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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 below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

If you have any further questions about the CMS equIP programme, you can email Sonam Shah or call Sonam on +44 20 7067 3361. 

CMS equIP programme application form


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.

equIP embRACE Campaign

In 2023, we officially launched our equIP embRACE campaign. This campaign marks our continued commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity within the entrepreneurial landscape. It has a clear mission to champion and uplift underrepresented founders and communities. Our primary goal is to amplify opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs by increasing their representation in our programme. As with our #LeadHers campaign, equIP embRACE fosters partnerships with third parties with the same aim to do as much as we can to ensure equal opportunities for all founders. For more information, please contact us


Current equIP Members

Alumni members

Explore more

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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
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Roadmap of a start-up
Download the brochure
CMS equIP: Sustainability Solutions
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equIP contacts for the SaaStock 2022 conference


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