FD Marketplace. Interview with Linklaters

LINKLATERSis a leading global firm combining legal expertise with a collaborative and innovative approach to help clients navigate constantly evolving markets and regulatory environments.We have chosen to include Linklaters in our marketplace to support the startups in our community from this point of view as well. Alessandro Tanno explains better how this will occur.
What are the main legal issues that a startup, especially fintech and tech, has to face from your point of view?
Fintech startups tend by definition to operate in very specific areas that are sometimes, unlike the typical business models of incumbents, either poorly regulated or subject to regulations that arenot studied beforehand,but adapted to that business and therefore sometimes also unclear. The greatest criticality, therefore, lies in moving within a regulatory context that is constantly evolving; trying to mitigate risks as much as possiblewithout the necessary legal framework affecting the sustainability and scalability of the business model. The structured external consultancy must therefore respond to these fundamental needs, providing a timely and rapid service that fully understands the needs of the business and the commercial and technological issues, making them available to the startup professionals vertical skills on specific sectors, but, at the same time, making themtransversal so as to effectively support the startup throughout its evolutionary phase. 
What kind of services and support can you provide them?
Linklaters has always aimed to invest in its customers and establish lasting partnerships based on trust. The support provided by Linklaters is not merely legal support or individual advice. The same goes for Fintech, a strategic priority for us. That’s why, within the global network in each office, dedicated Fintech teams have beenformingthat dialogue with each other on a daily basis and that now constitutesa privileged observatory on international trends and best practices. This, combined with our consolidated relationships with regulators and financial institutions, allows us to position ourselves in the startup ecosystem as a solid legal partner.
Linklaters also relies heavily on collaborations with market enablers. In addition to being proud partners of the Fintech District, we are also exclusive legal partners of Crowdcube, FinTech50, TeckUK and Singapore Fintech Association. We believe that collaboration is the best tool to learn new market models and facilitate dialogue between the traditional banking channel and new fintech operators. 
Have you launched any particular support/assistance initiatives for the covid19 emergency?
The Covid-19 Emergency required the Firm to remodel all activities. The objective has remained the same as ever: to invest in our clients. All the more so at a delicate time like this, demonstrating that we are at their side to support them in managing the crisis and rescheduling their activities was of paramount importance. Our activities have therefore intensified considerably, leaving room for new projects and different initiatives that have followed the evolution of interaction with customers. We had to oversee new channels of communication and increase the use of new technologies in order to help our customers quickly find their way in a market that had become deeply uncertain. In this way the client expects clear and rapid answers to ever new questions, so one of our first initiatives was to create a multidisciplinary guide to bring together the most diverse experiences of our professionals to support our clients’ big questions. We then created the “Covid-19 / Italian Legal Hub”, a specific section dedicated to Italy on our global website, a collection of insights and practical tips to help clients deal with this emergency while staying up to date with the latest regulatory news. The site also contains a section entirely dedicated to the impacts of the emergency on the ecosystem of Italian SMEs and startups. The continuous dialogue with customers has been crucial because it has allowed us to intercept needs and adapt our structure to change. From this continuous exchange  You Matterwas born:an initiative aimed at providing a first free support on issues arising from the Covid-19 emergency, and in particular related to Employment issues.
All our events turned into webinars, we created a training menu to provide free training on legal issues, capitalizing on years of important investments in technology. Linklaters has also partnered with DocuSign, a world leader in e-signing, to enable its clients to affix qualified electronic signatures remotely to most of the documentation produced as part of an operation. This element will represent a “game changer”. A first step
towards the first deal managed in an entirely virtual way.
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Author: Fintech District

25 June 2020



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