Of concern for lawyers, perhaps, is an attitude among some of the new generation of tech entrepreneurs that legal information should be free and widely available.
Maybe one day it will be. But for now demand for lawyers who understand modern tech and the commerce of start-ups is soaring as the government pumps investment into the East London Tech City project based around Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout (pictured below).
The most in-demand of this new breed of tech lawyer (well, the most in-demand now that he has been included as the sole member of the legal profession in Wired Magazine’s list of the UK’s top 100 ‘digital power-brokers’)?
Christopher Grew, a partner in the emerging companies group at the London office of US law firm Orrick.
Having initially trained as a barrister, Cambridge graduate Grew moved to work in-house at New York firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed. From there, he went onto to develop an expertise advising technology and emerging growth companies in venture capital transactions – a specialism that is proving increasingly attractive to a new generation of lawyers. Grew is also a mentor and a judge at Seedcamp, an early stage investment programme for up and coming entrepreneurs.
Other big names in the growing London tech law scene include Pinsent Masons partner Barry Vitou, who runs the Bootlaw site, which provides “essential for start-ups and emerging tech businesses”, and Finers Stephens Innocent’s start-up specialist Louise Eldridge.
For more on the way lawyers are getting involved in the Silicon Roundabout scene, listen to this podcast with Jonathan Lee, a senior associate at Shoreditch law firm Bargate Murray.