Tuesday, December 4, 2007
And the Winner Is:
We chose our lawyers this past weekend. We decided to go with Fenwick & West. We made that decision based on various factors. We met with them initially, several months back, and they were incredibly insightful, helpful, and genuinely excited about our business. As we continued to grow and brought them back into the mix last week, they continued their genuine interest.
We met with several other firms last week. One, although it was a well respected Silicon Valley startup law firm, wasn't very up to date on the latest technologies and internet software companies. They made it clear they weren't here to help the company and its strategy - but could certainly help make introductions to VC's down the road. They seemed a bit apprehensive to help a firm that didn't want to take VC funding right away. We weren't psyched about that.
The third firm was great! This made our decision quite difficult. In fact, there were two factors that made us choose Fenwick over this other firm. The first was that we got much better terms from Fenwick. These terms revolved around the equity that we had to give up for obtaining their services in exchange for deferred payment. That means we get legal assistance that we don't have to pay for until we raise series A financing. The second, and most important, was that Fenwick had in house patent attorneys that could help us patent our ideas, while allowing us to take advantage of the deferred payment terms. The other firm would have required us to use a boutique patent firm - which would have been a lot of money out of our pockets.
The advantage of this third firm was that they were much more responsive, which was the one hesitation we had in deciding to go with Fenwick. I wanted to make sure Fenwick would be able to get back to us on important issues, regardless of what was going on on their end, in a reasonable amount of time. We were assured that once on board, they would assign enough people to our company that it wouldn't be a problem.
So... now that the legal issue is out of the way, we need to get to our patents, which I promised I'd write about. I'll get back to that after I meet with their patent attorneys - since I'm not sure how the process will play out until then.