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Boston Startup Lawyers – Top 20




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Massachusetts is the #2 destination for venture capital deals and dollars in the United States, preceded by California and closely followed by New York. With an influx of VC dollars it becomes important for startups to find a competent lawyer. We received a ton of positive feedback on our list of Top 20 NYC Startup Lawyers, so we thought it might be helpful to create a similar resource for all the startups from Red Sox nation.  So below is our list of top Boston startup lawyers.

We can speak to the importance of hiring a great lawyer firsthand, as we initially screwed up, in an effort to be frugal, by going with a firm and lawyer who didn’t know what they were doing when it came to employee options and fundraising documents.  Unwinding that fiasco cost us twice as much in money and time.  Yes – not fun.

So that we can help you avoid making the same mistakes as us, we’ve compiled this list of top Massachusetts startup lawyers which you can hopefully use as your starting point for research.  We do NOT know all of these folks individually or personally (we actually don’t know most of them). Our list is driven by seeing positive sentiment about these folks online from other startup entrepreneurs. The list is in alphabetical order and is not a ranking.

As always, you should do your own due diligence before picking a lawyer.  And this list is not exhaustive – or at least we hope Massachusetts has more than 20 awesome startup lawyers.  So if you are a lawyer who feels you should be on the list or if you are a startup founder and you have an amazingly knowledgeable lawyer, let us know in the comments.  Without further delay, here are the top 20 Boston startup lawyers.

Robert Adelson

Firm: Partner at Engel & Schultz LLP

Focus: Patents, product licensing, tax advice, M&A and JV’s for early stage companies.

Previous Employers: Lawson & Weitzen LLP; Zimble Brettler LLP

Education: Northwestern University, 1977, J.D

Bio: http://www.engelschultz.com/index.php/attorneys/partners/robert-adelson/

Robert Birnbaum

Firm: Partner at Foley Hoag

Focus: M&A, Financing and Licensing for companies in the technology sector

Education: Harvard Law School, 1968, J.D

Bio: http://www.foleyhoag.com/People/Attorneys/Birnbaum-Robert.aspx?ref=1

Mark Borden

Firm: Partner at WilmerHale

Focus: Securities, Corporate Finance, and Acquisitions in a wide range of sectors.

Education: Harvard Law School, 1976, J.D

Bio: http://www.wilmerhale.com/mark_borden/

Steven Browne

Firm: Partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP

Focus: M&A, leveragted buyouts, public offerings, technology transfer and licensing for tech companies throughout their life cycle.

Previous Employers: Testa, Hurwitz and Thibeault LLP; White & Case

Education: Cornell Law School, J.D

Bio: http://www.bingham.com/Lawyer.aspx?ID=566

Mark Burgiel

Firm: Co-Founder at VC Ready Law Group

Focus: M&A and debt financing in the sports and entertainment industry.

Previous Employers: Bingham McCutchen LLP; Edwards Angell Palmer and Dodge LLP

Education: Boston University School of Law, J.D

Bio: http://www.vcreadylaw.com/about.html

John Chory

Firm: Partner at Latham & Watkins LLP

Focus: Early stage and venture backed companies in cleantech, IT, Software as a Service and Life Sciences.

Previous Employers: Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Education: Harvard Law School, 1988, J.D

Bio: http://www.lw.com/Attorneys.aspx?page=AttorneyBio&attno=00474

John Egan

Firm: Partner at Goodwin Procter

Focus: early and late-stage venture financings, growth equity and leveraged recapitalizations, IPOs, M&A, JV and strategic licensing in industries ranging from enterprise software, networking, security and business services to communications, media and life sciences.

Previous Employers: McDermott Will & Emery

Education: Boston University School of Law, 1984, J.D

Bio: http://www.goodwinprocter.com/People/E/Egan-III-John.aspx

David Ekelund

Firm: Perry Krumsiek & Jack LLP

Focus: Litigation and regulatory matters for startups in web, media, consumer product and real estate sectors.

Previous Employers: Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios LLP ; law clerk to the Honorable Thomas E. Delahanty, II, Thomas D. Warren, and Ellen A. Gorman of the Maine Superior Court.

Education: University of Maine School of Law, J.D

Bio: http://www.pkjlaw.com/attorneys/david-j-ekelund-jr/

Nicholas Gutilla

Firm: Partner at Gunderson Dettmer

Focus: specializes in legal and tax perspectives for VC and private equity investment partnership and structuring M&A’s.

