Cooley LLP is an undoubted market leader for all forms of venture capital and emerging companies work. The ‘great team‘ is widely considered by clients to be an ‘extension of the business‘ and a ‘great business partner to a company that does not have in-house legal counsel‘. The balanced practice acts for a wide mix of early-to-late stage companies, and venture capital, corporate venture and private equity funds. In 2021, the firm expanded its domestic footprint by opening a Chicago office, to build on the city’s emerging status as a tech hub. This includes three new dedicated emerging companies partners: Richard Ginsberg, Laurie Bauer and Greg Grossman, who respectively joined from Winston & Strawn LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP and DLA Piper LLP (US). They add to a practice with a strong presence on the East Coast, including New York partners Adam Dinow (‘an encyclopedia of equity deal terms and investment matters‘) and Stephane Levy (‘continues to deliver best-in-class business-focused and pragmatic legal advice‘), and Michael Lincoln in Virginia. San Francisco-based practice head Peter Werner and partner Rachel Proffitt, as well as Palo Alto’s Sale Kwon and Mark Tanoury, are among the key names flying the West Coast flag. Matthew Bartus is global co-chair of the practice.
Venture capital and emerging companies in United States
Peter Werner; Matthew Bartus
Other key lawyers:
Mark Tanoury; Sale Kwon; Michael Lincoln; Rachel Proffitt; Adam Dinow; Stephane Levy; Richard Ginsberg; Laurie Bauer; Greg Grossman
‘Great team and have been an extension to the business’
‘Responsiveness. Quality. Thoughtfulness.’
‘Stephane Levy continues to deliver best-in-class business-focused and pragmatic legal advice. No other firms I know of have the same ability to fit culturally and professionally with their clients.’
‘Stephane understands our company and our business inside out. He is highly knowledgeable about the industry and growth pains and challenges we are going through.’
‘The team has a deep knowledge and understanding of our industry. In addition, they are very experienced at the start-up stage our company is at. They are very proactive and timely in their response. A great business partner to a company that does not have in-house legal counsel.’
‘The partners and associates are strategic and take a business approach when advising.’
‘They have so much experience in early stage that they certainly know market terms, but also can help set them. They are available 24 x 7, and are genuinely devoted to our success. They help with items well beyond what I’d normally expect, and are always business-minded, focused on our goal. They are tough but fair, are conscious of billing and budgets. Really, they have been amazing partners and a big part of our story so far.’
‘Adam Dinow – he is more like an internal colleague at this point. I call him all the time for legal advice, but also navigating reputational and ethical issues. He is an encyclopedia of equity deal terms and investment matters, and has amazing working knowledge branching into securities, debt, contracts and other matters. Adam Alperowicz – joined at the hip with Adam D, Adam A is our other go to guy for corporate advice. He does a ton of our drafting and negotiating, and knows our corporate documents better than anyone.’
Norwest Venture Partners
- Advised healthcare software company Olive on $400m and $225m financing rounds, and on its acquisition of Verata Health.
- Advised Rappi on its $500m Series F financing round, which brings its valuation to $5.25bn.
- Advised G2.com on its $157m Series D financing round, which brings its valuation to $1.1bn
DLA Piper LLP (US) has a well respected nationwide practice that regularly represents venture capital investors and companies. This includes corporate finance advice on all stages of the funding life cycle, from launch through to IPO and beyond, as well as ancillary support in key areas such as IP protection and commercialization. The firm’s international reach also adds weight on cross-border mandates and has proved a draw for major global investors such as Softbank Vision Fund 2. Jeffrey Lehrer leads the team from the firm’s office in Northern Virginia. Other key individuals include Seattle’s Trenton Dykes, who is ‘invaluable to us for strategy and approach to our investment opportunities‘, and Curtis Mo in Silicon Valley, who ‘possesses an incredibly deep knowledge of the venture market and venture deals‘. Charles Torres in New York, Randy Socol in San Diego and Jeffrey Leavitt in Atlanta round out the well spread group. Austin-based former co-head Jenifer Renzenbrink Smith left to join Latham & Watkins LLP.
‘They are incredibly close to the venture community, in the heart of Palo Alto. They do hundreds of top-tier venture deals.’
‘Curtis Mo possesses an incredibly deep knowledge of the venture market and venture deals. His team is also top-notch and very responsive.’
‘Our team at DLA would rank in the top two we’ve ever worked with. Each specialty within the firm that we work with is exceptional at their job. Particularly the M&A team we work with. Trent Dykes is a wizard at his job and we rely on him heavily not only for legal compliance but for strategy. Their communication is top notch as well.’
‘When we’re in a time crunch they will work tirelessly through the night with us. Our experience with other firms has not been such. They are very, very knowledgeable and skilled in their craft. Trent is invaluable to us for strategy and approach to our investment opportunities.’
SoftBank Vision Fund 2
New Enterprise Associates
Invictus Growth Partners
Flock Freight, Inc.
Point72 Ventures Investments
H.I.G. Growth Partners
- Advised New Enterprise Associates, an American-based venture capital firm, as a lead investor in the over $800m funding round for Loanpal, a point-of-sale payment platform for sustainable home solutions.
- Advised 4G Clinical, a randomization and trial supply management (RTSM) company serving the life sciences industry, in a growth equity investment of over $230m from Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
- Advised Flock Safety, a public safety as a service company that builds ethically-designed crime-solving technology, on its $150m Series D fundraise led by Andreessen Horowitz; existing investors Meritech, Bedrock, Matrix Partners and Initialized also participated.
