grow: legal services for startups
grow - legal support exclusively for startups
what is grow...
Grow is our legal support programme exclusively for startups. It is carefully tailored for companies at any stage of the startup journey, from protecting an idea through to a successful exit, and is sensitive to the trials and tribulations of building a business from scratch. We will invest our time and skill, rather than capital, to ensure the growth potential of your business is fulfilled, by providing you with a dedicated Grow adviser who will work with you on a range of services and who can facilitate introductions within our network of industry and investment contacts. As a Grow client you will benefit from fixed fees and an experienced team who know your sector, although you are under no obligation to use us. Our aim is simple, we want to help you turn your idea or business into a success. The Grow team is fully immersed in the start-up scene across our firm’s geographic footprint through collaborating with key stakeholders in this sector and hosting events such as start-up showcases, workshops for entrepreneurs and networking forums for founders, investors and intermediaries. We now work for over 100 early-stage clients and boast a rapidly growing number of VC clients whom we work both for and together with to complete deals.
"They helped make us investor ready and were terrific. They're very startup-friendly, understanding that tech companies' needs and priorities change quickly - they are very flexible and nimble. The legalities can be overwhelming but they always break it down and simplify it."
Chambers FinTech 2019
We offer a free approach to client relationship management involving a lawyer below partner level who acts as your dedicated point of contact. Think of this person as an extension of your team, who can help you figure out whether you have a legal problem (or otherwise) and who would be best placed to solve it. You can always email and call this person without cost, and they will always reply and do their best to assist. We try wherever possible to match advisers by sector and encourage informal catch-ups between founders and advisers on a regular basis. Your Grow adviser's job is to embed themselves into your business, learn about it from the inside out, invest time in the relationship, act as a bridge between you and our firm, and grow as a lawyer in tandem with your business.
Where you require formal advice or deliverables, your Grow adviser will liaise with our various specialist lawyers to source fixed fee quotes, giving you transparency and predictability for all your legal needs.
Use of client meeting rooms
Whether it’s a one-off important board meeting, launch event or pitch to investors, we can offer a room in one of our client suites to provide an impressive and professional venue for free. This service is subject to availability and requires a Browne Jacobson lawyer present at all times to act as a host.
Training, introductions and events
We run seminars, roundtables, pitch events, webinars, workshops and training, both general firm and Grow specific. We can also make introductions to existing clients and non-legal partners who focus on helping early-stage companies and investors who are interested in the space.
Find out what we are up to here.
To find more simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.brownejacobson.com/startups
What can we do? Our services include: advising and drafting of bespoke articles of association and shareholders’ agreements; founder consultancy contracts; convertible loan agreements; advising on deadlock avoidance structuring; and advising on managing founder deadlock if it arises.
Why choose us? A cohesive co-founder team is an essential element of a successful startup. One of the most common problems in startups is the relationship between co-founders becoming tense and difficult. In the absence of adequate legal mechanisms through which to continue effective decision-making, inertia can result. At Browne Jacobson, we take a highly commercial and cost effective approach to managing arrangements between founders to ensure that the relationships are built on the strongest legal foundations to facilitate smooth business.
What can we do? Our services include negotiating and drafting the required legal documents, on behalf of founders or funders, for any round of funding (including the earlier stages: pre-seed, seed or Series A).
Why choose us? Funding rounds can be a stressful period. Investor relations are crucial during a period of change and resettling for the board and members. With Browne Jacobson negotiating on your behalf, you can rest easily knowing that your interests are protected by commercially savvy business advisers who speak the language of professional investors. Our skill is to make the funding round as seamless as possible, ensuring that the investment and future of the business is secure.
What can we do? Our services include advising startups on national and international brand protection strategy, working closely with partner trade mark attorneys.
