London Partner to Boost Shoosmiths’ National Venture Capital Practice

March, 2017 - Birmingham, England

National law firm Shoosmiths has expanded its Venture Capital (VC) offering with the appointment of corporate partner Steve Barnett to its London office, from international law firm Orrick.

Specialising in venture capital work, Steve advises high-tech and fast growth companies at all stages of their development, from seed, angel and VC financings through to exit. He also regularly acts for investors in these companies.

Steve’s move will boost Shoosmiths’ burgeoning VC practice, which last year advised on more than 50 VC deals, acting for clients including Octopus Ventures, Downing, MMC Ventures and the Business Growth Fund.

Head of Shoosmiths’ Venture Capital practice, corporate partner Alastair Peet, commented:

"Steve’s specific experience in advising technology companies and investors, with a strong focus on VC investments and cross-border mergers, makes him a perfect fit for us. We have worked opposite Steve on a number of deals. He is a very well respected lawyer in this area and his appointment to our London office complements our national VC team and reflects our very real ambition to develop strongly in this area of work."

In the past year, Shoosmiths advised on a number of high profile VC deals, including:

-acting for Octopus Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Octopus Group, on the sale of Touchtype to Microsoft

-advising Octopus Ventures, on its investment in Dutch healthcare startup, myTomorrows

-advising Cambridge-based speech technology company, Speechmatics, on investments received from a range of investors to accelerate the commercial roll-out of its speech recognition products

Steve Barnett commented: "Shoosmiths has a heavyweight VC team that is held in very high regard by the market. Becoming a part of that team is attractive - it has high-calibre lawyers, fantastic clients and exceptional knowledge of the investor and investee businesses and how they operate. I very much look forward to becoming a part of a firm with a UK-wide reach that is close to so many markets."

Shoosmiths LLP is one of the most active UK law firms in the area of advanced manufacturing and tech start-ups, acting for founders, investors, funders, and research organisations who look to the firm for VCT, EIS and SEIS tax advice, IP and commercialisation. Shoosmiths was recently ‘Highly Commended’ in the EIS Awards 2017 and was a finalist at the Investor Allstar Awards 2016.

Nationally, the corporate team is ranked in first place by deal volume in Experian's 2016 MarketIQ UK & Ireland M&A league tables. The team was recognised for its mergers and acquisitions expertise at the 2015 M&A Awards, winning the Law Firm of the Year category.