Framework Agreements: the customer contract model for technology service providers
Sarah Turner, Angel Academe
We specialise in acting for entrepreneurs, owner managed businesses (OMBs) and investors. We advise in relation to corporate transactions, banking, financing, commercial contracts and on all aspects of running and growing a business in the UK. Our lawyers combine strong technical expertise with a track record in delivering flexible and creative solutions for our clients.
Much of our advice is for early stage companies and startups in the technology and media sectors or for those investing in such entities. We host and sponsor Angel Academe, an award-winning network of angel investors whose members are mainly women, which primarily invests in UK businesses led by women.
We also work closely with our Real Estate team to advise those investing in or developing commercial property on all of their financing, banking and related security issues.
We act for startup companies, as well as for those VCs, angel syndicates and individual angels making investments. We have particular experience of acting for founders: not only in terms of guiding them through the investment process, but also in resolving problems which may have arisen in earlier rounds. Read more about how we help startups.
We have many years of experience of advising on the legal issues which arise from running a technology business. Our advice may be of a general nature, or you may wish us to draft or comment upon technology agreements. Our aim is always to protect your rights and to allow you to realise the maximum value from your technology assets. Read more about how we advise technology businesses.
Our banking and financing advice is primarily to entrepreneurs, owner managed businesses and funds on the borrower side, though we also advise a number of smaller banks. We also advise on any related security, and in relation to acquisition finance, the leveraged loan market, and development/real estate finance. Read more about how we can advise on banking and finance.
On the corporate law side, we advise on angel/VC/private equity investments, mergers & acquisitions, re-organisations and shareholders' agreements. Much of our work relates to the technology and media sectors, although we also advise businesses operating in real estate, sport, fashion, travel, publishing and engineering. Read more about our corporate transaction services.
We will support you with commercial advice on all aspects of running your business and on your relationships with customers and suppliers, and we can draft all those contracts which you require. In particular, we advise on intellectual property, branding, data protection, agency and distribution arrangements, sponsorship, and franchising. Read more about how our commercial advice may assist you.
Our capital markets experience is primarily advising small and mid-cap companies listed on AIM, the standard segment of the Official List and the Aquis Exchange, and advising other market players such as Nomads, corporate advisers and brokers. We focus on ensuring that your transaction is completed on time and on budget, so that you can focus on the continuing success of your business. Read more about our capital markets service.
We will help you to take the necessary steps to establish your business in the UK, whether you wish to set up a new venture or expand an overseas operation. Our business services teams work closely with other specialists to take care of all your initial and ongoing legal and operational needs, allowing you to focus on selling your products or services. Read more about how we can help you set up your company or LLP.
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I wanted to thank you [Andrew Solomon] and the whole team for your diligence, hard work and attentiveness which in usual Kingsley Napley style has been utterly outstanding."
Tony Moss, Director, Cumberland Place Financial Management
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Many businesses lack comprehensive in-house IT expertise and resources to fully implement and manage all of their IT infrastructure requirements. IT managed services providers (“MSPs”) and IT consultancies plug the gaps by typically offering a diverse range of IT services and products to lighten the burden on their customers’ in-house IT teams (or to even remove the need to have an in-house IT team).
Having raised £500,000 and, in episode 8, hired a software developer, KNow Wear Limited is starting to flourish. As Ben Franklin wrote when the USA was in its infancy, nothing is certain except death and taxes. Knowledge of the UK tax system is valuable for any UK business owner, start-ups can dramatically improve their chances of success by ensuring they claim the various tax reliefs and incentives available. Episode 4 looked at the valuable tax reliefs a company can offer its investors, your focus today is on the tax relief (or repayment) available to companies carrying out research and development activities.
Social media has revolutionised the way in which we interact with businesses and each other and has shown that it can be a generous friend to business owners and entrepreneurs, helping them to harness a following, build their brand and grow a worldwide customer base.
In our previous blog in our Lifecycle of a tech startup series, KNow Wear Limited secured investment of £500,000. Having completed the raise, you, Sarah and Chris have decided that you need more help in developing and marketing the product. You are looking to create two new roles in the business - the first is a Software Developer to support Sarah’s work and the second is a Head of Marketing.
