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Kieran John

Managing Associate

Personal Profile

Kieran is a Managing Associate in our Innovation department, specialising in working with impact-driven ventures and entrepreneurs. Kieran is passionate about impact and innovation, helping clients to embed, fund and accelerate their impact.

Drawing on in-depth understanding of purpose-driven organisations and leading expertise in supporting early-stage and emerging companies, Kieran advises a wide range of founder-led companies, spin outs from world-leading universities, research institutions and charities.

Kieran supports clients to pursue their impact by providing integrated legal, risk, practical and commercial advice, helping clients to:

  • embed impact into their legal and governance model, and supporting with iteration in order to meet evolving business and operational needs;
  • fund their impact through equity funding rounds, licensing, franchising and grant funding; and
  • accelerate their impact by providing astute commercial judgement when negotiating contracts and licensing intellectual property, alongside supporting clients with risk management and managing large scale projects.

Kieran is actively engaged in the impact ecosystem, and contributes in a variety of ways including:

  • through our 'virtual pop-ups', speaking with impact-driven entrepreneurs every week to explore their ideas and bring them to life;
  • building relationships across the impact ecosystem and expanding clients' networks by making introductions;
  • convening and hosting in-person events, providing the platform for the community to network and discuss topics such as 'how to unlock the power of diversity impact investment';
  • as host of the 'impact investment, intentionality and innovation' podcast series, interviewing purpose driven leaders, impact investors and entrepreneurs that turn up the volume to 11 to tackle the world's most pressing issues;
  • creating and launching our Social Ventures Handbook – designed to guide social entrepreneurs through the key stages of setting up and running a social venture, from initial funding right through to maturity and sustainable delivery; and
  • by contributing to research on impact investment, sharing insights on panels, spotlighting purpose driven businesses through blogs, and appearing on podcasts discussing Kieran's work as an impact enabler.

Key Experience

  • Advising Big Society Capital in respect of spinning out ImpactVC, a community of Venture Capital firms accelerating impact within venture;
  • Supporting Venture Studio from Crisis with the legal aspects of engaging with mentors, to support with the mission to accelerate the end of homelessness for good through entrepreneurship;
  • Establishing the legal and governance model of The Engagement Appeal, a venture that unites the market on better engagement between companies and retail shareholders;
  • Helping Founders Pledge to establish the Patient Philanthropy Fund, a philanthropic co-funding vehicle which invests to give and ensures capital is at the ready when extraordinary opportunities to safeguard and improve the long-term future arise;
  • Advising on legal set-up and charity registration for Parenting for Lifelong Health, a charity which provides a suite of open access, non-commercialised parenting programmes to prevent violence in low-resource settings. Following registration, advising on the charity's intellectual property framework and its grant funding arrangements;
  • Supporting Jesus College, Cambridge to be the first institution in the UK to repatriate a Benin Bronze to Nigeria's National Commission for Museums and Monuments in line with charity law and governance;
  • Advising on the legal and governance model for One World Together CIC, a community interest company that turns existing charitable giving on its head by enabling funds to reach partner organisations around the world on a long-term, predicated and unrestricted basis;
  • Providing legal and commercial support to academics spinning out ventures from world-leading universities that are delivering impact through linked open data, purpose-led consultancy, rapidly deployable and scalable low-cost mechanical ventilators, as well as diagnostic tests that provide rapid, accurate and scalable COVID-19 testing;
  • Developing and implementing a 'guardianship' governance model for a venture that provided meals to NHS staff during the pandemic;
  • Advising a leading research charity on the legal and practical aspects of accepting cryptocurrency donations;
  • Leading a project supporting a College to spin out a school into a charitable entity, to include preparing and negotiating the transfer agreement, the governance protocol and numerous commercial agreements – whilst co-ordinating with internal and external stakeholders to implement a collaborative spin out; and
  • Supporting an award winning B2C coffee company with the legal and governance aspects of B Corp certification.

Career History

Managing Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Taylor Vinters LLP
Charity Trustee, Diabetes Norfolk
Trainee Solicitor/Paralegal, Howes Percival LLP
Legal Practice Course, BPP Cambridge
University of East Anglia, Graduate Diploma in Law
University of Kent, BA (Hons) History

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