MEET THE MOFO TEAM

  • partners

  • associates

Murray Indick

San Francisco

Murray Indick

Partner

San Francisco

It has been the great privilege of my legal career to help countless entrepreneurs and investors develop game-changing technologies and products.

How I Help: I work intensively with early-stage businesses as they form, seek growth capital, and develop their business plans. The work typically involves more than simple legal advice on financing terms, and so I try to holistically address the key needs of the business for the founders and investors.

Favorite app or tech product: Goodreads. Ask me about the books I think every startup founder should read!

Favorite place for client meetings: Anywhere convenient for the client, whether that means visiting their office, a productive business lunch, an early morning or late night phone call, or hopping on a plane.

Life beyond the law: When I’m not in the office, you can find me running along the Embarcadero.

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Steve Rowles

San Diego

Steve Rowles

Partner

San Diego

I can’t get enough of working with extremely smart people implementing transformative technologies.

How I can help: Certain critical elements of expertise can only be garnered through experience. As a leader of MoFo’s venture practice, I have logged my 10,000 hours in problem solving for, communicating to, counseling and negotiating for entrepreneurs and investors in ways that create value.

Favorite app or tech product: DraftKings

Favorite place for client meetings: The golf course.

Life beyond the law: Voracious reader, avid golfer and proud father.

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Ori Solomon

Boston

Ori Solomon

Partner

Boston

How I help: I guide my clients through their entire business life-cycle—planning, assessing risks, and identifying opportunities. I advise on company formation to optimize equity compensation and investment capital.

Favorite app or tech product: Netflix for relaxing with my wife and children!

Favorite place for client meetings: My client’s office. I love to see their operations first-hand and gain a better sense of their culture, as well as get to know as many individuals from the company as possible.

Life beyond the law: I learned to ski later in life and it is now my favorite thing to do in the winter when I am not practicing law.

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John Rafferty

San Francisco

John Rafferty

Partner

San Francisco

The best part of being a startup lawyer is gaining the trust of the founders and executives of the startup, so that they essentially see me as a member of their C-suite.

How I Help: I advise emerging growth companies backed by venture capital and private equity firms on all corporate, transactional and financing matters.

Favorite app or tech product: Wunderground. The best weather app there is.

Favorite place for client meetings: At the client’s office.

Life beyond the law: Tennis is my sport. I played the junior circuit and now play with my kids. It’s the highlight of my weekend. I can still beat them, but barely.

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Tim Harris

Palo Alto

Tim Harris

Partner

Palo Alto

It’s incredibily energizing and fulfilling to work alongside entrepreneurs (and the investors backing them) to help them translate their dreams and visions into real-world technologies and companies that change the way the world operates.

How I Help: I help startups from formation through acquisition or IPO in matters including capital raising (both angel and venture capital), debt financing, equity incentive compensation and business development. I love to share with my startups the market customs, best practices and forward-thinking strategies that I have learned over the past two decades across multiple industries through several economic cycles. I also put my first career as a software engineer to use through licensing, joint development, distribution and other technology transfer matters.

Favorite app or tech product: My iPhone has just become another appendage, so maybe that doesn’t count. Otherwise, hacking on a Raspberry Pi has been a lot of fun.

Favorite place for client meetings: Given the pace of today’s startups, very few take place in person, but when I do meet with clients in person, I love our new Conference Center in Palo Alto with a view of the courtyard and fountain.

Life beyond law: I sing the National Anthem at sporting events, and have performed at several colleges and universities.

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Suzanne Graeser

Palo Alto

Suzanne Graeser

Partner

Palo Alto

When it comes to working with emerging growth companies and venture capital, each day brings a new challenge and with it, a new opportunity.

How I Help: There is no substitute for hands-on experience and I bring years of practical experience to my relationships. I advise companies throughout their life cycle, including entity formation, debt and equity financings, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions. I also assist venture capital firms, angel investors and strategic corporate investors in connection with all stages of investment in start-up companies, as well as liquidity and exit strategies. I like to be part of the team and work with my clients to accomplish their often lofty goals.

Favorite app or tech product: My Kindle. I love to read escapism novels and it fits in my purse. [My real favorite is the “undo” button on any app, you can always improve yourself.]

Favorite place for client meetings: Mayfield Bakery. They have cookies and I think better with sugar.

Life beyond the law: At home, my two teenagers challenge me and my sense of humor. If I need a break, I walk my dog (my most well behaved child) or enjoy a glass of wine with friends.

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Thomas Chou

Hong Kong

Thomas Chou

Partner

Hong Kong

While my journey representing startups began in the Bay Area during the first dot-com boom, I have been on the front lines in China, Hong Kong and other Asian markets as the startup ecosystem has blossomed in this part of the world.

