Start-Up & Venture Capital Practice
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner excels at building deep and enduring relationships with entrepreneurial businesses ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to late-stage companies preparing for an exit – as well as the angel, venture capital, growth capital and strategic investors that fund them.
We combine decades of start-up experience, presence in accelerator and venture investor communities and industry insight to provide pragmatic, cost-effective counsel. We are committed to help launch, grow and successfully exit business ventures.
PitchBook consistently ranks us among the top 25 most active venture capital law firms in various regions. We operate from several of the world’s major venture capital hubs and understand the dynamics and drivers of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As a global, full-service law firm, we have the knowledge and resources to assist in:
Formation: We assess the most advantageous entity structure for the business by evaluating potential arrangements and tax implications, and creating key formation and foundational business documents using our Start Up Kit.
Structuring and Negotiating Financing: We structure and negotiate financing arrangements ranging from seed stage to late stage equity investments, debt arrangements, royalty structures and beyond. We represent and work across the table from capital sources including angel investors; venture capital funds; academic, government and commercial research institutions; and banks and other strategic investors and lenders.
Intellectual Property Creation and Protection: We advise on patent, trade secret and copyright protection of intellectual property, including preparing patent applications, drafting agreements to maintain confidentiality of intellectual property and reviewing third-party patent portfolios. We craft strategies to protect and license clients’ intellectual property, both domestically and globally.
Strategic Partnerships and Corporate Alliances: We structure and negotiate research and development licenses, joint ventures, strategic partnerships, and other collaborative arrangements vital to their success.
Employment Advice: We counsel companies who are hiring their first employees, prepare employment agreements, advise on incentive compensation arrangements and develop internal training programs. We also defend all types of employment litigation including wrongful termination, discrimination and breach of employment contract.
Compliance and Regulatory Services: For clients subject to federal and state regulations, such as data privacy and security, securities, environmental and export controls laws, our attorneys understand and seamlessly navigate these legal complexities.
Expertise in IPO and M&A Exit Strategies: We prepare registration statements and prospectuses and assist clients with the public company listing process. Regularly ranked by Refinitiv (f.k.a. Thomson Reuters) as a top 25 M&A law firm by number of U.S. deals, we also advise on a variety of M&A transactions, including stock and asset acquisitions, mergers, tender offers, leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations.
Benefit to Our Clients
We work with an entrepreneur’s focus, at an entrepreneur’s pace and on an entrepreneur’s budget. We provide:
- Enduring Relationships: We serve as trusted advisors, committed to our clients’ long-term growth and success and frequently represent serial entrepreneurs through multiple start-ups and exits.
- Cost-Effective Solutions: We handle business matters by leveraging lawyers in our locations that have rates, and experience, that are appropriate for early stage companies.
- Practical Innovations: We make award-winning innovation, creative pricing strategies and technology solutions available to any companies. We are continually improving our Tool Kit platform for our start-up clients
- Technology Expertise: We advise ventures spanning a range of cutting-edge technologies and have a strong grasp of the nuances of fintech, ad-tech, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, IoT, AI and other emerging areas.
- Robust Network: We actively partner with key industry associations, angel investor groups and start-up incubators nationwide.
- PitchBook consistently ranks us among the top 15 most active venture capital law firms worldwide.
- Refinitiv (f.k.a. Thomson Reuters) consistently ranks us as a top 25 M&A law firm by number of U.S. deals.