Bryan Cave Combines with Berwin Leighton Paisner to Form Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP Learn More

We apply a relationship-based approach, honed through nearly 150 years of serving the diverse needs of clients around the globe, to partner with start-up companies and their investors. We excel at building deep and enduring relationships with these clients as we help them launch, grow and successfully exit business ventures – over and over again. Many clients who joined us as start-ups are now multibillion dollar enterprises.

With attorneys who served as general counsels of start-up ventures, our team understands your business and your needs. We combine our decades of start-up experience, presence in accelerator and venture investor communities and deep insight into clients’ industries to provide pragmatic, business-savvy and cost-effective counsel tailored for the needs of entrepreneurs.

We are trusted advisors to innovative companies of all sizes – from pre-revenue start-ups to late-stage companies preparing for an exit – as well as the angel, venture capital and private equity investors that fund them. PitchBook consistently ranks Bryan Cave among the top 15 most active venture capital law firms worldwide. With 26 offices, including in Boulder, London, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, we operate from several of the world’s major venture capital hubs and deeply understand the dynamics and drivers of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Tailored Solutions

As a full-service law firm, we have the practice breadth and global resources to scale with companies as they grow, representing them through all stages of their corporate lifecycle. We provide a single access point for the spectrum of legal needs vital to their businesses, including:

Formation: To translate a great business idea into reality, entrepreneurs must first assess the most advantageous entity structure. Our team guides entrepreneurs through evaluating potential arrangements and tax implications, and creates key formation documents such as certificates of incorporation, equity holder agreements and other key organizational infrastructure documents.

Structuring and Negotiating Financing: We structure and negotiate financing arrangements for start-ups and investors ranging from seed stage to Series D and beyond. We represent and work across the table from a variety of capital sources, including angel investors; venture capital funds; academic, government and commercial research institutions; banks and other financial institutions; as well as the public markets.

Intellectual Property Creation and Protection: Our team regularly advises start-ups on patent, trade secret and copyright protection of their intellectual property, including preparing patent applications, drafting agreements to maintain the confidentiality of intellectual property and reviewing third-party patent portfolios. We partner with clients to craft strategies to capitalize on and protect their intellectual property, both in the domestic markets and abroad.

Strategic Partnerships and Corporate Alliances: Our lawyers assist start-ups in structuring and negotiating research and development licenses, joint ventures, strategic partnerships, earning agreements and other collaborative arrangements vital to their success. Clients rely on Bryan Cave for strategic licensing, corporate partnering and research collaboration matters.

Third-Party Agreements: Bryan Cave provides start-ups fast, practical, value-added counsel in the preparation, negotiation and management of third-party agreements. Such as terms and conditions, distributorship and representative arrangements, software licenses, terms of use and privacy policies, consulting and services contracts and other commercial arrangements.

Employment Advice: Early-stage companies call upon Bryan Cave to prepare a wide range of employment agreements, advise on executive compensation arrangements and develop internal training programs. We also defend companies in all types of employment litigation including class and collective actions, wrongful termination, discrimination and breach of employment contract.

Compliance and Regulatory Services: Many start-ups operate in an environment subject to a wide array of federal and state legislation and regulations, including data privacy and export controls laws. Our attorneys understand the nuances of these laws and help our clients seamlessly navigate through them.

Expertise in IPO and M&A Exit Strategies: Bryan Cave routinely counsels companies through the public offering process, including preparation of registration statements and prospectuses and assisting clients with the listing process. Regularly ranked by Thomson Reuters as a top 10 M&A law firm by number of U.S. deals, we also advise on a wide variety of M&A transactions, including stock and asset acquisitions, mergers, tender offers, leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations.

Benefit to Our Clients

Our comprehensive services provide the legal advice and business acumen start-ups and their investors need at every phase of their growth. We bring value to our clients through our:

  • Enduring Partnerships: We pride ourselves on serving as trusted counselors, committed to the long-term growth and success of our clients.
  • Cost-Effective Solutions: We handle corporate matters by leveraging lawyers in locations at costs that are more appropriate for companies in their early stages.
  • Practical Innovations: We make award-winning innovation, creative pricing strategies and technology solutions available to companies of all sizes.
  • Technology Expertise: We advise ventures spanning a broad range of cutting-edge technologies and thus have a strong grasp of the nuances of fintech, ad-tech, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, IoT and other emerging areas.
  • Robust Network: We actively partner with key industry associations, angel investor groups and start-up incubators across the country.
  • Unmatched Efficiency: We work with an entrepreneur’s focus, at an entrepreneur’s pace and on an entrepreneur’s budget.
  • Value-Added Resources: We regularly offer key legal insights through our Start-Up Blog.