How I help: I help startups in Asia and the US from formation through acquisition or IPO in matters including capital raising (angel, venture capital and private equity), equity compensation, and strategic alliances. I love to share with my startups the market customs, best practices, and forward-thinking strategies that I have learned over the past eighteen years in Silicon Valley and Asia through several economic cycles. In particular, my advice often involves bridging market terms and structures between companies and investors in Silicon Valley, on one hand, and Asia, on the other.

Favorite app or tech product: I enjoy making producing short amateur non-commercial videos. There is no shortage of video available on social media, so I try to put some effort into my videos to make them worthwhile for sharing. Videoleap is my go to app in 2019 for editing.

Favorite place for client meetings: I’m old school and prefer to invite clients into my personal office for meetings. This is also serves as a good incentive for me to keep my office clean (and free from attorney-client privileged paperwork) and to keep it stocked with a small but well curated selection of whiskies to sip (at appropriate times)!

Life beyond the law: I began practicing yoga in 2012, which has become an important aspect of my overall lifestyle – offering functional mobility, helping me maintain a calm state of mind, and offering family bonding opportunities with my wife and daughters.

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Alfredo Silva

San Francisco

Alfredo Silva

Partner

San Francisco

My job is to think creatively and balance competing interests to solve complicated problems, and the end result is that the companies I’m working with are able to raise the capital they need to grow, creating and maintaining jobs for others while bringing great products and services to consumers.

How I help: I represent companies throughout their lifecycles, from entity formation to debt and equity financing to exit alternatives, including initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. I also counsel investors in venture financing, late stage / growth equity financing, strategic investments, secondary transactions, and impact investments in private companies in a wide variety of industries. Since I have a background in engineering, I get numbers, and often work closely with executives, finance teams, and financial advisors and analysts to model out complex capital structures, financing scenarios, and liquidity events. In doing so, I help clients analyze what’s possible, understand consequences of various transaction structures, and enhance their economics in deals in value from the tens of millions to the billions of dollars.

Favorite app or tech product: I spend a lot of time these days checking Coinbase, seeing how the market reacts to developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces.

Favorite place for client meetings: It’s great when you’re close enough with a client to catch up and talk shop at their house!

Life beyond the law: Skiing at Lake Tahoe in the winter, weekends in Dolores Park in the summer, and travel to see family and friends in between.

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Suz Mac Cormac

San Francisco

Suz Mac Cormac

Partner

San Francisco

As Chair of the firm’s Social Enterprise + Impact Investing and Energy + CleanTech practice groups, I find it uniquely fulfilling to help emerging companies and their investors channel great ideas and good intentions into tangible, positive change.

How I Help: I have extensive experience representing startup to late-stage private companies primarily in the clean technology, renewable energy and sustainability space. I counsel on corporate and finance matters in connection with equity and debt financings, mergers, acquisitions, asset purchases and sales, reorganizations, and joint ventures. I’m frequently called upon for my expertise in new corporate forms, hybrid of “tandem” structures with non-profits and for-profits, and alternative debt and equity instruments. I also regularly advise boards of private and public companies, special committees, and CEOs on corporate governance as it relates to sustainability and CSR.

Favorite app or tech product: Strava. I love tracking the miles I run each week.

Favorite place for client meetings: A walk in the Presidio

Life beyond the law: When I’m not preaching to the world about the power of corporate form, I spend my time outside the office with my three young sons. I currently coach my youngest’s little league team. Go Pirates!

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Jim Krenn

San Diego

Jim Krenn

Partner

San Diego

I love working alongside innovative and dedicated entrepreneurs with groundbreaking ideas and technologies to strategize throughout the lifecycle of their companies and turn their vision into reality.

How I help: I help startups get formed, financed and achieve liquidity through an acquisition or IPO.  I have represented private companies in over $1 billion in equity and debt financings ranging from seed rounds to $100 million plus later stage rounds. I also advise investors (angel, venture capital and strategic) in investments in, and acquisitions of, these companies.  I work with clients to understand their business so that I can provide strategic, practical advice to help them achieve their objectives.

Favorite app or tech product: Google Maps.  Never be lost or late again.

Favorite place for client meetings: Lunch at Karl Strauss. You cannot beat a midday break outside in the sun by a koi pond.

Life beyond the law: Surfing, camping and chasing after my kids.

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Stephanie Thomas

Palo Alto

Stephanie Thomas

Partner

Palo Alto

Whether it's a first time fund manager or a team that is raising fund XI, it's incredibly rewarding to work alongside VC fund managers and their investors to help them build mutually beneficial and lasting partnerships.

