• At Kemp Little, we are known for our ability to serve the very particular needs of a large but diverse technology client base. Our hands-on industry know-how makes us a good fit with many of the world's biggest technology and digital media businesses, yet means we are equally relevant to companies with a technology bias, in sectors such as professional services, financial services, retail, travel and healthcare.
  • Kemp Little specialises in the technology and digital media sectors and provides a range of legal services that are crucial to fast-moving, innovative businesses.Our blend of sector awareness, technical excellence and responsiveness, means we are regularly ranked as a leading firm by directories such as Legal 500, Chambers and PLC Which Lawyer. Our practice areas cover a wide range of legal issues and advice.
  • Our Commercial Technology team has established itself as one of the strongest in the UK. We are ranked in Legal 500, Chambers & Partners and PLC Which Lawyer, with four of our partners recommended.
  • Our team provides practical and commercial advice founded on years of experience and technical know-how to technology and digital media companies that need to be alert to the rules and regulations of competition law.
  • Our Corporate Practice has a reputation for delivering sound legal advice, backed up with extensive industry experience and credentials, to get the best results from technology and digital media transactions.
  • In the fast-changing world of employment law our clients need practical, commercial and cost-effective advice. They get this from our team of employment law professionals.
  • Our team of leading IP advisors deliver cost-effective, strategic and commercial advice to ensure that your IP assets are protected and leveraged to add real value to your business.
  • Our litigation practice advises on all aspects of dispute resolution, with a particular focus on ownership, exploitation and infringement of intellectual property rights and commercial disputes in the technology sector.
  • We have an industry-leading reputation for our outsourcing expertise. Our professionals deliver credible legal advice to providers and acquirers of IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services.
  • We work alongside companies, many with disruptive technologies, that seek funding, as well as with the venture capital firms, institutional investors and corporate ventures that want to invest in exciting business opportunities.
  • Our regulatory specialists work alongside Kemp Little’s corporate and commercial professionals to help meet their compliance obligations.
  • With a service that is commercial and responsive to our clients’ needs, you will find our tax advice easy to understand, cost-effective and geared towards maximising your tax benefits.
  • At Kemp Little, we advise clients in diverse sectors where technology is fundamental to the ongoing success of their businesses.They include companies that provide technology as a service and businesses where the use of technology is key to their business model, enabling them to bring their product or service to market.
  • We bring our commercial understanding of digital business models, our legal expertise and our reputation for delivering high quality, cost-effective services to this dynamic sector.
  • Acting for market leaders and market changers within the media industry, we combine in-depth knowledge of the structural technology that underpins content delivery and the impact of digitisation on the rights of producers and consumers.
  • We understand the risks facing this sector and work with our clients to conquer those challenges. Testimony to our success is the continued growth in our team of professionals and the clients we serve.
  • We advise at the forefront of the technological intersection between life sciences and healthcare. We advise leading technology and data analytics providers, healthcare institutions as well as manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnological products.
  • For clients operating in the online sector, our teams are structured to meet their commercial, financing, M&A, competition and regulatory, employment and intellectual property legal needs.
  • Our focus on technology makes us especially well positioned to give advice on the legal aspects of digital marketing. We advise on high-profile, multi-channel, cross-border cases and on highly complex campaigns.
  • The mobile and telecoms sector is fast changing and hugely dependent on technology advances. We help mobile and wireless and fixed telecoms clients to tackle the legal challenges that this evolving sector presents.
  • Whether ERP, Linux or Windows; software or infrastructure as a service in the cloud, in a virtualised environment, or as a mobile or service-oriented architecture, we have the experience to resolve legal issues across the spectrum of commercial computer platforms.
  • Our clients trust us to apply our solutions and know-how to help them make the best use of technology in structuring deals, mitigating key risks to their businesses and in achieving their commercial objectives.
  • We have extensive experience of advising customers and suppliers in the retail sector on technology development, licensing and supply projects, and in advising on all aspects of procurement and online operations.
  • Our legal professionals work alongside social media providers and users in relation to the commercial, privacy, data, advertising, intellectual property, employment and corporate issues that arise in this dynamic sector.
  • Our years of working alongside diverse software clients have given us an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the software marketplace, market practice and alternative negotiating strategies.
  • Working with direct providers of travel services, including aggregators, facilitators and suppliers of transport and technology, our team has developed a unique specialist knowledge of the sector
  • Your life as an entrepreneur is full of daily challenges as you seek to grow your business. One of the key strengths of our firm is that we understand these challenges.
  • Kemp Little is trusted by some of the world’s leading luxury brands and some of the most innovative e-commerce retailers changing the face of the industry.
  • HR Bytes is an exclusive, comprehensive, online service that will provide you with a wide range of practical, insightful and current employment law information. HR Bytes members get priority booking for events, key insight and a range of employment materials for free.
  • FlightDeck is our portal designed especially with start-up and emerging technology businesses in mind to help you get your business up and running in the right way. We provide a free pack of all the things no-one tells you and things they don’t give away to get you started.

