Louis Lehot

Top rated Mergers & Acquisitions attorney in Palo Alto, California

Foley & Lardner LLP
Louis Lehot
Foley & Lardner LLP

Practice Areas: Mergers & Acquisitions, Business & Corporate; view more

Licensed in California since: 2006

Education: Boston College Law School

Languages Spoken: English, French

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2021 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2011 - 2012

Foley & Lardner LLP

975 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1013 Visit website


Louis Lehot is a highly experienced corporate and securities attorney who focuses on advising public and emerging private companies, as well as their venture capital and private equity investors. He has a wealth of experience in mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, spin-offs, strategic investments, and joint ventures. Companies, financial sponsors, venture capitalists, investors, and investment banks all seek out Louis for his smart counsel and skill in forming, financing, governing, buying and selling companies.

With over 20 years of experience, Louis has represented companies from a wide range of industries at all stages of development, from start-ups to exits via sale, combination, IPO, or de-SPAC. He has extensive domain knowledge in public offerings and private placements of equity, equity-linked and debt securities, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, spin-offs, strategic investments, and joint ventures, as well as corporate governance and securities law compliance matters. He regularly represents US and non-US registrants before the SEC, FINRA, NYSE and NASDAQ.

Louis works with a multidisciplinary team of other Foley attorneys and business advisors to structure transactions involving sales to strategic and financial buyers. He excels in cross-border deals, having represented public and private clients in the United States and globally. His background advising non-US multinationals looking to access US capital markets makes him uniquely positioned to assist companies with cross-border transactions.

Prior to joining Foley, Louis was the founder of a Silicon Valley boutique law firm—L2 Counsel. He also previously served as the co-managing partner and co-chair of the emerging growth and venture capital practice of a global law firm in Silicon Valley. 

Prior to law school, Louis studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg and finished his degree in international relations. At Georgetown University, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Studies with a major in international law in 1994. 

In 2017, Louis was appointed to Boston College Law School’s Business Advisory Council. Louis has been a two-time faculty member at the world renowned Stanford Directors’ College. He is a former advisory board member for the Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange and is actively involved with several professional organizations, including the Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel, the French-American Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco, the Churchill Club Silicon Valley Chapter, the Securities Law and Corporate Committees of the Association of Corporate Counsel, and the Business Law Committee and the Negotiated Acquisitions Committee of the American Bar Association.

In 2021, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, ranked him among top practitioners for Venture Capital - California, quoting a source as saying, "His legal advice is superb, he has a very good understanding of all of the legal aspects of investing, he has strong business acumen and offers strong business advice." "Louis personally ensures quality, efficiency and value on every transaction we work on."

