When I founded Garfield Smith – Technology & Data Lawyers in 2015 the concept of a law firm based around remote working was, to some, far-fetched. There were a few raised eye brows; after all, how could a serious law firm work properly without its lawyers travelling into the office every day and physically engaging with clients? However, I knew that with the right technology, the right lawyers and, most importantly, the right visionary clients, it could work and work very well. We have spent five years delivering the highest quality and best value legal and commercial advice in the Technology and Data Sectors. The proof really has been in the Christmas pudding.
So I really could not have predicted, in 2015, what 2020 would bring. It’s been quite a lonely year in our office close to Liverpool Street Station. I haven’t seen a single one of the team in our HQ in the Broadgate Tower in the City of London since March. Nevertheless, we have suffered no disruption, no blips in the service that we provide our clients. Our technology and the hard work and client focussed ethos of the team has meant business as usual throughout the year. Accordingly, Christmas is a very good time to thank Amanda, Caroline, Chris, Gil, Mark, Sarah, Tina, Tom, Victoria and Virta on the core team, everyone in our wider team and, of course, our clients for demonstrating the “keep calm and carry on” attitude amidst the chaos of everything else that has been going on this year and for all their help in previous years too.
Christmas is a good time to reflect upon and support those who are less fortunate and I am conscious that many in 2020 have not been so fortunate as us, have been unable to work remotely, have suffered loss and have encountered financial hardship. Everyone at our firm loves music (indeed, we’ve previously had a few good team and client events out to a variety of concerts) so this year we are pleased to join with Pink Floyd, Nile Rodgers, Radiohead, Eric Clapton, Marillion, Mark Knopfler, Liam Gallagher and others to support the charity Stagehand’s #ILoveLive campaign. Stagehand provide financial help and support for stage crew in the music industry who are in the greatest need. They’re the unsung heroes of the live entertainment world who make live music shows possible. Most are self-employed and live a life “on the road”; many have suffered from mental health as well as financial difficulties from being locked down and out of work. We’re donating a small sum for everyone that follows our reimagined version of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol below and clicks on any of the links to articles on our webpage:
“So our Garfield Smith – Technology & Data Lawyers Christmas Carol this year starts with on a bleak cold, tier 3, Christmas Eve in London a few years after the death of Scrooge’s business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge has had a bumper year, investing in many successful technology businesses. Indeed, he recommends reading “Preparing a company for early stage investment”. However, given the miser that he is, he won’t be making any donation to the #Ilovelive campaign. That night Scrooge is visited by Marley’s ghost who tells him that Scrooge will be visited by three spirits and that he has an opportunity to make amends in his life.
The first spirit to visit Scrooge is the Ghost of Christmas Past. The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge back to the early days of one of his early stage technology businesses. Everyone is enjoying working in the start-up and Scrooge is a hands-on investor supporting and nurturing the founders. Scrooge freely offers his advice, network and support and even recommends that the founders read “Ten legal issues when setting up a tech company” to keep the business healthy and on the right side of the law.
The second spirit to visit Scrooge is the Ghost of Christmas Present. He takes Scrooge to a joyous market where people are buying and selling shares in a number of post-IPO tech companies that he has successfully invested in. He is introduced to another tech company and he is happy to participate in their series A round. They are developing a mobile app aimed at Children. He executes the investment agreement and shareholders agreement remotely by following this guidance on electronic signatures. He also meets Tiny Tim, the son of one of the founders and learns that Tim’s best interests will not be protected unless the App complies with the ICO’s Children Code which comes into force in 2021; more details of which can be found here.
Finally, the last spirit to visit Scrooge is the Ghost of Christmas Future. He shows Scrooge a bleak scene. He shows Scrooge a scene where an administrator is appointed to liquidate a number of the early stage companies that he has invested in. They have run out of money and Scrooge will lose his investment. Scrooge is told by the administrator that the directors of the companies should read this article on Director’s liability in the event of an insolvency and the importance of director’s liability insurance.
Scrooge awakes on Christmas day, a changed man. He makes a large donation to the #Ilovelive campaign and, from then on, he treats everyone with kindness, generosity and compassion, embodying the spirit of Christmas.”
From everyone at Garfield Smith – Technology & Data Lawyers, we wish you a fabulous, safe and well Christmas, and hope that we can catch up with you, in person, in 2021.