Emerging Company TRANSACTIONAL

Getting a startup off the ground? Learn how we can help at WilmerHaleLaunch.com.


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 QuickLaunch 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.

Contacts

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Buckland, Peter

Peter Buckland

Vice Chair, Corporate Practice Group

Co-Chair, Emerging Company Practice

+1 650 858 6036 (t)

peter.buckland@wilmerhale.com

Gammell, David

David D. Gammell

Co-Chair, Emerging Company Practice

+1 617 526 6839 (t)

david.gammell@wilmerhale.com

Bain, Mick

Mick Bain

Partner

+1 617 526 6158 (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

Coates, Sam

Samuel S. Coates

Partner

+1 650 858 6000 (t)

samuel.coates@wilmerhale.com

Experience

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 2014, we served as counsel in more than 300 venture financings raising in excess of $8 billion, including some of the largest and most prominent deals of the year. Since 2004, we have handled more than 2,750 venture financings raising approximately $30 billion. Learn more about our venture capital capabilities.

Publications & News

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January 28, 2016

Three Things To Know About Doing Business in California

An article by Daniel Zimmerman, published in Xconomy on January 28, 2016. Since the 1849 gold rush, California has had a reputation as a great place to seek—and find—your fortune. The Golden State is home to the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden State Warriors and, in Silicon Valley, golden opportunities. But, as you might suspect, California sometimes operates like its own country, with laws that aren't like anyone else's. 

January 22, 2016

Deutsche Bank, Route 66 Ventures and WilmerHale Partner with Startupbootcamp FinTech New York

Startupbootcamp FinTech New York, the leading global FinTech accelerator, today announced new partnerships with Deutsche Bank, Route 66 Ventures and WilmerHale, further expanding the participation in its FinTech Accelerator program.

January 19, 2016

WilmerHale Reps Soft Robotics in Venture Financing

On December 17, 2015, Soft Robotics Inc., a robotics company designing pneumatic grippers and control systems to automate bin picking, order fulfillment, and other material handling tasks, announced the closing of an initial $3 million tranche of its Series A financing.

January 12, 2016

WilmerHale Named Among Top Three Life Sciences Law Firms

WilmerHale has been named among the top three Best Life Sciences Law Firms for 2016 in the inaugural Life Science Index.

December 11, 2015

New Crowdfunding Rules for Issuers: Opportunities or Landmines?

As directed by Congress under the JOBS Act of 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently adopted final rules to permit equity "crowdfunding," characterized by the SEC as "a relatively new and evolving method of using the Internet to raise capital to support a wide range of ideas and ventures."

December 10, 2015

Overview of Securities Law Provisions of the FAST Act

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The FAST Act, which is aimed principally at authorizing spending on highway and transit projects, includes several amendments to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) and other securities law provisions, some of which are effective immediately.

November 28, 2015

Key Person Insurance Is VCs' Assurance

An article by John Demeter, posted on TechCrunch on November 28, 2015 and as a WilmerHale Launch blog post.

November 24, 2015

The Gift Startups Should Definitely Not Give Their Employees

An article by John Demeter, WilmerHale counsel and a Wall Street Journal panelist, published by The Experts blog on WSJ.com on November 24, 2015.

November 2, 2015

WilmerHale Receives Top Rankings, Named “Law Firm of the Year” in Mutual Funds Law in 2016 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” List

U.S. News - Best Lawyers® has named WilmerHale "Law Firm of the Year" in Mutual Funds Law and recognizes the firm as a first-tier law firm in 21 national and 58 metro-area rankings. In addition, the firm boasts more than 30 second- and third-tier rankings.

October 29, 2015

Park Square, EY and WilmerHale Release 16th Annual Tech and Life Sciences Compensation and Entrepreneurship Study

According to an executive compensation study of private businesses released today, non-founder C-suite executives at life sciences and healthcare companies saw their cash compensation increase by 3.3 percent year-over-year, while comparable executives at private technology firms experienced an average increase of 3.5 percent.

2015 Reports

WilmerHale's annual IPO, Venture Capital and M&A Reports offer insights into market conditions and provide comprehensive statistics and analysis that are hard to find elsewhere.

Our  2015 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 rates of adoption of various elements of JOBS Act relief available to emerging growth companies, and helpful tips on how to keep your directed share program company-friendly. We examine the pros and cons of employee stock purchase plans; review various SEC, stock exchange and other considerations around director independence; address key areas of regulatory diligence for companies going public; and offer a helpful walk-through of the process of SEC review of Form S-1 registration statements in the lead-up to an IPO.

The  2015 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, convertible debt and VC-backed company M&A deal terms; and a look at important considerations for startup founders weighing the costs, benefits and optimal timing for company incorporation.

Our  2015 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, updates on takeover defenses and the current climate around proxy access, and a look at the use of social media by public companies and activist shareholders in contested situations. We also examine recent trends in merger control, discuss lessons from Cigna v. Audax for sales of VC-backed companies structured as mergers, address the challenges posed by pre-IPO 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 Client Development Department at ClientDevelopment@wilmerhale.com or call +1 617 526 5600.

 

QuickLaunch Program

WilmerHale's QuickLaunch Program, powered by more than 100 lawyers across all of our offices, is a platform for qualified startups and entrepreneurs to receive the critical guidance and legal advice they need to get off the ground and gain a competitive advantage. QuickLaunch members have access to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who face many of the same challenges related to their new ventures. Additional benefits include: 

  • introductions to venture capitalists, angels and other investors;
  • access to potential recruits, mentors, advisors and preferred providers;
  • an audience of peers and influencers to help refine and promote your startup;
  • invitations to our private QuickLaunch events in Boston, New York and Silicon Valley;
  • legal guidance on everything from company formation, expansion and patent protection to securing financing and exit strategies; and     
  • the ability to manage costs through free services and deferred, fixed and/or discounted rates.

Through the QuickLaunch Program (formerly known as QuickStart), our lawyers leverage their institutional knowledge and deep experience to deliver services on a responsive and efficient basis. We have helped thousands of entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses, and in this time we have gained a deeper understanding of the types of legal and business support that lead to startup success.

Contact us to learn more.