals can afford legal representation, many small businesses find quality legal help to be too costly. Two-fifths of SMEs believe the legal system is only set up for big businesses and this discourages SME’s from seeking the help they need. As a result SME’s lose up to £13.6 billion every year because they fail to take care of their legal matters.
Despite being driven and ambitious, many entrepreneurs surprisingly fail to identify the legal pitfalls associated with starting and growing a new business such as:
- Protecting intellectual property. This includes intellectual property you can register, such as trademarks and design rights, but also IP you can’t register – like trade secrets.
- Choosing the right equity structure. Confirm at the outset who owns what, and make sure that structure is formally documented. This is essential to avoid confusion and disputes.
- Formalising employee relationships. Many startups make the mistake of hiring employees or starting partnerships without creating the right employment agreements.
- Properly vetting business contracts. Startups often enter into business contracts with vendors, distributors, or other partners without properly vetting the terms of those agreements. Rocket Lawyer has low-cost solutions for this problem.
At Rocket Lawyer, they are committed to making the law affordable and simple for all small business owners. For 13 years, they’ve helped business owners make legal documents, talk to lawyers, and protect the future of their startup with legal confidence.
Rocket Lawyer has an extensive library of customisable documents that can help startups formalise the structure of their business, including articles of association and founders, shareholders or partnership agreements.
Their On Call Lawyers can help founders decide which company structure is best for them and help with company incorporation and intellectual property protection. As a startup grows and evolves, Rocket Lawyer can help with further legal needs such as hiring agreements, business contracts, data protection considerations and funding documents.
After a one week free trial, Rocket Lawyer’s low cost membership is £29.99 a month and offers all the legal protection needed to help a startup grow. Rocket Lawyer members can make professional and personal legal documents that are custom-made in minutes using a simple question-and-answer process, sign online and store their documents securely, ask legal questions and get expert answers from On Call Lawyers™ and get fixed price or discounted further legal help.
Members can make customised legal documents tailored to their business for a fraction of the cost that a law firm would charge, plus access to a team of lawyers. Members can also lean on this team of lawyers for advice and assistance for all their business legal needs.
Gelbergs is a legal firm which has been providing high quality services to its clients for almost 60 years now. The firm is said to be proud of the traditional values it continues to uphold alongside the modern approaches they take to ensure their clients receive an excellent service.
Gelbergs offers clients a wide variety of services, including those in wills and probate, commercial, property, employment law and litigation. In addition to this, solicitors from Gelbergs legal firm work very closely with startup businesses across the City Fringe and Islington in London. They also hold workshops in order to educate clients on topics such as data protection, recruitment and the gig economy.
The firm is smaller than some others in the area and remains personable. Gelbergs helps clients at each stage of the process when they set up their own business, from drafting the first onboarding documents.
Founder(s): Team of Magic Circle Lawyers
The legal team at Wiggin focus solely on advising clients which work in the media and technology industries across financing, exploitation and protection of both commercial and creative assets. They frequently work on projects patenting digital content technology, user-generated creation and licensing, human voice technology and digital trust frameworks.
The firm is proud to see itself as an extension of its startup clients, routinely working with potential employees, investors and advisors on their behalf.
In addition to the areas in which the firm specialises, it also provides full legal services across multiple other areas. These include corporate, tax, litigation, finance, property and employment with the office based in Brussels providing additional legal support outside of the UK. Matters dealt with in the Brussels office frequently include copyright within the EU, trade, e-commerce and competition policy.
The team at Wiggin look to harness commercial value through technology which is still emerging, and has access to some of the most prominent entrepreneurial luminaries across the world.
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Founder(s): Toby Harper
Harper James has expert lawyers which specialise in startups to provide advice which is commercially driven and can help clients to overcome barriers to growth alongside navigating challenges. The lawyers within the firm value providing accurate legal advice for businesses right from the outset, from the creation of an MVP or the beginning of the first funding round.
Harper James startup lawyers recognise that startups require specialist advice on aspects such as structuring ownership, organising equity and uncovering potential funding and investment opportunities. They are also there throughout the early stages to help support a growing team, help with data protection and GDPR compliance alongside the running and organisation of funding rounds.
They understand that as a startup company, legal issues can often be daunting. Careful planning is required to ensure that companies are constructed based on a platform of solid legal documents, and this is what Harper James startup lawyers are able to provide.
Alongside startups, Harper James supports entrepreneurs, founders, individual directors and boards through their active involvement in supporting startup companies.
VWV boasts an early stage business advisory team which has experienced startup lawyers. The team here are dedicated to providing legal advice to startups, university spin out companies and also scaleups.
The team at VWV understands that legal advice is necessary throughout the early stages of setting up a business, and they have a fee arrangement plan to support the growth of a business whilst it receives legal advice. Fixed fee arrangements are used whenever it is possible to ensure the greatest levels of transparency for early stage businesses working with VWV.
All legal advice provided by the team is led by a partner, and fee arrangements help clients to accommodate cash flow challenges. The team are also passionate about helping clients to capitalise on any potential funding or investment opportunities through their own large contact network.
The team at VWV regularly advises clients on intellectual property issues, technology and information system projects and the grant of leases for commercial property. The firm is tailored to provide a specialist legal service to startup clients within the technology sector and has worked with companies which specialise in clean tech, medical devices and digital health tech, education tech and advanced engineering amongst other prominent sectors.
Founder(s): John Sikin
Commerical law firm Lewis Silkin frequently works with innovative, brand-focused businesses to deliver pragmatic advice. Lawyers from the Lewis Silkin firm are dispersed into specialised sectors of an industry as opposed to only working in the more traditional departments.
