London fintech Hi Group hires McGuireWoods' former EMEA finance head as general counsel

Lee Cullinane climbs on board after a career break, bringing ‘integral’ legal expertise ahead of startup’s next growth phase

Lee Cullinane Image courtesy of Hi Group

London fintech company Hi Group has added a senior finance lawyer with experience at international firms including McGuireWoods, White & Case and Mayer Brown as its general counsel. 

Cullinane has joined the startup, which offers a service financing companies’ payrolls to boost their liquidity and provide employees with flexible access to their pay, having most recently led the EMEA finance group at US law firm McGuireWoods' London office. He left that role in September last year, according to his LinkedIn profile, ahead of a ‘health and wellbeing career break’.

Hi practice spans the public and private debt markets with a focus on private equity, leverage finance and cross-border transactions. 

“Lee has an impressive track record at some of the most prestigious law firms across London and so we are delighted to have him onboard,” said Hi Group founder and chief executive David Brown. “His expertise will be integral as we enter our next growth stage and deliver on our vision to make payroll more accessible for everyone.”

Prior to joining McGuireWoods as a partner in 2019 Cullinane spent almost nine years at White & Case, for most of which he led the firm’s EMEA banking practice, and earlier was a partner at Mayer Brown and Clifford Chance. 

“It’s an exciting time to join the Hi Group which has gone from strength to strength over the past year,” Cullinane said. “I look forward to being part of the team as we gear up to lead the way in providing companies with much needed cash and employees with flexible access to their salary which can help them through the cost of living crisis.”

TechRound reported that in the three years since it was founded Hi Group has raised more than $8m in funding. The company funds worker paychecks through what is in essence a revolving loan to the employer, with workers able to access their earnings for free using a debit card and the employers able to use the money to fund purchases like new equipment.



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