Practice areas

Mergers & Acquisitions, Business/Corporate

Focus areas

Business Formation and Planning, Business Organizations

  • 80% Mergers & Acquisitions
  • 20% Business/Corporate

First Admitted: 2001, New York

Professional Webpage: https://www.foley.com/en/people/l/lehot-louis

  • Represented Proseeder (fintech)
  • Represented Sourced Craft Cocktails (ecommerce consumer platform)
  • Represented Securly (security for edtech, backed by Owl Ventures and Defy Ventures, sold to Golden Gate)
  • Represented Rallyware (performance enablement platform for direct sales backed by Peak Span Capital)
  • Represented 20Cube Logistics in a business combination agreement with Evo Acquisition Corp.
  • Represented Nimbus Web (workflow and communication management tool)
  • Represented NachoNacho (marketplace for B2B SAAS products)
  • Represented Fanvestor (blockchain marketplace for content creators)
  • Represented Double A Labs Corp (immersive experience SAAS platform using augmented reality to improve enterprise engagement with customers)
  • Represented Hanwha Impact Partners as lead investor in $121M Series C funding for Cellarity
  • Represented Connect Ventures in a $20M investment in Deep Voodoo. Connect Ventres is an investment partnership between Creative Artists Agency and global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates
  • Represented Zonehaven, the SAAS solution for emergency evacuation and community support, in its sale to Genasys (NASDAQ: GNSS), the critical communications systems and solutions company
  • Represented Flurosat, a crop science company, in its all-stock acquisition of soil health startup Dagan to form Regrow Agriculture focusing on resilient agriculture solutions
  • Represented doc.ai Incorporated, the digital health transformation company, in negotiating strategic investment, commercial and licensing deals with Anthem, and in its subsequent 2021 sale to Sharecare and pending combination with Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp
  • Represented 174 Power Global, the power project development arm of Hanwha Energy Corp., in negotiating a joint venture with Total SE to develop utility-scale solar and energy storage projects of 1.6 GW cumulative capacity in North America
  • The underwriters in convertible bond and call spread transactions with SanDisk (2006)
  • Northrop Grumman, France Telecom, Orange, STMicroelectronics, Rhodia, ALSTOM and Dassault Systemes SA in multiple capital markets transactions for ordinary shares, high yield bonds, convertible bonds, exchangeable bonds and other instruments, as well as in public reporting and SEC compliance
  • Lawson Software in its convertible bond offering and call spread transactions (2007)
  • The underwriters in POSCO’s offering of exchangeable bonds (2008)
  • Micron Technology in public offerings of convertible bonds (2007 and 2009)
  • GLG Partners in private placements of convertible bonds (2009)
  • Represented underwriters in AMIS Holdings’ public offering (2007)
  • OpenTable in its follow-on offering (2009)
  • Represented underwriters in Heckmann Corporation’s SPAC IPO and financial advisors in its subsequent de-SPAC transaction (2007-2008)
  • CBRE in multiple capital markets transactions
  • Represented underwriters, Micron (2009)
  • RealD in its IPO and follow-on offering (July and December 2010)
  • LegalZoom in its attempted IPO (2012)
  • CHC Group, Ltd. in its IPO (2014)
  • SoftBank as selling holder in Guardant Health’s IPO and follow-on offerings (2018)
  • SoftBank as selling holder in 10x Genomics’ IPO (2019)
  • SoftBank as selling holder in Slack’s direct listing (2019)
  • Square Panda (AI for edtech, backed by Andre Agassi)
  • WineAccess (consumer internet, backed by Norwest Venture Partners)
  • WannaSplit (fintech)
  • Tuplejump (big data, sold to Cupertino based company)
  • Securly (security for edtech, backed by Owl Ventures and Defy Ventures)
  • Spire Bioventures
  • Proseeder (fintech)
  • GoodData (enterprise SAAS, backed by General Catalyst, a16z, Intel Capital and Visa Ventures)
  • Evernote (consumer internet, backed by Sequoia, Meritech and Morganthaler)
  • BankJoy (fintech) backed by Bessemer Venture Partners, CheckALT and SoftBank Opportunity Fund)
  • CheckALT (fintech, backed by Shai Stern)
  • Centric Software (PLM enterprise SAAS software backed by Dassault Systemes and Oak Investment Partners)
  • Bionure (life sciences)
  • APG Therapeutics (life sciences)
  • Adknowledge Inc.
  • Aquis (beauty-tech)
  • Mighty Capital, X Ventures, BlueShirt Ventures, v2 Ventures, Second Peak and other venture capital funds in formation and fund management matters
  • Accel Andreesen Horowitz, Foundation Capital, General Atlantic, Nautilus Venture Partners, Oak Investment Partners, Propel Ventures and numerous other venture capital firms in making early- to late-stage venture capital investments in technology, life sciences, med-tech, med-device, healthcare and clean energy businesses
  • AIG, Atomico, CBRE, GE Ventures, Hanwha Q Cells, Lenovo, MS&AD Ventures, Next47, OSRAM, Robert Bosch, salesforce Ventures, Siemens and numerous other corporate venturing groups in making strategic investments in technology and healthcare businesses
  • LG Technology Ventures in its initial fund formation and in over a dozen early- to late-stage investments in technology businesses
  • Samsung Ventures in dozens of early- to late-stage investments in technology, healthcare and life science businesses, managing the portfolio and subsequent monetization transactions
  • SoftBank Vision Fund in growth equity investments in Zymergen, Alto Pharmacy, Wag Labs, Slack, Guardant Health, 99 Taxis and 10X Genomics
  • NEA in seed and follow-on investments in Robinhood, ScoutRFP (sold to Workday), Automation Anywhere (largest Series A transaction ever at $265M) and dozens of other transactions for over a decade
  • Vivo Capital in growth equity investments in Maculogix, Harmony Biosciences and Green River
  • Riverwood Capital in growth equity investments in Druva, CloudVirga and Sauce Labs
  • Credit Suisse as financial advisor in Heckmann Corp’s de-SPAC transaction with China Water & Drinks
