At Clayden Law we specialise in supporting SaaS businesses as they start-up, scale and secure investment. This work ranges from drafting, reviewing and updating terms and conditions; the day-to-day negotiation of contracts; and advising on data protection compliance, through to drafting and negotiating investment rounds; reviewing and drafting shareholder and investment rounds; keeping on top of statutory books, minutes, cap tables, shareholder registers and employee shares; as well as advising on share options; and advising on business/share sales or acquisitions.
In this example of our work in this field, our client, Sirenum, operates a SaaS delivered staff management platform to its clients. .
The nature of Sirenum’s business meant that they needed a firm with expertise in working with SaaS companies, as well as one that would understand the challenges they were facing, both corporately and commercially.
Clayden Law was recommended to Sirenum by their employment law firm because of our specialist expertise in acting for SaaS companies at this stage of their growth journey.
WHAT WERE SIRENUM’S REQUIREMENTS?
Due diligence from a funding round had identified a number of areas for improvement within Sirenum’s contracting process. This, together with the fact that the company was experiencing increased contracting activity (not least as a result of the COVID 19 epidemic – driving a lot of interest in Sirenum’s solution as a way to manage work forces), was putting the company under pressure and opening it to risk.
Sirenum also needed support in looking after its corporate affairs – ensuring that the statutory books/share registers were up to date following the funding round and the share option scheme was being correctly administered.
WHAT DID WE DO?
We were conscious that companies such as Sirenum need to feel they have expert lawyers as an integrated part of the team. They needed to know they could call on us at any time, to help them along the growth journey but with some certainty around budgeting legal costs.
For this reason, rather than suggesting stand-alone pieces of work, we set up a monthly retainer with Sirenum. For a fixed, discounted rate, we undertake a set amount of hours of legal work. For the time that a project might go beyond this we agreed a further discounted hourly and daily rate.
HOW HAS THIS HELPED THEM?
Within this retainer we have helped Sirenumto increase the speed of contract negotiations, and secure a number of ‘wins’. This meant the companyt was able to get to a revenue-generating stage quicker.
We have also helped to ensure their corporate affairs were both compliant and professionally managed, better supporting organisational growth and potential investment.
Importantly, our involvement has helped the business owners (and management team) to focus on building their business, rather than legal matters. This has ensured that they are able to present a clean exit/funding-ready picture for the next funding round.
Nick Gibson, Sirenum’s Chief Operating Officer, says: ‘Clayden Law really understands SaaS businesses – not just the legal side but the commercial and organisational challenges, and the steps to take to get things right. Because of their involvement we have been able to improve the way we do things, relax (knowing we’re ticking the legal boxes) and be better equipped for growth and funding rounds. We cannot recommend their specialist experience in this field highly enough.’
During 2020, we were engaged on a retainer basis by this rapidly growing software-as-a-service company to provide ongoing legal support both in relation to its corporate (fundraising) activities as well as commercial work.
On the commercial side, particular highlights include:
- negotiation of a software development agreement with a provider to develop the company’s new app, on an agile basis but retaining sufficient protections for the client
- overhaul of its terms and conditions
- negotiation of a framework agreement covering Europe for services with a major client (see here)
- drafting a template channel partner agreement
“Claydenlaw were recommended to us as SaaS specialist lawyers and they have not disappointed. Hannah has helped with a very thorough overhaul of our terms and conditions and we have worked very closely with Piers on a number of projects on an almost daily basis. He is a pleasure to deal with – approachable and engaging which is a refreshing change from the more formal lawyers we might have dealt with in the past. He is a courteous negotiator that always strives to reach pragmatic solutions whilst protecting our commercial positions. Happy to recommend Piers and Hannah as technology law specialists.“
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