Magic circle firm Allen & Overy has begun a search for technology companies to join an ‘innovation space’ opening at its London HQ. 

According to the firm, the space, called Fuse, allows tech companies, A&O lawyers, technologists and their clients to use the firm’s Bishopsgate headquarters to collaborate, and develop and test technological solutions to problems facing the legal profession.

Use of the space is free and the firm said any intellectual property companies bring will be owned by them. However, it notes: ‘There may be situations where a closer relationship with A&O or with a client is desirable’, and that in that situation ‘we may agree a different approach with the tech company’.

Once in residence, ‘companies will have access to the expertise of Allen & Overy lawyers, technologists and clients to co-create practical solutions to some of the challenges faced by companies, financial institutions and law firms today’, the firm said.

Jonathan Brayne, chair of Fuse and an A&O partner, said: ‘Our relationship with companies which move into the space will not be exclusive – they will be free to work with whomever they choose outside Fuse.’

He added that the firm may also take equity in ‘specific solutions that have real relevance’ to its business.

Applications will open in April and applicants will undergo a selection process before successful companies move into the space in September.

Senior partner Wim Dejonghe said: ‘Developments in tech are transforming our industry and we are determined to play a lead role in harnessing the power of new solutions.’