Venture capital and emerging companies in United States
Cooley LLP has an 'excellent' practice that has been a leading presence in the market for many years. The firm's offering extends well beyond its Silicon Valley origins, with clients benefiting from a strong domestic and international network. This includes advice to entrepreneurs and emerging companies, as well as venture capital and corporate venture funds. The experienced team handles matters at every stage of the value chain, from initial seed financings through to IPOs and beyond. Boston-based partner Pat Mitchell co-chairs the global emerging growth companies practice. Other key individuals include Mark Tanoury and the extremely well-regarded Sale Kwon in Palo Alto, Michael Lincoln in Reston, Peter Werner and Rachel Proffitt in San Francisco, and Adam Dinow in the New York office.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Tanoury; Sale Kwon; Michael Lincoln; Peter Werner; Rachel Proffitt; Adam Dinow
SoftBank Vision Fund
Quantum Energy Partners
General Catalyst Partners
- Advised Instacart, the North American leader in online grocery, on its recent $325m fundraising round, which was led by DST Global and General Catalyst, with existing investor D1 Capital Partners participating.
- Advised General Catalyst Partners on its $600m investment in online payment platform Stripe.
- Advised Andreessen Horowitz on its investment in the $400m Series E financing of Samsara, a developer of internet of things-based sensors and cameras.
Fenwick & West LLP fields a team that 'is absolutely at the top of their game' and is commended for being 'very in the know on tech: who matters, what to expect, and what's going on'. Highly rated co-chairs Cynthia Hess and Mark Leahy lead the team from the firm's Silicon Valley base. Its industry coverage skews towards the technology, with a client base of start-ups and established companies covering all corners of the market. Roughly a quarter of the client base is in life sciences, and digital health (Fitbit and Peloton being two high-profile examples of the latter type to have achieved "established" status). Other key partners in Silicon Valley include Gordon Davidson, Michael Esquivel, and Mark Stevens. Michael Brown and Samuel Angus are contacts in the San Francisco office.
Cynthia Hess; Mark Leahy
Other key lawyers:
Gordon Davidson; Michael Esquivel; Mark Stevens; Michael Brown; Samuel Angus
‘Michael Esquivel and his team are top notch in every way – from responsiveness to client needs to expertise relevant to our business as we grow. They are excellent partners around our table.’
‘Michael Esquivel and team: Ryan McRobert, Miriam dela Cruz-Rice, Noah Johnson, and Shawn Lampron on the corporate team are always available and ready to help, anytime, anywhere, when I need them. That knowledge is exceedingly reassuring and makes them all stand out for me, as one team. But beyond that, their expertise is reassuring, as it means they (we!) are always in a strong position versus the other side of the table.’
‘Very in the know on tech – who matters, what to expect, and what’s going on. Very good at personal relationships with founder and company. Capable of supporting huge enterprises with their own legal teams, and first time founders who are totally lost.’
‘Intimate understanding of the players and how we can expect things to go. Good understanding of my business stakeholders and creative at getting us to a solution. Practical – not a third party adviser but someone who actually thinks through what the company cares about and helps make it happen.’
‘The closeness of the partner and their interest in the actual business and well being of all major actors.’
‘Michael Esquivel and Stefano Quintini. Both go above and beyond and both are best in class.’
‘The team is absolutely at the top of their game. Fenwick’s extensive client base, from the Fortune 500 to cutting edge innovative tech companies, means that they are involved in many of the newsworthy transactions that occur in their unique backyard – Silicon Valley.’
‘I firmly believe in the adage that you hire lawyers not firms. Without the expert practitioners at Fenwick the firm would not be able to build the solid client relationships. What is clearly evident is the “service culture.” Not only do they say they they will handle a matter right away, they actually do it. Our corporate partner at Fenwick is Sam Angus. My needs often require immediate assistance by my outside counsel. It is that service orientation that I respect and rely on in Sam.’
‘Fenwick’s corporate and venture capital practice is filled with extraordinarily experienced attorneys. Michael Esquivel has seen and done it all. His knowledge and judgment are unparalleled.’
‘Michael Esquivel is one of the quickest legal minds I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He has incredible depth of experience, is up to date on what’s “market” in the venture-backed world, and brings an ethical lens first to every decision.’
‘Fenwick has a very knowledgeable team about corporate law, stock compensation, and privacy. They are very responsive and work quickly when requested.’
‘The corporate team understands well how to provide legal counsel to startups.’
‘Mark Stevens has decades of experience coupled with intelligent, strategic thinking. Patrick Grilli is practical, hardworking, and a great partner of the company.’
‘The Fenwick team is attentive, understands our business, and gives us practical advice that makes sense for our growth stage. I particularly appreciate how much broad knowledge they have about the VC and M&A markets, so I can feel confident about the terms we are getting compared to our peers.’
