Technology transfer and spin-outs

The Penningtons Manches team showed an excellent grasp of the legal and commercial issues we had to deal with.

Plaxica Limited

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Penningtons Manches' highly-regarded technology transfer team comprises specialist corporate, tax, IP/technology, commercial and employment lawyers with extensive knowledge of managing technology transfer requirements for spin-out companies, institutions and investors.

We work closely with the company taking a technology transfer or licence as well as the investors and the institution or company developing the technology to ensure as smooth a process as possible, leaving the client free to concentrate on the technology. We are well aware of the constraints within which universities and university technology transfer offices operate and are adept at obtaining the most favourable position possible for our clients on a technology transfer.

Our work in this area typically involves negotiating and advising on investment term sheets, shareholders’ agreements, investment agreements, EMI/EIS/VCT requirements, SME status for R&D tax credits, assignments and licensing of intellectual property rights, collaborative research and confidentiality agreements, and all that goes with them. Many members of our team have City training and a science background, including biotechnology, biochemical engineering, chemistry and neuroscience.

We also appreciate the financial constraints of early stage spin-outs and provide a variety of charging structures and billing arrangements when agreeing our fees. We deliver commercial, client-centric advice on time and to budget in a no-nonsense fashion and support our clients throughout the further development of the transferred technology.

These strengths, combined with our choice of office locations and the ease of travel between them, mean we are able to offer real flexibility and value for money without sacrificing expertise or convenience during our work for early stage companies.

We offer expert advice on:

  • establishment, seed funding and funding rounds
  • listing or trade sales
  • share options and incentives
  • corporate and personal tax, including EMI/EIS/VCT schemes
  • company secretarial matters
  • joint ventures including collaborations between universities and revenue share agreements
  • collaborative research agreements including EU-funded projects
  • in-licensing and transfer of intellectual property rights including pipeline and option agreements
  • IPR disputes including patent litigation
  • IP strategy
  • consultancy agreements
  • property requirements

Recent work highlights

Vaccine technology

Acting on the spin-out of Oxford VacMedix from Oxford University including setting up a joint venture with Chinese investors in Hong Kong. Oxford Vacmedix aims to commercialise a new technology with the potential to reduce the cost of vaccine development.


Pioneering spin-out company

Representing Kurma Life Sciences Partners as lead investor on the Series 'A' funding of BliNK Technologies, a company spin-out of Cancer Research Technology (the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK) and subsequent employment advice to BliNK Therapeutics.

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Penningtons Manches LLP

Penningtons Manches LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. San Francisco is an associated office.

Penningtons Manches LLP