Simmons & Simmons launches £100,000 fintech fund

Simmons & Simmons has launched a £100,000 fund to support financial technology (fintech) start-ups.

Known as The S&S FinTech Fund, it will hand out £100,000 a year in free legal advice to promising start-up companies.

Up to four UK fintech companies will split the fund, with no one company receiving more than £33,000 of free legal advice. Simmons hopes the initiative will strengthen its relationships with the companies as they grow in size and strength.

In a statement the firm said that it does not expect to take equity in return for providing the advice.

Simmons fintech partner and head of its international fintech team Angus Mclean was responsible for the scheme coming to fruition.

Mclean said: “Early stage FinTech businesses in the UK currently face challenges finding the right kind of legal support. Our vision is for the S&S FinTech Fund to help promising start-ups solve challenging legal or regulatory problems that could otherwise slow down their development or, in some cases, prevent them from getting off the ground at all.”

For companies to qualify for the fund’s support, they must have received no more than £1m of investment and been accepted onto one of the top UK fintech investment programmes, or been referred to Simmons by a venture capital investor focused on fintech.

Mclean also co-ordinates Simmons’ work for Own-It, an organisation funded by the University of the Arts London which provides pro-bono IP advice to creative students and start-up businesses at free legal advice clinics and on individual projects that have been awarded funding by UAL.