‘It feels like a true business partnership, not just a transactional relationship. I feel they understand our priorities and do their best to get us what we need at a high value. I also appreciate the diversity of our Fenwick teams, across multiple dimensions; this reflects our in-house team and aligns with our culture and values.’
Samsara Networks, Inc.
Apeel Technology, Inc. (dba Apeel Sciences)
Dream Sports, Inc.
- Represented Samsara Networks, Inc. in its latest $400m round of funding, bringing Samsara’s valuation to $5.4bn.
- Represented Databricks in its $400m Series F investment.
- Represented SentinelOne in its $267m Series F funding led by Tiger Global Management.
Goodwin 'gives a new meaning to full-service', providing an impressive breadth of service to companies and investors in the technology and life sciences arenas. This includes an increasing amount of work for private equity funds investing further down the value chain. The firm's experience includes early stage financings, general corporate mandates, M&A, and high-value capital markets exits. The 'incredibly knowledgeable' group is jointly led by Anthony McCusker in Silicon Valley, together with Boston life sciences experts Kingsley Taft and Mitchell Bloom, and technology and emerging companies specialists Kenneth Gordon and John Egan. William Schnoor is also singled out for making 'the best introductions to co-investors, LPs and angel investors', and William Collins is very strong in life sciences-related VC work.
Mitch Bloom; Kingsley Taft; John Egan; Anthony McCusker; Kenneth Gordon
Other key lawyers:
William Schnoor; William Collins
‘Goodwin gives a new meaning to “full-service.” In addition to covering the entire ‘legal stack’ they go deeper into their advice and support than any other firm we have ever worked with.’
‘Every person we have ever engaged with was incredibly knowledgeable and very detail oriented. They are also always on time with their work and you never have to chase them like we do with other firms.’
‘Most of our engagement has been with Bill Schnoor. In addition to proactively asking about our needs, Bill has made the best introductions to co-investors, LPs and angel investors that are aligned with our investment strategy. No other lawyer has EVER made the high quality intro’s that Bill has made to our firm.’
1debit.com, Inc. (dba “Chime”)
iTeos Therapeutics Inc.
Before Brands, Inc.
Index Ventures LLP (“Index Ventures”)
- Advised Scopely, an interactive entertainment platform intended to create and publish a diverse portfolio of immersive content, on its $340m Series E financing.
- Advised EQRx on its launch and $200m Series A financing to create novel, patent-protected medicines at prices that are more affordable for people and sustainable for healthcare systems.
- Advised Toast, a restaurant management platform designed to simplify and streamline restaurant operations, on its $400m Series F financing.
Gunderson Dettmer LLP
Gunderson Dettmer LLP has a top-notch reputation in the market, fielding 'a team of smart attorneys who make practical suggestions and get great results'. The firm is fully embedded in the key East Coast and West Coast US markets, with an increasingly active global network of lawyers. It services all corners of the venture capital ecosystem, and has strong relationships with major universities. Clients especially appreciate that the team's 'tight relationships with most of the blue chip VCs give great insight and credibility with the investor community'. Marc Dupre and David Young lead the team from the Boston and Redwood City offices, respectively. Other key partners include the highly rated Richard Hesp in Boston, Mike Heath in Los Angeles, and founding partners Robert Gunderson and Scott Dettmer in Silicon Valley.
Marc Dupre; David Young
Other key lawyers:
Richard Hesp; Robert Gunderson; Scott Dettmer
‘I find Gunderson to be extremely pragmatic and business-focused. They understand the unique elements of pre-IPO tech companies like few or no others. Their tight relationships with most of the blue chip VCs give great insight and credibility with the investor community. There is virtually no challenge you could face as an emerging growth company that they have not seen before. They also drop everything to solve your problems.’
‘Scott Dettmer is an outstanding counselor. Andy Bradley — much like Scott — also highly attuned to solving points of friction and meeting our business where it is at. Extremely proactive and great communicator. Never drops a ball. Colin Conklin is a young emerging superstar. Would trust him in any environment with any task. Especially talented with regards to IPO knowledge and preparation. But also skilled in any corporate area. I’d recommend these 3 attorneys over and over again.’
‘It’s a team of smart attorneys who make practical suggestions and get great results. I trust them to provide quality work product, on time and at a very reasonable cost. I always feel like I’m getting the best advice and service that’s out there and it’s from genuine and nice attorneys.’
‘Mike Heath is my favorite external counsel of all of the attorneys that we work with externally. He is incredibly knowledgeable, responsive and always helpful. Cody Peterson was amazing to work with through a funding round that happened over winter holidays. He was responsive, organized and really kept the ball rolling as other people became sidelined with other end of year distractions. He was crucial to the funding getting done when it did!’
