Withers tech‘ is a global venture capital and technology legal practice serving disruptors and innovators in the technology and life sciences sectors.

The most powerful forces for change come from rethinking. Please visit our Global Rethinkers Hub which draws together key insight pieces and our Financial Times interview series.

Get in touch

[email protected]
DD: +44 20 7597 6364

About Withers tech

Our legal experts operate out of the firm’s core territories in Europe (London, Cambridge and Milan), the U.S (Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York), and APAC (Singapore and Hong Kong).

Having been established with the mission of supporting and driving the growth of the innovation economy, Withers tech’s team of lawyers has a deep understanding of the sectors in which our clients operate. We are proud of the work we do with the world’s most innovative and dynamic individuals and businesses, including some of the most exciting companies and investors in the climate tech community who are helping to make the world a better place through their investment and market leading innovations.

We support our clients from startup and venture transactions through to commercialisation and exit, and advise a wide variety of leading climate tech companies, including The Earthshot Prize 2022 winner 44.01, Astanor Ventures, ETF Partners, Entocycle, Climate Edge, Regenerate Ventures and NatureMetrics to name but a few.

Our team lives and breathes tech

Many of our lawyers have worked in-house at leading technology and healthcare companies, or at major venture capital funds.

Our lawyers also form a part of the core BVCA working group which implements the UK industry-standard legal documentation for the venture capital industry. Recently we have helped implement the new revised UK standard template investment documentation for Series A investment.

In order to support entrepreneurship, we offer a discounted Withers tech rate and a Commercial Helpdesk.

We provide a full-service delivery which includes advising on venture capital and venture debtcommercial, intellectual property and data protection; employment; company secretarial services; taxfinancial services regulatoryimmigration; options; litigationcharities & philanthropyfamily offices investmentreal estatewealth planning; and M&A.

Key contacts

Sarah Melaney

Sarah is a Partner in the Venture capital & corporate team and leads on the Withers’ Greenbackers relationship. 

She has over a decade of experience advising high growth companies and investors on investment rounds, scale-up, exits (trade sales and IPOs) and general corporate governance. As a trusted adviser, Sarah often assumes the role of general counsel for her clients providing effective advice on all commercial matters. Sarah has been ranked as a next generation partner by The Legal 500 and she is considered to be a leading individual in impact investment having acted for one of Europe’s first and largest impact investors throughout her career.

Keen to help change the current climate crisis, Sarah is also a scout for FiveThirteen, a non-profit organisation supporting gender diversity and climate action. Furthermore, Sarah is on a number of advisory board and is also an angel investor.

Sarah’s climate tech clients include: Entocycle, Searo Labs, WNWN Food Labs, At One Ventures, Paua and NatureAlpha.

Sarah also leads the Withers tech initiative on diverse entrepreneurs and is also an advisory board member of FutureWorldVC, a 180 strong community of ethical impact investors.

[email protected] 
DD: +44 20 7597 6848 
M: +44 7903 842 089

James Shaw

James is Global Head of Withers tech and a Partner in the Venture capital & corporate team. James leads our Withers tech Climate tech group.

He was the co-founder of tech law firm JAG Shaw Baker which merged with Withers to create a new legal offering, Withers tech, in 2018.

Given James’ scientific background in marine and environmental biology, James is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and investors build impactful businesses through innovation, supporting clients such as The Environmental Technologies Fund (ETF Partners), a European leader in impactful investment for fifteen years and 44.02, the winner of the prestigious ‘Fix Our Cimate’ Award at the 2022 Earthshot Prize Awards.  

James also works as a mentor to several companies and is a speaker with accelerators or new innovation initiatives such as the Oxford Foundry, Entrepreneur First and Shake Climate Change. As a trusted adviser to many companies and investors, James also acts as General Counsel to In3Bio Research (formerly Bioven), Global Access Diagnostics (formerly Mologic Limited) and Grampian BioPartners. The Lawyer published an article on James’ role with Global Access Diagnostics just before the Pandemic hit in 2020.  James is also a Director of Conservation Capital – a leading impact advisory firm for the preservation of natural habitats, predominately but not exclusively in Africa.

[email protected] 
DD: +44 20 7597 6315 
M: +44 7725 241 604