Emerging Company TRANSACTIONAL

WilmerHale’s Emerging Company Practice has helped thousands of entrepreneurs successfully launch their businesses; raise billions in angel, venture and strategic financing; and take their companies to sale, IPO and market leadership.

Our more than 100 dedicated corporate lawyers are stationed in some of the most active startup markets, including Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Berlin, Frankfurt and London. We have a longstanding tradition of representing emerging companies and entrepreneurs across a wide range of industries, and offer strategic advice and an indispensable business perspective that is critical to our clients’ success. Our team-oriented approach to service gives clients the flexibility to call on a number of experienced lawyers at any time, and our innovative QuickStart Program enables us to provide the highest level of responsiveness in a cost-effective manner. Additionally, we are able to draw on the full spectrum of renowned services offered by the firm—from intellectual property and labor and employment to tax, litigation, regulatory issues and beyond. We are extraordinarily proud of the innovative clients we serve, many of whom have helped change the way we all work, think and live.


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Bain, Mick

Mick Bain

Co-Chair, Emerging Company Practice

Co-Chair, Energy and Cleantech Group

+1 617 526 6158 (t)


Buckland, Peter

Peter Buckland

Vice Chair, Corporate Practice Group

Co-Chair, Emerging Company Practice

+1 650 858 6036 (t)


Bain, Mick

Mick Bain


+1 781 966 2027 (t)


Boot, Jeannette K.

Jeannette K. Boot


+1 212 295 6507 (t)


Borden, Mark G.

Mark G. Borden


+1 617 526 6675 (t)


Bothwick, Jay E.

Jay E. Bothwick


+1 617 526 6526 (t)


Braun, Martin

Dr. Martin Braun


+49 69 27 10 78 207 (t)


Brown, Lillian

Lillian Brown


+1 202 663 6743 (t)


Buckland, Peter

Peter Buckland


+1 650 858 6036 (t)



We work with founders to properly set up their companies; review business plans and identify companies’ key strengths and weaknesses before approaching financing sources; license core technology; develop strategies to obtain funding and negotiate terms for initial and later-stage financings; prepare and implement key agreements with management, employees, consultants and advisors; design equity incentive plans; and advise clients on how best to achieve liquidity. We also attend board meetings and offer strategic advice and counseling on important business decisions, as well as guidance on forming and running an effective board of directors.

Our lawyers represent life sciences companies—including those in the biotechnology, medical device and healthcare sectors—as well as technology companies in a broad range of industries, including consumer Internet, cybersecurity, digital media, mobile technology, robotics, software, hardware, big data, and clean technology. In addition to our corporate experience, we are able to tap into the deep technical and scientific knowledge of our attorneys who hold 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 the important technical and intellectual property issues facing companies in these sectors.

Venture capital deals are a cornerstone of our practice, and reflect our longstanding focus on emerging technology and life sciences 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. Learn more about our venture capital capabilities.

Publications & News


April 17, 2013

Selected 2013 Life Sciences Transactions

Recognized both globally and nationally as a leading life sciences practice, WilmerHale has four decades of experience representing biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies at all stages of growth, as well as venture capitalists and investment banks.

March 18, 2013

WilmerHale’s New York Office Hosts The 2013 “Take The H.E.L.M.” Awards

WilmerHale was proud to host the first annual “Take the H.E.L.M.: Hire + Expand in Lower Manhattan” award ceremony in its downtown New York offices at 7 World Trade Center (7 WTC).

February 21, 2013

Massachusetts DOR Issues Draft Directive on "Cloud Computing"

January 8, 2013

Investments in Qualified Small Business Stock in 2012 and 2013

January 7, 2013

Starting a Company? Don't Succumb to These Three Common Legal Issues

An article by Jennifer Berrent, published by VentureBeat.

October 25, 2012

Start-Up RentLingo Shines at DEMO

August 31, 2012

The 2013 Best Lawyers in America® List Includes 101 WilmerHale Lawyers

June 14, 2012

Peter Osborn Honored by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice

June 7, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Final Results Announced

June 6, 2012

Selected 2012 Life Sciences Transactions

For more than four decades, we have represented life sciences clients in venture financings, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and licensing agreements and collaborations; protected their innovations through patent prosecution and portfolio development; defended their interests in enterprise-critical patent litigation; and navigated regulatory issues vital to their success.

2014 Reports

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

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 primer on the characteristics of venture capital–backed and private equity–backed IPOs; and provide an overview of “cross-border” IPOs by foreign companies in the United States.

The 2014 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, and a look at important considerations for startups in light of JOBS Act provisions that loosen restrictions around general solicitation and crowdfunding.

Our 2014 M&A Report contains a detailed review of, and outlook for, the global M&A market. Other highlights include a comparison of deal terms in public and private acquisitions, an update on takeover defenses, and insights into CFIUS and FCPA considerations in M&A transactions. We also look at financial statement requirements in mergers and acquisitions, and survey key terms in sales of VC-backed companies.

Each report also includes a center spread showcasing prominent recent transactions in each area and company counsel rankings from independent sources showing WilmerHale’s preeminence as counsel in IPOs, VC financings and sales of VC-backed companies.

To request a hard copy of any of the reports, contact the WilmerHale Marketing Department at WHCorporateReports@wilmerhale.com or call +1 617 526 5600.

QuickStart Program

Our QuickStart Program has been recognized by Financial Times for its innovative approach to working with startups and other emerging companies. For those companies that qualify, the QuickStart Program has two parts: one focuses on giving startups 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 startups 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.