‘Rich Hesp and the team really take the time to get to know you and your business, and are then very proactive and pragmatic in their advice.’
‘Rich Hesp is our lead partner, and we have worked with him for over 5 years. He’s responsive and pragmatic and not afraid to actually give you his view as opposed to the purely legal one. He’s incredibly reliable and level-headed. He also seems to be able to remember everything about our company and deals, which is super valuable. David Horne has been the standout associate, supporting across a range of work streams with real maturity and insight. We don’t hesitate to work with him.’
‘This team is very responsive. They are adept at drafting and negotiating, while also being able to function as a trusted advisor to the Board.’
‘Scott Dettmer is able to command the room in a Board meeting and draws on his vast knowledge to provide sound advice in an easy to understand way. David Young is a master at contract drafting, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the various forms and their terms.’
ContextLogic (d/b/a Wish)
Mulberry Health (d/b/a Oscar)
- Represented Velodyne Lidar, the pioneer developer of lidar technology, in its merger with Graf Industrial Corp., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
- Represented Coupa Software in its recent $1.5bn acquisition of Michigan-based startup LLamasoft, a leader in AI-powered supply chain design and planning.
- Represented Farmer’s Business Network, the leading direct-to-farm agtech platform and farmer network, in its $250m Series F financing led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Inc., with participation from new investors Baron Capital Group, Balyasny Asset Management LP, Mandi Ventures, Lupa Systems and Ron Shaich.
DLA Piper LLP (US) stands out for its strong national footprint, which includes, but also extends beyond, traditional centers such as Silicon Valley, Boston and New York. The firm is also well positioned in increasingly important hubs such as Austin, where Jenifer Renzenbrink Smith co-chairs the team alongside Jeffrey Lehrer in Northern Virginia. The firm also bulked up its New York practice with the recruitment of three partners—Charles Torres, Imri Eisner and Adam Brenner—from Perkins Coie LLP. Given the firm's size, it is well placed to handle multidisciplinary matters spanning multiple jurisdictions, though client's also note that 'the service provided feels like that of a boutique firm'. Other key partners in the team include the highly rated Curtis Mo in Palo Alto, and Trenton Dykes in Seattle.
Jenifer Renzenbrink Smith; Jeffrey Lehrer
Other key lawyers:
Curtis Mo; Trenton Dykes; Charles Torres; Imri Eisner; Adam Brenner
‘I have worked with more than 10 firms in the last 20 years and I have been the most satisfied with DLA Piper’s work. DLA Pipers has always assembled the right team to work on our projects. Whether the team members are from one office or cross different continents, DLA Piper’s teams have always worked seamlessly and delivered the top-notch results for us in the last 10 years.’
‘I have worked with Curtis Mo and his team on many projects in the last ten years and have been very impressed with Curtis’s insights in market terms and abilities to get the best results for us. Curtis has always been able to evaluate the facts and circumstances, and give his honest opinions. Today, Curtis is not only an advisor to our company, he is also an important asset of our company.’
‘Despite DLA’s large size, the service provided feels like that of a small boutique firm – but with benefits! By that I mean my company received highly personalized service and incredible turn-around times (as if they were a small firm with few clients) and yet whenever we needed deep expertise on obscure issues or in far flung geographies – we got that too. I will add that we were among their smallest clients – but they never made us feel any less important or our work any less of a priority.’
‘As a 20-year in-house attorney, I often struggle with outside lawyers who tend to be more theoretical and less practical than those of us internal to the corporation – and therefore their advice is only partially valuable. Trent Dykes breaks this mold. He is such a savvy and practical lawyer and it makes getting to the right answer a breeze. He is also brilliant, tireless and down to earth. His calm demeanor and sense of humor made working on even the most painful and frustrating of projects more fun and enjoyable. I cannot say enough about him as a lawyer and highly recommend him.’
‘Curtis Mo is a very experienced lawyer with very strong commercial judgment. His team is experienced and encompasses many disciplines that are vital to our investment program. The experience gives us comfort vs. other less experienced professionals when dealing with corporate venture work.’
‘Curtis Mo is the key differentiator here. He is responsive, gives decisive and commercial advice.’
SoftBank Vision Fund
Vivo Capital, LLC
Oak Investment Partners
New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
Sailing Capital Overseas Investments Management Ltd
Samsung Venture Investment Corp.
HP Tech Ventures
- Represented CallMiner the leading provider of AI-powered speech and customer interaction analytics, in its $75m growth equity investment from GS Growth, an investment unit of Goldman Sachs.
- Represented M12 in connection with several corporate venture financing transactions totaling over $100m.
- Represented ReCode Therapeutics, a development-stage biopharmaceutical company, in its $80m Series A financing.
