About Me

Me

I advise companies, investors and financial institutions on transactions at every point in the private company lifecycle. I have clients who are just starting out, or who invest at that stage; and I work with founders looking to exit through sale or IPO, and the late-stage investors, acquirors and financial institutions involved in those deals.

I have always been interested in tech, and enjoy working with entrepreneurs who are trying to solve problems. I also often advise on how the law is dealing with the development of new tech.

I understand the funding squeeze in the early days of a startup's life, and I'm prepared to invest time getting to know a company and its founders so that I can find the most cost-efficient ways of addressing their legal issues.


At Home

I mostly spend time with my wife and two young sons, which keeps me thoroughly occupied and has honed my Lego-building skills to a frankly unnecessary level. I like to watch sport and play games (and am trying to get the kids into both).

I am an early adopter, and enjoy tinkering with a new service or product to see what it can do. I also regularly take on small DIY projects, both on- and off-line.

Writing

I write articles that are intended to give entrepreneurs and new investors some insight into the corporate finance process. I don't talk about what's reasonable or what a founder should or shouldn't accept - I focus on the process, trying to equip readers for what they might see so that they can form their own views.

For my most current writing, my Medium page is where to go. A selection of my older articles which remain relevant is hosted on this site.


Presenting and Mentoring

I also give presentations on topics to audiences of entrepreneurs and investors, including a semi-regular overview course for startups at General Assembly.

Much of the material in the articles below has been presented, often in a variety of formats (including workshops). Please contact me if you would like to discuss this sort of content, in any format.

As an example of my presentations, here is a link to a presentation on the way that the law will deal with contracts that have the wrong names, missing timetables and broad discretions (from "Palo Alto Goes Global" at the Royal Institution, September 2013 (video))

When I have time, I run drop-in advice sessions.

I am a regular at the London chapter of Startup Grind. I mentor with the Google Launchpad and Virgin Startup programmes, as well as unofficially.


Articles

I've listed below various content that I have delivered, either written or as a presentation, filed by series. The law was accurate when I wrote the article or gave the presentation - things may have moved on. Unless otherwise noted, clicking on the title will open the article in pdf format.

All the articles are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence, if you use them for anything interesting please let me know!

Digital Contracts

I have given a variety of presentations on the development of contract law, and in particular the risks for founders, in the wake of the way we use various electronic media. Cases discussed include Spreadex vs. Cochrane, Golden Ocean vs. SMI and Augstein vs. Leslie.

How to avoid accidental contracts that almost killed 3 startups

How to avoid accidental contracts that almost killed 3 startups

Blog for Startup Grind 2015

#CONTRACT - How Social Media can be Legally Binding

#CONTRACT - How Social Media can be Legally Binding

Entrepreneur Country Magazine (May 2013)

Cogs in the Machine

A series of articles aimed at founders of high-growth businesses, discussing typical venture capital-driven provisions and how they work. Originally published in Entrepreneur Country Magazine, also collected into a booklet. I have some copies of the booklet available.

Termsheets

Termsheets

(February 2012)

Negotiation Pressure and Deal Deadlines

Negotiation Pressure and Deal Deadlines

(December 2011)

Controlling Share Transfers

Controlling Share Transfers

(November 2011)

Issuing Equity to Employees

Issuing Equity to Employees

(October 2011)

The Drag-Along Right

The Drag-Along Right

(September 2011)

Basic Rules for Entrepreneurs

A series of articles aimed at early-stage founders, providing fundamental rules for the conduct of their businesses until such time as they take on proper external legal advice. Originally published in Entrepreneur Country Magazine. Again, there is a booklet of these articles and I have a few copies remaining.

Is it Detrimental for Entrepreneurs to Drive a Hard Bargain?

Is it Detrimental for Entrepreneurs to Drive a Hard Bargain?

(March 2013)

Raising the Eyebrow Question

Raising the Eyebrow Question

(November 2012)

The Importance of Writing Things Down

The Importance of Writing Things Down

(September 2012)

Cards On the Table: Agreeing Things Up Front

Cards On the Table: Agreeing Things Up Front

(July 2012)

Understanding Business Contracts

Understanding Business Contracts

(June 2012)

Other

The Risks of Following the Crowd

The Risks of Following the Crowd

A brief overview of equity crowdfunding, and potential pitfalls.

The London Economic (May 2015)

How to steer your investment round through the storm

How to steer your investment round through the storm

Blog for Startup Grind 2015

Legal Update

Developments around: agreements missing key terms; reverse vesting and leaver provisions; "all reasonable endeavours"; appointee directors; and separate corporate personality.

(July 2013)