Nathan Bilton, managing associate solicitor at Ward Hadaway

UK Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway, with offices in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle has teamed up with the University of York Law School to support postgraduate law students offering free legal advice to start-up businesses across the North.

The new University of York Law School Small Business Legal Clinic is staffed voluntarily by Masters students, with support from supervising solicitors at the university and the team at Ward Hadaway in Leeds.

The advice offered through the clinic is aimed at entrepreneurs facing many of the common legal issues experienced by start-up and fledgling organisations. For example effectively managing data protection compliance, protecting their intellectual property or establishing corporate structures.

Businesses can access one free interview with a law student around a specific subject, and as a result, will receive a free letter of advice offering guidance on the issue.

Supporting supervising solicitors at the university, lawyers from the commercial law team at full- service firm Ward Hadaway, who work with a range of high growth companies across Yorkshire and nationally, will advise students on key areas of focus in response to queries.

Stephen Levett, one of the supervising solicitors at the Law School Clinic, said; “Increasing numbers of undergraduates and graduates are thinking about setting up their own businesses with many choosing to do so here in Yorkshire. Sometimes a small piece of legal advice about the business structure, handing Intellectual Property or a contract can make it easier for them to do this successfully.”

Nathan Bilton, managing associate solicitor at Ward Hadaway, said; “Here at Ward Hadaway, we work with a range of clients across many sectors, supporting them to make the right commercial decisions so they can grow their organisations in the right way. Getting the right advice at the right time can make all the difference to a new business.

“At Ward Hadaway, we have a history of working with regional universities to support students entering the legal profession and believe it is important that they gain real-life, hands-on commercial law experience to develop their skills and thinking. Our partnership with University of York is another means by which we can give back to those beginning their legal career, as well as our business community.”

If you are interested in accessing advice for your business, please contact the University of York Law School Small Business Legal Clinic for an initial assessment. If progressed, students working under the supervision of the university’s clinic solicitor will then interview the client, and research their case with support from solicitors at Ward Hadaway.