Emerging Company TRANSACTIONAL

WilmerHale offers unparalleled legal representation across a comprehensive range of practice areas that are critical to the success of emerging companies. We have helped thousands of entrepreneurs successfully launch their companies; raise billions in angel, venture and strategic financing; and take their companies to sale, IPO and beyond.

We have more than 100 corporate lawyers across our offices who work with entrepreneurs and emerging companies. These lawyers are concentrated in many of the most active startup markets including Boston, New York, Silicon Valley and Waltham in the United States and Berlin, Frankfurt and London in Europe.

Experienced, Practical and Cost-Effective Representation:

We have a practical understanding of the business needs of emerging companies and, with unmatched experience and a library of model documents, we can meet the legal needs of emerging companies cost-effectively, while also offering our nationally renowned experience in the areas most important to a company’s success. Our team-oriented approach to service gives clients the flexibility to call on a number of experts, and enables us to cost-effectively provide clients with the highest levels of responsiveness and access to lawyers with the most appropriate experience.

We review business plans, work with founders to identify the businesses' key strengths and weaknesses before approaching financing sources; license core technology; develop strategies to obtain funding and negotiate venture capital term sheets for initial and later-stage financings; prepare and implement employment, confidentiality and noncompetition agreements; design equity incentive plans; and achieve liquidity. We also attend client board meetings and offer strategic advice and counseling, as well as guidance on forming and running an effective board of directors.

We are dedicated to representing consumer Internet, cybersecurity, digital media, mobile technology, robotics, software, hardware, biotechnology, life sciences and cleantech companies in their formation, early stages of growth and beyond. In addition to our corporate experience, we offer the advantage of technical and scientific knowledge and work experience from attorneys with degrees in fields such as biochemistry, biology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, genetics, immunology, information systems, mathematics, mechanical engineering, medicine, microbiology, organic chemistry and systems engineering. As a result, we have a sophisticated understanding of issues facing technology, life sciences and clean technology companies.

We are extraordinarily proud of the clients we have had the privilege of working with, many of whom have helped change the way we all work, think and live. Our rich heritage of success in representing emerging companies, which began in the 1960s and continues to this day, includes:

  • Akamai Technologies—within 14 months of formation, raised over $100 million in venture capital and completed $234 million IPO
  • Analog Devices—from incorporation and IPO in 1960s to market leadership for integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications
  • ArrowPoint Communications—completed $195 million IPO and acquired three months later by Cisco for $5.7 billion
  • BioVex—venture capital financings from 2002 through 2010 led to acquisition by Amgen for $1 billion in 2011
  • Bose—counsel for the past quarter century as Bose has grown to become the world’s premier supplier of high-fidelity speaker systems
  • Genetics Institute—venture capital financings and IPO in 1980s led to acquisition that helped form the pharmaceutical and healthcare company now known as Wyeth
  • Millennium Pharmaceuticals—venture capital financing and IPO in 1996 followed by key collaborations and acquisitions helped form this leading biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Takeda in 2008 for $8.8 billion
  • Starent—raised over $95 million in venture capital financing, completed a $135 million IPO, a $192 million follow-on offering and was acquired two year later by Cisco for $2.9 billion

Venture Financings:

Venture capital deals are a cornerstone of our corporate practice and reflect our long-standing focus on technology, life sciences, clean technology and entrepreneurial companies. In 2013, we served as counsel in more than 300 venture financings raising approximately $2.5 billion, including some of the largest and most prominent deals of the year. Since 2004, we have handled more than 2,200 venture financings raising approximately $20 billion.

We have also represented venture capitalists for nearly four decades. At a time when many law firms were scarcely familiar with the concepts underlying venture financing, we assisted some of the earliest venture capital firms in their initial investments. Today we represent many premier US and European venture capital firms in portfolio investments. For a sampling of recent venture financings in which we have represented the company or the venture capitalists, please see:

Additional venture financing experience: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001

WilmerHale QuickStart Program:

The WilmerHale QuickStart Program—for companies that qualify—has two parts: one focuses on giving start-ups the critical guidance and legal advice they need to get off the ground and gain a competitive advantage, without the need to worry about cost; the other enables start-ups to continue to get the advice they need as they begin to grow their businesses, while helping them manage their cash. Contact us to learn more.

