Legal Counsel- Octopus Ventures

London, UK

Company Description

About Octopus Ventures

We invest in pioneers creating the next billion-pound companies in the areas of health, money and deep tech. Our core team has been together since 2008 and has grown to around forty people. Together, we run one of Europe’s largest venture funds with £1.3 billion under management.

Our typical investment starts from £1 million for Seed to around £10 million for Series B and we can follow our investment right up to £25 million. Over the years, we have supported over 100 outstanding entrepreneurs that are leading the way in disrupting their industries. Companies backed in recent years include allplants, Elvie, Depop, Big Health,, Eve, Magic Pony, Secret Escapes, Sofar Sounds, SwiftKey, Swoon Editions, and Zoopla Property Group.

We’re based in London and New York with partners placed in San Francisco, Singapore and China to help the companies we back scale in those markets. We are part of Octopus Group, managing £8.6 billion (31 Mar 2020) on behalf of more than 50,000 investors, spanning investments, healthcare, energy and property. 

Job Description

About the Role

A new opportunity exists for a qualified Venture Capital lawyer to join Octopus Ventures in London. This offers a challenging and exciting opportunity to help pioneers change the world as Octopus Ventures looks to scale its business.

Excellent, commercial and entrepreneur-friendly legal advisory capability is crucial to enabling us to reach our goals. The successful candidate will join our existing Legal Counsel to expand the legal function within the business, and increase the capacity and efficiency of our investment capability.

We’re looking for someone who will:


  • Manage the legal process with the investment lead for new and/or follow-on investments into SMEs from termsheet to completion and post-closing matters.
  • Review, draft, negotiate and/or update various types of contracts and documentation including but not limited to shareholders agreements, termsheets, NDAs, articles, SPAs, due diligence documentation and employment contracts where necessary.
  • Liaise with and manage external counsel engaged from our panel for new and/or follow-on investments, balancing excellent relationships, excellent delivery & cost effectiveness.
  • Monitor, manage and mitigate legal risks associated with private equity/venture capital transactions executed by Octopus Ventures, which includes VCTs, EIS services & LPs
  • Stay abreast of changing relevant regulations, including relating to VCT and EIS investment. Assess the impact of new regulations and advising the business on relevant structural changes and subsequent execution to ensure ongoing compliance/best practice.
  • Work with the existing Legal Counsel and contribute to the maintenance and ongoing development of best practice for the legal function within Octopus Ventures.
  • Be an active and engaged member of the wider operations function within Octopus Ventures and co-ordinate with the wider Octopus Group as appropriate, such as Company Secretariat, Risk, Compliance, and Finance as appropriate.
  • Deal with day-to-day queries regarding legal and regulatory issues, whether ad-hoc queries on existing portfolio companies, commercial contracts, or creating and maintaining a ‘legal hub’ of resources to assist the wider business.


What you’ll need to be successful:

  • Fully qualified UK lawyer, demonstrating experience expected of a solicitor with 2-3 years PQE experience and a proven track record across venture capital investments legal advisory
  • Comfortable operating in a fast-paced environment with exposure to senior stakeholders
  • Excellent at prioritisation and working proactively. Happy to multi-task and manage a variety of transactions at any given time.
  • A friendly demeanour, fantastic organisational skills, with a great attention to detail
  • Enjoy liaising with different kinds of people, representing Ventures internally and externally
  • A desire to be part of a tight and ambitious team
  • Comfortable asking the “stupid question” or challenge the status quo


And to really stand out from crowd:

  • Experience gained in private practice is essential, but in-house experience would be an advantage
  • Experience acting for company or its investors on an exit
  • Be freethinking and able to spot and help implement new efficiencies where appropriate
  • Be comfortable in providing advice in a flexible, dynamic and entrepreneurial environment where priorities may be changeable
  • Have an interest in learning more about the companies we invest in, the industry and applying this knowledge to the role as you learn more

Additional Information

Our Values and DNA 

At Octopus we don’t just focus on what we do but also how we do it. Everyone shares our values of being straightforward, helpful and bold. And while these are the principles that guide us as an organisation, our DNA goes even further, by revealing our inner strength: 


·         We are loyal: we fully buy-in to the company’s vision and believe in everything that Octopus stands for.

·         We are respectful: we live and breathe the Octopus values of being helpful, straightforward and bold.

·         We are resilient: we have an inner strength that means we never give in.

·         We are intellectually curious: we seek to understand how the world works and we’re always learning, adapting and improving.

·         We understand who our customers are: and because we know them really well, we always give them our very best. 


What we offer 

Octopus has built an exciting and inclusive high-performance culture where employees feel empowered. This means we welcome discussions around flexible working hours. We also understand the value of diversity, and we have a team dedicated to promoting gender, ethnic, socio-economic, LGBT and disability equality, to make sure we back up our words with actions.