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RPC Tectonic

Overview

RPC Tectonic is RPC's legal accelerator programme focused on technology businesses which are addressing environmental, social and/or governance (ESG) issues.

Our aim is to support tech ventures operating at the cutting edge of the ESG world and to build deep, lasting relationships with businesses which go beyond legal advice.  

Every day we work with tech businesses of all sizes, across multiple industries and around the world. Our clients range from international tech giants to homegrown fintechs, from tech-focused investment funds to high-growth start-ups. Tech businesses turn to us to help them innovate, expand and defend their business models in an evolving market dominated by unprecedented opportunity, radical disruption and complex regulation. Delivering and managing the opportunities and risks technology presents is at the core of our business and our strategy. At the same time, we are passionate about ESG issues and using our position to support ambitious companies which are driving change. Sustainability, inclusion and diversity are at the heart of our values as a firm.

That's why we've created RPC Tectonic.

The programme

RPC Tectonic will provide participants with a variety of different benefits, including:

  • advice: access to our expert team of lawyers to provide support in the areas you need it most - whether it's business-critical or business-as-usual, you decide the areas where you need our help. Participants will receive up to £100,000 worth of legal advice in return for a small monthly fee
  • learning sessions: tailored learning sessions on a range of legal and non-legal topics, such as how to protect data properly, dealing with employment law issues and how to run a fundraising process
  • office access: ad hoc access to our stunning offices (in London, Bristol, Hong Kong or Singapore) for those all-important meetings
  • networking and events: invitations to various networking and industry events
  • template documents: access to our suite of template legal documents (like NDAs, employment contracts, convertible loans and many more besides)

Main contacts

 Peter Sugden RPC Tectonic      Jeremy Drew RPC Tectonic

 Elizabeth Zang_Tectonic      Marsha RPC Tectonic

Who can apply?

RPC Tectonic is open to tech companies from across the globe whose business is focused on addressing ESG issues.  We will consider all applicants, at all stages in their lifecycle, which are able to explain how they're involved in addressing the ESG issues that we are facing as a society. 

Apply now

 

Still got questions?

We've set out some FAQs below.  However, if we haven't covered it below then please get in contact by emailing us at tectonic@rpc.co.uk and one of our team will be delighted to get back to you.

 


FAQs

What is RPC Tectonic?

RPC Tectonic is RPC's new legal accelerator programme focused on tech businesses which are addressing ESG issues.  Our aim is to support tech ventures operating at the cutting edge of the ESG world and to build deep, lasting relationships with businesses which go beyond legal advice.  

What does RPC know about tech?

Technology is absolutely core to RPC's business. Every day we work with technology businesses of all sizes, across multiple industries and around the world. Our clients range from international technology giants to homegrown fintechs, from tech-focused investment funds to high-growth start-ups.

Tech businesses turn to us to help them innovate, expand and defend their business models in an evolving market dominated by unprecedented opportunity, radical disruption and complex regulation. Delivering and managing the opportunities and legal risks technology presents is at the core of our business and our strategy.

As a case study in our tech creds, we recently advised Wave Optics (an augmented reality wearable tech company) on its $500 million exit to Snap. We supported the company on its impressive journey: from its early stages, through rapid growth, all the way to exit to a tech mammoth, advising on a variety of different issues (including IP, fundraising, employment, commercial agreements and more) along the way. 

We've also won multiple awards for our technology expertise – including TMT (Technology, media and telecommunications) Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards two years in a row, in 2021 and 2020. 

What will I receive as a participant?

RPC Tectonic will provide participants with a variety of different benefits, including:

  • advice: access to our legal experts in the areas where you need it most. You could receive up to £100,000 (or an equivalent non-GBP amount) worth of legal advice in return for a small monthly fee. See "Do I have to pay anything?" below.  All participants on the RPC Tectonic programme will be treated in the same way as our other clients in terms of service delivery and support
  • learning sessions: tailored learning sessions on a range of legal and non-legal topics relevant to your business, such as how to protect data properly, dealing with employment law issues and how to run a fundraising process
  • office access: ad hoc access to our stunning offices (in London, Bristol, Hong Kong or Singapore) for those all-important meetings
  • networking and events: invitations to various networking and industry events
  • legal agreements: access to our suite of template legal documents (like NDAs, employment contracts, convertible loans and even a shareholders' agreement).

Can you give examples of the type of advice you can provide?

As a full-service law firm, we're able to handle most issues that tech businesses face. The scope of issues that we would expect to handle for participants on the RPC Tectonic programme really depends on each company: some might need help on "bet the ranch" transactions such as an important fundraise or a complex IP dispute, while others may want to sort out their "business-as-usual" matters such as employment agreements and employee share schemes; some might be developing their first SaaS agreement, and others might be looking to put in place robust shareholder arrangements.  The beauty of the RPC Tectonic programme is that you choose what you need.

