We don’t normally cover tech law firms, and fear not, we’re not about to flood your feed with chatter about those guys. But the launch of a new firm specialising in tech is such a rare event (most law firms typically hang around for millennia…) that it seemed worthy of a mention. JAG Shaw Baker is is not the first law firm in Europe dedicated to venture capital and advising entrepreneurs, companies and investors in high growth industries, but it’s clearly the newest. And the fact it’s in London signals the fact that the ecosystem there is growing at a clip, and is rapidly acting as a hub for international startups.
The team is also one of the largest and most experienced in venture capital law in the region. For US readers, think the Gunderson or the Wilson Sonsini of Europe.
The founding partners of the firm are James Shaw and Tina Baker, experienced venture capital lawyers with a background in tech, life sciences and clean tech. Baker was formally the chair of the European Emerging Technologies and Venture Capital Practice in the London office of Brown Rudnick, an international law firm. Shaw is formally of SJ Berwin LLP and was a Partner of Brown Rudnick.
They are joined by Richard Penfold (formerly of Brown Rudnick) as Head of the Intellectual Property practice, Susanna Stanfield (formerly of Taylor Wessing) as corporate Partner with a particular focus on Cambridge, and Morven Greig as Managing Partner. In addition, Charles Crosthwaite, also formerly of Brown Rudnick, heads the M&A and IPO practice. (So, sucks to be Brown Rudnick right now). Firms they are working with – generally on fund-raising deals – now include TransferWise, Fits.me and Glysure.
While Orrick is probably the biggest firm in this sector, they tend to focus on company-side representation, whereas JAG plans a mix of companies and investors.
Anecdotally, it’s a good time for law firms right now (I’m sure you’re all happy about that). There are a number of funding rounds going on at the moment upwards of C rounds – and 2013 is seeing a lot more M&A activity. And it looks like the next two years is going to see a lot of roll-ups and consolidation in the market.