Why choose us? In an increasingly globalised digital economy, a brand is often the most valuable asset of a business. As the unique story of your business, product or service, it is the thing which makes people come to you rather than your competitors. At Browne Jacobson, our approach to brand protection is strategic and international. With investment in brand strategy and digital marketing a priority for most startups, advice from our skilled specialists will ensure maximum value from spending and minimise the risk of expensive infringement disputes.
What can we do? Our services include advising startups on national and international patent strategy, working closely with partner patent attorneys.
Why choose us? Innovation deserves reward, but protection is necessary to ensure that the value is harnessed for the innovators. We provide the national and international strategic advice needed to create, manage and protect a patent portfolio. Our skilled team of specialists are able to provide forward-thinking advice, allowing you to build a portfolio that serves the strategy of your business.
Taking on employees
What can we do? Our services include practical legal and commercial advice, from our employment and immigration lawyers and HR consultants. Our team will work with you to prepare your business for taking on a workforce, to include providing you with contracts and policies for your employees, interns and contractors; supporting you with carrying out mandatory right to work checks and other business immigration requirements and advice on avoiding discrimination and other pitfalls.
Why choose us? As your business grows, so too will your workforce. The business will shift from relying on founders and contractors, to taking on a fully employed workforce. The legal requirements necessary for this can appear daunting. At Browne Jacobson, our multidisciplinary team of employment and immigration lawyers and HR consultants can assist with the project and prepare your business. Our team can ensure your business has the necessary legal knowledge, Sponsor Licence, visa advice, contractual arrangements and practical insight to grow headcount from the UK and abroad.
Tax efficient incentives
What can we do? Our services include: advising on Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS); Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS); and employee share schemes.
Why choose us? The key to getting people to invest in your business, whether it be capital or sweat, is providing tax efficient incentives. The world of Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS), Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and employee share schemes is fraught with complexity. Our skilled team of tax advisers are experienced in advising startups on creating tax efficient incentives for founders, investors and employees alike.
Contracts and user T&Cs
What can we do? Our services include advising and drafting of: user terms and conditions; website terms and conditions; collaboration and joint venture agreements; assignments of intellectual property; and agreements for outsourcing of services.
Why choose us? The commercial relationships in your business are essential, and whether the arrangements are with clients, vendors or collaborators, we have the expertise to assist. Our approach with startups is to have empathy for the cost pressures of early stage businesses. The flexibility of our services allows you to choose us for as much or as little help as is necessary, whether it be full assistance in drafting bespoke documents for your business, or a simple high-level risk review of a contract which your business is considering entering into.
Managing and monetising data
What can we do? Our services include: advising your business on its personal data processing and cybersecurity obligations pursuant to law; and advising and drafting the legal documents your business needs to collect, process and use data.
Why choose us? Data is valuable to providing the tailored services that the modern consumer demands. The monetisation model of your business may even depend entirely on collecting, aggregating and analysing personal data. When personal data is so crucial to your business, it is essential that your business is advised strategically right from the outset to ensure that collected data can be used for the intended purpose and is managed in a way which will not result in your business being hit with a crippling ICO fine. Whether it is a simple data policy or a complex data migration project, our advisers can assist your startup.
What can we do? Our services include: advising on requirements for FCA authorisation; advising on or preparing authorisation applications (including applications to the Regulatory Sandbox); advising on the appropriateness of existing permissions of authorised firms; advising on obtaining appointed representative status; and advising on regulatory compliance for authorised firms.
Why choose us? May of our early-stage clients are emerging FinTechs, and our vibrant FinTech practice keeps our financial regulatory lawyers at the forefront of innovative financial services. Regardless of the service or technology, whether it is payment services, robo-advice or distributed ledgers, our team has the relevant experience to add greater insight and value to our regulatory advice.
Successful exit: selling your business
What can we do? We provide the full array of legal advisory services in relation to share sales, including private sales and transactions on equity capital markets.
