U.K. law firm, Addleshaw Goddard, has announced that it will be offering free mentoring and legal advice to FinTech startups through a new scheme worth up to £500,000, according to Legal Week.
Over the next 12 months, companies selected for the AG Elevate scheme, which will be launched next week, will have the chance to attend the law firm’s training and network events.
As FinTech continues to grow with London’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announcing the names of the first 24 companies taking part in its FinTech sandbox, more U.K. law firms are positioning themselves to tap into the market.
Free Advice becoming a Trend
Yet Addleshaw is not the first U.K. practice to provide free advice.
London-based Simmons & Simmons launched a £100,000 fund to deliver free advice to FinTech startups earlier this year and Slaughter and May will start selecting young U.K. FinTech companies, this month, who will each receive up to £30,000 of free legal advice, according to Legal Week.
Those chosen by Slaughter and May will be picked by a panel that includes the company’s head of technology and outsourcing, Rob Sumroy.
However, the U.K. is not the only country to provide this service to those within FinTech or digital currencies such as bitcoin.
The U.S. has also dipped its toe in the free legal advice department with a new coalition of 50 lawyers called the Digital Currency and Ledger Defense Coalition (DCLDC) forming to help digital currency users with pro bono attorney referrals if they can’t afford legal services.
Providing a Free Service
Even though these companies may be providing a free service now, the FinTech firms who become big in the future will, ultimately, need more legal advice. As such they are more likely to turn to those who initially helped them out.
This would then offset any costs that may be incurred by the law firms if they know there may be a chance to reap the rewards further down the line.
Saying that, though, no one can know how successful or not a new company will turn out to be.
So while the law firms may be thinking of future rewards the fact that they are doing this in the first place, where there may be no chance of a reward, demonstrates their commitment to providing a free service to those who need it the most.
Only time will tell how successful the new FinTech companies will be.
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