It is vital UK does not fall behind in offering support to tech start-ups, says Eversheds

Charlotte Walker-Osborn, partner and head of UK technology media and telecoms at Eversheds, has commented on news that top start-ups and venture capital firms are urging the UK government to relax rules and taxes in order to maintain London’s status as the top European technology hub.

She said: ‘It is interesting to note the pressure David Cameron and his government is facing from tech companies to make changes to ensure London retains its position as the go-to place in Europe for tech. Given that the projected growth for London over the next decade is currently heavily reliant on growth in tech and particularly financial tech [complementing London’s financial services sector], it is critical that the UK does not fall behind other countries in offering incentives to help companies and to encourage them to establish themselves in the UK and in London.

‘Added to this, it will be very interesting to see how the government approaches the interesting challenges that will arise in relation to the suggestion of creating a legal framework for Bitcoin.

However, said Walker-Osborn, the demands being requested are not without their complexities. She envisages that any changes, particularly in relation to tax incentives and Bitcoin, will be conservative in nature.

She added: ‘London has significant real-estate constraints generally so giving incentives to small tech companies here may be difficult in any event, but would certainly be helpful to helping them establish footholds in the city. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Almost inevitably, the Startup Manifesto will be the catalyst to significant policy debate on these issues and any resulting changes may be more conservative than those currently being demanded.’