Great Web Startup Lawyers

When you start a company, you want to surround yourself with excellent advisors.  Finding a good, startup-savvy and startup-friendly lawyer can be tough, so hopefully this can be a useful starting place. This list has been created by recommendations from entrepreneurs across North America.  Most of the lawyers are general corporate attorneys and I’ve tried to list when someone is a specialist for M&A or IP. If you have a comment about a lawyer on this list, or you want to suggest a new name, please email me at giff(dot)constable @gmail.

For a great post on working with a startup lawyer, see Mark Suster’s  blog here. When looking, talk to more than one and pick the lawyer that is not just great at his/her job, but is also a good personality fit.

The referrals on this page are only from entrepreneurs.  Here is the suggested criteria any recommendation should pass:

  • has a practice with several Web startups, and understands startup issues
  • keeps billable hours reasonable, respecting cash of clients
  • is both an excellent lawyer and communicator
  • does not lose sight of business needs when thinking through legal issues
  • truly cares about representing your business (without conflicts of interests with VCs or other)

atlanta
DLA Piper
Douglas Spear, Partner

austin
Spross & Associates
Brian Spross
Extra comments: “fantastic work, also helped with negotiations; excellent on contracts and M&A”

boston
Goodwin Procter
David Cappillo, Partner

Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton
Mary Beth Kerrigan, Member

VC Ready
Michael Cohen
Benjamin Hron

boulder denver
Rubicon Law Group
Ryan Howell

boulder denver
Woodvale Partners
Bob Smith, Partner
Extra Comments: “Bob is not only an excellent attorney, he is also a very good businessman and great negotiator.”

houston
Phillips & Reiter
Aaron Woo

los angeles
Buchalter Nemer
Donald Lee, Partner

DLA Piper
David Young, Partner

Reicker, Pfau, Pyle & McRoy (Santa Barbara)
Michael Pfau, Partner

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles
Scott Alderton, Partner

Walker Corporate Law Group
Scott Edward Walker, CEO

minneapolis
Lommen Abdo
Bradley Lehrman

montreal
blue HF
Frédéric Dionne

Borden Ladner Gervais
Jonathan Dorval, Partner

newyork

Cooley LLP
Jim Fulton, Partner in Charge

Gunderson Dettmer
Steven Baglio, Partner, M&A
Brian Hutchings, Partner
Extra Comments: “flexible, experienced, responsive, and a pleasure to work with”
Ken McVay, Partner

Hrbek Law
Camille Linson, Of Counsel

Lowenstein Sandler
Peter Fusco, Partner
Ed Zimmerman, Partner
Charles Torres, Partner

philadelphia

Taney Legal
Frank Taney, Principal
Extra comments: “He works very hard to keep billed hours to a minimum, and is always willing to go the extra mile for his clients.”

pittsburgh
Cohen & Grigsby
David Kalson, Director

seattle
McNaul Ebel
William Carleton, Partner
Extra Comments: “has been a fantastic attorney for us”

The Point Law Group
Louis Carbonneau, Founder, IP Law
Extra Comments: “Louis thinks like a businessman, and thinks of ways to get to ‘yes.’ He communicates well with both sides of the table, and is a good strategic advisor.”

siliconvalley
Cooley LLP
Matthew Bartus, Partner
Extra Comments: “not only is he strategic and shrewd as a chief counsel, but he has honestly become one of our most important advisors and a true friend of our team… I’m certain Matt only bills 1/5th of the hours he invests in us.”; “I’ve worked with Matt on a number of transactions as an investor and entrepreneur and he’s always been blindingly quick to respond, shrewd in his analysis, and an all around good guy.”

Fenwick & West
Sam Angus, Partner
Matthew Quilter, Partner
Sayre Stevick, Partner

Fortis General Counsel
Robert Dang, Partner
Joyce Lan Kim, Of Counsel
Joey Tran, Partner
Extra comments: “most startup-friendly lawyers I have found”

Gunderson Dettmer
Scott Dettmer, Partner
Extra comments: “great startup advisor who also happen to be lawyer”

Latham & Watkins
Patrik Polhen, Partner

Orrick
Mitchell Zuklie, Partner
Extra comments: “great advisor”

Pillsbury
Jorge del Calvo, Partner
Tom Thomas, Partner

Silicon Legal
Andre Gharakhanian

Wilson Sonsini
Yoichiro Yaku, Partner

toronto
Hyndman Law
Rob Hyndman
Extra comments: “great understanding of the tech start-up process and has been legal council on key aspects of our corporate structuring and capital raising initiatives”; “Rob knows my issues inside and out (tech IP, HR, etc) from the point of view of the tech industry; Incredibly easy to work with, much more reasonable rates; Can’t say enough good things.”; “invaluable in the creation and organization of our start-up. His advice excels in that it is both legal-smart and people-smart.”

Labarge Weinstein
James Smith, Partner

Venture Law Associates
Suzanne Williams, Partner

washdc
Cooley Godward
Mike Lincoln, Partner

Holland & Knight
Eric Wechselblatt, Partner (Northern VA)

Pillsbury
Joseph Tiano, Partner