Start-ups

Key Contact

Start-ups & High-Growth Companies

Entrepreneurs and growing businesses face specific challenges which require specialist advice.

At Acuity Law, we understand the obstacles and opportunities encountered, as well as the people who want to invest in these fledgling companies.

Some of our biggest and most successful clients were pioneers from humble beginnings. We have been with them on every step of their journey: from setting up, securing seed funding and further investment rounds, to eventual IPOs and exits.

We combine our wealth of start-up experience, prominent presence in accelerator and investor communities and our sector insight to provide pragmatic, cost-effective legal support to help launch, grow and successfully exit business ventures.

Our Expertise Includes The Following

Formation & Organisation
Understanding, Structuring & Negotiating Funding Rounds
Expert Insight
Share Schemes and Executive Incentives
Full Legal Support

We assess the most appropriate structure for a business and create tailored formation and governance documents to safeguard the interests of founders from the outset – ensuring your business is an attractive investment proposition.

Getting early legal advice is critical for ensuring that founders aren’t taken advantage of – either by giving away too much control of their business or unwittingly agreeing to unreasonable economic terms (such as excessive fees or abusive preferential rights). We advise start-ups and early-stage companies from pre-seed funding through to seed and early series funding (including EIS and SEIS funding) and beyond.

We also help established companies with all aspects of venture capital investment, equity fundraising and debt arrangements. We provide support with heads of terms, investment and shareholders agreements, convertible loan notes, advance subscriptions and more.

We know what makes investors tick. We regularly act for, and across the table from, multiple funding sources, including venture capital funds, angel investors, banks and other strategic investors and lenders. Our expert insight helps us get the deal done in the most pragmatic, commercial and efficient way possible.

Attracting and retaining talent can be make or break for a business. We advise on the design, drafting and implementation of share plans and incentive schemes to motivate key stakeholders, including Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI), Company Share Option Plans (CSOP), Share Incentive Plans (SIP) and growth share schemes.

Our team can also call upon specialist expertise across multiple legal disciplines, including employment, commercial, intellectual property and real estate, to provide seamless and comprehensive legal support for companies at all stages of their growth cycle. This includes:

  • Intellectual property issues, including protection and commercial exploitation of IP
  • Technology, e-commerce and risk management
  • Privacy and data protection, including GDPR compliance
  • All aspects of contract formation and management
  • Employment and service contracts for executive directors, non-executive directors and employees
Tom Saunderson, Corporate Senior Associate at Acuity Law

Key Contact

Contact Details

Speak To One Of The Team Today

Meet The Team
Work Highlights & Testimonials
Cordelia Payne, Intellectual Property Partner at Acuity Law

Cordelia Payne

Consultant Partner

Declan Goodwin

Partner
Tom Saunderson, Corporate Senior Associate at Acuity Law

Tom Saunderson

Partner

Jared Ursell

Senior Associate
adam mcglynn, solicitor at acuity law

Adam McGlynn

Associate
sean chapman james

Sean Chapman James

Associate
Ffion Morgan, Trainee Solicitor at Acuity Law

Ffion Morgan

Solicitor

A selection of our team’s recent highlights includes advising:

  • OBConnect Ltd, a highly innovative fast growth company at the very forefront of Fintech innovation, in connection with its £3 million investment by PayPoint Plc
  • Hut Six, a developer of software-based information security training products, on a £400,000 round of investment from the Development Bank of Wales and existing investors
  • A number of other exciting early-stage companies, including Ship Shape Search, Carno Heat, Surple Energy, Porter Travel, Streetwave, Ontik and PlantSea

We also work closely with graduates/spinouts from a number of incubator programmes, including the Alacrity Programme and Founders Factory, providing portfolio companies with practical business training, skills and mentoring, and advising on funding rounds.

Clients have said:

“Tom has supported me on several investments over the past two years. He has taken time to understand what is important to us in a transaction, set clear expectations and delivered on them. His advice has been pragmatic, commercial and he has a knack of making the complex understandable which is something we very much appreciate.”

David Llewellyn, Group CEO, CriSeren Investments

“Tom has been spectacularly helpful to our start-up business, taking us through several investment rounds and otherwise offering advice where needed. He listens, quickly gets what’s needed and on any problems to solve, advises on pragmatic solutions, and if necessary gets others’ lawyers to agree to such pragmatism. And he tactfully but firmly points out if we are about to take a wrong turn, saving us a lot of bother! I couldn’t recommend anyone more highly to take a start-up forward.”

Alistair Baillie, COO & CIO, Ship Shape Search

“Acuity Law have been fantastic support throughout our fundraising journey and operational set-up, guiding us efficiently with pragmatic advice. We highly recommend Tom Saunderson’s team at Acuity Law for any founder in raising or building mode.”

Becky Lane, Co-founder & CEO at Furbnow

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