The team within the firm are experiences across many stages of business which are crucial for startups, but also for multinational brands and large scale investors. The team at Lewis Silkin advise clients on ICOs, content sharing, cybersecurity, data protection and public and private fundraising.
They pride themselves on delivering advice which is forward thinking and both legal and commercial, with communications and technology being key sectors for the firm.
Founder(s): Jerome Spaargaren
Intellectual property law firm EIP specalises in many aspects which are crucial for startup companies at the outset of their business. The legal firm holds offices in the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany and was founded in the year 2000, growing at faster rates than many other IP firms in the last 22 years.
The firm believes that each and every business requires a decent IP strategy, whether they are an established multinational brand or a small startup.
EIP specialises in design registration, trademark and patent, IP search, litigation and strategy. The founders of EIP have backgrounds in-house and with private practice, therefore meaning that they can cater to a wide range of client needs.
The firm frequently works with technology-based clients, including those in the computing, software, mobile tech and high technology optics industries alongside startups in the biotech and pharma industries and advises companies on the patenting of medical devices. EIP is also well renowned for its work across the US, UK and Germany and has been engaged in numerous high profile patent litigation cases.
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Founder(s): John Davies & Andy Gisby
When starting a new business founders are rarely focussed on the long term, instead they are focussed on getting the business started, trying to keep it viable, bringing in the initial sales and watching every penny that goes in and out of their bank accounts. Unfortunately, this means that many business owners are leaving themselves open to legal problems further down the line.
Everyday Legal was created to empower business owners and give them access to first class legal expertise and templates without the high cost often associated with high street solicitors. It therefore enables small business owners to reduce the risk of repercussions as the business grows by providing affordable, legal expertise you can reply upon.
Founded in 2019, the business was the brainchild of John Davies and his business partner, Andy Gisby. Both had spent many years working for large corporate organisations but were inspired to start Everyday Legal when hearing from friends about the costs and difficulties they experienced with getting their business legal affairs in order.
John’s 30+ years’ experience as a solicitor and company secretary saw him advise and deliver upon a wide variety of legal scenarios from multi-million-pound mergers & acquisitions to regulatory compliance issues, giving him a well-rounded and vast experience to draw upon in setting Everyday Legal up for success.
At its core, Everyday Legal is a user-friendly online platform that enables users to access hundreds of legal templates, providing a self-service way to create legally-sound documents – from Shareholder’s Agreements to Contracts of Employment – backed up the facility to get bespoke expert legal support when required, at a fraction of the cost you might expect to pay elsewhere.
John commented “As a start-up ourselves it feels good to know that we are helping other start-ups to avoid the common pitfalls. We have already helped dozens of business owners register themselves in the most effective way, protect their trademarks and avoid issues later in their business life that could easily cost them thousands of pounds.”
Founder(s): Alex McPherson
Ignition Law love being a part of an the up and coming start-up community, and the team there really understand the struggles startups may have to face as the company was only launched seven years ago, in 2015. Currently, the company are in the process of becoming a scale up journey, so they are well versed in how a startup will have to travel in order to become a successful business alongside the importance of receiving advice which is clear and simple. The firm’s aim is to simplify the journey for startups in the early stages.
When it comes to startups, Ignition aims to offer advice which fits in with the clients budget, which they understand may be limited at the outset. Advisors from the team are very experienced in landscaping and offer great legal advice right from the beginning of a startups journey.
We offer start-up packages which include incorporation, company secretarial team, EMI Options, GDPR Assessment, employment & consultancy agreements, preliminary IP assessment & protection and founders’ shareholder agreement.
They also specialise across a wide range of sectors, including commercial law, finance, intellectual property and share options and incentives, and are available to help not only companies who are at the very beginning of their journey but also those who are looking to scale up and grow the business.
Pictured: Stephen Rosser, CEO
The team at Clarke Willmott fully understand that starting a business can be incredibly exciting whilst also creating a long list of jobs to complete, meaning that entrepreneurs are often overwhelmed. It can also be difficult to comprehend what is actually required from a legal team during the early stages, especially when an individual launches their first business.
Lawyers from Clarke Willmott work with start-ups and high-growth businesses to identify what they require from a legal team, and are well-versed in working with tech clients. This enables them to handle their cash flow well whilst simultaneously being able to focus their efforts on the key aspects of running a company.
Clarke Willmott also advise clients on international matters which include investing in business ventures on a worldwide basis, and how English law applies to these slightly more complex transactions. The team will also be there for the company throughout its growth and expansion however it may progress, and they have a legal healthtech tool in place which customers can complete themselves before any legal action takes place.
Technology is a core area of consideration for every business regardless of the sector they operate in. Ashurst’s dedicated global technology M&A team work with public and private clients of all sizes and at all stages of growth to execute their transactions and support on the digitisation of their businesses. Their team has the agility to support tech businesses from their first institutional investment and has the critical mass and market reputation to take businesses through their lifecycle to exit and maturity. This is key because it enables us to better build relationships with the growth businesses that we support.
They also advise institutional investors with their fundraising, regulatory and investment activities.
The global team has the strength, depth, sector knowledge and cross border reach to deliver quality advice to clients across the globe. They are recognised as having one of the world’s leading public and private M&A practices. Their New Law team ensures they are at the front of tech innovation with their service offering.
With a dedicated Digital Economy group, they blend together corporate M&A and technology sector expertise to deliver commercial advice underpinned by a clear understanding of the underlying technology of their clients.