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By Louis Lehot, a business lawyer at Foley & Lardner LLP in San Francisco and Silicon Valley Special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), organizations that raise funds in the public markets for the purpose of acquiring a private company and taking it public, had their heyday during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, 248 companies went public through mergers with SPACs, exceeding the number of such deals in the past ten years combined, according to SPAC Data. While the craze continued through the first quarter of 2021, issuance ground to a stunning halt in April. SPAC Research reports a nearly 90 percent drop…
Louis Lehot is a partner and business lawyer with, Foley & Lardner LLP, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles offices, where he is a member of the Private Equity & Venture Capital, M&A and Transactions Practices, and the Technology, Health Care, and Energy Industry Teams. Louis focuses his practice on advising entrepreneurs and their management teams, investors, and financial advisors at all stages of growth, from garage to global. Louis especially enjoys being able to help his clients achieve hyper-growth, go public, and successfully obtain optimal liquidity events. Prior to joining Foley, Louis was…
By Louis Lehot and Catherine Zhu, business lawyers at Foley & Lardner LLP in Silicon Valley 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…
Photo by Edi Kurniawan on Unsplash By Louis Lehot, Esq., and Catherine Zhu, Esq., Foley & Lardner LLP Louis Lehot and Catherine Zhu of Foley & Lardner LLP discuss the rise of financial technology startups and the legal and regulatory scrutiny they may face. 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%…
With the significant global economies benefitting from considerable government stimulus, easing monetary policies, and increasing vaccination rates, a return to work is powering growth in gross domestic product across the board. We are seeing large employers offering piles of cash to workers to return to work and pent-up demand unleashed across virtually every sector of the economy. As a result, we expect to see significant growth in M&A transactions in the second half of 2021. We sat down with Louis Lehot of Foley Lardner to discuss the outlook for M&A in the second half of 2021? Q: As we enter the second…
By Louis Lehot, a business law partner at Foley & Lardner LLP in Silicon Valley Over the last year, the pandemic upended many industries, prompting businesses to pivot quickly to enable a fully virtual everything, from workplace to marketplace to nearly every aspect of life. Even the legal profession, which historically has been slow to adopt technology, is now starting to catch up to other industries by embracing digital transformation. The results in the startup world have been similar to those seemingly everywhere else. In-person meetings have been scrapped in favor of virtual meetings. Travel has been replaced by…
By Louis Lehot, a business law partner at Foley & Lardner LLP in Silicon Valley 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…
By Louis Lehot, JD Over the next 30 years, 16 Trillion of high net worth wealth will be transferred to the next generation. Historically, wealth transfer consisted of tangible assets like cash, investments, cars, property, etc. Fast forward to today, and it can now include a variety of digital assets, often in the form of cryptocurrency or NFTs. 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…
By Louis Lehot, a business law partner at Foley & Lardner LLP in Silicon Valley 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…