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Joseph Hunt Joins MBBP as Corporate & Tax Associate 11/14/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Computer Software & Hardware, Corporate, Life Sciences, MBBP news, Taxation, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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JEH Headshot Photo 2017 (M1147148xB1386)We are pleased to announce the addition of corporate and tax associate, Joseph E. Hunt IV.

Joe advises emerging and middle-market companies in a wide range of industries and at all stages of their development.

Joe also provides counsel to clients on general tax matters, entity formation, and on corporate governance. Prior to joining MBBP, he worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions Transaction Services of a Big Four advisory firm. He focused on advising private equity and multinational corporate clients throughout the M&A life cycle in both buy-side and sell-side transactions, maintaining an emphasis on software, life sciences, and technology industries.

For more information, read the full announcement.  We invite you to contact Joe directly.

Behind the Curtain: An inside look into the operations of VC firms – MBBP Venture Capital Event, November 7 10/11/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Financial Services, MBBP news, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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MRJ Headshot Photo 2017 (M1047116xB1386)Our venture capital event, Behind the Curtain: an inside look into the operations of VC firms, will be held on Tuesday, November 7 from 4:30-6pm at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). Moderated by corporate attorney Mike Jabbawy, the panel will explore how the internal realities of a venture capital firm might have an impact on a technology company looking to build a business based on a venture capital finance strategy. The panel includes:

Dana Callow, Managing General Partner, Boston Millennia Partners
Frank Castellucci, General Counsel & Partner, Accomplice
Juan Luis Leung-Li, Partner, Tectonic Ventures

Space is limited!  View our event page for more information and to register for the event.

SEC Targets Broken Deal Expenses, Again 09/26/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Financial Services, Private Investment Funds & Advisers, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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JHW Headshot Photo 2016 (M0990045xB1386)By: Josh Watson

Private equity firm Platinum Equity Advisors, LLC (Platinum) improperly charged broken deal expenses to three of its private equity fund clients, according to a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 21, 2017. The settlement requires Platinum to reimburse its clients for $1.7 million of improper charges and pay a $1.5 million civil penalty.

Platinum advises private equity funds Platinum Equity Capital Partners L.P., Platinum Equity Capital Partners II, L.P., and Platinum Equity Capital Partners III, L.P. These are multi-investor, multi-investment private equity funds that have capital commitments of $700 million, $2.75 billion, and $3.75 billion, respectively. Platinum also forms and advises co-investment vehicles that invest alongside the firm’s private equity funds.

Platinum disclosed to investors that its private equity funds would be responsible for bearing their own broken-deal and other expenses, including “[a]ll out-of-pocket fees, costs, and expenses, if any, incurred in developing, negotiating, and structuring prospective [p]ortfolio [i]nvestments that are not ultimately made.” Platinum also disclosed to investors that it would establish co-investment vehicles that invest alongside its private equity funds.

Platinum’s disclosure of broken deal fees was inadequate, according to the SEC, because Platinum failed to disclose the fact that its private equity funds would bear 100% of all broken deal expenses and that Platinum’s co-investors, who benefit from Platinum’s sourcing of private equity transactions, would bear none of these expenses.

In finding that Platinum’s disclosures were inadequate, the SEC focused on specific statements in the funds’ partnership agreements and private placement memoranda. Each fund’s partnership agreement stated that the fund would be responsible for expenses “of the [p]artnership.” Each fund’s private placement memorandum stated that the fund would pay all expenses “related to its own operations.” The SEC apparently interpreted the references to expenses “of a [p]artnership” and a partnership’s “own expenses” to mean the partnership’s proportionate share of such expenses.

By allocating all broken deal expenses to its private equity funds without adequately disclosing this practice to prospective investors, Platinum violated Section 206(2) of the Advisers Act, which prohibits an investment adviser from engaging in any transaction, practice, or course of business which operates as a fraud or deceit upon any client or prospective client.

The SEC’s settlement with Platinum does not break new ground. The SEC previously alerted the investment community to its concerns about how firms allocate broken deal expenses in its 2015 enforcement action against Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. The takeaway for managers is that proper advance disclosure is required when a firm client is required to bear a disproportionate amount of expenses related to deals that are never actually consummated.

