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Louis A. Wharton

STUBBS-042

Partner

Louis A. Wharton

Direct Voice: 818.444.4509
Direct Fax: 818.444.6309
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Louis A. Wharton is a Partner of the Firm and Director of the Preccelerator Program. Louis’ practice focuses on advising startup, emerging growth and middle market companies across a spectrum of industries in securities compliance, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters.

He counsels clients in the technology, internet/e-commerce, pharmaceutical, apparel and entertainment industries, among others.

Louis serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), and previously served on the San Fernando Valley Bar Association Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of ProVisors’ Technology Group.

Louis received his A.B., cum laude, from Harvard University and his J.D. from Stanford Law School. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

  • advising the Firm’s public clients on a variety of ’33 Act and ’34 Act work, including reviewing and filing registration statements and current, quarterly and annual reports;
  • structuring and negotiating public offerings and private placements of both equity and debt securities, including PIPEs and angel and venture backed transactions, for the Firm’s private and public clients;
  • strategizing with and negotiating on behalf of the Firm’s clients on a variety of public and private mergers (including reverse mergers), strategic stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures, both buy- and sell-side; and
  • counseling the Firm’s clients on other aspects of their business activities, including commercial transactions, incentive compensation and corporate governance.

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Joe Stubbs

Joe_Stubbs

Partner

Joe Stubbs

Direct Voice: 818.444.4507
Direct Fax: 818.444.6307
Mobile: 626.926.6018
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Joe Stubbs is a founding partner of the Firm, and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.  He is co-chair of the Firm’s Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Practice Group, and of the Firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group.

Joe practices in the areas of corporate and securities law, emphasizing the corporate representation of both publicly-held and privately-held emerging growth and middle-market companies, venture capital and private equity firms, angel investment groups and investment banks.  He acts as outside general counsel to numerous emerging growth and technology companies, advising on a wide range of legal and strategic issues at all stages of their evolutionary path.  He particularly concentrates on advising companies in preparing for and successfully completing their angel, venture capital, private equity and debt financing transactions, their merger, acquisition and divestiture transactions and their initial and follow-on public offerings.  He also serves as outside general counsel to various publicly-held companies, providing advice on all aspects of their business activities, including securities law compliance and corporate governance matters.  His experience also includes corporate partnerships, restructurings and technology licensing.

Joe has lectured and written extensively on subjects relating to emerging growth companies, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital transactions, and public and private offerings of securities.  He has been a frequent lecturer at programs sponsored by, among others, The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, The Software Council of Southern California, The Practicing Law Institute, the CalTech Enterprise Forum, the American Bar Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

He received his B.A. from Southwest Missouri State University in 1972 and his J.D from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1975.  He is admitted to practice law in the States of California and Missouri.

practice & experience

  • securities regulation;
  • corporate governance and investigations;
  • mergers, acquisitions and divestitures;
  • domestic and international joint ventures;
  • cross-border transactions;
  • capital formation, angel, venture capital and private equity transactions;
  •  debt financing transactions;
  • commercial contracts;
  • supply, distribution and marketing agreements;
  • executive employment and incentive agreements;
  • software and other technology licensing;
  • technology transfers from Universities and private institutions;
  • general website operational matters (such as the preparation of website terms of use or service and privacy policies, and compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act), protection of copyrights, trademarks, domain names and trade secrets; and
  • electronic commerce; and the development, acquisition and clearance of rights in intellectual property (particularly with respect to information technology, the Internet and new media products).

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Michael A. Sherman

Michael_Sherman

Partner

Michael A. Sherman

Direct Voice: 818.444.4528
Direct Fax: 818.444.6328
Mobile: 818.631.9109
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Michael Sherman is a Partner of the Firm and Chair of the Business Litigation practice group.

Michael is an accomplished trial lawyer in high-stakes, “bet-the-company” litigation, and has represented both large and early-stage companies as well as entrepreneurs in all facets of business and complex commercial litigation. He has evenly split his litigation practice on both the plaintiff and defense side of cases, has first-chaired numerous trials in complex matters in industries as varied as energy, securities, healthcare, environmental, consumer products, technology, project development/finance, advertising, real estate and apparel, and is highly skilled in class actions and unfair competition law. Michael’s trial skills and courtroom success resulted in his being named several years ago to the “Top 100 Lawyers” in California list, published by the Daily Journal newspaper chain. He has consistently been named to “Best Lawyers in America”.

Michael has been recognized as a leading trial lawyer by his peers and featured in the press for some of his significant victories on behalf of clients. He is a recent past president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. He is a frequent speaker and writer on business litigation and trial advocacy.

