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A&O expands tech innovation cohort to drive digital transformation

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Ajitsaria Shruti
Shruti Ajitsaria

Partner, Head of Fuse

London

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Rajiv Pattni

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17 January 2022

Fuse, Allen & Overy’s tech innovation hub, is opening applications for its sixth cohort of technology companies. This year, there will be two streams - one selected via open application, and the other via direct nomination from a select group of clients.

For the application process, LegalTech and RegTech companies whose work is directly applicable to A&O’s lawyers and/or clients are encouraged to apply, regardless of their stage of development or geographical location. Fuse is also looking to support a social finance, impact investing, or other social entrepreneurship company with the provision of pro bono legal advice.

Separately, the client-nominated stream allows Fuse to work with a sector-agnostic group of technology companies aligned to the select group of clients consulted. This will enable A&O’s lawyers better to understand their clients’ digital transformation strategies.

Speaking about the expanded scope for client-nominated technology companies, Shruti Ajitsaria, partner and Head of Fuse, said: “Since Fuse first opened its doors, we have seen our lawyers working enthusiastically with our cohort members to find new solutions to old problems. We have also seen an increase in demand from clients for us to better understand and support their digital strategies across their business as a whole.

“Introducing this sector agnostic stream of nominated companies allows us to explore the legal issues our clients will face in the coming years, enabling us to support them in the most holistic way possible. Through these conversations we can proactively learn, share and explore these issues in step with our clients."

Applications will be accepted from 17 January 2022 to 7 February 2022, with final selection days to take place in March. The new cohort is set to join Fuse in April.

The previous cohort saw numerous successes for the companies in Fuse, including:

  • The launch of LMA.Automate, a collaboration between Fuse cohort member, Avvoka, the Loan Market Association and Allen & Overy.
  • Definely was selected to win an award from the inaugural Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, successfully completed a £2.2 million ‘Seed-Plus’ investment round, co-led by Microsoft’s venture fund, M12, and CRE Venture Capital and signed an Enterprise wide license with A&O.
  • Greenomy was admitted to the FCA’s Digital Sandbox, and won first prize at the 2021 G20 Techsprint for the ‘Data collection, verification and sharing’ category.
  • Arteria AI acquired the financial services arm of H4, another leading provider of contract lifecycle management services.

Fuse will once again operate a hybrid programme, providing cohort companies with the best of physical and virtual collaboration, allowing them to engage seamlessly with A&O’s global client base and internal international network.

Fuse connects lawyers, clients and best-in-class technology companies, building relationships and solving each party's problems through focused collaboration. Fuse is the first space of its kind in any international law firm, and is undoubtedly a driving force for innovation in the legal sector. Fuse continues to grow engagement both within A&O, and across A&O’s client base. 2021 saw the Fuse cohort provide demonstrations to 78% of A&O London teams, and 87% of international offices. Fuse also met with over 50 different client institutions during the 2021 cohort.

For more information on the Fuse application process, please contact Shruti Ajitsaria on Shruti.Ajitsaria@AllenOvery.com.