Latham & Watkins LLP has a comprehensive cradle-to-grave service offering, fielding a team with a strong track record for representing start-ups from the outset. The team's clients benefit from the firm's breadth and scale, both in expertise and geographic reach. Headed up by John Chory in Boston, the team is praised for its 'incredible depth of experience, from structuring, capital raises and navigating multi-jurisdiction transactions'. Other key partners include practice vice chair Benjamin Potter and Patrick Pohlen in Silicon Valley, San Diego's Cheston Larson, and Christopher Shoff in Los Angeles. The New York office was boosted by the arrival of Peyton Worley from Cooley LLP in July 2020. Recently promoted partner Emily Taylor is also recommended in the Boston office.
John Chory; Benjamin Potter
Other key lawyers:
Cheston Larson; Christopher Shoff; Peyton Worley; Emily Taylor
‘Amazing market knowledge, very hands on approach and incredible technical legal skills.’
‘The L&W team have deep knowledge and understanding of the markets their clients are in, but at the end of the day what is so valuable about working with them is their dedication to their craft — they are incredibly technical and thoughtful lawyers.’
‘I’ve worked with Latham on a variety of start-ups including initial licensing through financings and ultimately M&A. Great people who are extremely responsive.’
‘I have the pleasure to work with Cheston Larson (partner) and Chris Geissinger (associate) on corporate matters and Chris Hazuka (partner) on licensing.’
‘The team’s depth of experience is incredible, from structuring, capital raises and navigating multi-jurisdiction transactions. The team were also invaluable in M&A transactions and I consider the LW practice my firm’s GO TO General Counsel.’
‘John Chory is our Advisor for all issues related to Capital Raising. Dan Hoffman is also a terrific advisor and unbelievable hard worker, understands and simplifies very complex problems. Morgan Brubaker is one of the most astute contracts lawyers I have ever worked with.’
‘Emily Taylor is a terrific attorney who is highly creative and business-minded.’
Honey Science Corporation
- Advised Canva on its $70m Series A-5 Financing.
- Advised Ginkgo Bioworks on its Series E financing.
- Advised Desktop Metal on its proposed merger with Trine Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is one of the most active firms in the market, with an especially strong reputation for company side work in the technology sector. The firm has an especially strong presence in California, but is also building up on the East Coast: in New York, Peter Fusco is known for his advice to funds and tech companies, while the firm's Boston office was recently boosted by the arrival of partners Albert Vanderlaan and Gregg Griner from Gunderson Dettmer LLP. Stephen Venuto and Amanda Galton jointly lead the team, with key input from technology head Annette Hurst, John Bautista, Silicon Valley's Ellen Ehrenpreis and Santa Monica-based Josh Pollick. All partners are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.
Stephen Venuto; Amanda Galton; Annette Hurst
Other key lawyers:
Peter Fusco; Albert Vanderlaan; Gregg Griner; John Bautista; Ellen Ehrenpreis; Josh Pollick
JAND, Inc. d/b/a Warby Parker
Frontier Car Group
- Advised enterprise AI company Dataiku on CapitalG’s, formerly Google Capital, acquisition of Dataiku secondary market shares from Serena Capital at a valuation of $1.4bn.
- Advised Asana on its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, making it only the third major tech company to go public through a direct listing.
- Advised Convoy, the first nationwide digital freight network, on its $400m Series D financing round, which gives Convoy a $2.75bn post-money valuation.
WilmerHale has an extremely strong reputation in the start-up community. The team is predominantly company-focused, although it also has some strong investor clients, such as General Catalyst Partners. Of note, the firm is singled out for its 'absolutely amazing' QuickLaunch Program, specifically focused on helping start-ups and entrepreneurs. It also has a strong regulatory practice, giving it an edge in industries such as fintech, life sciences and energy. Palo Alto's Daniel Zimmermann co-chairs the team with Gary Schall in New York, who is praised for 'his excellence in delivering' and his 'non-stop support to entrepreneurs'. Other key individuals include Boston-based corporate co-chair Mick Bain and transactional chair Lia Der Marderosian, who is particularly focused on life sciences.
Gary Schall; Daniel Zimmermann; Mick Bain; Lia Der Marderosian
Other key lawyers:
‘WilmerHale’s Quick Launch program team is absolutely amazing. I have been working with Gary Schall for quite a few years now and his excellence in delivering and non-stop support to the entrepreneurs that work with him is a game-changer. The level of service and attention that Gary and his team provide to his clients is really hard to match.’
‘As mentioned before, Gary Schall and his team (particularly Taylor Beech) really focus on their clients. They provide cost and time effective responses, immediate solutions to any inconvenient and, personally, those are the elements that have made my startup company be absolutely loyal to WilmerHale and not even consider hiring legal services anywhere else. I have never sent an email to Gary or to anyone from his team and not received a response within the next 24 hours.’