Related Practices:

Our emerging company clients also benefit from the advice of our attorneys concentrating in many of our other specialized practices including, among others, intellectual property, labor and employment, environmental, litigation and real estate law, who have worked extensively with start-up companies. For information regarding the many related practices please see below:

WilmerHale offers unparalleled legal representation across a comprehensive range of practice areas that are critical to the success of emerging companies. We have helped thousands of entrepreneurs successfully launch their companies; raise billions in angel, venture and strategic financing; and take their companies to sale, IPO and beyond.

We have more than 100 corporate lawyers across our offices who work with entrepreneurs and emerging companies. These lawyers are concentrated in many of the most active startup markets including Boston, New York, Silicon Valley and Waltham in the United States and Berlin, Frankfurt and London in Europe.

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Contacts

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Bain, Mick

Mick Bain

Partner-in-Charge, Waltham Office

Co-Chair, Emerging Company Practice

Co-Chair, Energy and Cleantech Group

+1 781 966 2027 (t)

michael.bain@wilmerhale.com

Buckland, Peter

Peter Buckland

Vice Chair, Corporate Practice Group

Co-Chair, Emerging Company Practice

+1 650 858 6036 (t)

peter.buckland@wilmerhale.com

Bain, Mick

Mick Bain

Partner

+1 781 966 2027 (t)

michael.bain@wilmerhale.com

Boot, Jeannette K.

Jeannette K. Boot

Partner

+1 212 295 6507 (t)

jeannette.boot@wilmerhale.com

Borden, Mark G.

Mark G. Borden

Partner

+1 617 526 6675 (t)

mark.borden@wilmerhale.com

Bothwick, Jay E.

Jay E. Bothwick

Partner

+1 617 526 6526 (t)

jay.bothwick@wilmerhale.com

Braun, Martin

Dr. Martin Braun

Partner

+49 69 27 10 78 207 (t)

martin.braun@wilmerhale.com

Brown, Lillian

Lillian Brown

Partner

+1 202 663 6743 (t)

lillian.brown@wilmerhale.com

Buckland, Peter

Peter Buckland

Partner

+1 650 858 6036 (t)

peter.buckland@wilmerhale.com

Publications & News

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April 9, 2014

Robots Fly, Swim, Rove and Amaze the Crowd at WilmerHale

Robots circled overhead, swam in a pool, mowed the lawn, tossed balls and delighted the investors, robotics fans and students who enjoyed the celebration today at the 2014 Silicon Valley Robot Block Party hosted by WilmerHale law firm and Silicon Valley Robotics, a professional association that supports innovation in robotic technologies.

March 25, 2014

2014 IPO Report

Our 2014 IPO Report offers a detailed analysis of, and outlook for, the IPO market. The report features regional breakdowns; useful IPO market metrics; an update on the pros, cons and recent rates of adoption of various elements of JOBS Act relief available to emerging growth companies; and a look at the expanded role CEOs now must play in the IPO process. We review important considerations around the inclusion of “flash results” in IPO prospectuses; present a quick primer on the characteristics of venture capital–backed and private equity–backed IPOs and their current market outlook; and provide an overview of “cross-border” IPOs by foreign companies in the United States.

March 3, 2014

Selected 2014 Venture Financings As Company Counsel

In 2013, we served as counsel in more than 300 venture financings raising approximately $2.5 billion, including some of the largest and most prominent deals of the year.

January 10, 2014

“Why Startups Hire Their Own Lawyers” by Daniel Doktori is Featured on TechCrunch

In his column featured on TechCrunch, Daniel Doktori*—a member of the firm's Emerging Company Practice in the New York office—discusses how startups approach hiring general counsels and what is expected of them once in the position.

December 31, 2013

Peter Buckland Discusses “How to Keep Your Startup’s Secrets Private” in Entrepreneur’s Ask the Expert Column

In Entrepreneur's "Ask the Expert" column, Partner Peter Buckland shares his thoughts on "How to Keep Your Startup's Secrets Private." He touches upon patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, and the importance of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

December 23, 2013

Peter Buckland Publishes Second Column on Entrepreneur: “Figuring Out How to Divvy Up Startup Equity”

In his second column featured in Entrepreneur's "Ask the Expert" section-Partner Peter Buckland shares his insight with start-ups into how to approach equity option pools.