Michael has served on the Board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. Michael also served as a Board Member and Vice-chair, of Aviva Family and Children’s Services, a major Los Angeles nonprofit.

Michael has received numerous accolades including: recipient of Aviva’s “Spirit of Compassion” Award; Best Lawyers, leading lawyer in Commercial Litigation (2007–2014); Super Lawyers, Southern California (2004–2015); “Top Defense Verdicts of 2009,” Daily Journal; “Top 100 Lawyers of 2009,” Daily Journal

Michael received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.


Best Lawyers Award Badge

practice & experience

  • Obtained complete defense judgment at trial on behalf of client, state of California, in defeating $250 million claim involving proposed Ward Valley radioactive waste site. Gov. Gray Davis personally commended Michael’s trial victory, stating that “we would not have won without your wise counsel and skilled advocacy.”
  • Led trial team that obtained a complete plaintiff’s judgment, after trial on claims involving fraud and breach of fiduciary duty that resulted in recovery of nearly $25 million of stock in one of Southern California’s fastest-growing small technology companies in recent years. Award included findings of punitive damages in favor of our client, and a judgment awarding recovery of all attorneys’ fees.
  • Successfully represented bondholders in recovering principal and interest on defaulted hydro-electric power project in Northern California, in defending against claims of equity holders.
  • Obtained a complete defense judgment at trial on behalf of one of California’s largest water utilities, Eastern Municipal Water District, in successfully opposing $300 million in claims and environmentally related injunctive relief sought by the U.S. government involving the rights and responsibilities of various parties with respect to the waters of the Santa Margarita River, one of the last free-flowing rivers in Southern California. The parties’ dispute had stretched over 15 years and included defense of claims asserted by the Environmental Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton.
  • Successfully defended one of California’s largest health providers, in a month-long jury trial, that had been sued for misappropriation of trade secrets by a competitor. The competitor had sought $60 million in damages, and the jury award was for a mere $147,000 — a decision so favorable for Michael’s client that it was thereby entitled to recover all its costs against the competitor.
  • Obtained dismissal at pleading stage of lawsuit seeking $1 billion in claims against CBRE, Freeman Spogli, Blum Strategic Partners, KBS Realty Advisors and others, alleging breach of a joint venture and misappropriation of confidential information.  Dismissal was upheld on appeal.
  • Secured recovery at early stage of proceedings of all principal and interest, and fees, on material sums owing to lender consortium led by Sun America under loan participation.
  • Successfully represented major private equity fund sponsor in litigation initiated by Fortune 50 company charging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, and in resolving litigation short of trial, with both commitment of future fund investments and written apology.
  • Obtained complete defense verdict in jury trial on behalf of AIG subsidiaries, in defeating $14 million claim brought by a former senior executive alleging breach of partnership agreement, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Successfully represented founders of one of the world’s fastest growing telecommunications companies in defense of claims arising out of multibillion dollar sale of company, in instance where $90 million in claims against them were dismissed due to spoliation of electronic evidence and findings of obstruction of justice.
  • Successfully defended Affinity Group in a jury trial, where plaintiff sought $100 million in damages for unfair competition claims. Plaintiff took nothing. The trial and Michael were then featured in Los Angeles Daily Journal articles, with the Company CEO describing Michael’s performance in that case as that of “a tenacious litigator with a work ethic that seems to have no end.”
  • Obtained an eight-figure recovery, after trial victory, for heiress of one of the nation’s best-known industrialists, deceased.
  • Successfully handled numerous securities actions brought against major companies including Lockheed Corp., Pacific Enterprises, Rohr Corporation, Arthur Andersen and Herbalife.
  • Managed unfair competition and Lanham Act cases involving Compaq and Packard Bell, and regularly advised No. 1 seller of home computers on products, advertising and procurement issues.
  • Obtained nearly eight-figure recovery at trial for terminated securities registered rep (confidential).
  • Represented former policyholders in consumer litigation/class action involving Executive Life. Additionally, he successfully prosecuted numerous class action and contingency matters in business areas including hi-tech, industrial equipment, consumer finance, insurance and timeshares.

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Michael Shaff

Michael_Shaff

Of Counsel

Michael Shaff

Direct Voice: 818.444.4522
Direct Fax: 818.444.6322
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Michael Shaff joined the firm in 2011 as Of Counsel. He is chairperson of the Tax Practice Group.

Michael specializes in all aspects of federal income taxation. Mr. Shaff has served as a trial attorney with the office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service for three years. Mr. Shaff is certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California as a specialist in tax law. Mr. Shaff is a past chair of the Tax Section of the Orange County Bar Association.  He is co-author of the “Real Estate Investment Trusts Handbook” published annually by West Group.

