US firm enters battle for tech start-ups with free legal documents and guidance

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21 September 2015

Stock: Cooley GO enables exciting companies to get ahead

Stock: Cooley GO enables exciting companies to get ahead

US firm Cooley – which launched in the UK at the start of the year – has become the latest to make a play for the UK technology start-up market by introducing a British version of its online resource centre, including free legal documents.

Cooley GO went live in the US in July 2014, and the firm said that since then, the site has received visitors from 190 countries around the world, with more than 17,000 documents created in the first year.

In addition to guidance and market trends, the eight documents that can be customised and downloaded for free are: articles of association, a shareholders agreement, a consultancy agreement, a job offer/employment contract, both unilateral and mutual non-disclosure agreements, website terms of use, and a privacy policy.

The documents are a white-label version of Business Integrity’s ContractExpress document automation product. Other law firms that use ContractExpress include Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Dentons, DWF, Eversheds, Linklaters, Mishcon de Reya, Nabarro, Pennington Manches, Pinsent Masons, Radiant Law and Simmons & Simmons.

According to Tech UK, 44,000 people work in financial technology (known as FinTech) in London – more than any other city in the world.

Justin Stock, managing partner of Cooley’s London office, said: “Core to our firm are the tech, life sciences and VC industries. Launching Cooley GO in the UK enables some of tomorrow’s most exciting companies to get ahead, with the ability to access key legal documents 24/7.”

David Bresnick, a partner in the business department, added: “Cooley GO provides entrepreneurs with tips, guides, document generation tools, client insight and success stories. It has been met with great acclaim in the US and we are excited to bring this innovation to London.”

City law firm Kemp Little offers a similar package through its free FlightDeck service, as does DLA Piper with its free ‘Start-up pack’, while a more souped-up version from Taylor Wessing, called Tech and the Beanstalk, is a fixed-fee subscription that includes access to telephone legal advice. Pinsent Masons’ Bootlaw is described as “a free bootcamp for emerging technology, internet and digital professionals who want to learn more about the legal issues they face”.

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