‘ES Disrupt’: international outfit taps into London’s buoyant entrepreneur scene
Eversheds Sutherland has become the latest law firm to target start-ups and fast-growth businesses with the launch of a web-based legal support service — and it’s all thanks to one of its forward-thinking trainees.
‘ES Disrupt’, which sounds more computer game than corporate law, will see the international outfit sell documents containing legal advice on areas such as company structure, employment law, corporate compliance and funding.
Keen to hit the ground running, the new project — targeting London’s entrepreneurial individuals — has received around £200,000 in backing (both cash and lawyer time) from the firm.
Incredibly, ‘ES Disrupt’ is not the product of a partner-filled brainstorming session, but actually the result of a competition submission from one of the firm’s trainees.
Jocey Nelson — who is based in London and will qualify later this year — first put forward the proposal in 2016 as part of Eversheds Sutherland’s “CEO Innovation Challenge”.
Speaking to Legal Cheek earlier today, Nelson said:
I was on secondment when I found out that I’d won the CEO Innovation Challenge; it was also the day the Brexit referendum was announced so it was very surreal!
Nelson, a King’s College law grad who spent time working at a tech start-up prior to commencing her training contract, now splits her time between the office and a Moorgate-based start-up hub, WeWork. Continuing, she explained:
I have been given great flexibility and support within the team to work remotely, which includes being seated at WeWork as often as possible. It’s handy that it’s down the road and it enables me to absorb what really matters to the start-ups and to have some really great conversations.
Eversheds Sutherland’s new support service follows a host of similar initiatives by other big City players.
Earlier this year, magic circle outfit Allen & Overy launched a new ‘Fuse’ tech hub at its London office. The “specially-designed” space can accommodate around 60 entrepreneurial individuals and will allow “early-stage” and “mature” tech companies to tap into some of the firm’s top legal minds.
This followed the launch of Mishcon de Reya’s futuristic sounding ‘MDR LAB’. Teaming up with innovation investor L Marks, the firm selected six legal tech start-ups to join its ‘technology incubator’ over the summer.
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