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Investment and Funding for Business

One of the main challenges facing Irish start-ups is getting access to working capital.  

Banks will often refuse to lend to start-ups in the development stage as the company is not yet trading and there is no track record of turnover and profit.

Our commercial law Solicitors have been working with start-ups, emerging businesses and entrepreneurs for years, and in 2018 our Corporate Law team was a winner at the Finance Monthly Law Awards.  Many of our clients have been with the firm from the beginning of their journey, and we have taken enormous pride in helping them achieve success.  Our commercial law partner, Gríana O’Kelly, has specific expertise in corporate funding and equity investment.  She and her team have a clear understanding of investor/lender expectations and motivations.  This allows them to provide practical, valuable advice to companies beyond which other law firms may provide.

What are the investment options for Irish SMEs?

The following are examples of some investment options for small to medium-sized companies in Ireland:

  • Venture capital funding – a venture capital firm may offer investment to start-ups where they see long-term growth potential.  The investment from a venture capital firm can vary from loan investment to equity investment.
  • Enterprise Ireland offers investment opportunities to new companies in Ireland of varying levels.
  • Management buy-ins can bring certain advantages to a start-up company. This involves senior management or key employees subscribing for shares in a company in return for a cash investment.

How can a Solicitor assist me regarding securing investment or funding?

The main challenge for a start-up company or an SME in negotiating investor/funding deals is maintaining control in the company.  Often the subscription shares will have stronger, preferred rights than the ordinary shares held by the founders so on a realisation or a winding up, their money takes priority.  In addition, an experienced investor can easily exploit an entrepreneur’s lack of experience to their own advantage. 

To secure a successful investment or funding package, founding shareholders of a company must have the appropriate contractual protection in place.  We will advise you on all aspects of the investment process from due diligence to negotiation of the investment documents.

With Gríana and her team on board advising you, you can walk into negotiations confident that you understand every aspect of the proposed deal and have the leverage to counter if required.

Why choose Lavelle Partners to advise and represent you in Investment and Funding contracts?

  • We are a partner-led firm, meaning the partner you meet will manage your case and be available to you if you have any questions.
  • Our Solicitors are approachable, intelligent, and pragmatic. 
  • When it comes to commercial law matters, we find out what success means for you and then work tenaciously to achieve your objectives.
  • Our clients remain with us long-term and most of our new clients come to us via referrals.  In addition, most team members have been with the firm for 15-30 years.  We know our clients, their families, and their businesses inside out and this helps us provide exceptional service and gives people confidence in the quality of the advice and representation they receive.
  • Our advice is to the point; we will not ask you to choose between five different options, we will advise which one will protect and promote your best interests.

What our clients say

‘They have a professional but friendly approach which is beneficial particularly when the matters at hand can have periods that are stressful. The ability to reduce tension is matched with clear communication even when dealing with complex situations where decision making is required by the client. It is a rare skill to maintain this approach, with integrity intact, with all the engaged parties. In short they win with people.’

The Legal 500, 2023

‘Lavelle partner Gríana O’Kelly encapsulates all the qualities of the M&A team. As with other firms, Lavelle’s are competent and efficient, Ms O’Kelly is no different and you feel that she cares, a good outcome for you is a good outcome for her. It is a refreshing experience to have when travelling through a legal process.’

The Legal 500, 2023

‘I engaged with Lavelle partners when acquiring a business, and I found the service outstanding. The team made the experience as seamless as possible for me. The team were extremely knowledgeable, helpful, approachable, professional and efficient.’

The Legal 500, 2023

‘The practice were very well regarded in the market for Commercial, M&A and Employment Law work. We had heard of their reputation from other companies. They were very engaged in understanding what their client wanted to achieve and understood their concerns. Their lines of communication were clear and timely. They used their technology to deliver efficient results and a good level of transparency. Their people were easy to deal with and also you had a sense of confidence in what they were doing. Overall they were approachable, professional and focused on the end result for the client.’

The Legal 500, 2023

‘The individuals worked as team and built up a level of trust with the client. They were approachable and listened to any concerns the client had at any stage. They were also technically very good at understanding and managing the transaction. From the senior partners to the associates dealing with the case, there was a feeling that whatever the situation, the team could handle the problems facing the client.’

The Legal 500, 2023

‘Fast execution, in depth knowledge, excellent advice.’

The Legal 500, 2023

‘We have been working with Lavelle Partners for four years across a number of departments and I must say that all our engagements and interactions with all of their staff have been overwhelmingly positive. As a client, you really feel that they have your best interests at heart – they are very client focused. They are very quick to understand their clients’ business and needs. Their ability to collaborate and work as a team and transfer knowledge about a case or client, particularly across departments, is second to none, and from the client’s view it is absolutely seamless.’

The Legal 500, 2023

‘Gríana O’Kelly is our primary contact on the business side and she’s great – very quickly comes up to speed and understands our requirements, and deals with things quickly and thoroughly, spotting any potential issues and dealing with them along the way.’

The Legal 500, 2023

For further information on how we can help you with all investment and funding matters in Ireland and the EU, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.


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