Capella Space Corp.
General Catalyst Partners
- Represented General Catalyst, the largest shareholder of Livongo, in connection with the $18.5bn merger of Livongo and Teladoc Health, expected to be the largest ever in the growing field of digital health.
- Advised Stash, a developer of a personal finance and investment application intended to make saving and investment accessible to everyone, on its $112m Series F funding.
- Represented Eko Devices, a cardiopulmonary digital health company, in its $65m Series C funding led by Highland Capital Partners and Questa Capital.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was a pioneer firm in the venture capital and emerging market space, and remains a key player. The firm represents the full mix of start-ups, investors and later stage companies, from early financings through to IPO. The firm's Palo Alto office is packed with leading industry figures, including founding partner Larry Sonsini and Steven Bochner.
Dentons has 'a strong VC team with good knowledge of the US market and market norms'. In addition to its strong US footprint, the firm is commended for its global reach, and related transactional experience in other key jurisdictions and regions, including Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Victor Boyajian leads the team from its dedicated venture tech office in New York's meatpacking district, from where the bulk of the team's work is done. The firm is also growing in strength on the West Coast, particularly in Palo Alto and San Diego. Chris Errico and counsel Adrian Stewart are also recommended in New York.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Errico; Adrian Stewart
‘Strong VC team with good knowledge of the US market and market norms. Incredibly helpful when advising a UK fund on US terminology and pinch points.’
‘Chris Errico – Very available, commercial and comfortable giving clear advice to steer us in the right direction.’
‘Relevant expertise and deep transaction experience, good balance of business vs. legal advice, strong connectivity in the industry to put the work in context of what is going on in the market and apply best practices, eagerness and ability to provide additional value added support outside of typical legal advice around fundraising, business development, recruiting, connectivity among clients and personal/professional networks etc.’
‘Actual industry experience in a corporate legal role in addition to private practice experience. Standout is ability to utilize entire set of resources at firm (multiple groups, geographies) and network to help make client successful. Adrian Stewart has been exceptional along these lines and he has been extremely fast yet detail oriented in turnaround time, which we highly value.’
You & Mr Jones
Edison Venture Partners
- Represented Hummingbird Ventures in the sale ofTurkish company Peak to publicly traded Zynga, Inc. for $1.8bn in cash and stock, making it the country’s first “unicorn”.
- Represented Misfits Market in its $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 has a versatile service group that represents an impressive mix of big name corporate and fund investors, as well as emerging companies. In particular, clients have highlighted the firm's 'strong government and regulatory capability, Silicon Valley presence and experience, and truly global capability'. The team is jointly led by Nathaniel Gallon and Jon Layman in Silicon Valley, with key members spread throughout the firm's national network, including in Denver, New York, and Washington DC, where partner Mahvesh Qureshi has built a strong practice.
Nate Gallon; Jon Layman
Other key lawyers:
‘We conduct our operations globally. This made Hogan Lovells a unique fit given their strong government and regulatory capability (e.g. government contracting, etc.), Silicon Valley / tech presence and experience, and truly global capability.’
‘Nate Gallon was the lead partner on the deal, and Derrik Forshee the senior associate (now Counsel). Both were everything you would expect of large firm lawyers. Extremely responsive, always available (the deal was very active through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years), high leverage from brief conversations, very technically capable and experienced, etc. In no areas were either of them lacking.’
‘Nate navigated the complex corporate governance waters masterfully, remaining a trusted and balanced source by all parties, while driving the deal forward. He and Derrik also did very well with the non-standard and complicated mechanics that came into the deal, and in the modifications necessary to preserve or recast them in the context of the go forward combined company. This was not in any way, shape, or form a plain vanilla M&A deal.’
Norwest Venture Partners
Fall Line Capital
- Advised leading social media company, Facebook, on its $5.7bn investment for a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms, the biggest telecoms operator in India and a subsidiary of multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries.
- Advised Fall Line Capital, an investor in farmland and agricultural technologies on its $23m Series B round investment in Agrofy Global, an online agrobusiness platform.
- Advised Santander Bank on a number of transactions including on its investment in DriveWealth’s $56.7m Series C funding round.
Jones Day covers all corners of the venture capital and emerging markets ecosystem. The firm is especially active higher up the value chain, representing high-profile private equity funds seeking to invest, often in later stages before companies go public. Another strength is the firm's expertise in heavily regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services, and telecoms, acting both for investors and companies. Private equity co-head Michael Earley leads the team from Chicago, and has a solid track record advising corporate venture arms of major companies. Other key individuals include West Coast partners Timothy Curry and Taylor Stevens, who are highly experienced in growth and VC financings.
Other key lawyers:
Timothy Curry; Taylor Stevens
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Cardinal Health Inc.
