About Us

Harper James Solicitors is a new breed of commercial law firm.
A law firm designed to support ambitious businesses from start-up to scale-up.

We make expert business legal advice
more accessible for entrepreneurial businesses. 

Established in 2014, Harper James is a new breed of commercial law firm – a national law firm designed exclusively to champion ambitious and entrepreneurial businesses, enabling them to access expert legal advice at an affordable cost when they need it most.

We work with start-ups through to established businesses that have been running for years or looking to scale, futurecorns and unicorns as well as those ready to sell and often build their next business.

The Harper James model of remote-working lawyers, clever use of technology coupled with unique subscription plans, enables us to provide cost effective business legal services without compromising on quality.

 

How we support our clients

A service designed to give you legal peace of mind

We’re a full-service business law firm with a difference. Our experienced partner-level solicitors provide expert legal advice and support at a cost as low as £125 per hour, a fraction of the cost of traditional law firms.

Unique subscription plans 

Accessing legal support through our subscription plans, Enterprise and On-Demand, allows you to spread the cost of advice and access discounted rates, providing flexibility, peace of mind and plans that can scale with your business.

Exceptionally experienced solicitors

Almost all of our lawyers have previously worked for a top 100 UK law firm or in-house at large international businesses. Many having achieved partner level or beyond, with at least 10 years post qualified experience. What they all have in common is a passion for supporting businesses and an understanding of how the law should be applied in the ‘real world’, a grounding which is hugely important to our clients whose focus, understandably, needs to be on achieving their growth plans.

Quality enabled by technology

Our innovative use of cloud-based technology ensures remote working service efficiency. It allows us to ensure our clients receive the highest quality legal support and advice available.

Maintaining low overheads

We do this by keeping our most expensive asset, our lawyers, focused on doing the legal work they’re trained to do. Support activities that would usually weigh down a lawyer’s workload, such as legal administration, business development and marketing, are carried out by others. Minimising office space through our remote operating model represents another cost efficiency.

Dedicated client services team

All our subscription clients are supported by our dedicated client services team. The team is made up of very experienced solicitors (with a combined legal experience of 80+ years). Through regular review meetings the team will get to know you and your business and will identify your current and future legal needs. When the need arises, they will match you up with solicitors with the relevant skills and availability and ensure that our service levels meet your (our our) expectations. All of this is done free of charge. In a nutshell, our client services team will show a genuine and on-going interest in your business, will act as a single point of contact and ensure that legal engagements run smoothly, on budget and on time.

Attracting the best talent

We champion flexible working for everyone at Harper James and the reciprocal benefits allow our business model to run as cost effectively and smoothly as it does.

Full service law firm

Our business lawyers can provide expert commercial advice on any legal matters you may be facing at any stage of your business’ life cycle, from the big idea stage through to starting-up, getting on with it, scaling-up and exit. Our legal services include anything from commercial and contractual law to corporate, employment, business disputes, commercial property, banking and finance, IT & commercial technology, data protection, intellectual property, insolvency, and employee incentive arrangements.

National coverage

We are a national commercial law firm and can help your business wherever you are, thanks to our unique operating model. We are happy to meet at our offices, your offices or at a location of your choice. While we predominantly work remotely, our team has access to offices and meeting facilities in Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, and London. If we don’t have an office near you, we’re always happy to visit you wherever you are, or at a location of your choosing.

Our values

We have a clear set of values, which are at the core of how we support our clients.

Accessible and scalable

Accessible and scalable

Making legal advice available when you need it from very experienced lawyers at a fair price. Having a point of contact takes the weight off your shoulders as the ‘problem’ or requirement can be dealt with effectively. Our legal team can be scaled up or down depending on your needs.

An extension of your team

An extension of your team

Replicating in-house legal support designed to mitigate risk and maximise opportunity. An objective friend, our lawyers are impartial advisors, empowering you to make the right decisions for your business. Our clients don’t just subscribe to legal services, they subscribe to a professional and enduring relationship.

Industry experts

Industry experts

Our service is delivered by lawyers who understand how businesses operate in the real world, with many coming from industry themselves. We match your ambitions and guide you through the process as we have done it many times before and provide reassurance and certainty: of cost and of quality of advice.

Enablers

Enablers

We are focused on enabling your success by helping you get it right from the start so you can achieve your own ambitions and growth plans for your business when you are ready.


Responsible business

We are committed to being a responsible and sustainable business that delivers positive impact for our employees, clients, profession, environment and the communities we live and work in. Harper James is a people oriented firm with a strong culture and values and we are determined to provide opportunities for everyone to succeed regardless of their race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability. View a summary of the Harper James diversity profile 2021.


The founding story of Harper James

Harper James was founded in 2014 by Toby Harper as the start-up law firm built for start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses. Toby trained and qualified into a boutique corporate law firm and worked in a Top 50 Midlands firm before joining a leading venture capital fund as their in-house counsel. His first-hand experience of the challenges new businesses faced while at the VC fund led him to think about law differently. He knew he could solve those problems by operating like a start-up himself and offering start-ups access to affordable legal advice during their founding journey. The business was set up with a remote operating model, with solicitors focused on supporting businesses with legal advice, enabling Harper James as a virtual firm to pass on savings in rates to its clients. Borrowing the subscription model of paying a fee to access a service from the tech sector – in this case, legal advice – was at the heart of his concept.

Today, Harper James embodies the same entrepreneurial spirit as its founder and its clients, with many of its solicitors leaving Top 100 law firms, in-house positions and smaller businesses in favour of the opportunity to support small ambitious businesses at Harper James. Now a team of 75 servicing over 2,000 clients, a great proportion of which are technology companies, Harper James has grown year on year and was the only law firm to make the respected Startups 100 Index in 2020.

