London TMT boutique Kemp Little is reinforcing its technology expertise by launching a niche consultancy arm from its London office.
Kemp Little Consulting will launch tomorrow (17 October 2013) and will provide risk management, IP strategy and social media management support to its technology clients. The firm had previously provided free face-to-face legal advice and consultation to start-up technology companies.
“We’ve often advised clients on matters such as their IT systems and digital strategy, so [this is] a natural next step,” said the firm’s head of IP and litigation Paul Garland. ”General counsels today are in a difficult position because there’s huge pressure on budgets. The GC focus is shifting and they want a more rounded offer – legal advice plus support at the next stage.”
The business will be led by former Deloitte partner Chris Wray and Tata Consultancy Services vice president Jim Odell, with external specialists working on a freelance basis. Wray and Odell told The Lawyer that there was a partner vote on the consultancy arm before it went ahead and clients were spoken to about the idea at an early stage. The whole process took around four months.
Garland added that there will be no ‘set packages’ offered by the firm and its consultancy business, with pricing instead decided on a client-by-client basis. He said: ”It’s normal that clients want advice at the best value and which works for them, so we will continue [to have those conversations].”
COO Siddhartha Mankad is understood to have played a key role in the launch, having previously worked with Wray in the past. He joined the firm after former managing partner Lucy Vernall left to become Wonga’s first general counsel in March 2011.
Kemp Little has a number of high-profile clients, having advised Google on commercial work since 2009 and computer giant Microsoft on cloud regulatory and advisory work for a number of years. It continues to work with Vernall at money-lending site Wonga, where the firm’s corporate, commercial technology and IP/litigation groups advise.