Firms support tech start-ups with free legal advice

London law firm Mishcon de Reya has launched a programme to offer free legal advice and mentoring to early-stage tech businesses.

M:Tech will support UK start-ups that are generating revenue with at least one “active client or pilot” and expect to fundraise in the next six to 18 months. They will be given legal advice for six months, access to key legal documents free of charge and the potential of investment funds from Mishcon for a small equity stake. It marks a departure from the firm’s legal incubator programme – MdR Lab – which supports only lawtech businesses.

Businesses awarded a place on the new M:Tech programme will work with Mishcon’s technology group which is an integrated team of over 40 lawyers from various areas, alongside legal specialists on subjects such as data protection, cyber security and blockchain.

Mishcon partner Andrew Wolfin told Legal Futures: “We launched M:Tech to create a more structured way of offering our expertise and experience to a wider selection of young companies, without them having to focus on fees. While the [MdR] Lab was developed specifically to engage with legal technology, M:Tech is open to early-stage businesses in all tech sectors.”

Magic circle law firm Slaughter and May has also announced that it has chosen the first cohort of six lawtech businesses which will be supported by its new incubator scheme, Collaborate. The businesses will receive access to the firm’s lawyers as well as testing and feedback panels.

Slaughter and May partner Anna Lyle-Smythe said: “Collaborate provides a great opportunity for us and our clients to work together with legal tech businesses with exciting potential to bring change to the practice of law.”

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