FFW gives birth to Incubator service

Field Fisher Waterhouse is launching what it claims is the world's first one-stop shop for anyone setting up e-commerce businesses.

The service, called Incubator, will be run through a website directly linked to the firm's 12-strong IT and online law group.

The service is starting after an aggressive recruitment campaign for the firm's IT and online law department, which has seen it grow from one partner to four since June.

Head of the department Michael Chissick says the firm is now being instructed by an average of one new e-commerce client each week, and he will bring in more staff if the service takes off.

“We are working for slightly different clients here, they are much faster and much younger,” he says.

“Here we have developed a product to suit them.”

It is thought to be the first hand-holding service covering every issue involved in setting up an e-commerce site.

The aim is to provide support for anyone running e-commerce businesses, from start-up companies to established firms which are planning to expand.

As well as legal advice, the service will offer links to other business specialists so that guidance will be available on issues including trademarks, advertising and marketing, data protection and finance.

“The idea of providing a complete service for fledgling businesses is already well-developed in the US,” says Chissick.

“But I am not aware of another service being available specifically for e-commerce businesses. This is certainly the first of its kind in the UK, and the first I know of in the world.

“We are finding a lot of these clients need a little bit of extra hand-holding.

“We are already pretty pro-active in helping them network with other service providers, so this is really about formalising what's been happening informally for a couple of years,” he says.

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