How I help: I help VC fund managers form and operate their funds. I also help VC firms navigate the regulatory changes that are impacting the venture capital industry.

Favorite app or tech product: Loving Just Ahead – a travel app offering audio tours through National Parks (that works without cell service). Perfect for finding the road less traveled.

Favorite place for client meetings: Anywhere for lunch with great coffee nearby.

Life beyond the law: When I’m not at the office, you can find me outside – skiing, hiking, horseback riding or camping.

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Michael Krigbaum

Palo Alto

Michael Krigbaum

Partner

Palo Alto

I’ve worked with entrepreneurs and investors for many years and am always impressed by the ideas and innovations that they create. It’s a fantastic community.

How I help: I help startups during all stages of their lifecycles, whether it’s company formation and general corporate counseling during the early stage, raising rounds of venture capital as they scale, or selling the company when the time is right.

Favorite app or tech product: I can’t get a self-driving car fast enough. In the meantime, I enjoy listening to my five-year-old say, “Alexa, play ‘I Wanna Rock’ by Twisted Sister on Spotify.”

Favorite place for client meetings: I like seeing the client’s office but understand that they might be bored by it, so then I like taking clients out for sushi.

Life beyond the law: A perfect day is BBQing from morning to night on my smoker while tinkering with my daughters on our tropical fish tanks.

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John Campbell

San Francisco

John Campbell

Partner

San Francisco

Helping entrepreneurs and their investors avoid regulatory pitfalls and navigate tough business situations in ways that will not slow the company down is a challenging, yet extremely gratifying balancing act.

How I Help:  I provide refreshingly direct and practical advice in structuring investment, acquisition and other transactions based on years of work with rapidly growing companies across many industries on all sides of the table.  My expertise in SEC transactional and reporting matters helps me support successful clients at all stages of growth.

Favorite app or tech product:  Spotify and TuneIn to stay connected and find new music and great content.  Tile since I always misplace my car keys.

Favorite place for client meetings:  I usually head to a client’s favorite spot if I can—the focus should be on what works best for them so we can immediately address their issues.

Life beyond the law: Growing and making a great, or at least drinkable, claret-style Zinfandel.

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Jay de Groot

San Diego

Jay de Groot

Partner

San Diego

It’s deeply gratifying to advise startups and their investors as they come together to turn today’s great ideas into tomorrow’s industry-changing technologies and products.

How I Help: I counsel number of venture-backed and private equity-backed companies, in the life sciences, technology, and cleantech sectors, as well as the funds that finance them. In the last several years, I’ve been fortunate enough to close more than 80 venture capital financings with over $1 billion of aggregate proceeds.

Favorite app or tech product: The Irish Illustrated app in order to feed my obsession with Notre Dame sports. As a “Double Domer”, I really have no choice!

Favorite place for client meetings: Enoteca Del Fornaio at Del Mar Plaza watching another spectacular sunset over the Pacific.

Life beyond the law: Expanding my rather exceptional culinary skills with a current focus on my Italian repertoire.

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Stephanie Sharron

Palo Alto

Stephanie Sharron

Partner

Palo Alto

I love working with clients to help them strategize about how to innovate and partner with others to maximize the potential of their businesses and technologies. I particularly enjoy exploring new business models with an eye toward their strategic objectives and business goals.

How I help: I represent emerging growth, private and public companies across sectors and industries, with a particular focus on helping companies with business models that leverage data through technology. I help clients structure and negotiating complex partnering arrangements, working closely with my colleagues on regulatory issues across sectors such as data privacy, data security, mobile payments, and financial services.

Favorite app or tech product: I like Dashlane as I’m always looking for secure means for generating and managing complex passwords. I also am finding apps and services recently developed and released that help people to organize collectively, such as Slack and Hustle are super interesting. I am still a Facebook junky—I have a broad circle of friends with whom I’d not be in close touch without it. And Spotify is still my “go to” for music.

Favorite place for client meetings: I love a good cup of coffee so am always on the lookout for new coffee places. My latest find is Backyard Brew on California Avenue in Palo Alto.

Life beyond the law: Working on causes that I care about, whether through pro bono representation or through organizing volunteers and engaging in civic life are my passions outside of the office right now. To unwind, I love to spend time in our national and state parks, along our Pacific coast and in the outdoors.

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Otis Littlefield

San Francisco

Otis Littlefield

Partner

San Francisco

It’s very exciting to work with entrepreneurs (and the investors backing them) to learn about their cutting edge technologies to develop IP strategies that best protect the technology to advance their companies’ business objectives.

How I help: I like working with startups from the very beginning to build a solid foundation for their IP strategy, usually through a combination of in-licensing and filing patent applications on key aspects of the clients’ technologies. Working on both licensing and patent prosecution, I can provide insight to my startups in building an IP portfolio that competitors will want or need to license and investors will want to fund.