Fenwick & West LLP is praised for its ‘phenomenal‘ depth of experience that covers the full lifecycle of issues that emerging companies can face. The corporate side of the practice contains multiple ‘expert negotiators who only escalate truly material points and otherwise find creative compromises on the rest‘. With over 1,000 venture capital-backed companies on its books, few firms can rival the sheer volume of mandates it handles, particularly in the technology sector where the majority of its clients operate. Many come to the firm through its strong links to leading accelerators and incubators, and of these, several have reached unicorn status. The firm has excellent credentials for assisting later stage companies, many of which have become household names, on multibillion-dollar IPOs. The Silicon Valley-based team is led by Cindy Hess and the ‘extremely knowledgeable‘ Mark Leahy, with strong support from experienced partners such as Gordon Davidson and Michael Esquivel. Clients also rate the ‘brilliant‘ Steven Levine, who has ‘groomed an exceptional young talent pool in the associate ranks‘. Among the associates, clients single out the ‘up-and-coming‘ Will Black, ‘who is meticulously in the weeds on every deal‘, and the ‘responsive‘ Shajee Rizvi.
Cindy Hess; Mark Leahy
Other key lawyers:
Gordon Davidson; Michael Esquivel; Steven Levine
‘The depth of experience of the team is phenomenal. Whether its creative corporate setup, complex M&A, or nuanced intellectual property issues — across the board, I’m one phone call away from talking to an expert in the field who is able to help me.’
‘The key individuals I work with have the rare combination of being highly experienced in their domains, incredibly strong communicators able to explain and unpack the relevant issues with me, while also being creative, coming up with unique ways to tackle challenges.’
‘Experts in the field. Even keeled lawyering. Expert negotiators who only escalate truly material points and otherwise find creative compromises on the rest.’
‘Steve Levine is one of the (if not THE) best lawyer in Silicon Valley. He is brilliant, precise, hard working, available, and has groomed an exceptional young talent pool in the associate ranks (something the other “best” lawyers in the valley consistently fail at). Will Black is one such up-and-coming lawyer who is meticulously in the weeds on every deal.’
‘The team has been responsive and engaging. They do not just say “that is a business decision” and babble pointless legalese. They concisely explain what the considerations are, help us to understand the short and long term implications, and in general provide great advice that allows us to make the right decision. The team I work with is diverse (including men, women, and POC), committed, and great to work with.’
‘Mark Leahy and Shajee Rizvi are particularly standout. Mark Leahy is smart and helpful, extremely knowledgeable but not condescending, and a pleasure to work with. Shajee Rizvi has been responsive and has helped us navigate complex issues on short timelines. I am so thankful for both of them.’
Apeel Technology (dba Apeel Sciences)
GoForward (dba Forward)
1661 (dba GOAT)
- Represented Databricks in its $1.6bn Series H financing, putting Databricks at a $38bn post-money valuation.
- Represented Devoted Health in its $1.15bn Series D financing.
- Represented FTX Trading in its $420m Series B-1 financing, valuing the company at $25bn.
Goodwin has an excellent track record for representing companies and investors throughout all stages of the venture life cycle. The firm’s Boston team is especially noted for its support to clients in the life sciences sector, where it is ‘one of the most respected, most experienced, best staffed, and best equipped‘ firms in the market. This is complemented by good credentials in the technology space which has seen growth in mobility tech, robotics, edtech and blockchain-related work, and where partners such as John Egan and Kenneth Gordon in Boston, and Anthony McCusker in Silicon Valley hold sway. Boston-based partners Mitchell Bloom and Kingsley Taft co-chair the life sciences side of the practice, which benefits from the expertise of partners such as William Collins and the versatile and ‘highly knowledgeable‘ William Schnoor, who is ‘one of the most experienced venture/ biotech lawyers in the industry‘ and also handles technology-related matters.
Mitch Bloom; Kingsley Taft; John Egan; Anthony McCusker; Kenneth Gordon
Other key lawyers:
William Schnoor; William Collins
‘The firm is one of the most respected, most experienced, best staffed, and best equipped in the venture and particularly the biotech/pharma space. Goodwin is our go-to partner for our legal matters, and we continue to be impressed by their thoroughness, their client-centricity, and the advice and support they provide us with.’
‘William Schnoor: one of the most experienced venture/biotech lawyers in the industry; highly knowledgeable, extremely hard-working, always available even at short notice when the need arises, incredible network, and genuinely extremely pleasant to work with.’
Flex Logix Technologies
Oura Health Oy
- Counsel to iBoss, a Boston, MA-based cloud network security platform, in its $145m Series B financing.
- Counsel to Step Mobile, a Palo Alto, CA-based mobile banking platform, in its $50m Series B and its $100m Series C financings.
- Counsel to ElevateBio on its $525m Series C financing to develop and expand its technology platforms, build upon its network of process development and GMP manufacturing capacity, and advance an increasing number of industry partnerships.
