At Williams Mullen, we define our private equity and venture capital practice broadly to address all the different types of transactions in which equity is sold in transactions by an issuer not involving any public offering. While Williams Mullen has a flourishing securities and corporate practice serving our clients who report publicly, we also know that the vast majority of capital raised in the United States is raised through exempt offerings and have focused for decades on serving this space. We are proud of our status as an acknowledged national leader in representing clients seeking and providing the types of funding that accompany transactions by an issuer not involving any public offering.
By definition, our practice covers those transactions normally defined as being in the “private equity” and “venture capital” space. Our lawyers routinely help private equity and venture capital sponsors form their funds, conduct their own private placements, and then invest that capital in portfolio company acquisitions and minority investments. We help our investor clients and clients seeking investments to formulate innovative strategies for structuring financings, acquisitions of private and public companies (including unsolicited acquisitions), going private transactions, stock for stock acquisitions, spin-offs, split-offs, split-ups, acquisitions of minority interests as well as traditional private placements of equity, debt, and convertible securities.
Once financed, our firm provides ongoing counsel to our private equity clients including general legal counseling, corporate governance matters, add-on acquisitions, and divestitures.
We also help early-stage, mid-stage and later-stage companies as they prepare to find capital to finance their needs and, when they are ready to do so, assist them in capital financing transactions. Sources of these funds can be institutional investors, such as venture capital firms and mezzanine funds, private equity groups, “angel” investors and investors who cross the venture capital/angel divide.
We also regularly introduce our clients to curated investment banking firms to help them raise capital or explore strategic alternatives and work closely with these clients and their investment bankers to complete those transactions.
We guide our clients through comprehensive legal and regulatory due diligence examinations of the target company and, when representing a client seeking capital, we similarly assess its business model and risk profile with the goal of matching the client with appropriate investors or with investment banks.
As important as it is to find a good investment, it is equally important to implement an effective exit strategy. Our experience includes the full spectrum of exit transactions, and we assist our private equity clients in recapitalizations, mergers and consolidations, asset sales, stock sales, and initial public offerings. During the exit transaction, we address negotiation and transaction strategy; structure; indemnity risks; and legal compliance with securities, corporate, and other laws.
No matter the transaction type, we draw on our experience in the areas of finance, intellectual property, tax law, real estate law, labor and employment law, environmental law and other areas as appropriate to properly structure a transaction suited to the investment while providing flexibility for future opportunities.
Our attorneys are also active in publishing and lecturing on private equity-related topics and in developing private equity and venture capital organizations, like 757 Angels, the first angel group in the Hampton Roads area and one of the fastest growing groups in the nation. Our leadership in the private equity industry enables us to understand the needs of all our clients, whether they are attracting or investing capital or exploring strategic alternatives.
Our key areas of service include:
- Counseling on federal and state securities law issues.
- Fund financing, including market partnership agreements, capital raises and follow-on investments.
- Introductions to sources of capital and investment banking firms.
- Comprehensive assessments to ensure funds comply with regulatory requirements.
- Facilitating investment into and sales by portfolio companies of buyout and venture capital funds as well as teams of angel investors.
- Quarterbacking the broad, daily needs of our clients.