Favorite app or tech product: I almost hesitate to share, but I am loving Waze for its live mapping driving instructions. With everyone else using Google maps, Google’s ‘best’ directions quickly get jammed with drivers where Waze directions stay clear.

Favorite place for client meetings: I love visiting clients at their offices because I get to meet more of the team developing and advancing products, which gives me a better sense of their products and how to focus their IP portfolios.

Life beyond the law: When I’m not at the office, I love cooking.  It’s the former biochemist in me.

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Rob Mailer

London

Rob Mailer

Partner

London

Whether you are a startup, a venture capital fund, or an entrepreneur – I can help you.

How I help: I help startups find the right partners. I help VC fund managers form their business, seed their business, run their business, and/or exit their business.

Favorite app or tech product: Weather Underground is spookily accurate – and great at letting me know I should have brought my umbrella with me.

Favorite place for client meetings: Your place over mine, any time. Otherwise Black Sheep on Coleman Street makes the best coffee in London IMHO.

Life beyond the law: Wine, women and song (the women being my wife and daughters).

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Janet Xiao

Palo Alto

Janet Xiao

Partner

Palo Alto

I love working with extraordinary entrepreneurs on exciting technologies and strive to add value to their business.

How I help: I help companies build a strong IP position from inception. This involves devising patent strategies as well as defending the company’s IP positions in investor due diligence settings. Brainstorming with entrepreneurs about their cutting-edge technologies and business strategies is a favorite part of my practice. I am creative in addressing sophisticated IP issues and practical in providing strategic advice.

Favorite app or tech product: iPhone.

Favorite place for client meeting: Our new conference center at MoFo Palo Alto provides the best venue for client meetings.

Life beyond law: I serve leadership roles in life sciences organizations, which helps me stay close to the life sciences community. In addition, my two tech-savvy daughters keep me busy and help me stay current on new technology trends.

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Oliver Rochman

London

Oliver Rochman

Partner

London

Helping venture capital funds start up and raise capital feels, in a small way, like I am helping build the future.

How I help: I help venture capital managers set up their funds – building partnerships with their investors for the long term. The real skill is making sure that what I do takes as little time away as possible from the purpose of venture capital: investing in great companies.

Favorite app or tech product: Just bought some IOTAs

Favorite place for client meetings: Client’s choice, it can be quite illuminating!

Life beyond the law: My daughter – 2 years old and an awesome sense of humour.

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Alistair Maughan

London

Alistair Maughan

Partner

London

It’s incredibly energizing and fulfilling to work alongside entrepreneurs (and the investors backing them) to help them translate their dreams and visions into real-world technologies and companies that change the way the world operates.

Intro sentence: The work I do for growing tech-based companies is like watching technology evolution in action. It’s great to see next generation technology fueling business growth.

How I help: I help companies to protect and monetize their technology, through IP protection to contractual arrangements with investors and customers. Often the greatest challenge is identifying the likely areas for protection, exploitation and risk mitigation for a technology development not clearly covered by existing legal or contractual standards.

Favorite app or tech product: Even after 30 years living in London, I still sometimes need help getting around – so Citymapper is my favourite app. And the fact that it works equally well when I’m visiting clients around different European cities is a real bonus.

Favorite place for client meetings: If I can combine a client meeting with a visit to the client’s technology development site, that’s my preference. But last year’s visit to a client’s (completely legal!) cannabis farm in the English countryside was also a highlight!

Life beyond the law: Ideally, I’d be playing sport. But, in reality, most weekends I spend driving my kids around and then usually standing watching behind a football touchline, cricket boundary rope or a squash court – and often all in the same day.

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Ruomu Li

Shanghai

Ruomu Li

Partner

Shanghai

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Vlad Maly

London

Vlad Maly

Partner

London

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Eric Akira Tate

San Francisco

Eric Akira Tate

Partner

San Francisco

I love learning about the new ideas that entrepreneurs come up with that I never could, and it is fulfilling to know that I can play a small part in helping to support them in their efforts.

How I help: I try to help startups begin on the right foot with respect to their human resources and hiring policies and practices, and continue to support them as their personnel needs and business grow and evolve. Being able to quickly triage personnel issues for growing companies is consistently viewed as a key value add. Dealing offensively and defensively with restrictive covenants and trade secrets is my specialty and with the stakes so high, an area in which startup clients continue to need true expertise. From advising potential founders who are thinking about forming a company, to negotiating the employment aspects of multibillion dollar transactions, emerging company clients also seem to appreciate the experience that comes from advising companies big and small in the Valley since the 1990s.

