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Leading law firm partners with North West innovation hub to support tech businesses

Leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell is partnering with innovation hub HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, to provide specialist legal advice to technology businesses in the North West.

The new partnership will allow the HOST community to have direct access to initial pro bono legal advice through physical and virtual support from Irwin Mitchell’s leading media and innovation team.

Irwin Mitchell, which has 15 offices across the UK and an international network of law firms, will also provide tailored business support to members through events such as webinars, workshops, seminars and masterclasses.

This includes the sponsorship of HOST’s first event since it rebranded in March, Wellbeing LIVE in partnership with MediaCityUK is a full programme of mental health and wellbeing virtual events for the creative, media and tech industries from 17-21 May.

The hub’s mission is to establish an ecosystem that supports skills, growth and innovation in the region by providing diverse and inclusive opportunities, particularly to those individuals and businesses who may not have previously had access.

To further this mission, HOST is working closely with Laura Harper from Irwin Mitchell, a recognised leading advisor to businesses in the creative industries and digital sector.

With over 20 years of experience, Manchester-based Laura has in-depth knowledge of the video games sector and a strong track record in advising international clients from across the interactive entertainment industry, from AAA studios to indie developers and VR and AR businesses.

Following the recent announcement of HOST’s partnership with Unity and its first Centre of Excellence in the UK, Laura’s expertise in the video games industry will be of vital support on areas including games development, intellectual property, acquisition and investment.

HOST at Media City combines the three pillars of skills, innovation and start up all under one roof, with a focus on building a world-leading reputation in data science, cyber, AI and immersive technologies.

Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 Group, operators of HOST, said: “We are delighted to announce Irwin Mitchell as HOST’s specialist legal partner. Laura and the media and innovation team join HOST with a wealth of experience in working alongside businesses in the creative industries and video games sector.

“With its national and international network of law firms, HOST’s innovation community will have access to every aspect of intellectual property and legal advice, which is a key part of the wraparound support we wish to bring to our members as they navigate out of the pandemic and look to a positive future ahead.”

Laura Harper, Irwin Mitchell partner and media & entertainment sector lead, said: “We are proud to be working alongside HOST as their official legal partner and are looking forward to assisting them with sector specific events, together with tailored legal and business advice.

“Irwin Mitchell has a strong tradition of providing advice to businesses in the technology and media sector. Working in partnership with the new home of the UK video games industry allows us to build on this work and continue playing our part in the success of local creative businesses.

“There will be plenty of opportunities to work with HOST on various projects and initiatives and our media and innovation team can’t wait to get started. MediaCityUK is fast becoming the hub for next generation entertainment and we are delighted to be part of such a key project in the heart of Manchester and supporting North West business and the local digital economy.”