Why choose us? At all stages of the life-cycle of a business, there will naturally be some founders that choose to realise the fruits of their hard work. At Browne Jacobson, our team is skilled in all forms of exit, be it a simple bilateral share sale in a private purchase, or a more complex arrangement such as management buy-outs (MBOs) or management buy-ins (MBIs). For successful scaling-up businesses, initial public offerings (IPOs) are also an option and our advisers are experienced in advising limited companies in converting into public limited companies and listing.
Your Grow adviser
Once you have signed the Grow engagement letter, your business will have access to Grow and will be assigned a dedicated adviser. Wherever possible, we will match you to an adviser in your industry sector. You can contact your Grow adviser as much as you like to discuss your business and legal requirements. The role of your Grow adviser is to be your dedicated point of contact to the firm, who can help you figure out if you have a legal issue and who might help you solve it. Sometimes it will be a quick fix and where they can assist, they will do so. Where they advise that you require more in-depth help, they will arrange a meeting with the right specialist to discuss your requirements and potential costs.
What's in it for us?
The Grow adviser scheme provides a unique advantage to your business, giving you a legal expert to add to your inner circle of advisers, but what’s in it for us? We believe that by allowing our lawyers to work closely with entrepreneurs, they will develop their skills, improve their industry knowledge and build key relationships. For us, Grow is as much about growing the skills and expertise of our lawyers as it is about growing your business, making Grow a truly collaborative project between our firm and the startup community.
Browne Jacobson’s corporate team assisted on Laka’s £1.1m (US $1.5m) seed round. The round was led by Tune Protect Group Berhad (Tune Protect), a financial holding company listed on the Malaysian Stock Exchange. Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm 500 Startups also participated, alongside new and existing angel investors from across the insurance industry. Laka is a unique insurance model in which customers only pay for the true cost of cover. At the end of each month, the cost of claims is split fairly between customers, with the individual’s maximum premium capped at market rate for customer protection.
I am very grateful for all the support we have received from Browne Jacobson in closing this deal, which is strategically important to us as we continue to scale and enter new markets. Jon and his team provided expert advice and were always available at short notice to guide us through the deal process.
Tobias Taupitz, Co-founder of Laka
The team advised Digital Fineprint on its USD$2.7m investment round led by Pentech. The investment will allow Digital Fineprint to expand its London team and invest in the further development of its social media-powered insurance distribution software. Digital Fineprint, which was set up in 2016 and was established by a group of Oxford University students, offers insurance companies a platform enabling them to use social media data to improve their customer targeting, conversion, cross-selling and retention. In November 2017 the company was named as “Best InsurTech Startup” as voted by The Digital Insurer.
Jon and his team were our trusted advisors during our fundraising process and were central in creating a positive outcome both for us and for our investors. I wholeheartedly recommend Browne Jacobson and the Grow programme and am grateful for the fantastic service level we received.
Erik Abrahamsson, CEO of Digital Fineprint
We didn't choose a local firm because we knew we were going global. Their knowledge isn't just local, their knowledge is global.
Grzegorz Jarzabek, Trustedoctor
Browne Jacobson’s corporate team completed an InsurTech venture capital deal in which it advised The British Insurance Awards 2018 Insurance Start-Up Award winner for 2018, Digital Risks, on its £2.25 million investment round. The round was led by Concentric, with participation from Atami Capital, Seedcamp, London Co-Investment Fund and Beazley.
Digital Risks, co-founded by Cameron Shearer and Ben Rose, is the digital-first insurance provider for fast-growth technology and media businesses, challenging traditional business insurance providers with an entirely online experience and flexible monthly subscription model, ideally suited to today’s millennial run, digital-first businesses.
Browne Jacobson’s dealmakers advised Dinghy on its USD$1.2m seed funding deal which was led by venture capital firm Balderton Capital, with participation from industry angel investors and insurance investment company ReSolution. Dinghy offers an on-demand insurance solution for freelance professionals including tech developers, designers and consultants via a mobile first website.