Favorite app or tech product: Anything that helps me to save time. I am currently getting a lot of use out of AdobeScan, Amazon, Waze, LinkedIn, Munchery, and Uber.

Favorite place for client meetings: Ideal location is a client’s office. First, anything that helps me learn more about my clients, what happens day to day, can only help me be a better partner and service provider. Second, most of the clients I work with have better dining facilities on site than we do.

Life beyond the law: When I am not at the office, I am moonlighting as the personal Uber driver for my two toddlers.

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Jennifer Lee Taylor

San Francisco

Jennifer Lee Taylor

Partner

San Francisco

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Charles Comey

Palo Alto

Charles Comey

Partner

Palo Alto

Geopolitics aside, the natural synergy that exists between the incredible innovation taking place in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the U.S. and the vast consumer and enterprise customer market that China represents is stronger than ever. I enjoy helping companies and investors navigate challenges on both sides of the Pacific to get financings, strategic alliances, and M&A transactions done in practical, efficient manner.

How I help: See above. I read and speak Mandarin. My first job was working in China in 1984 as the only American in a city of three-quarters of a million people.  With our global resources and preeminent network of offices in Japan, China, and Singapore, MoFo can help companies and investors / acquirors grow wherever their business and expansion plans take them – whether in Asia, Europe, or the U.S.

Favorite app or tech product: Wechat (for work) and Strava (for the bike).

Favorite place for client meetings: Philz Middlefield, or lunch/dinner at Indo or one of several Japanese restaurants in Palo Alto or Mountain View.  Someone needs to open a good Chinese restaurant in Palo Alto.

Life beyond the law: Riding Gazos Creek, Old Haul, Tunitas, or some other quietly awesome trail or road amongst the redwoods on the west side of the Coast Range!

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Chuan Sun

Hong Kong

Chuan Sun

Partner

Hong Kong

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Jason Nelms

Singapore

Jason Nelms

Partner

Singapore

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Gavin Grover

San Francisco

Gavin Grover

Partner

San Francisco

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Kristina Ehle

Berlin

Kristina Ehle

Partner

Berlin

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Michael O'Donnell

Palo Alto

Michael O'Donnell

Partner

Palo Alto

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Gordon Milner

Hong Kong

Gordon Milner

Partner

Hong Kong

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David Strong

Denver

David Strong

Partner

Denver

Working with entrepreneurs in the emerging company and venture capital space has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my practice over the last 20 years, particularly when I can bring readily identifiable value to the table as a tax lawyer.

How I help: I help emerging companies structure their operations and transactions in the most tax efficient manner possible. Using my background as a former investment banker on Wall Street, I also pride myself on giving practical advice in a form that clients can understand and readily utilize. Some of my particular areas of expertise include structuring joint ventures, or unique profit sharing arrangements through partnerships / pass-throughs, as well as advising S corporations or standard C corporation structures. I am also a nationally recognized expert in Section 1202 of the Internal Revenue Code dealing with investments in qualified small business stock.

Favorite app or tech product: As a proud resident of Denver, Colorado, I love the outdoors and apps or tech products that help me explore and push my limits (like my Garmin, or Strava or All Trails).

Favorite place for client meetings: When I am seeing clients in the Bay Area, I enjoy catching up over coffee in the Financial District or in Downtown Palo Alto.  I have also been known to do some business on the road bike in the hills near Atherton and Palo Alto, or during a run down by the Ferry Building or Golden Gate Bridge.  When in Denver or Boulder, I can be found in similar spots like Novo or Amante for coffee or in Golden Gate Canyon or Left Hand Canyon on the bike (good coffee and bikes go very well together!).

Life beyond the law: When I’m not at the office, I am usually biking, hiking, camping, or doing something outside in the summer, or skiing or playing hockey in the winter.  All other time is spent with my two amazing kids (ages 16 and 12), or my golden retriever.

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Andrew Boyd

London

Andrew Boyd

Partner

London

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Paul 'Chip' L. Lion III

Palo Alto

Paul 'Chip' L. Lion III

Partner

Palo Alto

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Jake Robson

Singapore

Jake Robson

Partner

Singapore

How I help: I help startups from formation through trade sale or IPO in matters including capital raising (primarily venture capital), debt financing, equity incentive compensation and business development.  I love to share with my startups the market customs, best practices and forward-thinking strategies that I have learned over the past two decades across multiple industries and jurisdictions in S and SE Asia and through several economic cycles.

Favorite app or tech product: Currently obsessed with my Amazon Echo. Alexa is so helpful.

Favorite place for client meetings: Anywhere in downtown Singapore, which is a very relaxed and welcoming city.

Life beyond the law: Relaxing with the family.

