Typically the second most significant cost of any business, whether big or small is legal fees. Having efficient and proper legal representation then is a massive benefit and advantage to business; that’s why ensuring your legal ducks are in a row should be a top priority.
This list breaks down some of the top commercial and business law firms working with UK businesses (with details on specialist areas, office locations and contact details).
DLA Piper Global
DLA Piper Global provides legal assistance to tech start-ups during their growth period. They can help entrepreneurs to choose a legal structure that will enable a business to reach its full potential. DLA Piper Global can also offer assistance package start-ups (they provide a startup pack) and already growing businesses that develop and sell technology products.
Specialist areas: CleanTech, computer hardware, games and entertainment, online commerce and new media, IT and outsourcing services, semiconductors, software and telecommunications.
Location/Contact: London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds (beyond the UK, DLA Piper have offices around the world including Dublin). You can reach them via their contact page.
Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW)
FFW is a law firm focused on working with current/potential industry leaders, whether small start-ups or developed companies. FFW mainly focus on tech businesses. Additionally, it’s worth knowing that FFW consistently facilitates a range of events and startup initiatives in and around the London technology scene.
Specialist areas: Tech, media and telecoms, life sciences and healthcare, energy and natural resources, leisure and financial institutions.
Location/Contact: Birmingham, Manchester and London (they also have offices across the globe, including Silicon Valley). You can reach FFW at email@example.com for inquiries.
Clifford Chance have a variety of expertise in different technology sectors. Additionally they have a dedicated and integrated global IT and outsourcing practice (and can advise on complex IT transactions).
Specialist areas: Healthcare, telecommunication, technology, private, public, equity, business insurance, investment and management.
Location/Contact:: London and Newcastle. You make an inquiry to Clifford Chance on their contact page.
GOWLING WLG (Formerly Wragge & Co) ins an international law firm with bases in England and Wales. They have over 15,000 lawyers globally. They work with both traditional and technology-based businesses.
Specialist areas: Information technology, intellectual property, corporate, employment law, finance, insurance and private capital.
Location/Contact: Birmingham and London. You can reach GOWLING WLG on their contact form.
Linklaters are a global law firm, advising the most prominent global corporations. They provide legal counsel in challenging transactions and assignments. They provide assistance to business involved in telecommunications, media and technology. Linklaters believe that technology, media and telecommunications play an innovative and crucial role in society. Therefore, they provide exclusive services to TMT players, helping to exploit market opportunities and fend off competitors.
Specialist areas: Telecommunications, media and technology.
Location/Contact: London (they also have offices in 37 other cities across the globe). You can contact Linklaters via their contact form on this page.
Herbert Smith Freehills London Office advises some of the worlds biggest and ambitious companies. They provide legal counsel for TMT as well. Their teams have good industry exposure to the most complex work and provide useful and variable solutions.
Specialist areas: Technology, media and telecoms (specialising mainly in capital markets, mergers and acquisition, real estate, projects and infrastructure).
Location/Contact: London (with further global office coverage). You can find contact details for Herbert Smith Freehills here.
Eversheds Sutherland are technology specialists from a legal point of views. They provide legal advice to a diverse range of sectors that includes tech start-ups. Eversheds are cutting edge in terms of their understanding of emerging technologies and their legal procedures/implications. They have a large group of lawyers that predominantly focuses on TMT.
Specialist areas: Technology, media and telecoms (with particular focus on emerging technologies).
Location/Contact: Nottingham, Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff, Birmingham, Cambridge, London, Ipswich, Edinburgh and Manchester. You can find contact details for the appropriate office here.
Taylor Wessing as a firm has around 400 partners and a large number of lawyers. The company was formed as a result of a merger between the British law firm Taylor Jayson Garret & Berenberg-Gossier. Taylor Wessing has an online portal called TW Tech Focus, where they provide tech companies guidance during their corporate life cycle ranging from start-ups to companies entering commercialisation and beyond.
Specialist areas: Technology, media and telecom, banking and a wide range of other sectors.
Location/Contact: Cambridge, Liverpool and London. You can reach Taylor Wessing on their contact page.
Allen and Overy
Allen and Overy offer technical legal expertise in a variety of areas, including technology. They are considered to be one of the largest UK based Law firms. In terms of clients, they consider TMT (telecommunication, media and technology) sectors a key priority. Allen and Overy share industry knowledge expertise across offices and legal disciplines.
Specialist areas: Energy, telecommunications, media, life sciences, metal and mining.
Location/Contact: London and Belfast (additionally they have global office coverage). You can contact them in the UK at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swindell & Pearson
Swindell & Pearson are specialists in patents and trademarks. They provide an excellent but reasonably priced service to companies, academic institutions, government agencies and individuals. They seek to understand first challenges and requirements before working closely to add full value. The focus is on simplifying the process while ensuring a high-quality service.
Specialist areas: All aspects of intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, designs).
Location/Contact: Derby, Sheffield, Wolverhampton and Stoke. You can contact their head office in Derby, here.
Purewal and Partners LLP
Purewal and Partners LLP is a UK based start-up oriented firm, established to provide legal assistance for the entertainment industry. Their services are available for tech start-ups in the UK, Europe and the Silicon Valley. The law firm supports a range of entertainment business start-ups. Whether you are running a small start-up or a large established software enterprise, Purewal and Partners LLP can help you bring out the best in your business.