  • CVC, Elevation Partners, Hellman & Friedman, Hony Capital, Riverwood Capital, Silver Lake Partners, Softbank, Symphony Technology Group, and TPG in leveraged buyouts, growth equity and venture investments
  • AOL LLC (now known as OATH), in the acquisitions of Sphere Source, Inc. and Goowy Media Inc.
  • Stackstorm in its sale to Brocade (now part of Broadcom, NYSE: BDCM)
  • The special committee of the board of directors of Tongjitang Chinese Medicines, an NYSE-listed public company, in negotiating an agreement and plan of merger with a bidder group led by its chairman and Fosun Industrial in a going-private transaction (recognized by China Business Law Journal as 2012’s Going Private Deal of the Year)
  • MetricTest in its sale to Microlease (now part of ElectroRent)
  • Adotube in its sale to Exponential Interactive
  • Tuplejump in its formation and subsequent sale
  • Kerensen Consulting in its sale to salesforce.com (NYSE:  CRM)
  • Centric Software, a global enterprise SAAS PLM company (backed by venture capital firms Oak Investment Partners and Fung Capital) based in Silicon Valley in the sale of a majority stake to Dassault Systemes SE, a French public company listed on Euronext Paris, in a cash and stock deal
  • Docea Power SAS in its sale to Intel (NYSE:  INTC)
  • Tecan Group AG (SIX:  TECN) in its acquisition of SpeWare Corp.
  • Symphony Technology Group and Bond International Software in the acquisition of Erecruit
  • Sanpower Group Co., Ltd., one of the largest privately owned conglomerates in China, on its entry into a definitive agreement to acquire Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for US$819.9 million
  • China-based white goods company in a significant PRC market-access joint venture with a US industrial manufacturing company
  • #bigtech company in a confidential joint venture with a large China-based company in a significant market- access joint venture for the PRC
  • CVC and QA Analytics in its buyout of Cloud Academy
  • Binatone Global in its acquisition of the companion products business of Motorola Mobility
  • CheckALT LLC in the acquisitions of ERAS from Diebold (NYSE: DBD) and Klike Technologies from MUFG Union Bank
  • Penn National Gaming (NYSE: PENN) in acquisition of Rocket Games
  • SoftBank Group International in the sale of 99 Taxis, the largest ride sharing company in Brazil, to Didi
  • Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) in acquisitions of Appformix, Aurrion, Cyphort and in other strategic transactions
  • doc.ai Incorporated, the digital health transformation company, in negotiating strategic investment, commercial and licensing deals with Anthem, and in its subsequent 2021 sale to Sharecare and pending combination with Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp
  • Avnet (NASDAQ: AVT) in acquisitions of Dragon Innovation and Solaris and in numerous strategic investments in technology businesses
  • CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE: CBG) in dozens of acquisitions over the past decade for regional real estate brokerages, property management businesses, technology platforms and adjacent services, including Floored.com, Forum Analytics, Brenner Real Estate Group, Capstone Financial, Skye Group, CAC Group, Fameco, KLMK Group, U.S. Equities, UCR and many more
  • Riverwood Capital in its buyout of Forecast5 Analytics and numerous other attempted buyout deals
  • Semarchy, the Intelligent Data HubTM company and a disruptive provider of master data management software, in a significant investment from funds advised by Providence Strategic Growth (“PSG”), the growth equity affiliate of Providence Equity Partners
  • 174 Power Global, the power project development arm of Hanwha Energy Corp., in negotiating a joint venture with Total SE to produce 1.6 GW of industrial renewable power and battery storage projects in North America
  • Flurosat, a crop science company, in its all-stock acquisition of soil health startup Dagan to form Regrow Agriculture focusing on resilient agriculture solutions
Educational Background:
  • BSFS, cum laude, International Law, Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, 1994
  • Bishop O’Dowd High School, 1990
  • CEP, honors, International Relations, Sciences Po Strasbourg, 1993 (Louis is fluent in French)
  • J.D., cum laude, Boston College Law School 2000
Representative Clients:
  • STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM), Technip, Rhodia, Orange and many more
  • Sanpower Group Co., Ltd.—Provided buy-side acquiror counsel to Sanpower in its acquisition of Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a transaction valued at approximately $900 million. Sanpower Group Co., Ltd., is one of the largest privately owned conglomerates in China., 2017
  • SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRF)
  • Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX)
  • Hanwha Q Cells (NASDAQ: QCELLS)
  • CHC Helicopter—CHC Group Ltd.—CHC Helicopter is a global helicopter services company, specializing in transportation to offshore oil and gas platforms, civilian search and rescue and air medical evacuation services, and helicopter maintenance repair and overhaul. Headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, CHC operates more than 250 aircraft in 30 countries in the world. Served as issuer counsel in an NYSE IPO in 2014 and advised on a subsequent convertible preferred stock offering to Clayton Dublier and Rice as well as on high-yield bond issuances., 2014
  • Kerensen—Served as sell-side M&A counsel to Kerensen in its acquisition by Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the largest CRM company in the world., 2015
  • CSR plc—CSR plc, sold to Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM). CSR is a UK-based designer and developer of silicon and software for the consumer electronics market. Represented SiRF Technologies, Inc., in its sale to CSR plc (UK) and then represented CSR in multiple acquisitions and investments prior to its sale to Qualcomm (San Diego)., 2015
  • Docea Power—Served as sell-side M&A counsel to Docea Power in its acquisition by Intel Corporation, the global public semiconductor company listed on the NASDAQ stock market., 2015
