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 technology, life sciences and clean technology 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 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 2012, we served as counsel in more than 200 venture financings raising approximately $1.5 billion, including some of the largest and most prominent deals of the year. Since 2005, we have handled approximately 2,000 venture financings raising more than $18 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: 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.
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: