Law firms starting their own incubator programs could be a game changer in the startup industry.
Last week the news went out: Allen & Overy, one of the best known UK firms, is launching a "technology innovation space" in its London office named "Fuse". While it is surprising to me, I find it one of the best moves that a law firm can do right now.
Legal services are one of the last things startups think about when starting the new company, normally because of the "high" cost that it implies (although being cheap is expensive with lawyers...).
That is why creating an incubator is a game changer. Here is why:
By choosing a law firm incubator, startups will receive a full range of legal advice, from tax to corporate going through IP and private protection;
This full range/unlimited/almost free advice is something that no other incubator/accelerator can provide;
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, startups can use the extremely large network that these firms have in order to find better partners, new investors and clients; and
Having a specific focus on 'legal tech', 'regtech' and deal flow, will make the law firm it's first client and the beta tester for all their developments and ideas.
From the law firm point of view is also a great opportunity, since they can increase their profitability getting equity participations in these companies and provide some practical experience to the most junior lawyers in the firm in a time where companies are not willing to pay for untrained lawyers.
We will see more and more firms starting these kind of projects. The question now is what kind of companies they are willing to bring in. Are they going to limit the participation to companies that can be useful to them, or are they willing to accept any company with growth potential?
Let's see how it goes.