Our team represents venture funds in litigation and dispute resolution throughout the country.
The firm’s practice is based on the knowledge that representing venture funds and managers requires a deep understanding of the unique relationships that venture firms have with their limited partners, portfolio companies, entrepreneurs, and co-investors.
Venture funds increasingly are the targets of litigation in which the plaintiff’s primary dispute is with a portfolio company but is seeking a “deep pocket” to fund a settlement or, just as often, leverage in order to induce a settlement from the portfolio company itself. All too often, plaintiff’s attorneys believe that if they can entangle a venture fund in public, costly, and distracting litigation, the fund managers will use their influence, perhaps as Board members, to coerce a settlement in the plaintiff’s favor. In these scenarios, it is essential that venture funds have counsel with experience navigating not only the legal intricacies of the claims, but also the relationships that venture funds have with their portfolio companies, which sometimes entitle them to Board or observer seats.
There also are times when a venture fund must be proactive in asserting claims even though they are reluctant to do so. The managers of venture funds owe their limited partners fiduciary duties, including fiduciary duties of care that may require them to pursue litigation even when it is uncomfortable for the fund managers to do so given the relationships involved.
Even when venture firms are not themselves parties to litigation, as plaintiffs or defendants, they may be dragged into disputes as witnesses or as the custodians of documents that are relevant to litigation involving portfolio companies. In these instances as well, it is essential that venture funds have experienced counsel able to help them protect confidential and proprietary information, minimize disruption to the fund and its management personnel, and limit risk to the fund itself.
Our team is experienced in navigating these complex issues efficiently, and with the expertise that comes from years of representing venture funds with sensitivity to the needs unique to the venture industry.