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David Ephraim

Boston

David Ephraim

Partner

Boston

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Matthew Karlyn

Boston

Matthew Karlyn

Partner

Boston

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Shannon Sibold

Palo Alto

Shannon Sibold

Associate

Palo Alto

I enjoy working in tandem with some of the Bay Area’s most innovative minds and feel honored to play a role in the growth of such groundbreaking technologies.

How I help: I help start-ups at all phases of maturity, from advising founders on how to structure the initial capitalization of their company all the way through to an IPO or an acquisition. I think it’s critical for us to really get to know the founders, their technology and their vision for their company to best serve their needs and advise them accordingly. On the investor-side I assist venture capital firms, private equity groups and underwriters with all types of investments, from seed financings through public company offerings and everything in between. Being at the forefront of such innovation in the Bay Area is thrilling and I’m proud to help my clients realize their big ideas. I often tell my friends back home that I live in the future!

Favorite app or tech product: Google Home and Google Home Mini help me organize my life.

Favorite place for client meetings: San Jose Sharks games in the MoFo seats!

Life beyond the law: When I’m not at the office you can usually find me racing (and beating the partners) up mountains on my road bike!

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Jackie Tam

Palo Alto

Jackie Tam

Associate

Palo Alto

It is truly amazing and fulfilling to help startups and their investors turn their dreams and ideas into reality.

How I help: I help emerging growth companies, across various industries and throughout various stages of their life cycle, with formation, financings, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters. I also assist venture capital firms and investors with financings, and mergers and acquisitions.

Favorite app or tech product:  All the on-demand food delivery apps: DoorDash, UberEATS and Postmates, to name a few!

Favorite place for client meetings: I usually go to the client’s offices; it is awe-inspiring to see how much they have grown since inception.

Life beyond the law: When I am not in the office, I am eating my way around the world. I love discovering good eats!

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Aria Kashefi

Palo Alto

Aria Kashefi

Associate

Palo Alto

It is both exciting and rewarding to be part of the story of the many startups I work with, sharing their victories and setbacks, and being able to provide them with business critical advice to help them forge their path to success.

How I help: I help startups by providing them with strategic, business critical advice in respect of major transactions such as financings and mergers and acquisitions, as well as day-to-day advice in respect of general corporate matters.

Favorite app or tech product: Google Maps still dominates this category – nowadays if you get lost, it’s because your battery ran out!

Favorite place for client meetings: I like to meet at clients’ offices or labs. It gives me a sense for their day-to-day lives and environment. Most tech companies also have much better snacks and specials on tap!

Life beyond the law: If you don’t see me jogging past the AT&T park or skiing wherever I can find snow, you’ll probably find me struggling to hit a drive without a fade on a golf course somewhere.

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Shai Kalansky

San Diego

Shai Kalansky

Associate

San Diego

One of my favorite parts of my job is working with emerging companies to help them build their businesses, whether in their early formation or later stage with an eye towards an exit.

How I help: In addition to helping clients with their corporate formation, financing and mergers and acquisition transactions, I use my experience as a licensing and employment lawyer to provide holistic guidance on the day-to-day issues facing emerging companies. Some of the best value we add is not just in our role as lawyers, but in bringing our varied experience to bear on our clients’ problems.

Favorite app or tech product: Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlist has helped discover great new artists and introduced me to new songs by some of my favorite artists.

Favorite place for client meetings: I love the breweries here in San Diego. They are a great place to catch up and chat in an informal atmosphere while sampling the best of what our city has to offer.

Life beyond the law: Running, traveling and cooking.

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Jim Ryan

Palo Alto

Jim Ryan

Associate

Palo Alto

Every day is exciting when you get to work with intelligent and driven entrepreneurs and investors to help them create the next killer app or blockbuster drug.

How I help: From formation to acquisition or IPO and everything in between (for example, commercial agreements and debt or equity financings) I always aim to provide practical advice to help founders build a successful company. My experience representing companies also informs my work with investors so that I can help them stay focused on the issues that are most relevant to strengthening companies and protecting their investments.

Favorite app or tech product: I’m currently obsessed with my Vive (bonus that I get to run it on the rig I just built up myself).

Favorite place for client meetings: With clients based everywhere from Shanghai to New York I’m just as likely to be having a client meeting on Skype as at one of the Philz coffees in Palo Alto.

Life beyond the law: I’m an avid soccer fan, former competitive cyclist (now just a normal cyclist) and love seeking out a good meal.

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Gigi Yuen

Hong Kong

Gigi Yuen

Associate

Hong Kong

I love seeing the germination of different ideas and their application across various sectors – finance, energy, sports, entertainment, education - you name it. It’s a first row seat to witnessing the birth of concepts that can have a profound impact on their industries (if not our daily lives).