In this video Toby shares his ambitions for Harper James and how he overcame the challenges most first time founders struggle with when first starting a business.

Our talented team works together for one purpose - our clients

Our senior leadership team oversee the day-to-day support to clients and running of our organisation and advise Toby, our CEO, to support our commercial objectives.

Toby Harper

Toby Harper

Founder & CEO

Toby Harper is the Founder & CEO of Harper James Solicitors, as well as a corporate & commercial solicitor. He specialises in venture capital and the tech sector.
Adam Kudryl

Adam Kudryl

Head of Corporate & Employee Incentives

Adam Kudryl is Head of Corporate & Employee Incentives at Harper James Solicitors, specialising in strategic investments, acquisitions and sales.
Ashley Mott

Ashley Mott

Legal Services Director

Ashley Mott is the Legal Services Director at Harper James, responsible for the delivery of quality legal support for our clients. Ashley is also a solicitor, arbitrator and mediator who joined Harper James from DLA Piper where he spent 28 years, 22 as a partner.
Ian Carson

Ian Carson

Head of Dispute Resolution

Ian joined our dispute resolution team in 2016 and has over 25 years of experience in handling a broad range of commercial disputes.
Lindsay Gledhill

Lindsay Gledhill

Head of Intellectual Property

Having previously worked at top 50 firm, Walker Morris, Lindsay specialises in IP strategy, dispute resolution and IP exploitation.
Rob Cobley

Rob Cobley

Head of Commercial & Technology

Before joining Harper James, Rob worked for Santander bank as an IP/brand management lawyer and also at Shakespeare Martineau.
Sarah Holmes

Sarah Holmes

Corporate Services Director

Sarah is responsible for the management and development of all non-fee earning activities including Finance, Compliance, Admin, L&D, IT & HR. She is working on improving our internal processes and systems, as well as leading on internal comms, employee engagement and staff welfare.
Simon Gilmour

Simon Gilmour

Head of Employment

Simon acts for employers of all sizes, particularly tech and manufacturing, and specialises in managing people matters, including TUPE, sales and acquisitions of companies, and restructures/redundancies.

Testimonials

What our clients say

Harper James provides my small growing business with a scalable, reliable, team-oriented approach to legal advice. Whenever we face a problem, I know that Harper James are there to provide helpful and cost-effective advice, to scope out the options, make clear the costs and risks, and give me the information I need to make decisions.
Bryn Richards CEO, Aeristech
As a University spin-out getting the right team of lawyers to support our emerging business was fundamental and the team are always available to provide us with the invaluable guidance and support we require.
David Hodgson CEO, Amalyst
Our longstanding relationship has enabled us to get deals over the line quickly and efficiently, with minimum fuss or kickback from opposing lawyers representing the companies we’re investing in. I find the legal team at Harper James efficient, smart and personable. Speed is of the essence for early stage investing and Harper James recognises this and acts accordingly.
Kieran Hill COO, Ascension Ventures
The team at Harper James have demonstrated time and again that they have a deep understanding of the issues facing entrepreneurial businesses and their funding.
Charles Smith Director, Interpac Limited
They adopted a proactive approach to overcoming issues, and their knowledge of the sector and investors and preparedness to identify novel solutions has proved extremely beneficial.
Charles Smith Director, Interpac Limited
Harper James swiftly solves problems with a minimum of fuss. I strongly recommend them and they are a pleasure to work with.
Jean de Fougerolles CEO, Ascension Ventures
Harper James provides my small growing business with a scalable, reliable, team-oriented approach to legal advice. Whenever we face a problem, I know that Harper James are there to provide helpful and cost-effective advice, to scope out the options, make clear the costs and risks, and give me the information I need to make decisions.
Bryn Richards CEO, Aeristech
As a University spin-out getting the right team of lawyers to support our emerging business was fundamental and the team are always available to provide us with the invaluable guidance and support we require.
David Hodgson CEO, Amalyst
Our longstanding relationship has enabled us to get deals over the line quickly and efficiently, with minimum fuss or kickback from opposing lawyers representing the companies we’re investing in. I find the legal team at Harper James efficient, smart and personable. Speed is of the essence for early stage investing and Harper James recognises this and acts accordingly.
Kieran Hill COO, Ascension Ventures
The team at Harper James have demonstrated time and again that they have a deep understanding of the issues facing entrepreneurial businesses and their funding.
Charles Smith Director, Interpac Limited
They adopted a proactive approach to overcoming issues, and their knowledge of the sector and investors and preparedness to identify novel solutions has proved extremely beneficial.
Charles Smith Director, Interpac Limited
Harper James swiftly solves problems with a minimum of fuss. I strongly recommend them and they are a pleasure to work with.
Jean de Fougerolles CEO, Ascension Ventures

Press

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Our offices

A national law firm

A national law firm

Our commercial lawyers are based in or close to major cities across the UK, providing expert legal advice to clients both locally and nationally.

We mainly work remotely, so we can work with you wherever you are. But we can arrange face-to-face meeting at our offices or a location of your choosing.

Floor 5, Cavendish House, 39-41 Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5PP
Stirling House, Cambridge Innovation Park, Denny End Road, Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB25 9QE
13th Floor, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT
10 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 5HP
Harwell Innovation Centre, 173 Curie Avenue, Harwell, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QG
2-5 Velocity Tower, 1 St Mary’s Square, Sheffield, S1 4LP
A national law firm

To access legal support from just £125 per hour arrange your free no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your business requirements.

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