Gunderson Dettmer LLP has a ‘very responsive, reasonably priced, practical and business-oriented‘ team, with lawyers who ‘always puts themselves in the position of the client in helping come to decisions and they care deeply about getting to good and practical solutions‘. The firm has established itself as a highly respected mainstay of the US emerging companies ecosystem, currently representing over 2,500 venture-backed companies in their journey from launch. The volume of deals the firm handles each year is difficult to match, with lawyers typically advising on over 1,000 financings for companies and funds respectively. The workload extends beyond the US border, with offices in Beijing and Singapore complementing offices on the East and West Coasts as well as in the Mid-West. The full-service offering includes advice on IP and technology transactions, fund formation and executive compensation, and extends to a wide range of sub-sectors within the technology and life sciences arenas. Marc Dupre and David Young lead the team from Boston and Silicon Valley respectively. Other names of note include Richard Hesp in Boston, Mike Heath in Los Angeles and the ‘responsive, friendly, and business-minded‘ Nick Harley in Ann Arbor. Silicon Valley-based founding partners Scott Dettmer and Robert Gunderson remain esteemed figures in the market.
Marc Dupre; David Young
Other key lawyers:
Richard Hesp; Robert Gunderson; Scott Dettmer; Mike Heath; Nick Harley
‘Gunderson’s team is very responsive, reasonably priced, practical and business-oriented, has deep market expertise and fields quite a diverse team.’
‘Gunderson’s team always puts themselves in the position of the client in helping come to decisions and they care deeply about getting to good and practical solutions.’
‘Gunderson has a very hands on, high touch approach to their work with us. There is a sense that Gunderson is invested in our success.’
‘Nick Harley is a knowledgeable and amiable attorney. His calm demeanor and solution oriented approach is extremely comforting as our company grows and matures.’
‘Knowledgeable, efficient team.’
‘Nick Harley is responsive, friendly, and business-minded.’
Altimeter, NEA, Thrive
Andreessen Horowitz, D1 Capital
- Represented Cityblock Health, a startup improving health care for low-income patients with complex medical needs, in its Series C and Series D financings led by Tiger Global and SoftBank, respectively. The C round was a total of $708m and the D was $400m.
- Assisted OneTrust, a developer of privacy management software, in raising $300m in a Series C round of funding led by TCV as well as a Series C extension of $210m, bringing the company’s valuation to $5.3bn.
- Represented BlockFi, a cryptoasset service which provides credit services to markets with limited access to simple products like a savings account, in its $350m Series D financing, led by Hudson River Trading, The Venture Collective and Breyer Capital.
Latham & Watkins LLP combines a domestic and international presence to provide clients with an almost unrivalled spread of expertise. This includes advice at every stage of the investment journey, from early stage startups through to SPAC combinations, M&A and IPOs. The US practice expanded with the opening of a new office in Austin, which included the recruitment from DLA Piper LLP (US) of highly rated partner Jenifer Renzenbrink Smith, who has strong connections to the local venture capital and emerging companies market. The group maintained good momentum for 2021, advising on over 420 financings with an aggregate value of more than $33.6bn. This included advice to Joby Aviation, a manufacturer of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, on a $75m investment by Uber Technologies and a subsequent $5bn SPAC combination with Reinvent Technology Partners. Benjamin Potter and John Chory (‘the best in the business‘) jointly lead the practice from Silicon Valley and Boston respectively. Boston-based Emily Taylor is ‘an absolute rockstar‘; meanwhile Mark Roeder in Silicon Valley, Cheston Larson in San Diego and Christopher Shoff in Los Angeles are all key figures within the team.
John Chory; Benjamin Potter
Other key lawyers:
Cheston Larson; Christopher Shoff; Emily Taylor; Mark Roeder; Jenifer Renzenbrink Smith
‘They are always there for us. I couldn’t do this without them in our corner.’
‘John Chory and Peter Prial are the best in the business.’
‘Team is very practical and pragmatic.’
‘Emily Taylor is an absolute rockstar. Both a great lawyer but provides clear and concise business advice with a clear description of options and the legal (and business) pros and cons of each.’
Aligos Therapeutics, Inc.
Imago BioSciences, Inc.
Meritech Capital Partners
Rent the Runway
Revolution Medicines, Inc.
Morrison Foerster has a ‘super capable‘ team that handles an impressive range of work. The firm represents an ever-expanding list of emerging companies from a diverse spread of sectors in the technology and life sciences spheres. Its early-stage team also benefits from strong relationships with market-leading incubators and accelerators. This is combined with an extremely good track record for advising fund investors, who leverage off the firm’s impressive cross-border reach. Relationships with global funds such as SoftBank reflect the firm’s status in this regard. Clients particularly rate Murray Indick in San Francisco, whose ‘mastery of how the business of a start up runs from the board room, to fundraising to advising on corporate matters, is just stellar‘. Indick co-chairs the group with Steve Rowles in San Diego, who has over 30 years’ experience in the market. Susan Mac Cormac in San Francisco stands out for her expertise in energy and clean technology, while Silicon Valley partners Timothy Harris and Mike Krigbaum are ‘good people who care about you as a person and your objectives‘.
Murray Indick; Steve Rowles
Other key lawyers:
Timothy Harris; Susan Mac Cormac
‘Every person I have worked with at MoFo has been top notch for their level, so my overall impression is that MoFo is super capable as a firm, that they have real depth in many areas including in privacy and IP and that their start up practice is the best I have ever worked with. When other founders ask me, I always recommend MoFo and Murray Indick in particular. No weaknesses that I can see.’
