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FinTech Law

What is FinTech?

Financial Technology, also commonly known as FinTech, is term used to describe a variety of innovative technologies utilising software or other ICT in the financial services sector. It can also include so-called ‘crypto-currencies’, such as Bitcoin.

FinTech companies tend to be startups that operate “disruptively” within the existing financial services markets, increasing efficiency via innovation, investment, and the use of technology. They can also provide entirely new financial services products and innovations.

Legal Services we offer to the FinTech Industry

Clarke Willmott LLP, as solicitors with extensive experience in the field, works with Financial Technology (FinTech) companies to help them negotiate their journey from startup to eventual exit. We also work with people who provide services such as platforms to the growing FinTech sector, and advise on the regulatory implications of adopting specific disruptive technologies.

Contracts

In order to be effective commercially, innovation relies on the contracts that support it. Clarke Willmott’s commercial and IT lawyers are highly experienced in this area, and understand the regulatory environment. We draft and advise on every type of contract relevant to businesses in this sector including technology development and technology transfer, hosting contracts, and other Cloud services arrangements.

Data protection

Our team of dedicated data protection specialists provide legal advice on a wide range of data protection and privacy matters. Clarke Willmott experts advise government departments, universities, multi-nationals, owner-managed businesses and startups in this field.

We advise on data protection breaches and complaints, subjects access requests, freedom of information law, and data protection policies and procedures.

Regulation

Our Financial Services team are all qualified or qualifying as financial advisers, and have therefore have a deep understanding of regulatory issues. Philippa Hann regularly speaks to the financial services profession about risks and opportunities in the world of FinTech.

With the regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), focussing on this area of extreme growth our Financial Services solicitors are able to guide you through the regulatory maze to ensure you do not fall foul of the regulator.

Intellectual Property

Additionally, we have Intellectual Property specialists on hand to ensure innovative entrepreneurs are able to protect themselves against those intent on copying their hard work. There are specific areas of difficulties in protecting FinTech inventions, because of restrictions on patents for mathematical methods or discoveries, or for methods of doing business. Therefore, expert advice is needed to prevent an inventor giving up on the chance of protection too soon.

Employment & HR

Recruiting, rewarding and retaining key employees are some of the principal drivers in the success of a business, perhaps more so in this sector than in many others. Clarke Willmott Employment lawyers and HR consultants can design ways to help you do this effectively.

Investment and M&A

Our corporate team advise companies, their owners and investors at all stages of a business’s life-cycle, often through several rounds of investment and growth, and eventually to a sale or flotation.

We also act for acquisitive buyers, investors and management teams. Much of our work concerns FinTech businesses; you can see some examples in our 2016 corporate deal highlights.

Bristol FinTech

Clarke Willmott is a founding partner in the Bristol FinTech initiative, along with Barclays, Deepbridge Capital, Hargreaves Lansdown and PwC.

The partners organise events for both entrepreneurs and more established firms seeking to collaborate on all things FinTech. The aim being to support those who are looking to revolutionise the way financial services are delivered and to ensure that Bristol, with it’s amazing tech and creative community is at the forefront of this change.

To find out more and to register for Bristol FinTech events, please visit bristolfintech.com.

Contact a FinTech Solicitor

For more information on FinTech and how we can support your business, or if you would like to get in contact with one of our team, please contact us.

Further reading