December 12, 2013

Peter Buckland Shares Advice with Entrepreneur on “Finding the Perfect Board of Directors for Your Startup”

Partner Peter Buckland is featured in Entrepreneur’s “Ask the Expert” column, in which he discusses how a start-up can find its perfect board of directors.

December 4, 2013

WilmerHale Honored as "Innovation All-Star"

The Boston Business Journal and Mass High Tech have named WilmerHale to the 2013 "Innovation All-Stars" list, an annual program that recognizes outstanding companies and individuals "whose products and services help our Innovation economy thrive."

November 1, 2013

WilmerHale Among U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” and Again Named International Arbitration “Law Firm of the Year”

The 2014 edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list names WilmerHale as “Law Firm of the Year” in International Arbitration—this is the second consecutive year that the firm has won this honor—and honors WilmerHale as a first-tier law firm in 27 national and 60 metro-area rankings.

October 29, 2013

Three Funding Terms Every Startup Should Understand

Read the article written by Gary Schall published to Xconomy.

Events

July 31, 2014

Stybel Peabody/Board Options, Inc.: Seat at the Table

Newton, Massachusetts

June 18, 2014

HHL International Investors Day

Leipzig, Germany

April 29, 2014

Intelligent.ly Legal Landmines: What to Know When Starting Your Start-up

Boston, Massachusetts

April 10-11, 2014

Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration

Ithaca, New York

April 9, 2014

Silicon Valley Robot Block Party

Palo Alto, California

April 4, 2014

Think Build Thrive

New York, New York

April 2, 2014

Intelligent.ly Legal Landmines: What You Need to Know About Founders' Equity

Boston, Massachusetts

April 1, 2014

IP Strategies for Health Sciences Startups

Boston, Massachusetts

March 18, 2014

MIT Enterprise Forum Launch Smart Clinic

Cambridge, Massachusetts

March 12, 2014

Hattery Labs: Common Startup Legal Mistakes

San Francisco, California

2013 Reports

WilmerHale’s annual IPO, Venture Capital and M&A Reports provide comprehensive statistics and analysis that are hard to find elsewhere.

Our 2013 IPO Report offers a detailed analysis of, and outlook for, the IPO market. The report features regional breakdowns, a Q&A with former SEC Corp Fin Director Meredith Cross, and a discussion of the use of social media for investor communications under Regulation FD. We review the elements of relief being chosen by emerging growth companies under the JOBS Act; offer practical insight on “test-the-waters” communications and scheduling the first annual meeting of stockholders; summarize IPO disclosure requirements applicable to directors, officers, 5% stockholders and selling stockholders; discuss Form 10 IPOs as an alternative route to going public; and present useful IPO market metrics that are ordinarily unavailable elsewhere.

Our 2013 Q3 IPO Report features statistics and analysis of IPO market performance for the first three quarters of the year.

The 2013 Venture Capital Report offers an in-depth analysis of, and outlook for, the US and European venture capital markets. The report features industry and regional breakdowns, an analysis of trends in venture capital financing and VC-backed company M&A deal terms, a look at the federal tax advantages of investments in “qualified small business stock,” and a discussion of JOBS Act benefits for startups that never plan to go public.

Our 2013 M&A Report contains a detailed review of, and outlook for, the global M&A market. Other highlights include a discussion of the challenges and benefits of selling your company in a “dual-track” IPO, a comparison of public and private acquisitions, an analysis of issues and opportunities in California M&A deals, and a review of takeover defenses adopted by public companies. We also take a look at the facts of life in M&A deal litigation, and survey key terms in sales of VC-backed companies.

To request a hardcopy of any of the reports, contact the WilmerHale Marketing Department at or call +1 617 526 5600.

Quick Tips

As a proud sponsor of the Entrepreneurship@Cornell program, we offer you some Quick Tips from Entrepreneurs.

Watch this video to learn more about the Entrepreneurship@Cornell program.