Duane Morris attorneys have extensive experience advising entrepreneurs, emerging businesses and the venture funds, private equity firms, angels and other investors that finance them. We excel at addressing the needs of emerging businesses and venture capital firms because of our passion and commitment to helping startups grow, combined with our own entrepreneurial spirit. We believe that our experience seeing transactions from both the company and investor perspective enhances our knowledge base and contributes to our practical approach.

We counsel emerging businesses and venture-backed companies on all aspects of their life cycle, from entity formation, through funding and growth, and ultimately exit by sale or public offering. Our nationally and internationally recognized team also advises investors in deploying billions of dollars each year in early stage, venture capital, growth equity and late stage investments.

We take an industry-focused approach to understanding the business and legal issues faced by our clients on the cutting edge of gaming, technology, life sciences, healthcare, fintech and financial services, cannabis and beyond. Our industry-first perspective allows us to seamlessly provide real-world solutions to clients in areas including corporate and commercial, intellectual property, licensing, privacy, employment and immigration, real estate and regulatory. Our more than 900 lawyers deployed in offices throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia help our clients to scale by leveraging our local networks and experience around the globe.

Representative Investor Clients

  • Missionog
  • Camden Partners
  • Edison Partners
  • Bioadvance
  • Agent Capital
  • Cult Capital
  • Bettor Capital
  • 76 Capital
  • Runway Healthcare
  • GMH Ventures
  • Grays Ferry Capital
  • JB Investments


Mass Challenge
Life Sciences Future
Science Center
VIPX Xcelerate

Emerging Company Pricing Plan

Duane Morris is committed to attracting and engaging growth companies. We have developed an alternative fee program for companies that meet specific viability criteria.


Venture Capital

Duane Morris provides sophisticated counsel to venture capital funds and VC-backed emerging companies in connection with investment activities, in addition to other vital activities through the entire venture capital growth cycle: from fund formation, new money investments, follow-on and secondary financings and refinancings, to IPOs and strategic and exit transactions―supporting our clients as they pursue, manage and dispose of portfolio company investments. 

When representing venture funds, we work with our clients on all aspects of the investment, performing due diligence, structuring the transaction and documenting transaction terms. We have deep experience in evaluating intellectual property issues, partly as a result of our third-party due diligence technology representation on numerous transactions. Plus, our industry-first perspective allows us to bring in regulatory specialists to identify and provide structure for issues specific to the business of the investment target.

Following initial investment, we advise venture capital firms on issues that arise in connection with investments including follow-on investments as lead or minority investor, corporate governance issues, interpretation of and strategies for assertion of contractual rights and executive employment issues. We also represent venture capital firms in reviewing exit transactions and IPOs and protecting the rights of the investor, often providing helpful input to corporate counsel.

In addition, our attorneys have broad experience in organizing venture funds and representing fund sponsors with capital-raising efforts both domestically and internationally. In structuring funds, our Corporate attorneys work closely with our Securities, Tax, International, Employment and Compliance attorneys to form funds and management companies that are tax efficient and compliant with the complex maze of securities regulations that govern venture funds. We strive to optimize tax structures to maximize after-tax returns.

Emerging Companies

Duane Morris has a strong commitment to the emerging business community. Our Emerging Business Group assists many new and emerging businesses with all aspects of their formation, growth, financing and development.

In particular, the group provides services in the following areas:

  • Startup and growth planning, including identifying and structuring an appropriate legal entity, assisting in the preparation of business plans, and structuring and drafting agreements among stockholders and partners.
  • Securities law compliance and advice, including structuring the terms of corporate stock, partnership interests and other securities; representation in connection with the offer and sale of securities, including drafting private offering documents and federal and state securities law compliance; negotiating and structuring venture capital investments, debt instruments and other financing relationships; representation in initial public offerings; and securities law compliance by public companies.
  • Structuring and drafting employment, consulting and noncompete agreements, and drafting and providing advice regarding various types of stock option and other equity incentive plans, employee stock savings plans and other employee benefit plans.
  • Intellectual property services, including procuring, licensing and enforcing patents, trademarks and copyrights, counseling with respect to patentability, validity and infringement issues and developing strategic alliances.
  • Negotiating and structuring corporate partner relationships, acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, distribution arrangements and franchising relationships.
  • General business representation, including advice in connection with bank loans, leases and other business contracts.

At Duane Morris, lawyers from different disciplines in the firm work together to provide emerging businesses with the comprehensive legal services required for successful business ventures.

For More Information

For additional information, please contact Richard L. CohenMichael S. Harrington or any of the practice members referenced in the Attorney Listing.