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Santander incubator hub to offer free Kirwans legal clinic

Leading law firm Kirwans has joined forces with Santander to provide a free legal clinic at the bank’s first incubator for fast growth firms in Liverpool.

Commercial lawyer James Pressley will host the monthly sessions, which will offer legal advice to the early-stage businesses based there.

Assistance will be given on all aspects of business and intellectual property law, ranging from start-up necessities to growth funding advice.

The Santander incubator hub opened in July 2014 as a way for the bank to support new enterprises in ways other than direct finance.

It assists 30 early-stage businesses with scalable business models and ambitions to create employment opportunities through its wider hub community in sectors ranging from education and health technologies to gaming, media, construction and design.

The incubator’s ‘hothouse’ environment means that budding businesses can develop their skills and contacts while also accessing essential practical support such as the legal advice provided by Kirwans.

Lynne Robertson, incubator manager at Santander said: “Research shows that businesses are more likely to succeed and grow if they have access to mentoring, advice and a network of contacts, and as a bank we’re in a strong position to offer this.

“We tailor our support to meet the needs of the businesses. This means that rather than run a traditional accelerator programme we take a ‘just-in-time’ approach to make sure we provide the support that each business needs at the right time for them.

“Working with other stakeholders is critical to what we do; offering the type of support that Kirwans is providing means that we help our founders future-proof their businesses, giving them access to professional advice they may otherwise not obtain.”

James Pressley from Kirwans said: “The continued emergence of new business ventures is a vital component of the growth of the economy, both on a regional and national basis, which is why it is imperative that they are given as much support as possible in their early months of trading.

“It is common for new start-ups to focus on making sales, but they may overlook important legal obligations, so Kirwans’ legal presence at Santander’s incubator should help to reassure and guide companies through what can appear to be a minefield of start-up legalities.”