Business life cycle

The big idea

Just had your big idea? First time, fifth time setting up a business?

Get in touch

You’re probably thinking about protecting your idea as you start to consider the structure and how to fund your business. You’re wondering who can help and how to approach them.

Get in touch

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Understanding your situation

When you’ve got the big idea...

We can ensure you have everything you need to get you off the ground from intellectual property (IP) and brand protection from inception as well as funding support, contractual and non-disclosure agreements in place between you and your suppliers/investors.

Your most pressing issue might be identifying the right people to support you; negotiating employment terms or share incentive agreements, or shareholder agreements. Our lawyers, many with a business background themselves, will guide you through the process and get you trading as quickly as possible.

If you have already started trading, see ‘getting started’ for more advice on what you need to do and when.

Here are some of the challenges you may encounter:

Business structure advice

Choosing the right structure for your business brings many benefits, from protecting your intellectual property and attracting future venture capital to accessing tax breaks that will improve your cash flow. We’ll help you get it right from the start.

Commercial agreements

Our commercial law team specialise in advising on and drafting a wide variety of agreements that businesses like yours enter into on a daily basis. We can assist on a broad range of contracts and transactions such as agency agreements, joint venture agreements, commercial contracts and franchising.

Confidentiality & Non-Disclosure Agreements

Feel secure in entering into business discussions and negotiations knowing that your confidential information is protected. We can ensure that you have a watertight, legally enforceable non-disclosure agreement in place and get the peace of mind you need at this early stage.

Data protection and GDPR

As the new owner of a growing business, protecting your company data is vital, alongside complying with strict new data protection regulations. Our data protection solicitors can advise you on a range of data protection law, from what is covered by data protection, preventing breaches and violations to who needs to register.

Funding support

We’ll advise you on funding, whether it’s family and friends providing hands-off pre-seed funding, or you’re looking to partner with an investor who’s experienced in your sector. We’ll help you understand your options, make clear the costs and risk, providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions.

Intellectual property and brand protection

You idea is your baby. Why let someone else steal it? We’ll help you identify the best way to protect, exploit and manage your intellectual property portfolio and shape the most profitable strategy for your business.

Recruiting key hires

Your people are often your biggest asset, but if employment goes wrong, it can cost you time, money and stress. We’ll put you on the right track from the start and let our industry-leading employment experts take the hassle out of your HR.

Privacy policies

Your privacy policy will explain to the user what information you are collecting about the user, how you will use and process that information, and how you will keep it secure. This transparency ensures that the user is aware of the data being collected. We’ll make sure you have one in place.


Our support in action

News and resources

Join us in celebrating the successes of our clients and discover what we’re doing to champion growing businesses across the UK. Here’s a selection of our latest  insights and updates.

Grow your knowledge

How we can help

Legal support that matches your ambition

We act as an extension of your team allowing you to focus on what’s really important

We mainly work remotely, so we can work with you wherever you are. You’ll benefit from a legal team familiar with your business, available on call to give advice and support when you need it. You can rest assured that we are just a phone call away.

Scale up and down the support you require matching your growth and ambition

We’ll help you walk your own path with the legal fundamentals in place. We’re here to support you every step of the way whether that’s getting ready to sell or expanding out into new international markets.

We take a step back to spot the problems and opportunities saving you money and potential trouble later

We cut out the legal jargon where possible, delivering a quality service equal to that of top 100 law firms, at a fraction of the cost. We make expert business legal advice more accessible.

In-house experience giving you confidence to move forward

As entrepreneurs ourselves, we’ve been there before. Almost all of our lawyers have previously worked for a top 100 UK law firm or in-house at large international businesses. We’ll give you straightforward advice you need to move forward in your business journey.

Testimonials

What our clients say

We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service for clients, but don’t just take our word for it.

