Practice/Industry Group Overview
Duane Morris represents a diverse range of private companies - from emerging businesses, family-owned enterprises, and middle market companies, to professional services partnerships and formerly public companies which have gone private - all sharing common legal and business issues. Sharing our clients' entrepreneurial focus, Duane Morris' corporate attorneys provide strategic counsel aimed at facilitating our clients' formation, operation and growth. We tailor our services for private companies to be tightly aligned with the business strategies and goals of our clients. We understand that the advantages of private ownership also bring distinct challenges and opportunities.
Duane Morris provides a range of legal services for privately-held companies across numerous industries. Duane Morris works closely with our private company clients as legal, business and tax advisor at every stage of development. Our range of services includes business formation, financing and capitalization, private placements, licensing and distribution agreements, securities law, succession planning, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, and others.
Our corporate attorneys in major markets in the U.S. and in London have the ability to create multidisciplinary teams customized to clients' needs, with lawyers skilled in areas ranging from tax and bankruptcy, to intellectual property and real estate, to labor, benefits and environmental law.
Formation, Financing and Growth
The Duane Morris Corporate Practice Group regularly advises both emerging companies and the venture capital and private equity firms that fund them. With an understanding of the needs and issues of both investor and company, Duane Morris can help our privately-held clients through all stages of the capital formation process, from seed and initial rounds to larger offerings, including Rule 144A offerings and initial public offerings.
One of the key advantages of private ownership is access to the private equities and debt markets. Duane Morris assists clients with securing the appropriate forms and capital needed to grow their companies with the long term in mind. We advise our clients in selecting the right partners to provide not only the needed funding, but to form the right relationships to help both parties reach strategic, long-term results from the investment.
Additionally, Duane Morris assists clients with traditional debt financing such as loan transactions with banks, insurers and other lenders.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Duane Morris represents private companies on both sides of mergers and acquisitions, from being acquired by another company as an exit strategy, to acquiring other companies for strategic growth. With our corporate attorneys and lawyers drawn from other areas of the law that may be involved in a particular transaction, Duane Morris brings a comprehensive approach to help private companies complete complex mergers and acquisitions, management and leveraged buyouts, joint venture and other corporate transactions.
Even though privately held companies may not be subjected to the same reporting and disclosure requirements as publicly held companies, such as those under Sarbanes-Oxley, many private companies find it advantageous to adopt similarly strict compliance policies, as norms gravitate to these public company standards. With heightened concerns over compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, private companies are increasingly adopting the Act's requirements as they may be required to do so. Duane Morris regularly assists privately held clients establish corporate governance strategies and structures that accommodate planned growth and responsible reporting requirements.
Ownership and Succession Planning
Privately held companies need particular care with ownership and succession planning to ensure smooth transitions and exit strategies as their businesses experience significant changes and events. Duane Morris helps our clients with all aspects of equity ownership and management structure changes, including disputes with majority stockholders and shareholder relations. Our corporate attorneys, together with lawyers experienced in tax and estate planning issues, develop innovative solutions to help maximize tax advantages for succession planning for private companies.