  • 99 Taxis—Represented SoftBank in making a significant round of growth equity financing in Brazil's leading ride-sharing company. Negotiated the sale of 99 Taxis to Didi, the China-based ride-sharing company, in an all-share transaction at a significant multiple., 2018
  • Tecan Group AG—(SIX: TECN)—Tecan Group AG is a Switzerland-based global provider of automated laboratory instruments and solutions. Represented Tecan in its acquisition of Speware Corp. and numerous transactions., 2016
  • Penn National Gaming, Inc.—(NASDAQ: PENN)—Penn National Gaming, Inc. is a diversified owner and manager of gaming facilities in the United States and Canada, many of them under the Hollywood Casino brand. Provided buy-side acquiror counsel to Penn in its acquisition of Rocket Games, Inc., a leading developer of social casino games based in San Francisco, California., 2016
  • StackStorm—Provided sell-side counsel to StackStorm in its acquisition by Brocade, a public semiconductor company now a subsidiary of Broadcom., 2016
  • Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR)—Represented Juniper Networks in its acquisitions of AppFormix, Inc.; Aurrion, Inc.; and Cyphort., 2017
  • Avnet—(NASDAQ: AVT)—Avnet, Inc., is a distributor of electronic components headquartered in Phoenix. Represented Avnet in buy-side M&A in the acquisitions of Solera and Dragon Innovation and in corporate ventures (e.g., investments into FIT, Otava and many more), litigation, regulatory affairs, intellectual property and more., 2017
  • DoubleBeam—Served as outside general counsel to the company, enabled numerous financings, and provided sell-side M&A counsel to DoubleBeam in its sale to Verifone, a global public fintech and payment processing company., 2018
  • Brioche Pasquier, S.A.—A multi-billion dollar French baked goods company with global operations. Represented Brioche Pasquier in its acquisition of Galaxy Desserts, Inc., of Richmond, California, and have served as its outside general counsel for a decade., 2021
  • Centric Software—Represented Centric, a Silicon Valley-based global enterprise SaaS PLM company (backed by venture capital firms Oak Investments and Fund Capital), in the sale of a majority stake to Dassault Systems SE, a French public company listed on Euronext Paris, in a cash and stock deal., 2018
  • Dasan Zhone—(NASDAQ: DZSI)—Represented Dasan Zhone, a provider of telecommunications networking equipment headquartered in Oakland, California, in its acquisition of KEYMILE, a leading solution provider and manufacturer of telecommunication systems for broadband access., 2019
  • Semarchy SAS and Semarchy, Inc.—Represented the intelligent data hub company in its sale to Providence Strategic Growth, the growth equity arm of Providence Equity Partners., 2020
  • Binatone Global—Represented Binatone in buy-side M&A (acquisition of companion products division of Motorola Mobility and Kaishei from BCGDV) as well as in negotiating rounds of investment, among other matters. Based in Hong Kong, Binatone Global has been creating leading-edge consumer electronics for more than 60 years., 2021
  • Affiliates of the Samsung Group—Provided counsel to affiliates of the Samsung Group to deploy, manage and harvest capital from corporate venturing investments in electronics, biotech, biometrics, semiconductors, composite materials, mobile, fintech, adtech, consumer internet and security sectors., 2021
  • 174 Power Global—174 Power Global is the renewable energy power generation and development affiliate company of Hanwha Group, a leading South Korean chaebol. Represented affiliates of Hanwha as buy-side and sell-side M&A counsel, advising on corporate venturing investments, project development, sale of projects, and joint venture. Served as co-counsel for 174 Power Global in its joint venture with an affiliate of French energy conglomerate Total in January of 2021., 2021
  • Doc.ai—Acted as legal advisor to doc.ai in its acquisition by Sharecare, the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place., 2021
  • CBRE Group—(NYSE: CBG)—Regularly represent CBRE Group, Inc., the world's largest commercial real estate platform, in its M&A program, as well as numerous corporate venturing investments, partnerships and other transactions for 15 years. Have served as buy-side acquiror counsel in more than 15 acquisitions, including the acquisitions of Floored.com, Forum Analytics, Brenner Real Estate Group, Capstone Financial, Skye Group, CAC Group, Fameco, KLMK Group, U.S. Equities, UCR, and many more real estate brokerages, asset management, product bolt-on and technology businesses., 2021
  • SoftBank Vision Fund—Represented SoftBank, a growth capital and late-stage startup investment fund headquartered in London and focused on global AI trend companies, in making investments and bringing assets to market—Slack, Guardant Health, 99 Taxis, ScriptDash, Zymergen, 10x Genomics, Petuum, Fungible, Alto Pharmacy, Wag! and many others., 2021
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • The Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel
  • Former advisory board member, The Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange (SVDX)
  • The Association of Corporate Counsel, Bay Area Corporate and Securities Law Committee
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Committee, Subcommittee on Negotiated Acquisitions
  • The French-American Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco, Chamber of Commerce
  • New York Bar, 2001
  • California Bar, 2006
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • The Churchill Club Silicon Valley Chapter
  • , Listed in Chambers USA for Venture Capital - California, Chambers USA, 2021
  • , Listed in Chambers for Venture Capital - California, Chambers USA, 2022
  • , Listed in Chambers USA - Leading Equity and Debt Capital Markets, Chambers USA, 2016
  • , Recognized by The Legal 500 US in the fields of mergers & acquisitions/corporate and commercial, The Legal 500 US
  • , Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers , Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers, 2021
  • , Selected as an Acritas Star, Acritas, 2021