Michael received his A.B. at Columbia College in 1976, his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1979 and his LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law in 1986. He is admitted to practice law in the States of California, New York and Massachusetts and is a member of the Orange County Bar Association.

practice & experience

  • mergers and acquisitions,
  • executive compensation,
  • corporate taxation,
  • inbound and outbound foreign tax issues,
  • limited liability company and partnership taxation,
  • tax controversies,
  • exempt organizations, and
  • real estate related tax issues.

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John McIlvery

John_McIlvery

Partner

John McIlvery

Direct Voice: 818.444.4502
Direct Fax: 818.444.6302
Mobile: 626.705.0758
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John McIlvery is a founder and partner of the Firm.  He chair’s the Firm’s Public Securities practice group.

John’s practice is focused on corporate securities, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financing, and general corporate and business matters.

John has represented clients in a wide variety of industries and businesses, including Internet and e-commerce, apparel, medical device, semiconductor, biotech, entertainment, technology and manufacturing. He has represented these companies from inception through initial and start-up financing, venture capital financing, initial public offering and ultimate sale.

John received his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Southern California and his J.D. from the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

  • private placements of equity and debt securities, including venture capital and angel financings, PIPEs, initial public offerings, secondary offerings, Rule 144A debt offerings and other capital market transactions;
  • public and private company mergers and acquisitions, including tender offers and going private transactions;
  • strategic partnering arrangements and other joint ventures;
  • a wide range of general corporate issues, including executive employment agreements, stock incentive plans, licensing agreements, and various commercial contracts; and
  • all aspects of securities law compliance and corporate governance matters for publicly-held companies.

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Murray Markiles

Murray_Markiles

Partner

Murray Markiles

Direct Voice: 818.444.4505
Direct Fax: 818.444.6305
Mobile: 310.466.3448
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Murray Markiles is a founding partner of the Firm, and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.

Murray advises venture capital funds, and public and private clients across a number of industries, including companies in the venture capital, Internet, technology, and apparel industries.

Murray’s practice involves providing advice in connection with corporate matters (including strategic joint ventures, strategic litigation, intellectual property exploitation and protection, corporate finance and business development), venture capital and angel financings, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity and debt securities offerings.

Murray’s is a managing director of Europlay Capital Advisors, LLC, a merchant bank, and a director of ECA Fund Advisors, an Exempt Reporting Advisor that manages two substantial early stage venture capital funds.  Before founding the Firm, Murray was a partner of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP.

Murray received his J.D. degree in 1986 from the University of California at Los Angeles. He attended UCLA, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, magna cum laude, in 1983. He is a member of the California Bar.

practice & experience

  • advising very high net worth founders and family offices in connection with the start-up and growth of US and foreign new technology businesses;
  • advising substantial venture capital funds in connection with capital raising, fund formation, portfolio investment and strategic structuring and founder level matters;
  • advising a technology company and owner of multiple significant cloud computing technologies and patents in connection with intellectual property monetization and selection, retention and management of litigation teams; and management, coordination and strategy for the conduct of robust licensing and litigation program, including settlement negotiations, mediations and Federal Court actions;
  • advising the founders of Skype, in connection with the formation and financing of Skype and its acquisition by eBay for US$3.6 billion; and their subsequent acquisition, along with a consortium of private equity and venture capital firms led by Silver Lake Partners; and the US$2.8 billion acquisition of Skype from eBay Inc. in 2009 and US$ 8.5 billion sale of Skype to Microsoft in 2011;
  • structuring commercial transactions and joint ventures for the purpose of licensing content and technology.

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Jonathan R. Hodes

Jonathan_Hodes

Partner

Jonathan R. Hodes

Direct Voice: 818.444.4508
Direct Fax: 818.444.6308
Mobile: 818.917.0858
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Jonathan R. Hodes is a partner of the Firm, and co-chair of the Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group.

Jonathan specializes in buy side and sell side domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, management buy-outs, leveraged buy-outs, leveraged recaps, mezzanine and senior debt financing transactions, work-outs and secured lending and leasing transactions.

Jonathan’s focus emphasizes M and A activity in the middle market and also includes representation of emerging growth companies from inception through various tiers of venture capital and growth financing often with the goal of an exit through a sale, merger, IPO or other corporate finance transaction. He devotes significant time to private equity deals with emphasis on add on portfolio acquisitions to existing platforms, and dispositions of portfolio companies.