IPO Watch

The window for launching large-scale tech IPOs has effectively now closed until 2015.  With few new significant tech listings to look forward to before the end of the year, let’s look back over some of the year’s capital market activity which captured the attention of the investors and the media. 

From Alibaba to Zendesk, this year was a roller-coaster year for tech IPOs.  Although Paul Kedrosky at Bloomberg recently tweeted that 2014 was the “best year for IPOs since 2000” not everyone ended up as a winner.

First, some of the success stories:

  • Alibaba (BABA) (debut price: $92.70; closing price as of 15 December 2014: $104.70; gain: +12.9%).  The Chinese ecommerce behemoth makes the list due to the amount it managed to raise, rather than any stellar growth since listing; whilst it easily wins the title of the biggest IPO of the year, its shares have been fluctuating around the $100-110 mark for the last month or so.  However, commentators believe that 2015 has only good things in store, if Alibaba’s YunOS mobile operating system can begin to make in-roads on Android’s 90% market share in China.
  • GoPro (GPRO) (debut price: $28.65; closing price as of 15 December 2014: $60.52; gain: +112%).  Much of GoPro’s (GPRO) gains occurred in the first few months following listing, but a recent surge in value (which may be due to the recent news that GoPro has signed a deal to fit Tour de France bicycles with its PoV cameras and is looking to launch a range of consumer drones next year) has ensured GoPro ends the year with a three-figure percentage gain.
  • TrueCar (TRUE) (debut price: $9.70; closing price as of 15 December 2014: $20.48; gain: +111%).  TrueCar, an online car trading platform, gave early investors big returns as its share value peaked at $25 in September but analysts have subsequently downgraded the stock, citing concerns about its business model and inflated valuation.
  • Zendesk (ZEN) (debut price: $11.40; closing price as of 15 December 2014: $23.94; gain: +110%).  On its first day of trading, the stock of Zendesk (the cloud-based customer service platform provider) closed 49% higher than its initial pricing of $9 a share and it’s been an upward trend ever since, with stock prices currently trading around $20-25.

And the ones that didn’t quite live up to the hype? Well, King (KING) stumbled at the first, dropping from a listing price of $20.50 to $10.68 at its lowest in October. Since then, the launch of Candy Crush Soda Saga has helped restore some pride, but current trading values see its stock pegged around the $15 level.  Care.com (CRCM), the online babysitting marketplace, seemed to be doing well at the start of the year (it hit a high of $29.25 in February) but analysts pointed to a slowing of growth and disappointing earnings for the second half of the year, and its share currently trade at $7.88.  Similarly, Coupons.com (COUP) will be wanting to put 2014 behind them. In 2011, the digital coupons business was said to be worth $1billion; in March 2014, with Goldman Sachs as its lead underwriter, it raised $168million, debuting at $27.15 a share.  Less than three months later, Goldman Sachs downgraded its outlook to sell, and its shares are currently valued at $15.29.

For our last IPO Watch of the year, we may be expected to make a few predictions for 2015, but as Neil Bohr said: “prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future”; with tech IPOs, the only prediction one can make with any certainty is (Alibaba outliers apart) the unpredictability of the market.  However, with GoDaddy already (potentially) lined up and Pure Storage, Dropbox and Nutanix still waiting in the wings, one thing’s for sure: it’s not going to be a quiet 12 months.

For more information, please contact Andy Moseby