Previous Employers: Nixon Peabody LLP; Hutchins Wheeler & Dittmar PC

Education: Boston University School of Law, J.D

Bio: http://www.gunder.com/people/Nicholas_Guttilla

Jonathan D. Gworek

Firm: Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton PC

Focus: M&A and VC financings for tech startups

Previous Employers: Account executive at Young & Rubicam

Education: University of Connecticut Law School, J.D

Bio: http://www.mbbp.com/attorneys/gworek_jonathan.html

Dimitry Herman

Firm: Herman Law LLC

Focus: M&A for companies in Consumer Goods & Services, Health Care, Media & Entertainment, Retail & Wholesale, Telecommunications.

Previous Employers: Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP

Education: Columbia University, J.D.

Bio: http://www.vcreadylaw.com/about.html

John Hession

Firm: Partner at Cooley LLP

Focus: Licensing, VC Financings, JV’s and M&A for emerging companies in software, digital media, medical devices and life sciences.

Previous Employers: Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault LLP; Burroughs Corporation.

Education: Boston College Law School, 1982, J.D

Bio: http://www.cooley.com/jhession

Pat Mitchell

Firm: Partner at Cooley LLP

Focus: PE, VC, M&A, technology licensing and general corporate law for companies in digital media, software, wireless and energy.
Education: University of California, Los Angeles School of Law,
J.D

Bio: http://www.cooley.com/pmitchell

Richard Morse Jr.

Firm: Of Counsel at Morse Barnes-Brown Pendletn PC

Focus: startup and emerging technology companies throughout their life cycle

Previous Employers: Hutchins & Wheeler

Education: Boston University School of Law, 1970, J.D

Bio: http://www.mbbp.com/attorneys/morse_richard.html

Philip Rossetti

Firm: Partner at Latham & Watkins LLP

Focus: emerging companies, VC financings, M&A and public offerings for early stage and venture-backed companies in information technology and life sciences.

Previous Employers: WilmerHale
Education: Syracuse University College of Law, 1981, J.D

Bio: http://www.lw.com/Attorneys.aspx?page=AttorneyBio&attno=00472

Daniel Ryan

Firm: Attorney and Counselor at Trinity Law Group LLC

Focus: Corporate and transaction law for entrepreneurs, startups and mid-sized companies.

Previous Employers: Proskauer Rose LLP, Nixon Peabody LLP, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

Education: Boston College Law School, J.D

Bio: http://www.trinitylg.com/Daniel%20J%20Ryan.html

Gary Schall

Firm: Associate at Gunderson Dettmer

Focus: corporate formation, VC financing and M&A for emerging growth technology companies throughout their lifecycles.

Previous Employers: Goulston & Storrs; Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP;  Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault LLP

Education: Vanderbilt University, J.D

Bio: http://www.gunder.com/people/Gary_Schall

Paul Sweeney

Firm: Partner at Foley Hoag LLP

Focus: VC Financings, M&A and strategic alliances for companies in networking, computer security, IT, enterprise software and life sciences

Education: Boston College Law School, J.D, 1998

Bio: http://www.foleyhoag.com/people/attorneys/sweeney-paul.aspx

Julio Vega

Firm: Partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP

Focus: VC transactions, M&A, IPO’s, JV’s, strategic alliances and licensing transactions in all areas of technology, including advanced materials, biotechnology, e-commerce, nanotechnology, networking, software and telecommunications.

Education: University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1988, J.D

Language Skills: Spanish

Bio: http://www.bingham.com/Lawyer.aspx?LawyerID=98

David Westenberg

Firm: Partner at WilmerHale

Focus: IPO’s, M&A and VC financings for software, Internet and information technology companies.

Previous Employers: Hale and Dorr LLP

Education: Harvard Law School, 1983, J.D

Bio: http://www.wilmerhale.com/david_westenberg/

Found this list helpful? Also check out our list of Top 20 Silicon Valley Lawyers (link to be posted)

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One Response to “Boston Startup Lawyers – Top 20”


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    [...] // We received a ton of positive feedback on our list of Top 20 NYC Startup Lawyers and Top 20 Boston Startup Lawyers, so we thought it might be helpful to a similar list to help all you Golden State startup [...]

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