Read more about the settlement:

https://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2017/ia-4772-s.pdf

https://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2017/ia-4772.pdf

Josh Watson Moderating Private Equity and VC Funds Program at ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting 09/14/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Events, Financial Services, Private Investment Funds & Advisers, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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JHW Headshot Photo 2016 (M0990045xB1386)At this year’s ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, private funds attorney Josh Watson will serve as the program chair and moderator for the program “End of Life Issues for Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds.” The program will be presented by the Private Equity and Venture Capital committee and will cover issues faced by private funds as they approach the end of their life spans. Topics include term extensions, secondary sales, restructurings, and conflicts of interest.

The program will be held this Friday, September 15 at 8am. For more information, view the meeting guide.

Mike Jabbawy Participating on Shoobx Startup Panel 08/08/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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MRJ Headshot Photo 2017 (M1047116xB1386)On September 26, corporate partner Mike Jabbawy will take part in the panel “How to Start a Startup”. The panel is part of Shoobx’s Startup Series, which features real life stories from startup founders, investors, and community members. Items of discussion will include choosing a form of entity for a business, choosing co-founders, and how to find assistance to get your business off the ground.

For more information, including registration details, visit our VCs and Startups blog.

Scott Bleier Moderating ABA Venture Capital Webinar This Thursday 07/24/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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M0846500This Thursday, July 27th, beginning at 1pm EST, corporate attorney Scott Bleier will moderate the ABA Business Law Section webinar “Roadmap of a Venture Capital Deal“. The panel will cover various topics of the lifecycle of a venture capital financing transaction.

Visit our VCs and Startups blog for more information about the webinar and details on how to register.

Registration Exemptions for Investment Advisers 06/08/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Financial Services, MBBP news, Private Investment Funds & Advisers, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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JHW Headshot Photo 2016 (M0990045xB1386)When may an investment adviser avoid registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission? Private funds attorney Josh Watson answers this question in his article “Registration Exemptions for Investment Advisers” that summarizes the requirements of two registration exemptions that are available to managers of private investment funds.

To learn about the two registration exemptions read the full article on our website. For more information, please contact Josh Watson or a member of our PIFA practice.

Tales from the Trenches: Reflections on Successful Exits – Venture Capital Event, May 18 04/28/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, MBBP news, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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M0846500Our Venture Capital team will be hosting a panel event, Tales from the Trenches: Reflections on Successful Exits, on Thursday May 18 at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). Moderated by corporate partner Scott Bleier, a panel of entrepreneurs will share stories about how they built and eventually sold their companies to large strategic acquirers.

Space is limited! View our VCs and Startups blog for more information, including how to register.

Mary Beth Kerrigan Was Encore Panelist at CLE Webinar on Venture Backed M&A 02/10/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, M&A, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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M0846587Back by popular demand, corporate partner Mary Beth Kerrigan spoke on an encore panel of this year’s ABA Business Law Annual Meeting, titled “Venture Backed M&A: Special Considerations”.  Mary Beth and her fellow panelists discussed complex issues that commonly arise in acquisitions of venture-backed companies, including complicated waterfalls, the blurring of management incentives with purchase price, and much more.

Congratulations to Mary Beth on another job well done!

To learn more about the conference, visit the ABA’s event page.

MBBP Held Series A Venture Capital Financing Event at Cambridge Innovation Center on 2/2/2017 02/06/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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MBBP’s corporate partner Scott Bleier moderated our VC group’s event, “Series A Venture Capital Financing: A Review of 2016 and a Look Forward to M08465002017″ at the Cambridge Innovation Center on Thursday, February 2nd. Scott led our panel of VC and angel investors through a series of critical questions regarding raising capital. Additionally, the presentation included a review of 2016 Series A financing activity and preferred stock terms, and a forecast of financing activity for 2017.

Make sure you’re on the invite for the next Venture Capital event! Read more on our VCs and Startups blog or sign up for VC Alerts.

