Our early stage business advisory team includes experienced startup lawyers dedicated to providing common sense, commercial and value added legal advice to entrepreneurs, startups and early stage businesses (including university 'spin-outs' and scaleups).
We understand the challenges of starting up and scaling up a new business. Arguably, the birth of a new company is the time when specialist legal advice and support is most urgently required. We also appreciate that this also happens to be the time when financial resources are at their most scarce. Our primary goal is to provide you with the legal advice and support that you need to succeed, but on the basis of a fee arrangement which supports, rather than frustrates, the growth of the business during the start-up and scale up phases.
Many of our startup and scale up clients are led by entrepreneurs who have left corporate roles in industry, though we also provide legal support to university spin-outs and other student-led enterprises.
We use fixed fee arrangements wherever possible, which will provide you with greater certainty and transparency over costs. We can also be flexible in agreeing sensible and realistic time to pay arrangements.
We will give your startup or scaleup the best possible chance of succeeding by:
Unlike many professional advisers, we recognise the importance of using senior, more experienced startup lawyers to support the development of your business in its early stages.
Our 30-lawyer team comprises 11 partners and 19 other senior lawyers who advise startup and scaleup clients on a broad range of legal matters, including:
We work closely with the Bristol-based and Bath-based team at SETsquared which, according to the UBI index, is the world's leading university business incubator.
“SETsquared has worked with VWV since 2006, most recently providing the invaluable ‘Lawyer-in-Residence’ service to our early-stage, high-tech, high-growth members. Such businesses need special understanding and face particular challenges. The team at VWV have always done an exceptional job at helping solve these challenges, providing the entrepreneurs with professional support with an entrepreneurial style. The most important facet of a legal adviser, from an entrepreneur’s perspective, is knowing that you are working with someone who has a desire to understand your business and give you candid advice and feedback. You get this with VWV.”
Nick Sturge - Former Centre Director at SETsquared Business Acceleration, Bristol (SETsquared is ranked global #1 university business incubator)
Amongst other support we provide a weekly, 3 hour, free-of-charge "lawyer-in-residence" service to SETsquared Bristol and a similar fortnightly service to SETsquared Bath (also known as the University of Bath Innovation Centre), services which we have provided since 2009 and 2014 respectively. In 2017 we launched similar fortnightly services at Future Space, The Bristol Robotics Laboratory and Unit DX. In total, we spend at least 30 hours a month "in-residence" at these incubators.
Our startup lawyers are genuinely committed to helping startups and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and provide a specialist legal service, tailored to the technology and early stage business sector.
Most of our startup and early stage business clients are technology ventures, operating across a broad spectrum of sectors including:
We are a full service commercial law firm with offices in London, Watford, Bristol and Birmingham and employ over 450 people, including 75 partners and approximately 300 other lawyers. From these offices we provide a national legal service to tech startups and scaleups. Our startup lawyers also benefit from the support of the wider firm's sector and service specialists (e.g. Education, Healthcare and Pharma & Life Sciences), enabling us to offer you a comprehensive range of legal services to support you as your business grows and your needs evolve.
We are founder members of the Association of European Lawyers, a network of 39 associated law firms, with offices throughout Europe. We also belong to Eurojuris, a network of over 650 European firms with worldwide affiliations. Independent of those networks we also have associate firms in the United States, Asia and in other key commercial and technology "hotspots" across the globe. Strong links with these organisations means that we have developed a reputation for handling complex international transactions.
The most important facet of a legal adviser, from an entrepreneur’s perspective, is knowing that you are working with someone who has a desire to understand your business and give you candid advice and feedback. You get this with VWV.