But just how far will this money stretch?
Five start-up businesses are set to receive up to £30,000 each in free legal advice, courtesy of magic circle giant Slaughter and May.
As part of the elite firm’s ‘Fintech Fast Forward’ programme, Slaughter and May will give free legal and business support to UK-based technology-driven businesses operating in the financial services sector. With over 25 start-ups putting themselves forward for the prize, the firm has now revealed the identities of the five winners.
One lucky recipient is London-based start-up Enforcd. Using a system called EDB, the business uses the latest technology and algorithms to aid regulatory compliance. Another winner is Tide, which uses a mobile app to scan IDs, such as passports, to allow business owners to open a current account in just three minutes. Other recipients are Garrison, a cyber security company based in London, Just Miles, a car insurance provider, and WorldRemit, an online money transfer system.
Commenting on the announcement, Ben Kingsley, a partner at Slaughter and May, said:
A surge of interest in areas such as FinTech, blockchain, machine learning and data analytics has spawned opportunities for the firm both to acquire exciting new clients and to help existing clients capitalise on the benefits of technology advances. The ‘Fintech Fast Forward’ programme recognises the depth of talent which exists in the UK’s entrepreneur population and the great response to this initiative, from such a diverse range of tech businesses, has reaffirmed my belief that the UK tech sector is robust and in good shape for the future.
But just how far will this £30,000 stretch? It has been speculated that some top magic circle partners charge themselves out for as much as £1,000 an hour (yes, you read that correctly). Let’s just hope our small businesses don’t blow their £30,000 allowance after just one week.
Slaughter and May isn’t alone in handing out gratis legal advice to budding entrepreneurs. Back in November Addleshaw Goddard unveiled its ‘AG Elevate scheme’ which sees the outfit’s top FinTech lawyers provide up to £500,000 in free advice and mentoring. This followed a similar move by international giant Simmons & Simmons, which back in May revealed it was setting aside over £100,000 to help “exciting” new FinTech businesses.
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