Whether your company is raising money or positioning for a sale, the support of experienced professionals is essential and the relationship with your lawyer is a very important one. Before you spend a significant amount of money and energy pursuing your financing or some other deal, it is crucial that you establish a solid legal foundation that protects your business, technology and processes.
Selecting a law firm can be a daunting task…typical advice ranges from choosing the right sized law firm (to ensure a cultural fit, and to receive the right level of attention), to finding a firm that is local (close enough to give you the opportunity to establish a closer relationship with your lawyer, which facilitates their understanding of your business, leading to an improved level of service) to avoiding big law offices (so that you don’t end up financing part of their huge overhead, via higher hourly rates).
But beyond this basic advice, if I am either starting a company or am part of a small cap public company, I am looking for a two-fer (“two for one’). In other words, beyond a law firm, I would also seek a strategic partner. So my two-fer criteria would be the following for selecting a law firm:
- Legal: ethical, right sized, cultural fit, entrepreneurial minded, local, fair fee structure
- Strategic: highly connected (introductions to top-class advisors, board members, angels, entrepreneurs) and relevant industry business experience