Partner Profile: Squire Patton Boggs – Paul Mann, European Head of Private Equity
Ryan Walsh / 4th March 2022
FinTech North recently sat down with Paul Mann, Head of Private Equity at Squire Patton Boggs to allow a chance for our community to get acquainted with the law firm and the work they do the sector as well as hear Pauls views on the future of FinTech.
To listen and view the recording, check out the YouTube link below. We have also produced a write-up of the interview. For those who would prefer to read the article, continue scrolling.
What problems do you solve for your FinTech clients?
“I think it’s important to remember we had to cross all spectrums of the sector and we work from start-up to global companies, that could be on initial investment or an ongoing acquisition for example. We also act for investors in the space. The service covers all lines. We very much enjoy working on the journey – the areas covered are diverse. We are a full-service law firm so we’re covering the full end of the spectrum.”
“If you use the start-up example into growth – the first questions we often get asked are ‘can we set up a shareholder’s agreement’ ‘can we ensure our IP is protected’ or ‘are our third-party contracts arranged?’ – you may then increase your people council who will be involved in the employment relationships to that. Then hopefully there’s a series A or there’s the first stage of the investment. Fingers crossed it adapts into series b or series c and onwards and hopefully some international expansion, for example. – It’s broad and different and ultimately depends on the client in hand.”
Who would you say you’re looking to meet or support in the FinTech North community and what can they do to get involved or reach out to you?
“We’re very keen to get to know businesses. The enjoyment in seeing that business grow from bootstrap to running up to global powerhouse is really rewarding. We’ve been in the community over 130 years and we’ve grown and expanded with our global offering. We’re originally a Bradford law firm and we are fully ingrained as a partner of yours and a number of other partners locally. We’ve got the legal partnership with NEXUS at the University of Leeds, which we’re incredibly proud of. We’ve sponsored the Northern Tech awards with bullhound since it’s inception (that’s a great annual event if you haven’t been before!). There are a handful of household names including Transunion which is an incredibly successful example.”
“To answer the question – anyone and everyone! But what I would add to that is we tailor the advice accordingly and at an early stage in a business there’s not as much that they need if they’ve developed 12 offices around the world. It’s about getting that right and trying to help them as well with introductions in the region. It’s not just the legal advice, it’s about linking them into the wider community.
What for you are the most interesting elements of FinTech and how do you see them developing over the next few years?
“It’s incredibly exciting. The amount of activity in investment and funding feels like it’s at an all time high. The ecosystem it feels as though there is a lot of evolvement from larger entities or universities. There seems to be more choice than ever. The pandemic probably accelerated that, given the way the sector works.”
“One of the areas we’re seeing is the ethical and ESG agenda across the board and several events that have been happening. I’m very interested in events that you (FinTech North) will be supporting events as the year goes on where we’ll sit with businesses talking about FinTech culture including green finance and several associated topics where we want to share experiences. Linking to earlier, that’s not necessarily legal advice per se, it’s about getting into the fabric of the community and discussing with businesses how they are to evolve the policy for the future.”
“I’m not going to crystal ball gaze, but I think the activity levels seem set fair for 2022 but we’re excited about how much is happening and hopefully events are back this year!”
We thank Paul for his time and Squires Patton Boggs for their continued support for FinTech North. Their website can be found here.
We implore anyone in the community who wants to have a chat with Paul or the wider Squires team to reach out as they provide that global perspective and that knowledge of every stage of the FinTech business life cycle. Paul can be contacted via his email – firstname.lastname@example.org
For more partner profiles, check out the link here.