‘Murray Indick is the best lawyer I have ever worked with over the last 20 years of being in start ups. Murray’s mastery of how the business of a start up runs from the board room, to fundraising to advising on corporate matters is just stellar. I can’t recommend Murray enough. Kristen Mathews is a superb privacy lawyer. Kristen was able to quickly identify all the potential challenges and then help us solve each one of them. She was really instrumental in helping us close that deal, I recommend her very highly. Brad Kondracki is great on all the detail of all the deals. Super fast, great judgement on what needs our input and what he can just do himself. Good negotiator with the counter-parties counsel.’
‘Tim Harris and Mike Krigbaum: practical advice, commercial-minded lawyering and good people who care about you as a person and your objectives.’
‘I think the strength in the fund formation group is Murray Indick’s knowledge base and experience as a former GP himself. He provides not only technical expertise but practical business advice that is always well received. Being able to get a read on the current market conditions and best practices is key for a small firm like us.’
‘As mentioned above, Murray has been an invaluable resource for his guidance and business advice as much as he is for the legal execution (which is a commodity that any firm can provide). What I value is his options and his suggestions that are based on his own experiences and those of clients in similar spots. Brandon Galovan has been a great junior on Murray’s team and very responsive and also good at discerning between letter of the law and spirit of the law and the practical application to our business.’
Aventine Property Group
- Advised SoftBank and SoftBank Vision Fund II on nearly $2bn in financings.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has an extremely experienced domestic and global emerging companies practice that is particularly well known for its company-side advice. Clients benefit from a full-service offering that covers all the bases, including corporate finance, IP, regulatory, contentious and transactional matters. The firm regularly strikes up relationships with emerging companies at the earliest stages due to strong connections with major incubators and accelerators such as Y Combinator. Such relationships typically remain through a company’s entire life cycle, with clients such as the payments provider Stripe becoming major global players in their own right. Coupled with this is an increasing number of mandates for venture capital funds, including Coatue Management, D1 Capital Partners and Goodwater Capital. Key partners include the highly rated Amanda Galton and Annette Hurst in San Francisco; John Bautista, Harold Yu, Mitchell Zuklie and Stephen Venuto in Silicon Valley; and Josh Pollick in Santa Monica. The team continues to grow, and recently recruited up-and-coming partner Yael Perl from Fenwick & West LLP in Silicon Valley.
Shawn Atkinson; Josh Pollick
Other key lawyers:
Mitchell Zuklie; John Bautista; Amanda Galton; Stephen Venuto; Annette Hurst
D1 Capital Partners
Virta Health Corp.
Bessemer Venture Partners
- Advised Coatue Management on $11.35bn worth of investments.
- Advised Deel, which developed a payroll platform intended to reimagine payouts for businesses working with global remote contractors, on its: (i) Series C funding round; and (ii) Series D funding round.
- Advised Volta Industries, an electric vehicle charging station operator, on its $1.4bn SPAC merger.
WilmerHale has long had a major presence in the the US start-up market, with a particularly strong reputation for representing emerging companies. The team’s ‘subject matter expertise and turnaround time‘ makes it an attractive choice for companies (and an increasing number of funds) operating throughout the technology sphere. Recent areas of activity have included fintech, energy and cleantech, cybersecurity, robotics and digital media. This is combined with a good understanding of the life sciences and medical devices industries. The practice has a good track record for major angel, venture and strategic financings, as well as bringing companies to sale and IPO. New York-based co-chair Gary Schall is praised for his ‘surgical precision‘, and being an ‘inexhaustible repository of knowledge and scenarios‘. He leads the team with Silicon Valley’s Daniel Zimmermann. Boston’s Mick Bain and Lia Der Marderosian are particularly active on the life sciences side.
Gary Schall; Daniel Zimmermann; Mick Bain; Lia Der Marderosian
‘Subject-matter expertise and turn-around time’
‘Gary Schall is the best lawyer I have ever worked with. Surgical precision, inexhaustible repository of knowledge and scenarios.’
Full Speed Automation (Vitesse Automation)
General Catalyst Partners
RA Capital Management
The Lifetime Value
Wellington Management Company
Workrise (formerly RigUp)
- Advised GentiBio on its $157m Series A financing round.
- Advised DriveWealth Holdings on its $450m Series D financing round.
- Advised Workrise (formerly RigUp) on its $300m Series E financing round.
The core of Dentons‘ US venture capital and emerging companies practice works out of its dedicated venture tech centre in New York, which works closely with other international hubs, as well as offices in New Jersey, Palo Alto and San Diego. The firm is praised for its ‘capable team that can help companies from inception all the way through exit‘, while also being ‘highly knowledgeable on best practices for venture capital financing rounds for startups as well as for the VC investors‘. In addition to the corporate finance aspects, clients benefit from lawyers with good IP and regulatory expertise that covers both technology and life sciences. Victor Boyajian heads the global practice, which also includes Chris Errico, the ‘efficient and effective‘ co-head of the firm’s US Startup Program. Clients also consider Ilan Katz ‘a brilliant attorney who negotiates masterfully‘. New Jersey’s James Jasaitis is also very experienced in this space.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Errico; Ilan Katz; Adrian Stewart
‘Hard working dedicated team. They know their stuff, and represent their clients with excellence.’
‘Ilan Katz. He’s smart, dedicated and loyal. Mr. Katz represents my firm, just as he would were it his own. He’s a brilliant attorney who negotiates masterfully, and knows how and where to compromise to get deals over the finish line.’
‘Capable team that can help companies from inception all the way through exit. Deep practice with access to expertise across every area important to a growing company.’
‘Chris Errico is the best.’