 

MBBP’s Joshua Watson quoted in Bloomberg article discussing private equity tax and financial reform in the Trump era 01/30/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Corporate partner Joshua H. Watson was quoted in a Bloomberg article discussing possible changes to the private equity industry during Donald Trump’s presidency. The article details the top three priorities for the private equity industry as Trump takes office: carried interest, interest deductibility, and changing Dodd-Frank registration requirements. jhw-headshot-photo-2016-m0966396xb1386

Regarding Dodd-Frank requirements, Josh notes that if the reform act passed by Obama’s administration is rolled-back, particularly in regards to registration requirements for private equity firms, there could be bipartisan political support for exempting more small firms from registering. Specifically, Josh states that “if small to mid-sized managers are able to spend less of their resources on compliance, they will have more resources available for making and managing investments.”

For further detail, read the full article or contact Josh directly.

MBBP and Attorneys Earn “Best Law Firms” and “Best Lawyers” Rankings 11/30/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, MBBP news, Taxation, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton PC is pleased to announce it
has JMH Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846571xB1386)received national and regional rankings in the U.S. News & World Report / Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” listing for 2017. To be eligible, firms must have attorneys who are listed in the current edition of the Best Lawyers in America.

MBBP has received national rankings in three practice areas — Tax Law (Tier 2), Tax Litigation (Tier 2), and Venture Capital Law (Tier 3) — and Boston metropolitan rankings in three areas — Tax Law (Tier 1), Tax Litigation (Tier 1) and Venture Capital Law (Tier 3).

Additionally, venture capital attorney John Hession was selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America® in Venture Capital Law, for its 2017 edition.

MBBP is proud of our impressive Tax and Corporate departments and of the Firm’s recognition.

MBBP’s Shannon Zollo Quoted in Reuters Article Regarding Loan Volume Boost and Election Outcome 11/10/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, M&A, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Reuters quoted MBBP’s Shannon Zollo in an article regarding the financial industM0846567ry’s propensity for a Hillary Clinton presidency. Zollo expressed that the “devil you know” is the more predictable, and therefore safer, outcome because in an election as turbulent and polarizing as this one, the impact could eventually destabilize potential future deals. Before the election, various companies were receiving acquisition loans as they were expecting the market to be stable with a Clinton victory.

Shannon is a corporate partner whose practice specializes in private equity, venture capital, M&A transactions, and corporate governance. For more information, please contact Shannon Zollo.

MBBP Clients Red Crow and MiRTLE Medical Featured in Forbes Article Regarding New Equity Crowdfunding Platform 10/31/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Corporate, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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MBBP clients Red Crow and MiRTLE Medical are featured in a Forbes article regarding Red Crow’s new equity crowdfunding portal that will be launching in November.  The crowdfunding platform will feature “exclusive and professionally-vetted investment opportunities” for accredited and non-accredited investors.

MiRTLE Medical will have one of the first featured investment opportunities. MiRTLE’s product is a custom designed diagnostic-grade 12-lead electrocardiogram for use during MRI.  MBBP is assisting MiRTLE Medical with its involvement in the crowdfunding platform.

To learn more, read the full Forbes article.

MBBP Client Koya Leadership Partners’ Founder & CEO Awarded 2016 Boston Brava Award 09/29/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Corporate, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Firm client Katie Bouton of Koya Leadership Partners received the 2016 Boston Brava Award from SmartCEO.  The Boston Brava Award recognizes high-impact female business leaders who are CEOs, Executive Directors of Nonprofits, or C-suite executives.  An independent committee of local business leaders chooses the winner of the Brava Award.  Winners are chosen for their commitment to giving back to their communities, and for their company’s growth, mentoring, and community impact.

Koya Leadership Partners was founded on the belief that “the right person in the right place can change the world”.  The company conducts executive searches and provides human capital consulting and career coaching services.

Congratulations to Katie and Koya Leadership Partners!

MBBP Partner Scott Bleier Featured in “Legal Outlook Q&A” Interview with LinkSquares 09/28/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, M&A, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Firm corporate partner Scott Bleier was recently interviewed by LinkSquares, Inc., regarding his vast knowledge and experience as a “veteran startup lawyer”. M0846500 Scott discussed various topics relating to startups, including the largest legal issues for early stage companies, the role of outside counsel for tech companies, and the biggest challenges surrounding customer agreements and contracts.

Read the full interview for more information.

