Allen & Overy offers free office space to legal tech start-ups

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By Thomas Connelly on

‘Fuse’ innovation hub will be based in the magic circle outfit’s London HQ

Allen & Overy’s London office

Global giant Allen & Overy is embracing the potentially lucrative world of legal technology by providing free office space to start-ups.

The new ‘Fuse’ tech hub will be housed within the magic circle outfit’s plush London office, situated on the boundary of Shoreditch and the City (pictured). The “specially-designed” space can accommodate around 60 entrepreneurial individuals and will allow “early-stage” and “mature” tech companies to tap into some of Allen & Overy’s top legal minds.

Applications for the new hub will open next month, and the firm is particularly keen to hear from businesses that specialise in “legaltech” (technology which supports legal advice), “regtech” (technology which supports regulatory compliance) and “dealtech” (technology which transforms how companies transact and negotiate deals). The chosen start-ups will move into their new digs in September.

Commenting on the new venture, Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy’s senior partner, said:

Fuse offers us a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with both our clients and some of the brightest minds in the tech sector, particularly those who have synergies with our business. I’m convinced this will not only put us at the forefront of developments in this field but will also be a key differentiator for Allen & Overy in the years to come.

Earlier this year Mishcon de Reya launched a similar initiative. Punting for the rather catchy name ‘MDR LAB’, the outfit — which teamed up with London-based innovation investor L Marks — will welcome a number of small tech-based businesses through its doors for ten weeks this summer.

Allen & Overy’s free office space initiative comes just a month after the firm helped launch what is believed to be the United Kingdom’s first ever “legal innovation centre.”

Teaming up with Baker McKenzie, the magic circle giant threw considerable weight behind a new research centre based within Ulster University. Speaking at the time, Jane Townsend — who is a partner and head of Allen & Overy’s Belfast office — said “knowledge-led business and technology is pivotal to everything [Allen & Overy] do.”

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