‘The team is highly knowledgeable on best practices for venture capital financing rounds for startups as well as for the VC investors. They work well with opposing counsel and in proper diligence of the startups. Their teams collaborate effectively without the need to reiterate work items and thus keep billing in line. It’s never been a learning issue for them when presented with a challenge. They know what they are doing.’
‘Chris Errico is the lead partner on our account and he is one of the best attorneys I have ever worked with. And I have worked with a lot of them. Chris knows the venture and start up world very well, encompasses all the contract and legal areas we need. When he doesn’t, he knows which other partner to bring in quickly and effectively. He is efficient and attentive. Not to mention very personable and thus talking with him about deals is thorough but easy enough. We’ve been working together for several years now and so he knows what we need out of each deal and that makes things even simpler.’
You & Mr Jones
Edison Venture Partners
- Represented Hummingbird Ventures in the largest ever announced acquisition of a tech startup in Turkey.
- Represented Misfits Market in its US$85m Series B investment round led by Valor Equity Partners with participation from Greenoaks Capital, Third Kind Venture Capital, and Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary-founded Sound Ventures.
- Represented Daimler in its Series B investment into Platform Science, a developer of a fleet management platform designed to streamline the process of logistics.
Hogan Lovells US LLP stands out for its impressive national and international footprint, allowing for a broad range of cross-border investment transactions. The practice is more weighted to the investor side of the venture capital spectrum, although certain offices such as Silicon Valley also have strong company client bases. The firm has good credentials on the life sciences side and represents several major venture funds and emerging companies, offering a cradle-to-grave service that goes beyond the corporate finance side. The group was boosted by the arrival of corporate partners Barry Burgdorf and Andrew Strong, from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Houston, who both have good connections to the technology and life sciences industries. Nate Gallon and Mahvesh Qureshi co-lead the practice from Silicon Valley and Washington DC respectively, with DC-based partner Kevin Clayton also considered ‘responsive; gives thoughtful advice, is very knowledgeable and has a good sense of the market‘.
Nate Gallon; Mahvesh Qureshi
Other key lawyers:
Kevin Clayton; Barry Burgdorf; Andrew Strong
‘The Hogan team does an excellent job providing detail-oriented legal advice that is practical and business-oriented.’
‘Kevin Clayton excels at quickly digesting complex issues and explaining them in ways which are accessible and focused on how to get to sensible business outcomes – all while being calm, responsive, and just a pleasure to work with.’
‘Hogan Lovells has strength in the life sciences industry, including IP, corporate and regulatory.’
‘Kevin Clayton is responsive, gives thoughtful advice, is very knowledgeable and has a good sense of the market.’
ISTARI Global Limited
Norwest Venture Partners
Fall Line Capital
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Prime Movers Lab
Engrail Therapeutics, Inc.
Tropos Technologies, Inc.
Ford Motor Company
- Advised NovaSignal, a medical technology and data company specializing in the assessment and management of brain health, on a $37m Series C1 preferred equity round of financing.
- Advised ISTARI, a global cybersecurity platform, on its investment in the $50m Series C preferred equity financing of Sonrai Security, a leader in public cloud security.
- Advising Walmart, an American multinational retail corporation, on its joint venture with Ribbit Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, to create a new fintech startup.
Jones Day has an ‘extremely responsive and knowledgeable team that truly understands what is going on in the market‘. The well-balanced practice represents a good mix of emerging companies and investors, with expertise across all stages of the company’s life cycle. The team is particularly active on later stage mandates, including advice on high-value financings, IPOs and mergers. The firm’s industry knowledge is equally broad, with domestic and cross-border technology, healthcare, energy and manufacturing-related deals all featuring on the agenda. Global private equity co-head Michael Earley leads the team from Chicago. An experienced team on the West Coast includes Taylor Stevens and Cameron Reese (‘a master of details‘) in San Diego, and in Silicon Valley, the ‘good humored and affable‘ Timothy Curry, who is ‘a tenacious advocate when necessary‘. Clients also single out the ‘very efficient and responsive‘ Lara Pender, who divides her time between Detroit and Silicon Valley.
Other key lawyers:
Timothy Curry; Taylor Stevens; Lara Pender; Cameron Reese
‘Extremely responsive and knowledgeable team that truly understands what is going on in the market.’
‘Lara Pender is very efficient and responsive professional. She leverages associates while providing strategic guidance.’
‘With Jones Day, I know that I will always come first as a client. Sometimes that means that they are high-touch, making sure things are moving along. Sometimes that means taking a backseat and letting my team do what they’re good at. But either way, I trust their judgment of involvement. They are also pragmatic and experienced, so I know that advice is centered around my business, based on what’s worked well before. Jones Day also was happy to work for a fixed fee when it made sense for both parties.’
‘Tim Curry: Tim is good humored and affable, but a tenacious advocate when necessary. He is supportive and never belittling, and always willing to listen and adjust to find solutions that are tailored to our situation. He’s not looking to just churn through the deal and move on. He wants to build successful businesses and relationships. Cameron Reese: Cameron is a master of details. He can see the big picture and know what small details need to change to have major effects. He is efficient and effective in his drafting, getting to the point without unnecessary language.’
Koch Strategic Platforms
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Brookfield Asset Management
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)
Pelion Venture Partners
- Represented Koch Disruptive Technologies in connection with its investment in the Series E round of San Francisco-based fintech company Upgrade at a $3.4bn pre-money valuation.