Concord Health Partners LLC
GIC Special Investments Pte Ltd
Western Digital Corp
- Advised GIC, as co-lead investor, on the $500m Series G round of financing for Affirm.
- Advised True Capital Ltd, on its participation in the $450m Series C financing of Zwift, Inc., an online fitness platform for cyclists and runners.
- Represented KKR in connection with its investment in Series E preferred stock of ForgeRock.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is considered 'very knowledgeable in the start-up and venture space'. Headed up by Steven Cohen in the Princeton office, the team is especially strong in heavily regulated sectors, including life sciences, biotechnology and energy, where it represents an impressive mix of start-ups and emerging companies. In addition, the group acts for several venture capital firms and corporate venture arms. The firm also has strong expertise in the technology and software segments, where deputy practice head Michael Conza is especially active. Boston-based partner Julio Vega is also highly experienced in the life sciences sector.
Steven Cohen; Michael Conza
Other key lawyers:
‘They are very knowledgeable in the startup and venture space.’
‘Steve Cohen and each and every one of his colleagues have provided extraordinary service.’
Samsung Venture Investment Corporation
Morrison & Foerster LLP has a versatile practice representing a broad mix of entrepreneurs, start-ups and investors ranging from venture and corporate capital funds through to sovereign wealth funds. The firm's breadth of expertise extends to the life sciences, fintech and agtech segments, and, indeed, to most areas of emerging technology. Experienced partners Murray Indick and Steve Rowles co-chair the team from San Francisco and San Diego, respectively. Other key individuals include Palo Alto-based Timothy Harris and San Francisco's Susan Mac Cormac, who chairs the firm's energy and clean technology group.
Murray Indick; Steve Rowles
Other key lawyers:
Timothy Harris; Susan Mac Cormac
The Pill Club
- Regularly advise SoftBank’s on complex cross-border financings with significant transactions in Latin America and the US.
- Advised Baillie Gifford on the $400m Series D financing of Convoy, a provider of a digital freight network connecting shippers and carriers.
- Assisted RefleXion Medical, Inc., developer of biology-guided radiotherapy to create a new cancer treatment modality, with its $100m Series D preferred stock financing led by the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).
Choate, Hall & Stewart is a Boston-based firm with an extremely strong reputation for handling early and late stage venture capital work, mainly representing investors. The team's expertise straddles all areas of healthcare and emerging technology. Brian Goldstein and John Pitfield co-chair the well regarded team, with strong support from up-and-coming partners such as Tobin Sullivan. Recently, the team assisted Transformation Capital Partners with a $70m Series C investment in Paulus Holdings, whose LetsGetChecked diagnostic home health kits included a new product for the Covid-19 market.
Brian Goldstein; John Pitfield
Other key lawyers:
Surveyor Capital (Citadel)
Bain Capital Life Sciences
Transformation Capital Partners
Vertical Venture Partners
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has a dedicated emerging technologies team led out of Los Angeles by highly experienced corporate partner Bradford Weirick. The firm typically represents mid- to late-stage clients, and is especially active on the investor side. Its experience covers a broad range of industries, including ad-tech, social and mobile gaming, semiconductors, and life sciences. San Francisco-based partner Ryan Murr represents an impressive roster of life sciences companies, while Stewart McDowell (also in San Francisco) has a strong track record in the technology sector.
Other key lawyers:
Ryan Murr; Stewart McDowell
Marvell Technology Group
Magnite (formerly Rubicon Project)
The Chernin Group, LLC / TCG Capital Management
La Jolla Pharmaceutical
King & Spalding LLP has placed significant emphasis on the tech transactions practice in recent years. The firm has a strong Silicon Valley presence, with Laura Bushnell among the key partners, and has bulked up significantly in Northern Virginia, with Jeremy Schropp and Tom Knox, (previously of Morrison & Foerster LLP) who represent a mix of venture capital investors and emerging growth companies. Geoff Leonard in San Francisco is noted for his advice to life sciences and medical device companies, while Jack Capers in Los Angeles is strong in the technology and life sciences sectors. The team is especially active on the investor side, and its Middle Eastern presence attracts a range of sovereign and family funds from the region.
Tom Knox; Laura Bushnell; Jeremy Schropp
Other key lawyers:
Geoff Leonard; Jack Capers
‘When it comes to corporate, finance, M&A and technology transactions, Tom Knox has seen it all. Tom has excellent judgment and a keen ability to cut to the heart of the matter and deliver succinct, practical advice. Dan Kahan also has great judgment and is a whiz with spreadsheets, quickly grasping the economics of even the most complex transaction structures and distilling the salient features in order to provide insightful advice.’
‘Tom Knox and his team have a world of experience in supporting venture backed technology companies.’