Jonathan’s practice also includes serving as outside general counsel to companies handling all their corporate work partnership and limited liability company formation and ongoing representation, corporate governance matters and Fund formation. .  He has a broad range of industry experience in many industries, including manufacturing, biologics, consumer goods, internet and e commerce, money service business, television production and distribution, real estate development, construction management, technology, Fund formation and hotel ownership and operations.

Jonathan also handles the acquisition, development, financing and leasing of commercial, industrial and residential real property projects. He has represented large public and private domestic real estate developers in major Southern California projects and joint ventures, including complex real estate financing transactions.

Jonathan received his A.B. from Cornell University and his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law.  He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

  • Advising private equity portfolio companies on strategic acquisition and disposition strategies and general corporate matters affecting day to day operations;
  • Serving as outside general counsel to numerous companies in all their regular and recurring matters, including securities laws compliance, corporate governance matters, M & A activities, employment agreements for senior executives, stock option plans, executive compensation, establishment of template agreements for operational matters; distribution agreements for international product distribution, and other corporate matters;
  • Advising companies on joint venture formation with hedge funds and associated domestic and international financing transactions;
  • Fund formation and representation
  • Advising on bank lending and financing transactions from the borrower’s side and the lenders side on both senior secured, mezzanine and uni-tranche revolving credit and term loan credit facilities;
  • Advising management on structuring and implementing management buyouts in high tech companies;
  • Advising defense industry clients in international transactions and strategic alliances for joint production and development of military products;
  • Advising on project financing transactions for real estate entitlement projects to be sold to retail public builders;
  • Advising clients on commercial real property acquisitions, dispositions and commercial leasing transactions.

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Scott Galer

Scott_Galer

Partner

Scott Galer

Direct Voice: 818.444.4513
Direct Fax: 818.444.6313
Mobile: 818.307.2268
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Scott Galer is a partner at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP and co-chairs the firm’s Mergers and Acquisition Practice Group.

Scott’s practice focuses on counseling private and public middle-market and emerging growth companies in areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, joint ventures, complex brand and technology licensing and other strategic business arrangements.

Scott has expertise in managing a wide variety of corporate and financial transactions, including mergers, stock and asset acquisitions and dispositions, roll-up and spin-off transactions, public offerings (representing both issuers and investment bankers), alternative public offerings, debt and equity financings (representing issuers, lenders and investors), secured lending transactions and financial restructurings.  In addition, Scott has expertise in advising emerging growth companies from formation through their various stages of growth, including formation, seed and venture capital financing, complex operating and stockholder agreements, employment contracts and equity incentive arrangements.

Scott is experienced in negotiating and drafting a wide range of business arrangements, including joint venture agreements, complex brand and technology licensing agreements, marketing and endorsement agreements, manufacturing and distribution agreements, credit agreements and numerous other general corporate and commercial contracts for companies in a variety of industries.

Scott also counsels and advises companies in connection with 34 Act reporting requirements, corporate governance, federal and state securities laws, and other issues that commonly arise for companies while operating their businesses, as well as during the process of corporate and financial transactions.

Scott has over twenty years of experience counseling and serving as a strategic partner to companies at all stages along their evolutionary path, and prides himself at being highly responsive to his client’s needs.

Scott received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1992 and his B.A., summa cum laude, in Business/Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1989. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

  • mergers
  • stock and asset acquisitions and dispositions
  • roll-up and spin-off transactions
  • public offerings and alternative public offerings
  • debt and equity financings
  • seed and venture capital financings and other private placements
  • limited liability company (LLC) operating agreements
  • stockholder agreements
  • buy-sell agreements
  • secured lending transactions
  • financial restructurings
  • brand development and licensing
  • technology licensing and IP protection
  • marketing and endorsement agreements
  • manufacturing and distribution agreements
  • securities regulation
  • executive employment agreements
  • options, profits interest and other equity incentive plans
  • 34 Act compliance
  • corporate governance
  • website compliance
  • commercial contracts

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Jonathan Friedman

Jonathan Friedman

Partner

Jonathan Friedman

Direct Voice/Fax/Text: 818.444.4514
Mobile: 818.625.0408
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Jonathan Friedman is Partner at the law firm of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP.

Jonathan advises a wide range of both public and private clients, including development-stage, emerging-growth and middle-market companies as well as angel investors, venture capital firms and strategic investors. Jonathan’s practice focuses on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, securities law, intellectual property licensing and general corporate and business matters. Jonathan also has experience forming venture capital funds.  Jonathan has represented corporations and other entities in a variety of industries, including Internet and e-commerce, apparel, medical devices, entertainment and high technology.