- Advised CDPQ on the $54m Series C financing of Jupiter, the global leader in climate analytics for resilience and risk management.
- Represented Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in connection with the $200m Series B financing of its portfolio company OneStream Software at a $6bn valuation.
King & Spalding LLP comes highly recommended by clients who describe ‘a well-oiled machine, providing efficient service and advising on the most up-to-date market practices‘. The group is firmly embedded in the emerging companies space where it represents an impressive mix of issuers and investors. In the case of the former, clients appreciate the ‘very collaborative‘ approach and for being ‘willing to work with emerging companies on fees‘. On the technology and software front, the firm has been particularly active on fintech and insurtech investments, while also retaining strong credentials in early stage life sciences and healthcare. The team is jointly led by Tom Knox in Northern Virginia, Laura Bushnell in Silicon Valley, and the ‘extremely knowledgeable, responsive, and efficient‘ Daniel Kahan in Washington DC. Clients also rate Linda Lorenat in Silicon Valley (‘extremely knowledgeable, diligent and generally an invaluable strategic partner‘) and in Northern Virginia, Charles Katz who ‘provides excellent, pragmatic advice‘.
Tom Knox; Laura Bushnell; Daniel Kahan
Other key lawyers:
Linda Lorenat; Charles Katz
‘Very collaborative – willing to work with emerging companies on fees – solid knowledge of the space, what is market etc.’
‘Charlie Katz is excellent. Very knowledgeable and practical in his approach. Understands the early state company dynamic and is flexible on billing arrangements. Maintains a good business understanding, focusing on what really matters. He also provides excellent, pragmatic advice.’
‘The team is a well-oiled machine, providing efficient service and advising on the most up-to-date market practices.’
‘Dan Kahan is a best-in class attorney. He is extremely knowledgeable, responsive, and efficient. His ability to stay up to date on market trends and comparative transactions is second-to-none.’
‘We work very closely with Linda Lorenat, who supports most of our investment transactions. Linda is extremely knowledgeable, diligent and generally an invaluable strategic partner for us – educating, guiding, patient, flexible, fully dependable and timely.’
Capital One Ventures
Bessemer Venture Partners
HeartFlow Holding, Inc.
Avatar Growth Fund
Palmetto Clean Technology
- Represented Steadfast Capital Ventures in multiple investments over the past year, including Pipefy’s $75m Series C investment, Algolia’s $150m Series D funding, Groww’s $251m Series E financing, JumpCloud’s $225m Series F funding, Lucid’s Secondary Market financing, Lyst’s $85m Series E investment and Primer Technologies’ $110m Series C financing
- Represented Capital One Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF), in numerous venture capital investments, including its investment in the $17m Series A financing of Evinced Inc., a software company that aims to help companies make their websites and software accessible to people with disabilities.
- Advised NewView Capital with its venture capital investments including the $105m Series C financing of Human Interests, a 401(k) provider that makes it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to help their employees save for retirement.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is a popular choice with clients, praised for its ability to offer ‘the experience of a boutique firm with the scale and depth of a global provider‘. The bulk of the firm’s emerging business and technology practice is based on the East Coast, with highly rated practice head Steven Cohen working from Princeton. The firm has a strong emphasis on the healthcare and life sciences sectors but is active in other growth areas including ag-tech, fintech, digital and social media, software, telecoms, renewable energy, cloud-based and e-commerce companies. This encompasses advice to emerging companies and venture funds. Other key partners include Michael Conza and Julio Vega in Boston, Princeton’s Benjamin Novak (‘truly meets us where we are, gone above and beyond, and invested alongside us‘), and Jeffrey Bodle in Philadelphia, who is ‘excellent in proactively managing our corporate legal issues‘. Silicon Valley-based partner John Park is the main contact on the West Coast.
Steven Cohen; Michael Conza
Other key lawyers:
Julio Vega; Benjamin Novak; Jeff Bodle; John Park
‘The team is always ready to jump on our issues and get a quick understanding on what needs to be completed within the required timeline. You can count on the Morgan Lewis team to support your business. No matter the issue they always have the resources to provide advice on any topic that impacts our business.’
‘Jeff Bodle is excellent in proactively managing our corporate legal issues. Always available and providing sound opinions and advice. The same goes for Patrick Rehfield; can always count on great knowledge and advice. Annie Martinez provides timely and sound employment legal advice.’
‘For me, Morgan Lewis has offered the experience of a boutique firm with the scale and depth of a global provider.’
‘Ben Novak has marshaled the right resources at the right time for us, and he has been mindful of our budgetary constraints as a self-funded earlier stage company. Ben has also been generous with his time and his network. Ben truly meets us where we are, gone above and beyond, and invested alongside us. This approach leads to long term mutual commitment, and we couldn’t be happier with the results that we achieved to date.’
Samsung Venture Investment Corporation
New Science Ventures
- Represented Fanatics, an online sports retailer, in its $325m equity financing from investors including Jay-Z and his entertainment company Roc Nation, Insight Partners, Eldridge, TWG Sports Media & Entertainment, Major League Baseball, SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund, and Silver Lake.
- Represented Premise Data, a market intelligence platform that blends machine learning with human intelligence, making it possible to gather and analyze real-time data from a curated and trusted global network, in its $85m Series E financing led by WestCap Group with participation from NightDragon, Winslow Capital, DRW, Vista Credit Partners, Valor Equity Partners, 8VC, and Tao Capital.
