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Tech + law = Cambridge

Posted by: Laurence Simons 26/09/12

As Business Weekly reports this month, the east of England is quietly becoming a hub for specialist private practice firms offering advisory roles to those in the ICT and biotech sectors. Softy, softy, catch the technology-shaped monkey.

So why the east of England? Well, the whole of the area - and particularly Cambridge - is home to a number of sector-topping specialist firms as per the latest Legal 500 rankings, with Mills & Reeve, Taylor Wessing, Eversheds and Taylor Vinters all leading the charge. They are joined in the upper echelons this year by Ashton KCJ, the consolidation of Ashton Graham and Kester Cunningham John. The main areas of growth are BioMedTech, ICT including wireless technologies and CleanTech. Basically: anything you need a lab coat to do.

And it helps that there are so many tech start-ups are going on nearby to offer counsel to, with Oxbridge students providing a steady supply of fine minds to ambitious technology companies in the area. Add to that the emerging cluster of law firm specialists in the locale having plenty of experience: Mills & Reeves' dedicated life sciences team has a wealth of knowledge in the patent litigation process and inter-company commercial agreements, while Taylor Wessing specialises in biotech and pharma with a sideline in complex licensing products. Again: lab coat stuff.

With the Legal 500 being released this week, it's refreshing to see that the legal picture in the UK is not constrained to a single sector or city.