private equity, mergers, M&A, Middle Ground Capital, Elan Growth Partners

Someone Give These CalPERS Funds A Hug

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System didn’t want them. Secondary firms didn’t buy them. And so they’ve been banished to what the nation’s largest public pension fund calls its “Vista Portfolio”—a place where fund interests get managed “toward liquidation,” in the pension fund’s own phrase. You can find the Vista Portfolio on the CalPERS Alternative […]


The Carried Interest Debate – Down to the Wire

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt read about the debate in Congress going on regarding carried interests for venture capitalists. Many in Congress, in order to continue to fund their agenda, are looking to change the tax classification of VC profits from capital gains to ordinary income. It looks like […]


Watch Out Boston, A Rip-Off is Coming to Town

Apparently, our work to weed out unscrupulous venture events is not done. Today, I learned that Boston entrepreneurs will be fleeced in order to have the opportunity to pitch to VCs.  To quote my partner Seth: “THERE IS NO CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH ENTREPRENEURS SHOULD PAY TO PITCH THEIR BUSINESS TO PROSPECTIVE INVESTORS. PERIOD. END OF STORY.” […]


Open Letter To President Obama on Innovation Policy

Mr. President, I feel compelled to write you a letter to express my thoughts and frustrations regarding innovation policy in our country. While I have modest expectations that you’ll actually read this, perhaps someone in your inner circle will and represent my thoughts. First of all, I hope that you realize how very fortunate we […]


Quick Ways To Get Fired as a Lawyer

You are a lawyer. You represent a hot start up that is venture-backed. One day the CEO comes to you – out of the blue – and says “you’re fired.” (Cue Donald Trump frown).

You’ve stuck it out through the lean times with the company even when they weren’t funded and now you are on the outside looking in. What gives? It must be the evil venture capitalist (me). He must want one of “his guys” at the legal helm.

Not so fast. Even ex-lawyers like me who believe we can evaluate the best of legal talent don’t take this action lightly. And I never like to have a heavy hand with my CEOs. It’s their company to run and I work for them.

I, however, have seen some unbelievably stupid things that company counsel lawyers have pulled that has ruined their credibility with the VC (me) and thus found their way out the door, either by my strong urging, or by agreement of the entire company.


Law Firm 2.0 – Let’s Make This Easier

I previously posted an article called “Why Start-up Lawyers Frustrate Me.” In only my 4th post on my new blog, I managed to piss off nearly every friend I have who works for a major law firm. There has been a ton of press and I think my IT guy is ready to shut off […]


Why Start-up Lawyers Frustrate Me

I’ve decided to start a series of posts called “Why Xs Frustrate Me.” Today, X = Venture Lawyers. In future posts, X will equal academics, entrepreneurs, accountants, venture capitalists, drummers, the patent ecosystem and other targets of my affection. Given that I used to be a start-up lawyer and that even today more than half […]