  • , Named an advisory board member, Silicon Valley Directors' Exchange (SVDX) , Silicon Valley Directors' Exchange, in partnership with Stanford Law School
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • As the web further decentralizes based on blockchains, we are seeing new technology business models, particularly in the ecommerce sector, incorporate digital tokens into transaction flows by using digitally native tokens as a medium of payment for transacting on the platform. , Co-author, The Law of Tokenomics, Revisited, VentureBeat, 2022
  • On October 4, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill No. 390, amending California’s Automatic Renewal law (”ARL”). The existing ARL was originally passed on January 1, 2010, as part of a regulatory effort by the California legislature to “end the practice of ongoing charging of consumer credit or debit cards or third-party payment accounts” without first obtaining the consumer’s explicit consent for ongoing shipments or deliveries of service. The ARL applies to businesses that sell and offer subscription services or products on an automatic renewal or continuous service basis to California consumers. Taking effect on July 1, 2022, the amended ARL includes new cancellation and notice requirements for subscription-based products and services and will augment the already-stringent California law. , Co-author, Updated California automatic renewal law: what businesses need to know, Westlaw Today, 2021
  • As financial markets wrap up the year 2021 and launch into 2022 at warp speed, the “DeFi” world has a new star called the “DAO.” Decentralized finance, short-handed as “DeFi”, refers to peer-to-peer finance enabled by Ethereum, Avalanche, Solana, Cardano and other Layer-1 blockchain protocols, as distinguished from centralized finance (CeFi) or traditional finance (TradFi), in which buyers and sellers, payment transmitters and receivers, rely upon trusted intermediaries such as banks, brokers, custodians and clearing firms., Co-author, DeFi and the DAO: How the Law Needs to Change to Accommodate Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, LegalTech News, 2021
  • The Metaverse could have virtual creations by avatars and AI aspects built into them. If such innovations are deemed AI creations and not human creations, they may not be allowed certain types of intellectual property protection., Co-author, Live, Work and Play in a Legal Metaverse: Preparing for a New Online Existence, IP Watchdog, 2021
  • With the growing interest from consumers and asset managers, investors as well as entrepreneurs interested in digital assets, we have created this checklist for monetizing items with unique artistic content characteristics through nonfungible tokens (NFTs)., Co-author, A Checklist of Legal Considerations for the NFT Marketplace, Crunchbase, 2021
  • As the virtual world explodes with data, ‘containers’ are the paradigm by which they are growing., Author, Navigating the Legal Cloud: How to Manage Data and Intellectual Property with Cloud Orchestration Platforms, IP Watchdog, 2021
  • Since late 2019, when the special purpose acquisition corporation, or SPAC, returned to the public markets with a new twist, a circus of activity has breathed new life into the markets for privately-held emerging growth companies, forcing open a large window for public exits not seen in decades. In this “SPAC 2.0 boom,” sponsors of SPAC vehicles first raised large pools of blind capital in the public markets and then struck deals to buy emerging growth companies for ~10x the cash raised plus rollover equity and a second pile of cash in the form of a PIPE, Author, Meet the new SPAC circus ringleader: the PIPE investor, Westlaw Today, 2021
  • It should come as no surprise that tech giants are already all in and building in the metaverse. Games’ Fortnite, Microsoft’s Minecraft, Facebook’s Horizon, and many more are contributors., Author, Looking into the future of a legal metaverse?, VentureBeat, 2021
  • Data has become the fuel that drives major portions of the modern economy, and many tech companies depend on that fuel. But the increased importance has made these troves of data more attractive targets to hackers and other bad actors. With the current trend toward digital transformation and the importance of data in machine learning, sensitive information increasingly resides on third-party cloud servers, introducing additional security risks. Even locally stored data could be at risk—including potential breaches or careless or malicious employees. Any breach of data, whether locally or at the cloud level, can cause significant disruption to business operations., Co-author, How to Limit Your Data Liability, LegalTech News, 2021
  • There has been a huge wave in investment in educational technology businesses since the outset of the pandemic, which continues to scale up. The first half of 2021 saw over $3.2 billion invested in US EdTech startups compared to $2.2 billion in all of 2020. Globally those numbers are even more impressive, with $18.8 billion in investment from private investors to EdTech companies in the first half of this year, according to market research firm Metaari. You don’t have to look far to see the incredible investment pouring into this sector, as well as the flurry of M&A and IPO activity., Co-author, Increasing investment in EdTech scaling beyond the pandemic, Westlaw Today, 2021
  • As we emerge from a global pandemic and return to robust economic growth, the cybersecurity industry is on fire, and venture capitalists are taking notice. While the industry has seen steady growth over the past decade, since 2019, industry expansion has accelerated at a breakneck pace. This is particularly true when you look at industry growth and investment in 2020 and in the first quarter of 2021. We look at what’s driving demand, dive into the life of a cybersecurity startup, examine target markets, and scan the horizon for signs of what’s in store for the future., Author, What to expect for cybersecurity investment as we emerge from the pandemic, Westlaw Today, 2021
