The MaRS Discovery District has partnered with Norton Rose Fulbright to offer startups a new free “Innovation Law Clinic.” To be eligible for the Innovation Law Clinic and startup legal packages, companies need to be MaRS ICT venture clients.
The legal program is “customized to meet the specialized needs of high-growth technology ventures that operate in complex global markets,” according to a release. Startup ventures, wrote MaRS, need legal support to ensure they comply with regulatory requirements, protect their assets and prevent liabilities. However, many young companies struggle with traditional legal fee structures and put themselves at risk by not seeking legal counsel.
“Our ICT venture clients pursue opportunities worldwide in increasingly complex sectors, such as digital health, financial technology, energy IT and education technology,” said MaRS’ Salim Teja. “Not only does the integration of emerging technologies have significant legal implications for our clients, but as they scale globally, they need legal expertise on international laws and regulations, international incorporation and tax law, international patents and intellectual property standards, and immigration. Norton Rose Fulbright offers all of this, as well as a deep understanding of startup culture and operations.”
MaRS, the recently embattled charitable startup hub, said Norton Rose Fulbright has developed innovative approaches and packages for high-potential, early-stage companies
Part of MaRS’ recent struggles stemmed from an inability to attract tenants to its sprawling “”Phase 1″ and “Phase 2″ buildings at the corner of University and College avenues. That lead the non-profit organization to nearly default on a 2011 loan from the government of Ontario, before Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne offered a $317 million bailout that will see the complex largely rent out to government-associated organizations.
It looks like Norton Rose Fulbright will be renting out one of the vacant offices at the space, to help startups.
“Our office in the MaRS Centre will let us run the Innovation Law Clinics on-site and we look forward to working more closely with clients,” said Anthony de Fazekas, a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. “”We have designed packages that offer strategic legal support on key topics for high-growth technology startups in a number of areas. These include investment, M&A, privacy and access to information, IP strategy and international IP, business immigration & international mobility, and many more. These packages as delivered through MaRS are integrated with the student programs of our Toronto office. This leverages the training that our lawyers and patent agents are providing to summer law students and articling students, to provide a great service to MaRS venture clients.”