‘Tom and his team bring a unique combination of exacting domain expertise with a practical sensibility for board and other dynamics unique to venture backed businesses.’
‘Working with King And Spalding has been a fantastic experience. They handle all requests with uttermost professionalism. The team has very experienced individuals who ensure that they do what is best for their client. They are available when you need them and they provide service with a smile.’
‘Laura Bushnell has the expertise and knowledge to guide a start-up through the various stages of financing and growth. My organization has worked with Laura and her wonderful team (Susan Morasci and Carolyn Nguyen) who helped us with 2 rounds of financing. They ensured that the rounds were closed on time and they handled the paperwork well to make the whole process seamless.’
Capital One Ventures
Bessemer Venture Partners
Factory OS Inc.
Imperative Care Inc.
Peloton Technologies Inc.
Virtual Power Systems, Inc.
- Advised Capital One Ventures on its participation in several financings, including its investments in the $25m Series B financing of digital recruiting platform CodeSignal; the $75m Series F financing of digital lending startup Blend; and the $16m Series B investment in Stensul.
- Advised Imperative Care Inc. on its $85m Series C financing, which was co-led by investors Ally Bridge Group and Bain Capital Life Sciences.
- Advised Factory OS, Inc. on its approximately $60m Series B Preferred Stock financing (including the conversion of prior notes).
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP has a strong reputation on the West Coast, with several leading lawyers working out of the firm's Silicon Valley, San Diego and San Francisco offices. The team is active on the company side, representing start-ups, emerging companies and corporate investors in the fintech, e-commerce, healthcare and AI segments. Stan Pierson leads the well regarded team from Silicon Valley, and works alongside Jorge del Calvo and Allison Leopold Tilley. Christian Salaman is a name to note in the San Diego office.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP represents technology and life sciences companies from the floor up, particularly at a domestic level. Praised for its 'exceptional experience and exceptional service', the team is also active in the fund and corporate venture side, especially on cross-border investments into Asia and Europe. The firm has a strong network of offices throughout the US: LiLing Poh leads the team from the Silicon Valley office, which also includes Donald Reinke; Deborah Gunny and Michael Sanders in Century City are considered 'exceptional lawyers', particularly in the life science space; Matthew Mohn is a name to note in the Pittsburgh office; and New York partner Jeffrey Silberman is active in the fintech sector.
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Mohn; Donald Reinke; Deborah Gunny; Michael Sanders; Jeffrey Silberman
‘Exceptional experience and exceptional service.’
‘Partners Michael Sanders and Deborah Gunny are exceptional lawyers. I rate both Michael and Deborah as among the most competent, dedicated and service oriented M&A corporate and commercial lawyers with whom I have worked.’
Covington & Burling LLP
Greenberg Traurig LLP is praised by clients for its 'super strong commercial sense', and for having 'all the resources needed' to handle complex transactions. The versatile team represents investors and emerging companies in the life sciences and technology sectors. Chinh Pham leads the practice group from Boston, with strong support from office colleagues Emily Ladd-Kravitz and Bradley Jacobson, who is active in the late-stage investment transactions. Also recommended are Trevor Chaplick in Washington DC; Barbara Jones in Los Angeles, who is a key contact for capital markets related matters; and Stanley Jacobs in Fort Lauderdale, whom clients rate for having 'always done an excellent job on matters small and large'.
Other key lawyers:
Emily Ladd-Kravitz; Bradley Jacobson; Barbara Jones; Stanley Jacobs
‘GT has an excellent reputation and all the resources needed to represent you well in complex transactions. When needed, expertise in specific fields tends to be available at short notice. My primary contact is Stanley “Stash” Jacobs, who has always done an excellent job on matters small and large, including complex M&A & fund raising.’
‘Super strong commercial sense and ability to look at the legal situation from the perspective of the customer. Worked with numerous legal firms. Greenberg Traurig is by far the best in terms of quality. They are true partners. Excellent velocity. Highest possible quality.’
Volvo Group Venture Capital
KTB Network Co., Ltd.
Smith Group plc/John Crane, Inc.
Veritable Data Solutions
Spring Labs, Inc.
Las Olas Venture Capital
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
IlluminOss Medical, Inc.
- Represented Las Olas Venture Capital as lead investor in a $5.8m seed financing in OneRail, a final mile delivery orchestration platform providing real-time visibility, actionable data, and data-driven optimization capabilities for its enterprise client.
- Represented the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Mt. Sinai) in the spinout of intellectual property to and in the formation of Trellus Health Limited (Trellus), a private corporation incorporated in England and Wales (Trellus).
