A panto-style fees break from Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing offers IT start-ups five ‘magic beans’ if they sign up to fixed-fee product

My name is Tech and the Beanstalk. Who am I? No, not The Lawyer Christmas panto production, nor an educational video game. Far from it. It is a fixed-fee service for technology SMEs. And there are no nasty surprises in this show, promises creator Taylor Wessing.

The firm’s recent launch of the fixed-fee product that promises to offer clients five ‘magic beans’ if they sign up – from legal health assessments to document review services – highlights the gigantic rise of fee alternatives.

Nothing new there – clients have been chanting “fee-fi-fo-fum” to unpredictable legal costs for some time – but the launch of Tech and the Beanstalk marks a different approach to hitting that pot of gold, right down to the tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign.

The thinking is simple: if legal issues do not stunt the growth of start-ups they can eventually become big clients. Technology boutique Kemp Little, which recently launched a niche consultancy arm, already offers free face-to-face legal advice to start-up technology companies, while rival Wiggin has been toying with plans to launch an incubator to foster IT start-ups since 2012.

With 14 per cent of in-house respondents to The Lawyer’s Global Litigation Top 50 survey claiming they have faced an 80-100 per cent divergence between the forecast and final bill in the past year, Taylor Wessing clients will hope the magic beans the firm is offering come with no surprises so they can live happily ever after.