Withers advises on launch of new tech industry body Innovate Finance

Withers has advised on the establishment of new industry body Innovate Finance, which supports the growth of cutting-edge technologies in the UK’s financial sector.

The firm won the mandate via a competitive tender process, fending off at least three rivals in the process. It is thought that Fieldfisher was among the firms to have shown an interest in advising on the transaction. 

Withers has been working with Innovate Finance since the end of March 2014. The firm has been advising on its establishment as a legal vehicle, its structure, and negotiating funding. 

The industry body, which has received support and backing from the City of London and the Canary Wharf Group, was launched last week by UK Chancellor George Osborne. 

The head of Withers’ European commercial practice, Chris Priestley, who led on the transaction said: “As a go-to firm for entrepreneurs, our work with Innovate Finance’s member bodies is a very exciting prospect too, as many are at the leading edge of developing new products.” 

Priestley was assisted by IP partner Kenny Mullen and associate Roger Waite on the project. 

Priestley said that Withers was selected largely thanks to its experience in advising non-profit organisations including the UK Film Council, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA). 

However, the firm has also been actively investing in developing its offering for entrepreneurs. At the end of April 2014, the firm kickstarted its Momentum initiative, branded as a fixed-fee legal start-up pack for new businesses.