- Represented New Science Ventures and Third Point in the $114m financing of Ventyx Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing a broad pipeline of potent and selective small-molecule drug candidates to treat inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP has an active emerging companies practice that is particularly busy on the company side. Issuer clients come from across a wide variety of sectors including fintech, big data and security, AI, autonomous vehicles, semiconductors and healthtech. The firm has a long track record for helping emerging companies to unicorn status and beyond. More recently it has made a push towards assisting businesses from underrepresented communities, and established the Black-Owned Startup Support Lab in late 2020, which has provided free advice to over 30 startups since its inception. The highly experienced Stanley Pierson leads the emerging growth and venture capital group from Silicon Valley. Other key members include Ronald Fleming, who leads the New York side of the practice, San Francisco-based M&A co-chair Justin Hovey, San Diego partner Christian Salaman, Silicon Valley’s Allison Leopold Tilley and Jorge del Calvo, and Steven Kaplan in Washington DC.
Other key lawyers:
Ronald Fleming; Justin Hovey; Christian Salaman; Allison Leopold Tilley; Steven Kaplan
- Represented Shield AI in raising $210m to expand beyond manufacturing drones to building larger aircraft to support more complicated situations.
- Represented Netskope, a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) leader, in connection with its new $300m investment round led by existing investor ICONIQ Growth.
Choate, Hall & Stewart has an experienced investor-side practice that represents several highly active venture and private equity funds. The Boston-based firm has good credentials in a range of life sciences and technology-related sectors including big data and analytics, cloud computing, fintech, cybersecurity, health, robotics, and the internet of things. Fund clients, which include 5AM Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Vertical Venture Partners, also benefit from the firm’s transactional expertise, where ‘the team’s experience, responsiveness, flexibility, practical advice and collaborative nature are beyond compare‘. The ‘terrific‘ practice head Brian Goldstein ‘makes the cross department interactions fairly seamless‘, particularly with key areas such as IP, where partner Charles Lyon is valued for his ‘ability to take complex science and distill it to allow us to make important business and IP decisions‘. Corporate partner Tobin Sullivan is also highly active in this space.
Other key lawyers:
‘I have been working with the Choate team led by Brian Goldstein for over ten years. They are our top choice for transactional and IP services for our private equity practice. The team’s experience, responsiveness, flexibility, practical advice and collaborative nature are beyond compare – and we have worked with all the top firms. Brian’s accessibility, style and knowledge set him apart from other partners. The firm offers comprehensive legal service, and Brian makes the cross department interactions fairly seamless. Communication is always excellent across partners and associates.’
‘As above Brian Goldstein is terrific. In addition partner Charles Lyons is equally talented and responsive. I have worked with him over the last ten years also. His ability to take complex science and distil it to allow us to make important business and IP decisions is what we most value in Charles.’
Bain Capital Life Sciences
Cobro Ventures Opportunity Fund
Eventide Asset Management
Surveyor Capital (Citadel)
Transformation Capital Partners
Vertical Venture Partners
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has an impressive venture capital and emerging companies practice working out of its California offices. The firm is less focused on advising multiple early stage companies, instead taking a more selective approach to mid-to-late stage investments. This includes domestic and cross-border transactions, where it represents investors and issuers on major financings, M&As and capital markets exits. The versatile group has expertise across a range of industries, including pharmaceutical, media, entertainment, technology, telecoms and gaming, and has recently been busy in growing niches such as ad-tech, and social and mobile gaming. Key partners include Ryan Murr, who co-heads the firm’s San Francisco office, and fellow San Francisco partner Stewart McDowell, who co-chairs the firm’s capital markets practice group.
Other key lawyers:
Ryan Murr; Stewart McDowell
Age of Learning
The Chernin Group / TCG Capital Management
TCG Capital Management
March Venture Capital Management Service
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP has a large and experienced team that works with companies from inception through to exit. Clients, which also include major investors and venture funds, benefit from the firm’s broad international footprint, and the team is regularly involved in outbound and inbound investments. Recent mandates have included transactions in growing fields such as fintech and artificial intelligence, and lawyers also have good track records in life sciences, media and entertainment. LiLing Poh chairs the emerging growth and venture capital group from Silicon Valley and has good credentials for debt and equity financings and M&A. Silicon Valley’s Donald Reinke, who has almost 40 years’ experience in the market, and Michael Sanders in Los Angeles are other key partners in California. Business and finance vice-chair Matthew Mohn in Pittsburgh also assists a mix of companies, funds and corporate venture arms.
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Mohn; Donald Reinke; Michael Sanders; Craig Lilly
Greenberg Traurig LLP has an expanding and versatile venture capital group that is praised for its ‘cross functional work‘ and ability to field ‘very experienced‘ points of contact. The life sciences side of the practice was boosted with a team of lawyers from the Boston office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, including Prashant Girinath and David Harburger, who regularly assist emerging companies on the IP transactional side. Other key partners include Boston-based co-heads Chinh Pham and Emily Ladd-Kravitz, who have expertise in a wide range of emerging technologies. Robert Grossman, who chairs the Israel practice group and divides his time between Miami and Tel Aviv, has ‘great understanding of deal dynamics‘. Miami corporate partner John Owens is a ‘go-to on corporate work‘. Corporate partners Bradley Jacobson in Boston and Barbara Jones in Los Angeles are other names to note.
