Home / Insight / Start-ups



Go to International

What is CMS equIP?

Starting, and building, a successful business takes a good idea, a lot of energy and determination plus the right opportunities and the right people. Start-ups also need the right legal partner that can advise them as they grow and evolve. The CMS equIP programme works with start-ups in the technology sector to support their growth and has supported a wide variety of start-ups already within the UK.

Click here to download the brochure.

How can equIP help your start-up?

CMS is a full service, global law firm with a strong focus on Technology, Media and Telecoms. We work with some of the biggest names in tech as well as up and coming disruptors making us well networked in the industry through clients and partners.

CMS is the only law firm in Europe that can offer you extensive IP support through our 100 strong international team of IP lawyers, patent and trademark attorneys.

We are proud to have been named 'Best Legal Team for Early Stage Deals’ at the UKBAA awards 2019, the UK trade body for Angel and Early-stage investments and have been commended by the FT for the international expansion of the equIP programme.

Apply to become part of equIP

To apply for CMS equIP UK, please complete the form linked below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

If you have any further questions about the CMS equIP programme, you can email Natalie Pringle or call Natalie on +44 20 7367 2699. 


What are the legal challenges for start-ups?

The initial stages of launching a start-up are littered with challenges, and entrepreneurs will encounter a number of growing pains along the way, whether that be keeping your culture alive whilst needing to grow quickly, retaining and incentivising staff and recruiting with the increasing demand of millennials, or ensuring work/life balance and managing founder guilt. But perseverance can conjure the ultimate rewards and prove life-changing for entrepreneurs and start-ups.

View the roadmap of a start-up

From initial concept to potential sale or IPO, start-ups need to consider a vast landscape of legal advice, including:

  • Fundraising advice, whether that be for a seed round or series A, B, C
  • Terms and conditions
  • Commercial contracts and partnership agreements
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Employment agreements
  • Intellectual Property protection
  • Data protection
  • Share schemes

CMS equIP members have access to:

Our CMS equIP members benefits from access to Tech industry-focused legal advice across all areas of law at special discounted rates from a global legal partner with experience of working with entrepreneurial companies of all sizes at every stage of growth.

In addition to the discounted hourly rates, we have created a menu of fixed fee services – transparent legal services specifically designed for technology start-up needs.

Members also receive exclusive invitations to tailored training sessions and networking events where founders can meet other start-ups and relevant contacts to share knowledge and extend their network.

Our team of start-up specialists are on hand to make introductions to relevant industry players as requested.

Find out about our equIP members events here.

#LeadHers campaign

In 2019, CMS launched the #LeadHers campaign to encourage more female-led businesses to apply. The campaign is designed to confront the challenges that female founders face and to make it clear that CMS is here to support them and their businesses. Find out more here.


Current equIP Members

Alumni members

Apply now

Explore more

Follow us on Twitter
equIP Life Sciences: from lab bench to business
Supporting the growth of companies across biotech, pharmaceuticals, devices & diagnostics, digital health and healthcare
equIP Scotland
Helping start-ups in Scotland
equIP North
Helping start-ups in the North of England
#LeadHers – supporting female founders through equIP
Roadmap of a start-up
Download the brochure
equIP contacts for Future Forward: UKBAA Investment Summit
CMS equIP: Sustainability Solutions


CMS ad­vises Bright­Cure on fun­drais­ing and ad­mis­sion to the In­dieBio Ac­cel­er­at­or
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS has ad­vised Bright­Cure, a start-up de­vel­op­ing pro­bi­ot­ic-based ther­apies for ur­in­ary tract in­fec­tions (UTIs), on its seed fun­drais­ing and ad­mis­sion to the In­dieBio Ac­cel­er­at­or...
CMS equIP hits new mile­stone of 100 mem­bers in Lon­don – as fe­male-foun­ded...
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS is pleased to an­nounce that CMS equIP – the firm’s award-win­ning tech star­tup pro­gramme – has hit an ex­cit­ing new mile­stone. This week, CMS equIP wel­comed fe­male-foun­ded...
CMS ad­vises Be­hav­ox on its $100 mil­lion Series B in­vest­ment from Soft­bank...
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS has suc­cess­fully ad­vised Be­hav­ox Ltd, the world’s only end-to-end Data Op­er­at­ing Plat­form that en­ables com­pan­ies to ag­greg­ate, ana­lyse, and act on their en­tire or­gan­isa­tion's...
CMS ad­vises equIP mem­ber Crowdi­city on stra­tegic sale to Medal­lia
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS is de­lighted to have ad­vised long­stand­ing cli­ent and equIP mem­ber Crowdi­city on its sale to Medal­lia, a glob­al lead­er in ex­per­i­ence man­age­ment.Foun­ded in 2012, Crowdi­city is...
CMS launches new ini­ti­at­ive for high-growth North­ern start-ups
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS today an­nounces the launch of ‘CMS equIP North’, an ini­ti­at­ive aimed at help­ing tech start-ups and fintechs based in North­ern Eng­land scale up and max­im­ise their full po­ten­tial.The...
CMS ad­vises tech start-up Echo on sale to lead­ing health­care group McK­esson...
CMS has ad­vised Echo, the UK start-up that of­fers an app to help people man­age their med­ic­a­tion and or­der re­peat pre­scrip­tions for de­liv­ery, on the com­ple­tion of its sale to lead­ing health­care or­gan­isa­tion...
Token­Mar­ket joins forces with CMS equIP to sup­port start-ups
Glob­al in­vest­ment plat­form Token­Mar­ket today an­nounces a part­ner­ship with CMS equIP, the glob­al ac­cel­er­at­or pro­gramme for tech start-ups run by in­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS. equIP will be­come pre­ferred...
CMS equIP #Lead­H­ers
CMS equIP & CMS Wo­men are de­lighted to in­vite you to at­tend our forth­com­ing #Lead­H­ers cam­paign launch event.CMS equIP is a vir­tu­al ac­cel­er­at­or that sup­ports UK tech start-ups. Foun­ded 3 years ago, we...
CMS launches new ini­ti­at­ive for high growth Scot­tish start-ups
CMS Scot­land is launch­ing an ini­ti­at­ive aimed at help­ing Scot­tish-based in­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty (IP) rich start-ups scale up and max­im­ise their full po­ten­tial.Foun­ded over three years ago in Lon­don and...
Study on Ini­tial Coin Of­fer­ings - New means of fun­drais­ing
At first glance, it is hard to be­lieve and to un­der­stand the claim of en­thu­si­asts that Block­chain tech­no­logy is sup­posed to be com­par­able with the spread of the in­ter­net in the 90s.  It would there­fore...
Se­lect Com­mit­tee of MPs to look in­to block­chain and di­git­al cur­ren­cies
On 22 Feb­ru­ary 2018 The House of Com­mons Treas­ury Com­mit­tee (also re­ferred to as the ‘Treas­ury Se­lect Com­mit­tee’ or ‘TSC’) launched an in­quiry in­to the role of di­git­al cur­ren­cies and the tech­no­lo­gies...
FCA seeks views on ap­proach to au­thor­isa­tion and com­pet­i­tion
The FCA has re­cently pub­lished for con­sulta­tion two doc­u­ments set­ting out its ap­proach to com­pet­i­tion and au­thor­isa­tion. The doc­u­ments are the latest in a series as part of the FCA’s com­mit­ment to...