Senior Associate Joe Stolerman joined the Corporate team at Bird & Bird in June 2017.
We interviewed him about his career highlights and top tips for start-ups.
Why did you want to become a lawyer?
Honestly, I originally wanted to become a lawyer from the age of 10 after I first watched the movie ‘Liar Liar‘. I left university with my History degree and hadn’t changed my mind.
What makes you a good lawyer?
The ability to analyse complicated documents quickly and present solutions in a manner that everyone can understand. Having been on a client secondment for 6 months has really helped me appreciate what clients are looking for from their lawyers.
What is the most memorable deal you’ve worked on?
I worked on an exit for three young founders. They were not based in the UK, nor were the purchaser, so everyone came to London for a drafting session and to close the deal.
The clock was running as the founders and the purchaser had flights to catch, but they also needed to sign and close. We stayed in a room for longer than I care to remember, but the atmosphere when we completed (taking into account the founders got a great deal) was amazing.
How do you see COVID-19 pandemic impacting the UK start-ups / investor scene?
I’m glad you asked, I actually co-wrote something on this available here.
What is your top tip for an early start-up?
Be prepared to invest early-on to get things right as soon as you can. Retroactively fixing problems (whether they are legal or otherwise) is far harder and more expensive.
What is the most common thing you see start-ups doing wrong?
Trying to do too much. Whether that’s overreaching by expansion or, on a more personal level, founders not delegating where it may be easier to do so.
Name a hot area of investment / geographical region / new trendy industry.
Apart from health tech and PPE… we’ve been doing a lot of work with producers of CBD products and plant based/lab based ‘meat’ products. Both seem like industries that are just going to grow and grow.