  • SPACs have had a fantastic run in the last year through the end of Q1 2021, rising from a total IPO count of 59 in 2019 to 248 in 2020 and a whopping 311 in just the first quarter of 2021.  Yes, the number of SPAC IPOs in the first quarter of this year exceeded the total of all of 2020.  But the number of new IPOs dropped sharply in April.  SPACInsider lists 85 SPAC IPOs in January, 96 in February, 109 in March, but only 13 in April.  While the SPAC market had been growing by 13% per month in the first quarter, April’s total showed a drop of 88% compared to March’s., Author, Are SPACs Dying Off? A Few Points to Consider about the Future of SPACs, VC List, 2021
  • This year has seen a surge in investor interest in fintech startups. CB Insights1 reported that the first quarter of 2021 was the largest funding quarter on record for fintech, surpassing Q2 2018, which included Ant Group’s $14B funding round. Venture capital-backed fintech companies raised $22.8 billion across 614 deals in the first quarter of 2021, representing 15% growth in deal volume and 98% growth in capital, both measured on a year-over-year basis. Every continent saw growth., Co-author, Avoiding Legal Pitfalls to Capitalize on the 2021 Boom in Fintech, Data Driven Investor, 2021
  • A few years ago, initial coin offerings (ICOs) were all the rage in the cryptocurrency world.  They offered many projects the ability to raise funds quickly and easily, but they also drew the scrutiny of regulatory agencies.  As I pointed out at the time, the regulatory landscape for ICOs was something of a Wild West, with multiple agencies claiming jurisdiction.  While the ICO market eventually cooled, the rise of NFTs demonstrates a similarly complicated relationship with existing regulations.  As we sketched out in our initial guide to legal issues in NFTs, the cost of non-compliance can be fatal.  With the benefit of more experience, we are sharing key considerations in building an NFT marketplace., Co-author, Designing NFT Marketplaces, Digital Connect Mag, 2021
  • Combined with incubators and accelerators, a whole new definition and creative means of high-resolution fundraising for startups have evolved. The timing could not be better – with a global pandemic and geopolitical instabilities preventing travel or even face-to-face meetings., Author, A Critical Look at Equity Crowdfunding, ReadWrite, 2021
  • The changes to taxation on capital gains and inherited wealth, combined with a higher tax rate on ordinary income, could raise hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue for the federal government at a time when it is seeking funding for historic stimulus and infrastructure programs. But the changes to the way capital gains are taxed will change the incentives for those that deploy capital and work., Author, Venture capital in the headlights: How President Biden’s proposed changes to capital gains could impact the innovation economy, Westlaw Today, 2021
  • Building a new company requires dedication and tenacity, but sometimes, even startups that show great promise do not work out.  Failure can happen for many reasons.  Sometimes startups misjudge their markets, and sometimes the markets are not ready for radical innovations.  But if you are facing a startup failure, you can still face it gracefully by projecting three areas into the future., Author, The art of the bellyflop—what to do when your startup is not working out, Startup Info, 2021
  • The rapid virtualization of many business functions has had a number of unintended consequences. On the one hand, for startups and investors, virtual deal-making has become commonplace, which has changed the dynamics of raising capital and investing. One startup CEO noticed that compared to pitching in person, virtual deal-making had a heightened focus but found that “it allowed for more robust conversations and data sharing over a shorter period of time.”, Author, The future of virtual deal-making and the return to work, VentureBeat, 2021
  • Speculating about the future can be a perilous undertaking. If predictions from the twentieth century were right, we would be cruising around in flying cars and living in moonbases or on remote planets by now. Putting those pre-21st century fantasies aside, don’t make the mistaking of looking backwards when driving forward. To survive the pandemic, circumstances forced companies to cut costs, get lean, leverage technology and remote workers, going forward it will be harder to bring workers back online and find new ones than it will be to raise growth capital. While the immediate past required companies to operate with technology and remote workers “in the “back” to survive, the immediate future will require them to bring workers back in the front., Author, Preparing for the future of work, Young UpStarts, 2021
  • With the recent, highly publicized Coinbase and Roblox direct listings and the SPAC boom over the past year, alternatives to the traditional IPO are in the spotlight. It seems that more and more companies are looking for ways to bypass the IPO process and go public through these alternative methods.While these IPO alternatives are generally viewed as faster and cheaper methods to take a company public, there are, of course, many factors to consider when looking at any avenue to go public., Author, Examining the risks and benefits of IPO alternatives: direct listings and SPACs, Westlaw Today, 2021
  • This year, digital assets have dominated the news. For example, cryptocurrency, which has been around for a while, attracted much new attention over the last year because of its growing value, validation from public figures like Elon Musk, and bitcoin offerings from respected financial firms like Morgan Stanley. But, while transferring a physical asset is a straightforward process, digital assets are more complex because the only way to access cryptocurrency is through a 64-digit passcode.  , Author, All digital assets go to heaven? Actually, purgatory, if you’re not careful, Digital Wealth News, 2021