Harper James have been incredibly professional and responsive. They immediately understood the challenges we have. Not only those of any small business, but those relating to building a piece of complex tech, and they have been able to help us navigate that from a legal perspective.
Alastair MacGregor Founder, Do IT
What I’ve been most impressed with is the way Rob and Ed have dug deep, independently, into our website and made sure every base is covered. They’ve looked under the surface of the website and highlighted areas where we need to ensure we have correct terms and policies in place. That’s first-class support.
Lameece Nagib Head of Operations, Hopin
When we were in the process of raising funds for our business venture, we were fortunate enough to have the support of Harper James. Their advice and guidance were extremely beneficial to us, and we’ve been impressed by their responsive service.
TJ Herbert CEO and Founder, Itchy Fish
Over the years Harper James have helped us navigate complex legal issues and red tape, providing distilled options and legal consultancy that far exceeds the service levels we’ve previously experienced from more traditional law firms. The team act like our own in-house counsel so, regardless of which lawyer we work with, we feel supported and that they truly have our best interests at heart.
Michael Edwards Co-Founder, Inspire Group
As a young and growing fintech company, there have been a number of legal matters that we have needed to manage; such as client contracts, employment contracts and fund raising from investors. We’ve used Harper James for around a year and they have provided us with very valuable support through several lenses, not least in our funding round in late 2017, where we raised £1million and Harper James managed the legal side of the transaction. We recommend them without hesitation.
Gareth Morgan Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Delio
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
Harper James have been incredibly professional and responsive. They immediately understood the challenges we have. Not only those of any small business, but those relating to building a piece of complex tech, and they have been able to help us navigate that from a legal perspective.
Alastair MacGregor Founder, Do IT
What I’ve been most impressed with is the way Rob and Ed have dug deep, independently, into our website and made sure every base is covered. They’ve looked under the surface of the website and highlighted areas where we need to ensure we have correct terms and policies in place. That’s first-class support.
Lameece Nagib Head of Operations, Hopin
When we were in the process of raising funds for our business venture, we were fortunate enough to have the support of Harper James. Their advice and guidance were extremely beneficial to us, and we’ve been impressed by their responsive service.
TJ Herbert CEO and Founder, Itchy Fish
Over the years Harper James have helped us navigate complex legal issues and red tape, providing distilled options and legal consultancy that far exceeds the service levels we’ve previously experienced from more traditional law firms. The team act like our own in-house counsel so, regardless of which lawyer we work with, we feel supported and that they truly have our best interests at heart.
Michael Edwards Co-Founder, Inspire Group
As a young and growing fintech company, there have been a number of legal matters that we have needed to manage; such as client contracts, employment contracts and fund raising from investors. We’ve used Harper James for around a year and they have provided us with very valuable support through several lenses, not least in our funding round in late 2017, where we raised £1million and Harper James managed the legal side of the transaction. We recommend them without hesitation.
Gareth Morgan Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Delio
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 clients rate us as excellent.

We scored 9.4/10, based on 68 reviews.

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Pricing plans

Legal support designed to fit your business needs

Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business.

Many of our early-stage start-ups and small business clients benefit from our Enterprise plan. On our Enterprise plan, you’ll receive advice from our senior solicitors on matters covering any of our services for just £125 per hour. That’s up to 75% off the rates of traditional city firms.

City

Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.

An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.

On-Demand

Providing you with priority access to a dedicated panel of highly experienced solicitors.

Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.


Meet our team

We're one phone call away

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.

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.
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.
Jas Bhogal

Jas Bhogal

Corporate Partner

Jas is a corporate partner at Harper James Solicitors, advising on corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, venture capital & investments.
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.
Becky White

Becky White

Senior Data Protection & Privacy Solicitor

Becky is a highly knowledgeable commercial lawyer, specialising in Data Protection and Privacy Law. She can add value to a business by drawing on nearly 20 years of in-house experience.
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.


What next?

Please leave us your details and we’ll contact you to discuss your situation and legal requirements. There’s no charge for your initial consultation, and no obligation to instruct us. We aim to respond to all messages received within 24 hours.

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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.

Make an enquiry