Private equity and venture capital generally refer to an equity investment in a company in which the equity is not tradable on a stock market. Such investments are generally high risk investments as the companies seeking finance are either at a relatively early stage of development and/or developing a new untested product or service. The attraction for investors is the potential for above average returns. For investee companies it is sometimes the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle to allow them to succeed.

A particular area of expertise we have developed over many years relate to so-called tax efficient investments, usually in the form of Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT). There are beneficial tax reliefs available to certain individuals who make qualifying investments in certain companies. For private companies, we advise on numerous EIS and VCT investment transactions. We are familiar with the legal requirements imposed on companies, and in conjunction with external tax advisers, we can help to structure transactions to comply with the legislation.

Our experience means that we understand the issues which investors and investees face…

We work for both investors and investee companies, operating across a range of business sectors, with a particular emphasis on early-stage investments. Over the years, we have been involved with a number of investment transactions; large and small, simple and complex, quick and protracted. Our expertise and experience allows us to provide a prompt and efficient service to ensure that our clients remain in the driving seat, without succumbing to the inevitable pressures which arise during the course of transactions.

Our experience means that we understand the issues which investors and investees face, particularly those relating to the ceding of control by founder shareholders to investors. We help clients, whether investor or investee, achieve a balanced appreciation and understanding of their respective obligations and commitments on issues ranging from appropriate investor protections, anti-dilution mechanisms, management control and exit procedures & strategies. At the end of the day, we provide a commercial, practical and robust analysis of the transaction to ensure that our clients achieve their goals.

We know how to resolve difficulties and how to overcome apparent stumbling blocks. We work with our clients to negotiate a successful outcome. We are familiar with the negotiations which invariably take place to conclude a term sheet for an investment as well as the negotiations which follow when the time comes to document it. We regularly draft, negotiate and review investment agreements, subscription & shareholder agreements, and associated legal documentation.