How I help: on the emerging company side, I work with startups and advise on regulatory requirements, formation, structuring and debt and equity financing rounds.  On the venture capital side, I help various regional funds on their investments and acquisitions.  Given the creative nature of startup ideas, we are constantly testing new regulatory boundaries. My computer science background allows me to dissect and analyse technology within the applicable regulatory framework.

Favorite app or tech product: PayMe and Apple Pay

Favorite place for client meetings: Ciak, just downstairs from MoFo HK – good for a coffee, lunch, or some light libation.

Life beyond the law: On the ski slopes, enjoying the après ski scene (and/or a good soak in an onsen!).

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Jesse Finfrock

San Francisco

Jesse Finfrock

Associate

San Francisco

Working with social entrepreneurs and impact investors to build better businesses aimed at solving some of the world’s biggest problems is inspiring and humbling.

How I help: I specialize in forming social ventures, structuring for-profit/non-profit tandem entities, and representing impact investors. I deploy my six years of experience as a social entrepreneur and my subsequent years as an attorney to help businesses and organizations think practically about startup matters, develop tailored financing strategies and achieve their impact objectives. While a lawyer, I recognize that not every problem has a legal solution, and my diverse background allows me to provide outside-the-box thinking on the novel issues facing social ventures.

Favorite app or tech product: I’m a fan of anything that lets me listen to public radio.

Favorite place for client meetings: Does it serve espresso, macchiato, noisette, cortado or Gibraltar coffee? I’ll see you there.

Life beyond the law: When not in the office, I’m at home in the wilderness.

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Lisa Abbot

San Diego

Lisa Abbot

Associate

San Diego

I find it very rewarding to help clients raise the funds they need to support a clinical trial, develop or launch a new product or service, expand into new customer markets, or accomplish any other goal that will help take their businesses to the next level of growth.

How I help:  I focus on helping companies across all stages —including both public and private companies—comply with the various securities and other laws and rules applicable to capital-raising transactions and to their business generally. I provide strategic, practical advice to help companies translate their business objectives into transactional structures that work. I love using the expertise I have gained through my practice to help companies wind their way through the complexities of securities and other applicable laws to successfully reach their goals.

Favorite app or tech product: The apps I have used the most over the past couple of years are Apple’s Books app, so that I can read anywhere and everywhere, including on-the-go, and BabyConnect, so that I can try to keep track of all of my toddler’s various activities.

Favorite place for client meetings: Anywhere with a view of the ocean. Fortunately for me, these spots are not too difficult to find here in San Diego!

Life beyond the law: I’m a beach-lover at heart, so you can probably find me at the beach playing in the sand with my son, reading a book, swimming in the ocean, or just soaking up the sun.

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Benjamin Fox

San Francisco

Benjamin Fox

Associate

San Francisco

I feel fortunate to assist companies and investors focused on tackling our most pressing global environmental and social challenges.

How I help: I provide counsel to companies from formation until exit, including in connection with corporate structure and governance, early- and late-stage equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures.  As a member of our Social Enterprise + Impact Investing Group, I frequently advise clients on the legal tools available to promote mission-driven businesses, including attracting non-profit and for-profit capital, and utilizing hybrid non-profit/for-profit structures and new corporate forms.  I also have a particular expertise in the renewable energy sector and work closely with investors, renewable energy developers and cleantech startups on a wide range of corporate matters.

Favorite app or tech product: GuitarTuna. It’s pretty good at tuning my guitar.

Favorite place for client meetings: At a baseball game. Fenway Park will always be the best, but other stadiums will suffice.

Life beyond the law: Enjoying the great outdoors.

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Emiko Kurotsu

Palo Alto

Emiko Kurotsu

Associate

Palo Alto

It’s a privilege to help guide visionary funds, companies, and the investors that believe them, through their respective formations, investments, and exits.

How I help:  I help funds – from first-time VC funds to specialized impact funds to multibillion-dollar cross-border funds – form, fundraise and maintain day-to-day operations, and assist all types of investors – from angels to institutions – evaluate fund investments on the other side of the table. I also have specialized expertise in capital raising and in particular, guiding companies and underwriters through the transformative IPO process.  Having worked in-house in both legal and business capacities, I take a practical, business-oriented approach to helping our clients, recognizing the best legal advice is not the most effective if you can’t apply it in a real-time, real-world context.

Favorite app or tech product:  Gobble, the meal prep service. Absolute gamechanger for me.  Thank you, Ooshma Garg. Followed closely by Nest, both the webcam and the thermostat.  Continually trying out all the new “smart home” apps and devices.

Favorite place for client meetings:  Anywhere not in my office.  I love checking out new places and getting out of the office.