Specialist areas: Video games, digital broadcast, mobile apps, general IT and technology and eCommerce.
Location/Contact: London. You can reach them via their contact page here.
Norton Rose Fullbright
Norton Rose Fulbright is composed of five partnerships. The partnerships share a single management board but are not financially integrated. They offer technical expertise in innovation and technology. Norton Rose Fulbright provides a full range of transactions and commercialisation techniques for several prominent clients from start-ups to multinational technology corporation.
Specialist areas: Transport, technology, technology and innovation, infrastructure, mining, commodities and energy.
Location/Contact: London and Newcastle (with global offices). They have offices all over the globe; one is at London Riverside, the details of which are provided in the link here.
CMS Cameron Mckenna is the UK member partnership. CMS Cameron merged with Edinburgh-based Dundas & Wilson in May 2014. Their Legal Council expertise lies in tax and legal procedures, but they happen to have a good team for tech start-ups as well. Major transactions and also day to day legal service and all legal counsel for a fast-paced technology sector ranging from global players to start-ups.
Expert Areas: They provide their expertise for a wide spectrum of clients including technology, media and telecoms.
Location/Contact: Reading, Sheffield, Manchester, London, Aberdeen, Edinburugh, Glasow and Bristol. They have offices all over the globe as well as an office in London, details for their contact are provided here.
Olswang (Merged with CMS)
Olswang is a UK based law firm engaged in providing legal assistance to media and tech-based start-ups, internationally. The firm comprises of legal experts who are always active to help you deal with legal issues that you may face while setting up a new tech-based business. Olswang strives to understand all the details of your business and helps your business with the implementation of suitable legal solutions.
Irwin Mitchell is one of the UK’s most prominent law firms. As a full-service law firm, they provide expertise and services in almost all areas of business and commercial law.
Specialist areas: Software licensing, cloud arrangements, broadband agreements, eCommerce, disputes regarding IT issues and intellectual property, supply chain relationship breakdown and ISP agreements.
Location/Contact: London (they also have some international offices). You can reach Irwin Mitchell via their contact page.
DAC Beachcroft is a leading commercial law firm in the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and North America. They provide a one-stop shop for UK-based IT and Telecom Businesses. They provide legal counsel to tech start-ups to industry giants.
Specialist areas: Information and communication technology, industrial and manufacturing, real estate, rentals and insurance as well as a diverse range of other practice areas.
Location/Contact: Manchester, London, Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Newport and Windsor (as well as many offices globally). Beyond a phone number, they appear to have no easily accessible web form on email address to contact on that is provided on their website.
Addleshaw Goddard LLP is a corporate law firm that is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It was formed in 2003 by the merger of Addleshaw Booth & co with Theodore Goddard. In their services and credentials, they have mentioned providing legal counsel to small businesses and start-ups related to the tech industry. Beyond that, they provide good legal advice for advertising and marketing, branding, sports and other areas as well.
Specialist areas: Technology and communications.
Location/Contact: London. You can reach a specific partner at Addleshaw Goddard via their people page.
Founded in 1896, Withers LLP is an International law firm that has established Headquarter in London. They have offices across the globe. In the UK, they have a London-based intellectual property (IP) and technology team that advises on commercial technology and data protection.
Specialist areas: Information technology licensing, advertising, research and development, IT procurement and software development.
Location/Contact: Cambridge and London. You can reach Withers LLP at email@example.com.
Harper James Solicitors
Harper James Solicitors are a commercial law firm. There focus/expertise in terms of the client base is in working with startups and small businesses, although they have started to work with medium-sized and larger companies (primarily technology based). It’s interesting to note that their CEO previously worked at a well-known venture capital firm. Their fee structure differs from many other firms by offering a subscription-based model in most instances.
Specialist areas: Full service, they work in all major areas of commercial law.
Location/Contact: London, Birmingham and Sheffield. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Star Law
North Star Law is a boutqiue law firm based out of London. North Star provides a number of legal services, but in regards to commercial law, they specialise in working with startups and corporate, servicing their employee immigration/visa needs.
Specialist areas: Immigration, property and tax.
Location/Contact: London. You can reach them at email@example.com.
Darlingtons Solicitors LLP
Darlington Solicitors are a firm of 16 lawyers who are well known in the field of commercial property transactions and beyond that general business law. They work with clients of all sizes, from startup to corporate.
Specialist areas: Employment, Commercial property law and general commercial law
Location/Contact: London (Offices in City and West End). You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inactive / closed law firms
For reference, please find below law firms from this list that were once active and that have closed or are assumed to have ceased trading.
Cassell Moore Law Firm
The Cassel Moore Law firm works in partnership with the Tech Hub, Manchester. It provides legal administration to technology-based start-ups, working internationally in Manchester. Cassel Moore facilitates entrepreneurs in developing their business by arranging physical and virtual meetings. In these meetings, the entrepreneurs are given a chance to meet and cooperate with other successful entrepreneurs. In this manner, you can learn better ways to enhance your business globally.
Specialist areas: Computer science and creative arts.
Related: A guide to employment law in the UK