  • Despite AI's ubiquity across every technology and healthcare field, there is no comprehensive federal legislation on AI in the United States to date. The US Congress has nonetheless enacted and is considering several pieces of legislation that will regulate certain aspects of AI. The executive branch continues to adopt directives and rulemaking that will impact on the use of AI. In February 2020, the Electronic Privacy Information Center petitioned the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to conduct rulemaking concerning the use of AI in commerce in order to define and prevent consumer harms resulting from AI products. We expect other organisations and groups to increasingly pressure the FTC and other governmental agencies to establish regulations regarding AI use. Meanwhile, much of the governing legal framework is through the cross-application of rules and regulations governing traditional disciplines such as product liability, data privacy, intellectual property, discrimination and workplace rights. Self-regulation and standards groups also contribute to the governing framework., Co-author, Artificial Intelligence Comparative Guide, MONDAQ, 2021
  • When the pandemic first hit the U.S. economy, many experts anticipated a decided pullback from comparatively risky investments like startups.  Crunchbase reported in March of 2020 that “If past cycles are any guide, we can expect a sharp startup funding slowdown in coming months.”  The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance concluded that “Investors and companies must be prepared to address and negotiate new or reemerging terms as investors seek to de-risk their investments and companies seek financing alternatives in response to rapidly changing market conditions.”  Counterintuitively, outside of the travel and hospitality sectors, 2020 failed to usher in the “black swan” moment that had been proclaimed.  As we move into spring in 2021, it feels decidedly 1999ish in technology, digital health and life science startups and investing., Author, Startup and venture-capital investing in the post-COVID era,” Startup.Info, Startup.Info, 2021
  • In 2020, everything changed. Jobs were cut, businesses were shuttered, and too many people lost their lives. But the global pandemic also triggered a response that is creating new jobs, stimulating innovation, and forging new business models. The market for mergers and acquisitions has weathered the storm of COVID-19 and is surging into the second quarter of 2021 with all pistons firing, particularly in healthcare., Co-author, Healthcare Shines in M&A’s Major Comeback so far in 2021,” Healthcare Innovation, Healthcare Innovation, 2021
  • As summer 2020 progresses, the initial public offering (IPO) window is surprisingly wide open, and tech and life science companies are scrambling to get out before it shuts. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies shelved their IPO plans to shore up their operations, but as certain tech companies benefited from the shutdown or from the reopening that ensued, some companies pivoted back to the IPO process and are now rushing to take advantage. In July, FinTech phenom nCino had one of the most successful tech IPOs of all time, with a 195 percent increase in its first day of trading. An IPO is a crucial moment for a startup. It is a badge of honor when a company sells its shares to the public, or when it lists them on a national securities exchange. However, it comes with its share of costs. Below is some advice for going-public companies on how to best access the IPO window., Author, The return of the tech IPO, Financier Worldwide Magazine, 2020
  • It’s a challenging environment we are in—and it is going to last awhile. Yet deals are still getting done. What are some things you can do to help boost your odds of success?, Author, M&A in the Era of Social Distancing – How Remote Work Affects Mergers & Acquisitions, Law.com's Legaltech News, 2020
  • Personal rapport, trust, and confidence are critical ingredients of successful mergers, acquisitions and investment transactions, and building these elements is key. For deals to get done, dealmakers need to inspire trust and confidence in one another and the working group. With quarantines in place and face-to-face meetings out of the question, following are answers to frequently asked questions on how to negotiate transactions in the new “normal” successfully, Co-author, Negotiating Deals during the Pandemic, The Corporate Governance Advisor, 2020
  • How are venture capital and other asset classes deploying funds to blockchain-based business models? What are the latest theses from investors as to why to invest in blockchain? How have blockchain-based businesses been affected by the global pandemic and economic crisis that ensued? How are they positioned to recover? The Blockchain Report 2020, released by research company CB Insights, reviews the blockchain and cryptocurrency landscape in 2019 while providing a window into 2020 with the impact of COVID-19. Meanwhile, regulatory and enforcement bodies are standing firm in their mission to protect investors based on the existing statutory and regulatory frameworks, that were not written in contemplation of distributed ledger technologies., Author, Blockchain Legal and Market Trends: 2020 & Beyond, Fintech Weekly, 2020
  • In recent years, the world has seen a gold rush of private companies rushing to go-public via a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition corporation, or “SPAC.” This article will attempt to answer why. We will also clarify what it means for entrepreneurs, what it costs, why it matters, and who will be disrupted. Finally, we will look for some market indicators to watch out for., Author, Amidst a global pandemic, why are so many companies rushing to go public via the SPAC, despite producing lower returns for investors?, Medium, 2020
  • Both the hardware and algorithms have a long way to go until they grace our environments. Quantum computing is not an unattainable innovation, though—it is real enough and, therefore, reachable enough to merit consideration of implications now., Author, Bring on the Qubits: How the Quantum Computing Arms Race Affects Legal, Law.com's Legaltech News, 2020
  • In Q1 2020, venture capital firms deployed over $4.0 billion of fresh capital into 148 deals for artificial intelligence companies. The data shows that strategic and financial investors are looking for companies that are combining emerging, connected and smart technologies to digitally transform their industry., Author, Four Artificial Intelligence Technologies to Lead the Global Economy Out of the Pandemic, IP Watchdog, 2020
