When your Business can Benefit from a Corporate Lawyer- and Tips to Save Money on Legal Fees

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When your Business can Benefit from a Corporate Lawyer- and Tips to Save Money on Legal Fees

  1. 1. Business  Growth:  Corporate  Lawyers  -­‐   When,  Why  and  How  Much?  
  2. 2. About  SecureDocs,  Inc.   •  SecureDocs  is  a  virtual  data  room  for  sharing  and  storing  sensi5ve  documents   both  internally  and  with  outside  par5es.     Company  Basics:   •  Virtual  data  room  used  by  companies  from  fundraising  to  exit     •  Developed  by  the  team  that  created  and  launched  GoToMyPC  and  GoToMeeKng       •  Web-­‐based  business  soLware  for  financial  and  legal  professionals   •  DisKnguished  through  it’s  ease-­‐of-­‐use,  industry-­‐leading  security,  and  flat-­‐fee   pricing    
  3. 3. About  Evan  Pickering   Corporate  Associate,  Seed  Mackall  LLP     Formerly  with  O’Melveny  &  Myers  LLP  and  Arnold  &   Porter  LLP  in  San  Francisco     PracKce  primarily  includes  debt  and  equity  financings,   mergers  and  acquisiKons,  and  corporate  governance    
  4. 4. When  Does  Your  Company  Need  a   Corporate  AXorney?   Before  Forming  a  Business   ²  ConsideraKons  of  different  enKKes   FormaKon  Process   ²  CorporaKon  –  Always   ²  LLC  and  Partnerships  –  Depending  on  structure     DraLing  Key  Agreements   ²  Employee  agreements   ²  Non-­‐disclosure  agreements   ²  Supplier  agreements     Incurring  SubstanKal  Debt     Mergers  and  AcquisiKons    
  5. 5. Why  Does  Your  Company  Need  a   Corporate  AXorney?   Complex  and  MulK-­‐Kered  Regulatory  Schemes   ²   SEC  and  blue  sky  filings   ²   FinCen  and  surety  bonds   ²   Dodd  Frank     LimiKng  Liability   ²   Blocker  enKKes     Reducing  Taxes   ²   California  Gross  Receipts  Tax     BenefiKng  from  Broad  Experience   ²  Market  Terms   ²  Reduced  transacKons  costs   StarKng  Right  Saves  Money  Later   ² Cleaning  up  corporate  issues  prior  to  liquidity  event  
  6. 6. Why  Does  Your  Company  Need  a   Corporate  AXorney?   Agreements  Benefit  From  Experience   ²  Understanding  nuances  in  terminology   ²  IdenKfying  terms  of  art   ²  Borrower   will   take   such   steps   as   Bank   requests   to   obtain   the   consent   of   any   person   whose   consent   is   necessary   for   any   Restricted  License  to  be  deemed  “Collateral”     ²  Borrower  will  use  its  best  efforts  to  take  such  steps  as  Bank  requests  to  obtain  the  consent  of  any  person  whose  consent  is   necessary  for  any  Restricted  License  to  be  deemed  “Collateral”       ²  Borrower  will  take  such  commercially  reasonable  steps  as  Bank  requests  to  obtain  the  consent  of  any  person  whose  consent  is   necessary  for  any  Restricted  License  to  be  deemed  “Collateral”     Legal  Knowledge  Ensures  Agreements  Perform  as  Intended   ²  Terms  that  conflict  with  applicable  laws  and  regulaKons     ²  California  CorporaKons  Code     •  AXorneys  fees     •  Non-­‐Competes   •  Independent  Contractor  –  Employee   ²  Ambiguous  terms  can  cost  you      
  7. 7. Why  Does  Your  Company  Need  a   Corporate  AXorney?   The  following  language  was  contained  in  a  contract  between  two  companies.     The  outcomes  of  the  dispute  in  this  case  was  worth  approximately  $1,000,000     “This  Agreement  shall  be  effecKve  from  the  date  it  is  made  and  shall  conKnue   in  force  for  a  period  of  five  (5)  years  from  the  date  it  is  made,  and  thereaLer   for   successive   five   (5)   year   terms,   unless   and   unKl   terminated   by   one   year   prior  noKce  in  wriKng  by  either  party.”  
  8. 8. How  Much  is  A  Corporate  AXorney?   The  Billable  Hour   ²  $100  -­‐  $1150     Flat  Fee  Arrangements     Blended  Rates     Cost  Savings  Tips   ²  Leverage  Associates   ²  Ask  for  for  updates  on  fees  when  certain  amounts  are  reached   ²  NegoKate  discounts  -­‐  Prompt  payment;  Corporate  counsel  discounts   ²  Be  prepared  when  you  contact  your  aXorney   ²  Pitches   ²  Meet  with  your  lawyer  regularly.  A  monthly  five-­‐  or  10-­‐minute  meeKng  (even  by  phone)  can   save  you  substanKal  sums  by  nipping  small  legal  problems  in  the  bud  before  they  have  a   chance  to  grow  
  9. 9. Which  Corporate  AXorney?   Things  not  to  do:   ²  Websites  that  rate  lawyers   ²  AdverKse  on  TV,  Billboards,  Bustops   ²  Your  friend  that  went  to  law  school,  but  who  has     no  experience               Things  to  do:   ²  Ask  other  respected  business  professionals   ²  Meet  aXorneys  in  person  at  business  funcKons   ²  Do  your  Internet  homework   ²  IdenKfy  authors  of  applicable  research     and  publicaKons   ²  UKlize  law  firm  websites    
  10. 10. Which  Corporate  AXorney?  
  11. 11. Which  Corporate  AXorney?   QuesKons  to  Ask  an  AXorney   ²  Experience   ²  Rates   ²  What  overhead  expenses  will  be  passed  on  to  client   ²  Responsiveness   ²  Open  to  meeKng     ²  Team  composiKon   ²  EducaKon   ²  CombaKve  or  measured  and  fair        
  12. 12. Which  Corporate  AXorney?   Large  Firm   ²  Offer  specializaKon  in  a  range  of  complex  areas   ²  BeXer  able  to  accommodate  large  volumes  of  work  and  Kght  turnaround  Kmes   ²  Global  presence  and  naKonal  name  recogniKon   ²  Expensive  with  high  overhead   ²  High  partner-­‐associate  leverage  can  result  in  inefficiencies  and  decreased  partner  aXenKon   ²  Larger  teams  and  more  frequent  turnover   Small  Firm/Solo  PracKKoner   ²  Lower  fees   ²  Low  partner-­‐associate  leverage  results  in  increased  partner  involvement   ²  BouKque  firms  can  offer  more  specializaKon  in  certain  niche  areas   ²  More  limited  resources  and  range  of  experKse   ²  More  research  required  to  idenKfy  high-­‐quality  firms  
  13. 13. QuesKons?   Evan  T.  Pickering   Corporate  Associate   Seed  Mackall  LLP               Email:  epickering@seedmackall.com   Tel:  805.963.0669  

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