Jonathan Gworek Concludes Tenure as Chair of Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee at ABA Business Law Annual Meeting 09/06/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, M&A, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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This year’s ABA Business Law Section Meeting will mark the end of Corporate Partner Jon Gworek’s position as Chair of the Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee.  Jon was appointed as chair of the committee in 2013 during the annual meeting, and in the role has been integral in planning the committees activities and meetings.  M0846570

During this year’s meeting in Boston, Jon will act as moderator for various meetings, while the Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee will present two panels: “Valid Corporate Action: Avoiding Failures in Authorization and Ratifying Defective Corporate Acts” and “Venture Backed M&A: Special Considerations”.

The Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee will feature a number of distinguished speakers, including Vice Chancellor Glasscock of the Delaware Court of Chancery, Bruce Patton of Vantage Partners, co-author of Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In and Distinguished Fellow and co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and prominent corporate venture capitalists, Carl Stjernfeldt from Shell Technology Ventures, and Frank Andrasco from Siemens Venture Capital.

Jon has thoroughly enjoyed leading the Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee over the past three years, and is looking forward to remaining actively involved in the Business Law Section of the ABA.

To read more about MBBP’s involvement with the Annual Meeting, read the latest posts on our M&A Today blog.

Scott Bleier Participating In This Year’s ABA Business Law Annual Meeting 09/01/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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M0846500MBBP Corporate Partner Scott Bleier will participate in two separate sessions during this year’s ABA Business Law Annual Meeting in Boston.  Scott will be discussing the recent Sun Capital Partners III v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund (D. Mass. March 28, 2016) court case at the Private Equity and Venture Capital Jurisprudence meeting on Friday, September 9th.  Additionally, later that day he will be leading a presentation of the Venture Capital Transactional Documents and Issues Subcommittee regarding various alternative approaches to financing start-up companies, including SAFEs and KISSs.

The annual meeting will include dozens of panels with varying topics and networking opportunities. Read all about the conference and MBBP’s involvement on our M&A Today blog.

Highlights from MBBP Life Sciences Series Panel 2 – Laying the Foundation for Growth: Entity & Equity 07/05/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Client News, Corporate, Events, Life Sciences, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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On Wednesday June 22nd, the offices of Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton were filled with a crowd of people for a life sciences panel discussion on “Laying the Foundation for Growth: Entity & Equity.”  Esteemed panelists included Marc Cote, COO of Accellient; Jeffrey Solomon, Managing Shareholder of Katz Nannis + Solomon; and MBBP’s own John Hession as moderator.

The panel explained to the audience the importance of understanding the different entity options when starting a new business, and JMH Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846571xB1386)provided important tips on how to pick the right fit for the business.  John Hession stated that when choosing an entity it is crucial to consider where you plan on heading with the business and the long-term goals, how long before you generate money, investments, exit strategy, and how long before you will be investing money of your own into the business.

Jeffrey Solomon explained that most investors will insist that your business is a Delaware C-Corp.  He detailed that although LLCs can be beneficial because of their pass through tax benefits, they also have more complexities with tax filings.  However, since C-Corps are able to receive 1202 tax treatment and exclude gains, C-Corps are typically preferred.  The panel also discussed equity strategic considerations, including restricted stock options, with Marc Cote describing the importance of filing an 83(b) within 30 days of executing the agreement.

These were merely a few of the insightful topics discussed at the 2nd Life Sciences Series Panel.  The next panel in September will be equally educational, so keep an eye out for further details, including registration information, on our site.

Boston Growing Hub for the Life Sciences Industry 06/08/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Life Sciences, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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The Boston Business Journal just announced that at the annual Biotechnology Innovation Organization meeting, Boston was recognized as the city with the largest number of employers in the field of research testing and medical laboratories.  The BBJ explains that from biotech giants such as Biogen to Genzyme to research labs at the prestigious Harvard and MIT, the city is booming in life science employment and early stage development.

Furthermore, MassBio CEO and President Bob Coughlin explains how, “The research shows Massachusetts shines at the earliest stages of industry, with high levels of academic research, NIH and venture capital investments, as well as number of patents earned by our institutions…” Specifically, MA had $9.5 billion in VC investment in a three year term and ranked just behind California in the number of life science patents awarded.

MBBP is proud to represent life sciences companies throughout the greater Boston area (and beyond), in fields including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, along with institutions and investors in a wide range of sophisticated legal matters that arise in connection with the development, protection and commercialization of their diagnostic and therapeutic solutions.

Read the full Boston Business Journal article here.

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