Life beyond the law:  When I’m not at the office, I’m chasing after my toddler, hiking, eating out or visiting the most old-fashioned of places: the local library. Yes, they still exist. They are one thing I hope technology never kills.

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Catherine Liu

Hong Kong

Catherine Liu

Associate

Hong Kong

There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the emerging companies and venture capital in Asia. Let us help you Scale Up!

How I help: I advise startups and investors through the various stages of the company life cycle, and I especially love helping my clients understand what the legal terms in investment documentation translate to in practice for them.

Favorite app or tech product: The Taobao universe, and frankly Chinese e-commerce in general make buying things almost too easy. If you see something you want, let me know and I can probably find it for you on Taobao with a big discount!

Favorite place for client meetings: Anywhere with a view of the Hong Kong skyline.

Life beyond the law: Board game parties and talking to people about the characters in Silicon Valley.

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Nick Davies

Singapore

Nick Davies

Associate

Singapore

Scaling-up to tackle a market of 1 billion plus people in South and Southeast Asia presents unique challenges. I’ll help you plot the path and avoid pitfalls.

How I help: Based in Singapore, I help early stage companies plan to growth and expand their footprint across South and Southeast Asia.  We cover 15 jurisdictions in this region.  Each has its own legal systems, and some are more welcoming than others.  Speed is everything – imitators are always around the corner.  Safety comes from the experience of knowing what is off limits under local laws, which grey areas can be disrupted, and when a trusted local partner is the only means of attacking a market.  There is no one-size-fits-all solution and the excitement for me is working with companies to find the right geographical and legal fit for them.

For companies that have grown up in this region, I will help put you on the world stage.  By linking you to my colleagues in the U.S., Europe, or in the rest of Asia, you just may find the connections and capital that can make scaling up with MoFo a game changer.

Favorite app or tech product: Smart contracts and ICOs and their role as part of the mix for venture funding.  A lot of people have done it wrong, and I’m proud to be part of a MoFo team helping to innovate to get this right for clients.  I’m also mad about robotics.  Sometime soon, these two things are going to come together in a big way.

Favorite place for client meetings: I’ve learned to love WhatsApp.  Group chats with founder teams sounding out ideas with me or just keeping me in the loop on their latest successes keeps me connected to my clients, wherever they are in the world.

Life beyond the law: You’ll find me mountain-biking with my wife through the jungle or sweating it out on the tennis court.

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Simon Arlington

London

Simon Arlington

Of Counsel

London

I really enjoy helping clients reach their business goals. The best part of my job is that I get to think strategically and solve problems on a daily basis, earning the trust of some truly entrepreneurial clients.

How I help: I help VC funds, PE houses, start-ups, scale-ups and management teams grow their businesses strategically. I have a wealth of experience advising on acquisitions, disposals, investments, joint ventures, partnerships, incentive plans and everything in between, acting for clients all over the world on some of their most important transactions.

Favorite app or tech product: Fitbit; sad but really addictive.

Favorite place for client meetings: Can’t beat a well-stocked coffee house or a good walk by the Thames, although meetings overlooking the Bosporus were not bad.

Life beyond the law: Snooker (real man’s pool) and spending time with my friends and family.

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Seth Graham

Tokyo

Seth Graham

Associate

Tokyo

I provide market knowledge, legal resources and other tools to help startups capitalize on their vision and passion and succeed in the marketplace.

How I help: I assist startups by helping to identify (and protect) their core value proposition, and advise on how best to capitalize on that. Specifically, I work with companies form the beginning to develop a sound IP strategy, protecting their most valuable assets, to help develop a business model (and IP portfolio) that give companies an advantage over competitors and that investors will want to fund. In addition, I assist in developing form contractual arrangements (licenses, sales and services agreements, etc.) to help startups exploit their IP assets while protecting their interests. Most importantly, I help leverage relationships with investors, engineers and other entrepreneurs across Tokyo, Asia and the US to assist in envisaging and executing on growth plans to help realize the commercial potential of a startup’s business.

Favorite app or tech product: Anything AI-related – amazing commercial potential. I’m also very interested in the disruptive effect that blockchain technology can have and how its potential can be realized in a responsible and successful way.

Favorite place for client meetings: It’s always nice to meet clients at their place of business, to get a feel of how they operate. I also like meetings at cafes and restaurants to facilitate informal discussions.

Life beyond the law: I love food, so I’m often visiting new restaurants or spending time cooking for my family. I also enjoy the outdoors (skiing in the winter, hiking/camping/canoeing in the summer).

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Kate Tyler

San Francisco

Kate Tyler

Associate

San Francisco

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Connor Acle

San Francisco

Connor Acle

Associate

San Francisco

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