Tech City gets law firm boost

 
Steve Dinneen
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LAW firm Taylor Wessing is set to become the first professional services firm to join the east London Tech City project.

The company will open a dedicated office there, from which it hopes to attract business from the growing technology hub.

Taylor Wessing says it already acts for a number of the fastest growing technology businesses in the UK and hopes the move will cement it as the go-to law firm for the sector.

The office will be manned by a rotation of partners from its TMT, venture capital, intellectual property, tax and incentives, inward investment and employment divisions.

Simon Walker, the partner leading the dedicated Tech City team said: “We see companies in Tech City as an area in need of dedicated investment. Our office in Tech City brings us closer to the businesses of tomorrow and allows us to help them grow by sharing our experience and understanding of the issues they face. We want to ensure we are supporting these firms from the centre, not the sidelines.”

The news is a boost to the development, which has faced criticism from some quarters for not attracting enough marquee firms. So far the project has struggled to live up to government hopes it will become a rival to Silicon Valley in the US.

Twitter’s decision to establish an international office in Dublin last month was seen as a snub to Tech City.

However, Google’s announcement that it has signed a ten-year lease there has helped to answer some of those critics. Chancellor George Osborne said the move was “great news” for the area.

It is hoped large companies like Google will help to spawn an ecosystem where smaller support firms emerge to provide support services.

Tech City, which encompasses developments at Old Street and Stratford, is also home to promising start-ups including Last FM, Huddle, Yammer and SoundCloud.

Technology hubs already exist around Cambridge and in Bristol.