VWV is an award-winning, full-service law firm with offices in Bristol, London, Watford and Birmingham. We employ over 420 people, including over 80 partners and approximately 300 other lawyers. Through our established international networks, we also have access to associate law firms throughout Europe, the United States, Asia, and in other science and technology hotspots across the globe.
Now located on the historic Harbourside, our Bristol office can trace its roots back as far as 1815. We have acted for (and continue to act for) some of the City’s most well-established organisations, including the University of Bristol. Our alumni include Sir George White, who founded what is now BAE Systems.
We count amongst our client portfolio a significant number of Bristol’s most exciting science and technology startups and scaleups, including many who you’ll find within Innovate Bristol.
Nathan Guest leads our Technology practice, which comprises over 30 corporate, technology, IP, data protection, employment, immigration, state aid, tax, property and litigation lawyers. We advise innovative startup, scaleup and SME science, engineering and technology clients on all legal matters relevant to their business and growth.
Nathan Guest and Charlie Guy, Co-Founder & CEO Lettus Grow and winner of the “Best Elevator Pitch” at SETsquared Bristol’s Tech-Xpo 2018
What Sets Us Apart?
Our lawyers are committed to working in partnership with our tech and science startups and scaleup clients, ultimately with the goal of helping them grow their businesses. We take a common sense and commercial approach, using senior lawyers to offer the benefit of their experience, providing free or fixed fee documents, and offering sensible time to pay arrangements.
Our primary goal is to provide the legal advice and support that new and innovative businesses need to succeed, but on the basis of a fee arrangement that supports, rather than frustrates, the growth of the business during the startup and scaleup phases.
Our approach is also holistic – not just in terms of providing a full spectrum of legal support, but also in introducing clients to other specialists in our network who have the technical and sector expertise and enthusiasm to support our clients.
We work closely with our renowned Healthcare, Pharma & Life Sciences, Energy, Information Law and Education sector teams. This means that we are able to offer clients deploying science and technology into those sectors a comprehensive range of legal services and sector expertise to support their business as it grows. We also act for venture capital funds, angel investors and universities, which helps us understand their priorities.
Charlotte Bermingham, Co-Founder & CTO of Vitamica, wins “Best Elevator Pitch”, presented by Nathan Guest, at SETsquared Bristol’s Tech-Xpo 2019
Supporting the Bristol Ecosystem
Bristol is a city with a rich history of innovation, but it is also a city that has historically struggled to draw sufficient attention to the science, technology and engineering advances that have been fostered by companies founded or operating out of the city.
Happily, the city has taken giant strides in its national and international profiling in recent years. Organisations like Tech Nation now rightly highlight Bristol as a city that is out-performing many larger UK cities. Companies such as Graphcore, Ultrahaptics, Blu Wireless, Ziylo have also put Bristol back on the global innovation map.
We are recognised in the Bristol region for our expertise and collaborative approach, and we are ingrained in the local innovation infrastructure. For example, we provide a (unique in Bristol) free, weekly, 3 hour “lawyer-in residence” service to SETsquared Bristol (part of the global no.1 business incubator and enterprise partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey) and a similar fortnightly service to SETsquared Bath (also known as the University of Bath Innovation Centre), services which we have provided since 2009 and 2014 respectively. In 2017, we launched similar services at Future Space, The Bristol Robotics Laboratory and Unit DX. In total, we spend at least 30 hours a month “in residence” at these incubators. We also support innovation programmes at the local universities and have sponsored the University of Bristol’s New Enterprise Competition since 2012.
What Others Say About VWV
“SETsquared has worked with VWV since 2006, most recently providing the invaluable ‘Lawyer-in-Residence’ service to our early-stage, high-tech, high-growth members.
Such businesses need special understanding and face particular challenges. The team at VWV have always done an exceptional job at helping solve these challenges, providing the entrepreneurs with professional support with an entrepreneurial style.
The most important facet of a legal adviser, from an entrepreneur’s perspective, is knowing that you are working with someone who has a desire to understand your business and give you candid advice and
feedback. You get this with VWV.”
Nick Sturge MBE, Centre Director at Engine Shed, Bristol and former Centre Director, SETsquared Bristol
An Award-Winning Law Firm