The professionalism of the Grow team is a credit to Browne Jacobson. I look forward to working with Jon and his team on many funding rounds in the future, they are fantastic people to have on your side.
Ben Wilks, co-founder of Dinghy
Telleroo is an innovative FinTech business with the strategic goal of disrupting B2B payment services. Browne Jacobson guided the founders through the relevant regulations on payment and e-money services to assist the business in launching its MVP with minimal overhead.
We found Browne Jacobson’s financial regulatory lawyers to be very compelling, they showed a clear personal passion for what startups are doing and went the extra mile.
Fabian Flatz, CEO of Telleroo
As a startup in 2014, Blaze had a small core team which it needed to retain and build upon. Blaze wanted to help align new and existing team members to its long-term vision and create opportunities for early employees to share in Blaze's success.
The solution was simple: long-term equity incentives. On a realistic fixed fee, we were able to provide the advice and legal documents necessary for Blaze to implement a successful Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) share scheme.
Browne Jacobson were able to act with flexibility and were pragmatic to the challenges a startup faces.
Phil Ellis, COO of Blaze
Impact Marathon Series raised a successful seed round. The business needed access to capital quickly without cutting corners while keeping legal costs to a sensible amount relative to the seed. Browne Jacobson were able to provide fast assistance at a predictable and affordable cost.
A funding round is a stressful time for any growing company and it was super to have the legal work taken care of by Browne Jacobson…. I keenly recommend them to fellow entrepreneurs.
Nick Kershaw, CEO, Impact Marathon Series
Combine is an AI-powered solution that allows users to securely connect all their bank accounts from anywhere in Europe within one app. Founded in 2016, Combine has rapidly achieved success and recognition in the fintech world, having reached the finals of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative as well as joining the Barcelona chapter of Startupbootcamp. Founder Irakli Agladaze turned to Browne Jacobson corporate partner and fundraising expert, Jon Snade, to assist in closing a seed funding round from strategic investors.
It's been a great pleasure to work with Browne Jacobson and Jon personally. As a first time entrepreneur, I'm happy to have someone to advise and help me on all of Combine’s legal matters. When you're a small team you want to focus on your product first, and avoid legal headaches – Browne Jacobson provides that in full. Jon was there to advise and to help me whenever needed, and I'm sure that it's just the start of a long and fruitful business relationship.
Irakli Agladze, Founder of Combine
Through our partnerships and informal collaborations, our Grow clients can gain access to and obtain offers/ discounts from a range of service providers and contacts within the space, these include:
About Browne Jacobson
We offer clear opinions and straightforward legal advice, whenever and wherever you need it – locally, nationally and internationally. Complex problems – understood, explained and resolved by a single team, across five offices nationally, working together in long term partnership with you – a genuinely different approach. Exceptional service, every time, from experts you trust and costs that reflect what you value in a law firm, not the things you don’t.
- sector experts, working in partnership with our clients - including blue chip corporates, local and owner managed businesses, NHS Trusts, major insurers, education and public sector organisations
- specialists in legal solutions across the private and public sectors, providing a unique offering where they overlap
- national reach from our offices in major UK cities including Birmingham, Exeter, London, Manchester and Nottingham
- experts in international fraud and asset recovery and international investment in the UK - we have a dedicated bilingual French inward investment team and are the founding member of Pangea Net, a non-exclusive network of full service law firms with an international focus
- over 550 lawyers, including 144 partners, managed and supported by a team of professional specialists; we are an employer of choice with accreditations from Investors in People and featured in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work for (2013). Our corporate team is ranked 12th by Experian in the UK and 2nd in the Midlands by deal volume
- recognised for our quality and externally accredited by Lexcel, ISO, and Investor in Customers
- a true partnership approach with our clients - our clients stay us with us for the long term because of our sector expertise, straightforward advice, pricing and product innovation and exceptional client service.
For more information about how we can help visit brownejacobson.com
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