We have offices in London, Bristol, Hong Kong and Singapore and are able to advise businesses of any jurisdiction which require legal advice with an English, Hong Kong or Singaporean nexus.

How long does the programme last?

There is no minimum period. Participants can be members of the programme for up to 12 months. And we hope our relationship with you lasts long after that. 

Who can apply?

We are open to tech companies from across the globe whose business is focused on addressing ESG issues.  

What do you mean by "addressing ESG issues"?

We know that ESG is a very broad term and there is no "one size fits all".

We are keen to hear from all companies which are active in the ESG space in whatever capacity: whether you're involved in manufacturing electric vehicles, or an ethical online retailer, whether you develop software to harness data on carbon emissions, or you've created an app to promote mental wellness, whether you're an insurtech offering insurance products to renewable energy producers, or you're involved in improving supply chain practices  - or indeed anything else besides.

If you can explain how you're involved in addressing ESG issues faced in any part of society, we want to hear from you.

What type of business are you looking for?

The programme is primarily intended to support early‑ and mid-stage ventures with a solid business plan and ambitious growth aspirations.  However, we'll consider applications from businesses at any stage of their development.

Do I have to be based in the UK?

No.  We're open to applicants from across the globe.  RPC has offices in London, Bristol, Hong Kong and Singapore and are able to advise businesses of any jurisdiction which require legal advice with an English, Hong Kong or Singaporean nexus.

Do I have to pay anything?

Successful participants will pay a small monthly subscription fee of between £500 and £2,000 a month (or an equivalent non-GBP amount), with participants being free to choose the precise level of subscription fee they want to pay. In return, participants will be able to receive legal advice from us with a value of five times the subscription fee each month. 

So, if you decide to pay a £500 monthly subscription fee, you will be able to incur legal fees with us with a value of £2,500 per month. If you decide to pay a £2,000 subscription fee per month, you will be able to incur legal fees with us with a value of £10,000 per month. 

This means that if you subscribe for the full 12 months and pay a £2,000 monthly subscription fee, you could receive up to £120,000 of legal fees and pay only £24,000 upfront – equating to £96,000 worth of legal advice.  What's more, for those companies that subscribe for the full 12 months at £2,000 per month, we'll also provide an additional £4,000 of advice at the end of the programme without charge - taking you up to a nice round £100,000.

You don't need to pay anything further upfront and you can walk away at any time.

All fees are quoted exclusive of VAT.  Liability for sales and other taxes is dependent on where the participant is based.

What if I don't use the full allowance in any given month?

The monthly subscription fee is fixed, so we won't be able to provide refunds for unused fees or re-allocate fees to future months. 

Will you help me to manage my legal spend?

Of course. We'll keep you updated on your monthly spend and, to help you manage your budget, we are always happy to discuss with you different fee structures which are appropriate for a given job (e.g. fixed fees) to help you manage your spend.

Will you take equity in my company?

No. Unlike other programmes, it is not a part of our selection criteria that RPC takes equity in your company.

Do I have to pay anything further in the future?

Only if your business grows and you go through a liquidity event within 10 years of commencing the programme (such as a sale of a controlling interest in your business or a fundraising round which, in each case, values your company above a mutually agreed valuation – eg, that could be 2x your valuation at the time of commencing the programme).

In that scenario, any legal fees which have not been paid upfront (ie. those amounts over your monthly subscription fees) will become payable with a small percentage uplift. 

If you never go through a liquidity event above the agreed valuation, you will not have to pay anything further.  As an accelerator programme, we're here to help you grow and we won't look to recover any further fees if that doesn't happen.

How do I apply?

The online application form can be found here. Feel free to contact us at tectonic@rpc.co.uk if you have any questions or want to discuss before applying. 

What information do I need to provide in my application?

We'll ask you to provide some key details about you and your business, including:

  • how it's focused on addressing ESG issues
  • the size of your team
  • your stage of funding
  • your anticipated legal needs over the next 12 months
  • why you want to be involved in RPC Tectonic

Our privacy notices contain full details about how we will store and use your personal information and can be found here.

What is the deadline for applying?

There is no deadline.  We are always on the look-out for ambitious companies and operate a rolling application process.  We have space for up to two companies in our first cohort and will close the application process once we have found the first two participants.

What happens after I apply?

Once you’ve submitted your application form, we'll be in touch to confirm your suitability for the programme and to ask any further details we need to give us the best sense of you and your business. 

If we think you'd be a good fit for the programme, we'll invite you to an interview process where we'll ask you to give us a short presentation on your business and participate in some Q&A. 

How many participants will there be in the programme?

 We anticipate selecting two companies to participate in the first cohort.

When will the programme start?

We'll contact successful applicants shortly after the interview and invite you to complete the onboarding process. This will include completing a few regulatory requirements to onboard you as a client (including confirming ownership information and signing an engagement letter).  The programme will start for successful applicants as soon as that process is complete.