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 and Europe. 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

Bonnes, Andrew

Andrew Bonnes

Partner

+1 617 526 6136 (t)

andrew.bonnes@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

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, fintech, energy, material science, 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 2016, we served as counsel in approximately 250 venture financings raising nearly $3 billion, including some of the largest and most prominent deals of the year. Since 2006, we have handled more than 2,800 venture financings with total proceeds in excess of $35 billion. Learn more about our venture capital capabilities.

Publications & News

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June 13, 2017

Hyalex Orthopaedics Raises $16 Million Series A Financing

WilmerHale client Hyalex Orthopaedics, a medical device company advancing new products that feature HYALEX™ technology, a synthetic polymer that mimics cartilage, announced that it has raised $16 million in Series A financing.

June 9, 2017

The Legal 500 United States 2017 Recognizes 125 WilmerHale Lawyers Across 28 Practice Areas

The Legal 500 United States has released its 2017 rankings, recommending 125 WilmerHale lawyers—including 12 who are named to its elite “Leading Lawyers” list and two on its “Next Generation Lawyers” list—and 28 practice areas in its 11th edition.

June 8, 2017

Legal Mechanics of Organizing Corporations

WilmerHale Partners Mark Borden and David Gammell author this chapter in Start-Up & Emerging Companies: Planning, Financing, and Operating the Successful Business. The legal mechanics of organizing corporations encompass a variety of corporate, tax, securities and business considerations. By anticipating the special problems and situations which are likely to arise in the course of the startup company's growth, its founders can structure the organization of the corporation to minimize future obstacles.

June 7, 2017

Massachusetts Requires Remote Sellers to Collect Sales Tax Beginning July 1, 2017

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) recently issued guidance under which it will require the collection of Massachusetts sales and use taxes by remote sellers that meet certain sales thresholds in Massachusetts.

June 7, 2017

Selected 2017 Life Sciences Transactions

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

June 7, 2017

Selected 2017 Technology Transactions

For more than four decades, we have represented technology clients in venture capital financings, public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions; handled their licensing, outsourcing, services, joint venture, development and distribution transactions throughout the world; protected their innovations through patent prosecution, portfolio development and litigation; defended their interests in enterprise-critical litigation; and navigated regulatory issues vital to their success.

June 6, 2017

WilmerHale Represents UNTUCKit in $30M Fundraising

UNTUCKit, a leading direct-to-consumer apparel brand, announced that Kleiner Perkins invested $30 million into the business. The company will use this funding to accelerate growth by opening 15 new stores, expanding its women's line and launching children's apparel.

May 26, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2017 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers and Partners announced its rankings for the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, with WilmerHale listed among the nation's best in 50 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

May 23, 2017

Four Ways to Avoid the Confusion of Financing Documents

Emerging Company Practice Co-Chair Peter Buckland provides insight into what early-stage companies need to know about SAFEs—Simple Agreements for Future Equity—in this contributed post published on Inc.com on May 22, 2017.

May 11, 2017

WilmerHale Counsels Changing Environments in 2.5M Seed Financing

Changing Environments, dba Soofa, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup offering smart and sustainable hardware and software solutions to make smart cities a reality, announced a $2.5 million seed financing.

2017 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 2017 IPO Report offers a detailed IPO market review and outlook, plus useful market metrics and articles on topics of interest, including:

  • Rates of adoption of JOBS Act relief by emerging growth companies
  • The potential impact of the new presidential administration on policy and direction at the US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Changes in the IPO process over the past two decades
  • The growing divide between the governance practices of IPO companies and established public companies
  • The profusion of recommended corporate governance best practices public companies are under pressure to adopt in the current environment
  • Multi-class capital structures
  • Tips for living with the IPO “quiet period”
  • New Securities Act exemptions that have expanded the pre-IPO financing toolkit
  • Post-IPO financing alternatives
  • The challenges and benefits of pursuing a dual track to liquidity

The 2017 Venture Capital Report offers an in-depth US venture capital market review and outlook, including industry and regional breakdowns, as well as a look at the following issues:

  • Steps startups should take now if they plan to secure a Series A round in 2017
  • Common structures for management carve-out plans
  • Best practices for private companies setting option exercise prices
  • The benefits of investing in qualified small business stock
  • Trends in venture capital financing terms, convertible debt terms and VC-backed company M&A deal terms

Our 2017 M&A Report provides a detailed global M&A market review and outlook, as well as insights on the following topics:

  • Takeover defenses for public companies
  • Key lessons for buyers and sellers considering earnouts
  • Recent developments in merger control regulation
  • Common interest privilege protection among deal parties
  • Special considerations in California M&A deals
  • Acquisition financial statement requirements for IPO companies
  • A comparison of deal terms in public and private acquisitions
  • Key terms and issues 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 copies, 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.