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP's entrepreneurial ventures practice is noted for its 'deep transactional experience' and 'efficient approach'. Led by Matthew Brown, the bulk of the team works from the Chicago office, including the 'incredible' Jeffrey Patt, who 'never misses a beat' and 'knows the right people to bring in at the right time'. The practice group represents entrepreneurs, emerging companies, and investors, including corporate venture funds and family offices. It has strong experience of the life sciences, healthcare, technology, and cleantech sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Katten team is incredible in their intelligence, knowledge, attention to detail and willingness to work above and beyond to get complicated deals done in short timeframes. And to do this with positivity and incredible results… every time.’
‘The team brought new individuals to our last project, all of whom brought the expertise and talent we have come to expect.’
‘Jeff Patt leads our legal team and never misses a beat. He knows the right people to bring in at the right time. He is incredible. Fabiola Valenzuela and Erin England worked with Patt on our last project and they were both incredible. The amount of detail that must be managed between us, the lawyers on the other side, was daunting. And they did it day in and day out without breaking stride. Katten hires great people I must say.’
‘Katten offer a broad variety of expertise and assures that the interests of their clients are well protected, trying also to balance what is reasonable and what not due to the vast experience they have. They are very responsive and up to speed, always available and very respectful with the other party interests, which helps in negotiations.’
‘Jeff Patt understands our needs and expectations and makes the bridge with all other colleagues of Katten involved in different areas of expertise. I have worked with many US firms as counterpart and I would not replace Katten with any of them at this point of time.’
‘Katten’s venture capital and emerging companies practice differentiates itself with its deep transactional experience, efficient approach to a transaction given its size and complexity and demonstrated ability to stay current with respect to new developments in the market. While other firms we deal with across the table often seem to take a protracted approach to a transaction, Katten always approaches things with an appropriately calibrated practical lens given the specifics of the deal.’
‘Katten’s VC and emerging companies team also demonstrates the ability to seamlessly bring in other subject matter experts to address other relevant topics (e.g. SEC filings, lender compliance) as required. Over the past five years that I have been dealing with him, our primary partner (Jeffrey Patt) has demonstrated the ability to guide and develop and outstanding group of diverse associates. Jeff’s responsiveness and practical approach to moving things forward are what I value most about working with him. He brings a wealth of transactional experience and perspective to bear but also stays abreast of new developments in the market (with SBA guidance around the PPP program this year, for example). His approach is flexible and he calibrates his suggestions based on the magnitude of the deal and the relevant issues.’
‘Mark Wood from the Corporate Securities Practice has been another valuable resource at the firm. Given the significant increase in announced reverse mergers between SPACs and private companies this year, we’ve had need for expertise in the agreements and SEC issues surrounding these transactions. Mark’s transactional experience and expertise in SEC-related issues has been invaluable to us as has his responsiveness and willingness to accommodate our needs on short notice.’
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. enjoys a strong reputation in the market, particularly in Boston where it is well known in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. The firm's national footprint extends beyond these areas, with strong expertise in emerging technologies, both for start-ups, and fund and corporate investors, including as PayPal. The practice group is jointly led by Lewis Geffen in Boston, Daniel DeWolf in New York, and Jeremy Glaser in the San Diego office. Also recommended in Boston are Larry Naughton, Ed Pease and William Perkins.
Lewis Geffen; Daniel DeWolf; Jeremy Glaser
Other key lawyers:
Larry Naughton; Ed Pease; William Perkins
Quip NYC Inc.
ClearSky Security Fund I
T-Rex Group, Inc.
PanTher Therapeutics, Inc.
- Represented Finch Therapeutics Group, Inc. in its $90m Series D financing led by OMX Ventures.
- Represented PayPal, Inc. in its $19m Series C investment in SafeBreach, a provider of the leading breach-and-attack simulation platform to validate security controls, visualize security risk, and prioritize remediation.
- Represented Matrix Capital Management in its $43.7m Series C investment in a clinical data analytics company.
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth has a long history advising entrepreneurs and emerging companies at every stage of the fundraising chain. Venture capital funds and corporate investors also feature prominently in the firm's clientbase. The California-based firm works out of offices in Santa Monica, Newport Beach and San Diego, but has strong connections to clients throughout the country. Key partners include Mark Skaist in Newport Beach and Ryan Azlein in the Santa Monica office. Amit Singh in San Diego left to join Dentons in January 2021.
Mark Skaist; Ryan Azlein
Other key lawyers:
Act One Ventures
Flying L Partners
Frontier Venture Capital
Draper Goren Holm
Investment Group of Santa Barbara
Stage 1 Fund
- Advised NestEgg, a Chicago, IL-based property management platform, in raising $7m in Series A funding.
- Assisted Sandbridge Capital in its $19m Series B-1 Preferred Financing Round for Youth to the People, a vegan-based skincare company.
- Advised ArtCraft Entertainment on a $11.7m Series A financing for the launch of its MMO game Crowfall.