  • As you consider board service, do your due diligence. It is wise to learn as much as you can about the organization beforehand. Male or female, if you are a prospective board member, here are some considerations to enhance your chances of landing that position., Author, INSIGHT: Interested in Joining a Corporate Board? Do Your Due Diligence, Bloomberg Law, 2020
  • Before you enter a venture capital fundraising round, you want to make sure you have what it takes to succeed. Is your founding and leadership team strong and reliable, do you have a viable product, do you have quantifiable revenue, is your customer base targeted with a strategy for growth? While these concerns used to be addressed post-Series A fundraising, competition is steep and venture capital investors expect a company to have a clear vision and business development strategy. If there is any indication your company is not ready, don’t bother. You often get only one shot at impressing an investor so you need to make it count., Author, 8 Questions to Ask Before Raising Your First Round of Venture Capital, BuzzFeed, 2020
  • Author, “What The Presidential Race Means For Big Tech, Silicon Valley,” Law360 (March 3, 2020)
  • Author, “Looking for A Lawyer? Choose wisely, your business is at stake, says Louis Lehot,” Medium (February 5, 2020)
  • Author, “Building the Perfect Pitch Desk,” Medium (February 10, 2020)
  • Author, “Running an Effective Board of Directors,” Medium (February 13, 2020)
  • Author, “Guide to Raising Your First Round of Venture Capital,” VC List (February 17, 2020)
  • Author, “Early stage financing,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (April 6, 2020)
  • Author, “8 Questions to ask before raising your first round of venture capital,” BuzzFeed (March 21, 2020)
  • Author, “How to build the perfect pitch deck,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (March 23, 2020)
  • Author, “INSIGHT: Interested in Joining a Corporate Board? Do Your Due Diligence,” Bloomberg Law (March 24, 2020)
  • Author, “How to raise venture capital,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (March 31, 2020)
  • Moderator, “M&A Term Sheets 101,” (July 14, 2020)
  • Panelist, “Startup Management through the Crisis,” (April 15, 2020)
  • Author, “When and how to incorporate,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (April 13, 2020)
  • Author, “Running an Effective Board Meeting,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (April 22, 2020)
  • Author, “Four Artificial Intelligence Technologies to Lead the Global Economy Out of the Pandemic,” IP Watch Dog (May 14, 2020)
  • Panelist, “Accelerated Startup Academy,” (June 16, 2020)
  • Co-author (with Broc Romanek), “Negotiating Deals during the Pandemic,” The Corporate Governance Advisor (July/August 2020)
  • Author, “M&A in the Era of Social Distancing – How Remote Work Affects Mergers & Acquisitions,” Law.com’s LegalTech News (July 21, 2020)
  • Author, “Blockchain Legal and Market Trends:2020 & Beyond,” Fintech Weekly, (September 29, 2020)
  • Author, “Bring on the Qubits:  How the Quantum Computing Arms Race Affects Legal,” Legal Tech News (August 19, 2020)
  • Author, “Going global,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (September 9, 2020)
  • Author, “Founder Equity,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (September 16, 2020)
  • Co-author, “Capitalization Tables and Pro formas,” #AskaSiliconvalleylawyer (September 23, 2020)
  • Co-author, “Stock options 101,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (September 24, 2020)
  • Co-author, “How has negotiating an M&A transaction changed during the pandemic,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (September 29, 2020)
  • Author, “Amidst a global pandemic, why are so many companies rushing to go public via the SPAC, despite producing lower returns for investors,” Medium (September 28, 2020)
  • Author, “The return of the tech IPO,” Financier Worldwide Magazine (September 2020)
  • Author, “Founder Equity,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (September 16, 2020)
  • Author, “Basics of Venture Capital,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (October 7, 2020)
  • Author, “How to engage an accountant,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (October 8, 2020)
  • Co-author, “How to build an advisory board,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (October 13, 2020)
  • Moderator, “Privacy Policy 101,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (October 20, 2020)
  • Panelist, “US Market Entry for Startups,” DrakeStarTalks (November 13, 2020)
  • Moderator, “A Silicon Valley Take on AI Adoption,” #Askasiliconvalleylawyer (December 3, 2020)
  • Panelist, “Garage to Global:  In-House Warrior,” Corporate Counsel Business Journal (January 10, 2021)
  • Panelist, “Startup Venture Trends 2021,” 4thly Accelerator (February 1, 2021)
Industry Groups:
  • AI-Artificial Intelligence
  • Analytics
  • Big Data
  • Clean Energy
  • Cybersecurity
  • Enterprise SaaS
  • Life Sciences
  • Quantum Computing
  • Technology
  • the Internet of Things

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

“Louis is a rockstar partner with a bright future. He is responsive and has extensive experience in all areas of corporate law.”

“Louis is an exceptional attorney who is deeply passionate about the law and helping clients. His depth of experience and knowledge coupled with a very practice business sense makes him a phenomenal business attorney and trusted advisor.”

“Louis is a brilliant, practical business-minded, attorney who brings his vast experience, energy, and problem solving to each client engagement. ”

“Louis is a great hands on partner--very responsive and looks for creative ways to achieve client goals.”

Office location for Louis Lehot

975 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1013

Phone: 650-272-3612


3 Years Super Lawyers
2 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2021 - 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2011 - 2012

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