A corporate partner at Lewis Silkin, I work closely with privately owned tech start-ups and other businesses within the creative sector, often from incorporation right through to acquisition.
I am a corporate partner in Lewis Silkin. I work closely with privately owned tech start-ups and other businesses within the creative sector, often from incorporation, through seed and series A investment rounds right through to acquisition. This typically involves advising on matters of corporate governance, pre-investment and growth plans, shareholders’ agreements and buy backs as well as re-structuring, joint ventures and mergers.
As part of my work with my clients I also advise regularly on matters of commercial contract, data protection strategies and documentation – always with an eye to helping my clients prepare for the next investment round or exit.
I have been fortunate to work with many inspiring clients throughout the life-cycle of their business. This means that I often work with founders on the investee/sell side, offering advice on their corporate and commercial needs. Advising a business at such an early stage has given me a useful insight into matters from the perspective of founders, as well as providing me with a deeper understanding of the various growth stages of companies as they evolve.
I also have considerable experience acting either directly on behalf of or as part of international teams of lawyers for clients based in the US who want to invest in or purchase companies based in the UK or Northern Ireland. Typically, I would lead the transaction on those matters relating to English or Northern Irish jurisdictions. I have found that my experience of working with founders on the other side of the deal has helped me to anticipate issues, ask the difficult questions (early) and keep the transaction running to the timeline agreed.
Having worked closely with a number of med-tech companies and businesses offering services in the healthcare sector, I have experience in advising clients to help them put data protection at the heart of their offering – and to fully embrace the concept of ‘privacy by design’. This type of work often involves advising on client/care recipient-facing privacy notices with a particular focus on the management of special categories of data (such as health records).
For tech clients, whose services place them in the processor role, my focus typically involves working through the functionality of their offering to make sure it anticipates their client’s needs as a controller. The work tasks in this area vary from conducting brain-storming days with their IT, operations and marketing teams, carrying out data protection training days, drafting client on-boarding checklists and strategies, client or user-facing FAQs. Additionally, I continually review commercial contracts to make sure the contractual position aligns with the processes; that the processing roles and responsibilities are correctly identified and attributed; and the necessary terms of processing are inserted into the agreement in a way that offers clarity to each party.
The majority of my clients are tech businesses, to which I provide advice on corporate matters as well as commercial and data protection advice. Advising in that sector, I have found it essential to explore and deepen my understanding of the tech behind the offering – so that I understand the functionality of my clients’ products and services.
- in order to offer meaningful data protection advice, I have needed to understand the flow of data between servers and jurisdictions, points of data entry and access and how data needs to be used to enable the software function; and
- to help my clients prepare for investment pitches, I have had to learn about where the service sits in the technology it uses and the where lies the boundary between providing innovative new tech and providing an innovative use of existing tech.