Jonathan has substantial experience managing strategic transactions, including private equity and debt financings transactions, mergers and acquisitions in the public and private markets, offerings by public companies and angel and venture capital financing transactions. In addition, Jonathan counsels companies in connection with SEC reporting requirements and registrations, federal and state securities laws, corporate governance issues, joint ventures and strategic alliances and commercial contracts. Jonathan also has expertise advising companies in their formation process.

As part of his practice, Jonathan facilitates cross-border financings, mergers and acquisitions and expansions by companies into new markets and works to promote bi-lateral trade opportunities between Canada and the United States that will result in the job creation, investment connection and trade partnership support.

Jonathan received his Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1998, his M.B.A. in 2002, and his J.D. in 2002, all from the University of Toronto.  Jonathan is admitted to practice law in the States of California, New York and Massachusetts.

practice & experience

  • debt and equity financings
  • seed and venture capital financings and other private placements, including ICOs
  • mergers, acquisitions and divestitures
  • cross-border transactions
  • limited liability company (LLC) operating agreements
  • fund formation
  • stockholder agreements
  • commercial contracts
  • secured lending transactions
  • financial restructurings
  • brand development and licensing
  • technology licensing and IP protection
  • marketing and endorsement agreements
  • manufacturing and distribution agreements
  • securities regulation
  • executive employment agreements
  • options, profits interest and other equity incentive plans
  • 34 Act compliance
  • corporate governance
  • website compliance

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Kevin D. DeBré

Kevin_DeBre

Partner

Kevin D. DeBré

Direct Voice: 818.444.4521
Direct Fax: 818.444.6321
Mobile: 323.251.9929
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Kevin D. DeBré is the chair of the Firm’s Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions Practice Group.  Kevin advises entrepreneurs and companies that use intellectual property to build their businesses.  Kevin has particular expertise in structuring and negotiating technology commercialization and patent licenses, strategic alliances, research and development collaborations, trademark licensing and brand merchandising agreements and manufacturing, distribution and marketing arrangements.  He also counsels clients on compliance with data security and privacy laws and regulations.

Kevin is a business lawyer, a registered patent lawyer and a former engineer.  He focuses on representing software companies, semiconductor design firms, mobile commerce businesses, e-commerce enterprises, electronics and hardware manufacturers, media companies, content developers and publishers, biotechnology companies and medical device manufacturers both in the United States and abroad.

Kevin is a frequent guest lecturer in undergraduate and graduate level entrepreneurship courses at UCLA Anderson School of Management, UCLA School of Engineering, USC Marshall School of Business, Pepperdine University and Chapman University, and serves as Chairman of the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum, an organization that facilitates the growth and success of technology-based entrepreneurial ventures in Southern California.  He has been quoted in numerous high-tech industry publications and has appeared on Bloomberg TV.  Kevin is also a speaker at numerous conferences on technology commercialization and intellectual property licensing and he has published several articles on licensing. Kevin is the author of “Licensing of Trade Secrets and Know-How,” a chapter of Trade Secret Litigation and Protection in California, an attorney’s practice book published by the State Bar of California. In addition, Kevin is a contributing author of “Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances,” a chapter of Intellectual Property in Business Transactions, an attorney’s practice book published by Continuing Education of the Bar, and is an update author of “Exploiting Trade Secrets by Licensing” and of “Form Licensing Agreements and Provisions,” two chapters of Trade Secrets Practice in California (Second Edition) published by Continuing Education of the Bar.  Kevin has been selected multiple times as a Southern California Super Lawyer and is the founder and Chair of the Licensing Interest Group of the California State Bar Intellectual Property Section.

Kevin received his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 1989 and his B.S. degree from the University of California, Davis in 1982. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

  • software licensing, Software as a Service (SaaS) agreements and Service Level Agreements (SLA);
  • patent licensing and patent portfolio acquisitions;
  • university licensing and technology transfer;
  • research and development agreements;
  • manufacturing, distribution, marketing and advertising agreements;
  • joint ventures, strategic alliances, and corporate partnering;
  • intellectual property protection strategy and patent monetization;
  • data security and privacy law;
  • emerging growth and startup company representation;
  • trademark licenses and merchandising agreements;
  • e-commerce, mobile commerce, financial technology (FinTech) and advertising technology (AdTech) company representation;
  • biotechnology, life sciences, medical devices and medical technology (MedTech) company representation;
  • 3D printing technology company representation;
  • energy technology and cleantech (solar, biomass, energy storage and wind power technology) company representation;
  • digital currency technology (e.g., Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple) company representation;
  • semiconductor, electronics and hardware company representation;
  • commercial contracts;
  • executive employment agreements;
  • interactive entertainment and video game development and publishing agreements; and
  • website operations and legal compliance, terms of use, privacy policy, and contests and sweepstakes.

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