Emily Ladd-Kravitz; Chinh Pham
Other key lawyers:
Bradley Jacobson; Barbara Jones; Robert Grossman; John Owens
‘Cross functional work, very experienced point of contact that controls the workflow process (as opposed to junior account manager at other firms).’
‘Bob Grossman – great understanding of deal dynamics, enabler.’
‘John Owens has been our go-to on corporate work. He’s great.’
Andreessen Horowitz Fund IV
Memic Innovative Surgery
- Represented Involvio in connection with its sale to Cisco Systems.
- Represented Andreessen Horowitz in an equity investment of $50m into Translation Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a United Masters (United Masters), with Apple, Alphabet Holdings, and 21st Century Fox American as co-investors in the transaction.
- Advised Israeli medical device company Memic Innovative Surgery on the completion of its $96m Series D Financing Round.
Katten has a comprehensive practice that represents a mix of entrepreneurs and issuer companies, as well as venture and hedge funds, corporate investors and family offices. The full-service offering includes advice on initial company launches and seed capital, through to larger value equity and debt financings, M&A and IPOs. The firm has expertise across many industries, with a particular emphasis on the technology sector. Matthew Brown, head of entrepreneurial ventures, leads the team from Chicago, where the majority of the practice is based. Fellow partner Jeffrey Patt has an extremely active presence in the market and over 30 years’ experience representing investors and growth companies. Other names to note include M&A and private equity co-head Christopher Atkinson, David Kravitz in New York, and Daniel Render in Los Angeles, who also has a good track record advising on sports-related ventures.
Other key lawyers:
Jeffrey Patt; Daniel Render; Christopher Atkinson; David Kravitz
BBH Capital Partners
Deerfield Capital Management
Exelon Corporation/Constellation Technology Ventures
Paragon Biosciences Emalex Capital
- Represented BBH Capital Partners in a $3m recapitalization investment in Chime Solutions (‘Chime’), a provider of customer contact services and one of the largest and fastest growing minority-owned businesses in the United States.
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. has an experienced group that regularly advises on early and seed-stage investments in the life sciences, healthcare and technology sectors, assisting both issuers and investors. Client support extends to later stages of the journey, built on strong track records in financings, IPOs and M&As. This is additional to advice on day-to-day matters such as IP transactions, regulatory and compliance. Start-ups and emerging companies also benefit from a fixed-fee program to assist with business launches. The practice is jointly chaired by Daniel DeWolf in New York, who also chairs the technology group, Lewis Geffen in Boston, who is particularly experienced advising life sciences, medical device and medtech companies, and Jeremy Glaser in San Diego, who has strong credentials for life sciences, technology and clean energy.
Dan DeWolf; Lewis Geffen; Jeremy Glaser
ClearSky Security Fund I
- Representing Gotham Greens as outside general counsel since the company’s formation, advising not only on financing matters, but real estate, labor and employment, tax and other legal and business issues.
Perkins Coie LLP has a well regarded team that is commended for its ‘knowledge of the VC investing environment to help us focus on what matters, protect the company, and close transactions‘. The firm is particularly active in the technology sector with a strong track record in diverse areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, clean technology, fintech and autonomous vehicles. The firm has expanded beyond its Seattle origins, including a new office in Austin, and the emerging companies team is led out of Silicon Valley by Troy Foster and Matt Oshinsky. Michael Glaser and Fiona Brophy in San Francisco are other names to note. Clients also praise Lee Schindler in Seattle for having ‘a way of always staying on top of the issues‘.
Troy Foster; Matt Oshinsky
Other key lawyers:
Michael Glaser; Fiona Brophy; Lee Schindler
‘I really appreciate the team’s knowledge of the VC investing environment to help us focus on what matters, protect the company, and close transactions.’
‘Lee Schindler has a way of always staying on top of the issues, and being a resource when we need strategic, senior advice on stickier issues. He is a great trusted advisor to the company.’
‘Michael Avent: junior partner on our account. Mike is extremely responsive and has really helped balance the company, getting the timely advice we need and pushing to drive turnaround to meet demanding short timelines. Jamie Nicole Johnson, associate, has built a knowledge and familiarity of our company, so that we have the confidence that we’re getting the advice tailored to our situation, with a focus on delivering on time quality work.’
Informed Data Systems d.b.a. OneDrop
Zipstorm d.b.a. SeekOut
nZero Labs, Inc. dba On Deck
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth has an active team working out of offices throughout California. The firm represents entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies, as well as a broad range of investors, including venture capital funds and corporations. Company clients come from across a mix of sectors and industries, including food and e-commerce, transport, technology, gaming, life sciences and healthcare. Mark Skaist and Ryan Azlein jointly lead the team from Los Angeles and have extremely good credentials guiding clients through the venture capital journey. Azad Virk is also singled out as ‘an excellent attorney who provides practical legal support and counsel‘.
Mark Skaist; Ryan Azlein
Other key lawyers:
‘Azad Virk has worked with the company for many years. He is an excellent attorney who provides practical legal support and counsel. Azad is very knowledgeable and always willing to help.’
Act One Ventures
Turtle Rock Studios
Investment Group of Santa Barbara
- Assisted Restaurant365 on a sale of Series D Preferred Stock for net proceeds of approximately $101m.
- Represented Super73, an American electric vehicle brand, in the closing of a $20m investment from Volition Capital, a Boston-based growth equity firm.
- Represented Arrowroot Capital on its lead investment as part of the $28m Series C Preferred Stock financing round for Tulip.