In Part 1 of our two-part series on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's (BEIS) White Paper on audit and corporate governance reform (Restoring Trust in Audit and Corporate Governance), we focussed on whether the proposals regarding corporate governance are likely to make the UK a more or less attractive destination for investors.
Yesterday the FCA announced new rules, the majority of which come into force today (3 December 2021), which are intended to prevent smaller companies obtaining admissions to the Standard Segment of the Official List.
In its Perimeter Report for 2020/21 the FCA has raised concerns that unauthorised persons are increasingly using, or purporting to use, exemptions from the Financial Promotions Order (FPO) to sell high risk investments and potential scams to ordinary consumers without their rules applying.
Potential reforms to UK data privacy laws will change the way that cookies work on websites - businesses need to prepare now.
AQSE is consulting the market about some changes to its rules relating to SPAC admissions.
Currently SPACs are eligible for admission to the Access segment of the AQSE growth market, as long as they have a minimum capitalisation of £700,000 and a free float of 10%. AQSE is concerned that this can result in a disorderly market and excessive volatility because a lack of liquidity arising from low market capitalisation and limited shareholder numbers.
We are pleased to announce that Matt Spencer has joined the firm as a partner to help build a new Tax practice. Matt joins from DAC Beachcroft where he has worked for the last 9 years. He advises on the efficient structuring of a wide range of corporate and real estate transactions including M&A, land transfers, developments and leases. He is also expert in employment tax issues and the structuring of employee incentive schemes as well as VAT issues in the public and private sector.
Having decided in episode 4 of our lifecycle of a tech startup series on targeting angel investors to raise £500,000 investment in the business, the founders of KNow Wear Limited researched various angel investor networks which aimed to connect start-ups like yours with angel investors. You applied to pitch at a couple of events and were invited by one network to interview with them in person. The network was very impressed with the business and invited you to pitch at their next event.
In 2012, as a recently elected MP, Kwasi Kwarteng co-authored “Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Properity”, a political pamphlet which championed risk-taking and innovation in the UK economy, and which ever since has led some to label him a fervent Brexiteer. Appointed as the Business Secretary in January 2021, only a few months later his department (BEIS) published one of the longest and most ambitious government White Papers in recent years.
If you are involved in investing, either as a startup or an investor, you are likely to come across an advanced subscription agreement. So what is an advanced subscription agreement and what do you need to consider when entering into one?
You are aware that the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) are two tax incentive schemes for individuals who invest in early-stage companies. What are the key considerations when determining whether a particular investment is eligible for SEIS/EIS relief?
In September 2020 the FCA published a statement regarding the listing of cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) in the UK. Since then several CRBs have been admitted to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and appetite for investments in the medicinal cannabis industry continues to grow.
The FCA has launched a consultation on a technical note setting out guidance for companies applying for listing which have cannabis-related businesses. As with all companies applying for listing, those with cannabis related businesses must be assessed for eligibility for listing under the Listing Rules. Because of the legal complexities around cannabis businesses the FCA applies additional due diligence requirements to them.
The pandemic has changed the world – there is no doubt we are all “online” far more now than before. Social media now extends into every aspect of our lives, from those notorious repetitive baby pictures to those ‘should never have been posted university photos‘. We collect and share moments of our lives in the digital world.
Following the release of the Hill Report, the FCA has moved quickly to consult on proposals intended to provide an alternative route to market for larger Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPACs”). The broad proposal is that if a SPAC can meet additional investor protection requirements the FCA will not generally require that the listing of its shares be suspended once an acquisition is announced.
Global financial markets are preparing to transition away from the use of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and adopt an appropriate alternative risk free rate (“RFR”) by the end of 2021. What are the reasons for the move away from LIBOR, the progress to date in terms of identifying the Sterling Overnight Index Average (“SONIA”) as the most appropriate alternative rate in the Sterling markets, and the steps still required to be taken to ensure such markets are ready for the phasing out of LIBOR by the end of the year
Following the release of the Hill Report at the start of last month, the FCA has announced that it is going to open a consultation into changing the Listing Rules and connected guidance with a view to encouraging the listing of Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicles (SPACs).
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