Experience

OVERVIEW

Louis Lehot is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, where he is a member of the Private Equity & Venture Capital, M&A and Transactions Practices as well as the Technology, Health Care, Life Sciences and Energy Industry Teams. Louis focuses his practice on advising entrepreneurs and their management teams, investors and financial advisors at all stages of growth, from garage to global. Louis especially enjoys being able to help his clients achieve hyper-growth, go public and successfully obtain optimal liquidity events.

To assist his clients in realizing their objectives, Louis brings to bear a broad array of legal and business instruments, processes and strategies, from formation to liquidity. He guides emerging private companies as they secure venture capital financing, prepare for IPO or de-SPAC, and navigate the exit. His domain experience in public offerings and private placements of equity, equity-linked, and debt securities, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, spinoffs, strategic investments, and joint ventures, as well as corporate governance and securities law compliance matters, serves his clients well. Additionally, Louis regularly represents US and non-US registrants before the SEC, FINRA, NYSE and NASDAQ.

On a very short list of Silicon Valley’s and San Francisco’s leading corporate lawyers, Louis has handled some of the highest profile matters in the tech, health care, and clean energy spaces. Louis has been recognized by peer- reviewed industry guides and leading practitioners as one of the most innovative, creative, and versatile corporate counsel. Chambers USA noted that he has considerable experience of representing both emerging companies and investors in venture financings, and is quoted as saying, “Louis Lehot is known for the high quality of his advice, his responsiveness and passion for his clients.”

Clients have noted:

“The ease of working with Louis and his ability to cross over into international space.”

“His legal advice is superb, he has a very good understanding of all of the legal aspects of investing, he has strong business acumen and offers strong business advice.”

“Louis personally ensures quality, efficiency and value on every transaction we work on.”

The Legal 500 US noted that clients have commented on Louis’ abilities as a “master networker” in Silicon Valley. Louis was also selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers 2021 and Super Lawyers – Rising Stars (2011 – 2012).

Louis has served as a two-time faculty member of Stanford Directors College, an advisory board member of the Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange, and a member of Boston College Law School’s Business Advisory Council.

Louis practices giving back, supporting local and global initiatives, including the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Home of Hope, Caring for Cambodia, Doctors without Borders, Equal Justice for America, Second Harvest, Ecumenical Hunger Program, Goodwill of Southern California, UAspire, Girl Power Talk and Palo Alto Partners in Education.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures

Represented buyers in creating innovative acquisition programs, smart structures, and smooth processes to acquire businesses by share purchase, merger, asset purchase, and license. Represents bootstrapped as well as venture-backed startups in achieving lucrative liquidity events for their entrepreneurs and investors, including:

  • Zonehaven, the SAAS solution for emergency evacuation and community support, in its sale to Genasys (NASDAQ: GNSS), the critical communications systems and solutions company
  • Flurosat, a crop science company, in its all-stock acquisition of soil health startup Dagan to form Regrow Agriculture focusing on resilient agriculture solutions
  • doc.ai Incorporated, the digital health transformation company, in negotiating strategic investment, commercial and licensing deals with Anthem, and in its subsequent 2021 sale to Sharecare and pending combination with Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp

  • 174 Power Global, the power project development arm of Hanwha Energy Corp., in negotiating a joint venture with Total SE to develop utility-scale solar and energy storage projects of 1.6 GW cumulative capacity in North America
  • Semarchy, the Intelligent Data Hub™ company and a disruptive provider of master data management software, in a significant investment from funds advised by Providence Strategic Growth (PSG), the growth equity affiliate of Providence Equity Partners
  • Riverwood Capital in its buyout of Forecast5 Analytics and numerous other attempted buyout deals
  • CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE: CBG) in dozens of acquisitions over the past decade for regional real estate brokerages, property management businesses, technology platforms and adjacent services, including Floored.com, Forum Analytics, Brenner Real Estate Group, Capstone Financial, Skye Group, CAC Group, Fameco, KLMK Group, U.S. Equities, UCR and many more
  • Avnet (NASDAQ: AVT) in its acquisitions of Dragon Innovation and Solaris and in numerous strategic investments in technology businesses
  • SoftBank Group International in the sale of 99 Taxis, the largest ride sharing company in Brazil, to Didi
  • Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) in its acquisitions of Appformix, Aurrion, Cyphort and in other strategic transactions
  • Penn National Gaming (NYSE: PENN) in its acquisition of Rocket Games
  • CheckALT LLC in the acquisitions of ERAS from Diebold (NYSE: DBD) and Klike Technologies from MUFG Union Bank
  • Binatone Global in its acquisition of the companion products business of Motorola Mobility
  • CVC and QA Analytics in its buyout of Cloud Academy
  • #bigtech company in a confidential joint venture with a large China-based company in a significant market- access joint venture for the PRC
  • China-based white goods company in a significant PRC market-access joint venture with a US industrial manufacturing company
  • Sanpower Group Co., Ltd., one of the largest privately owned conglomerates in China, on its entry into a definitive agreement to acquire Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for US$819.9 million
  • Symphony Technology Group and Bond International Software in the acquisition of Erecruit
  • Tecan Group AG (SIX:  TECN) in its acquisition of SpeWare Corp.
  • Centric Software, a global enterprise SAAS PLM company (backed by venture capital firms Oak Investment Partners and Fung Capital) based in Silicon Valley in the sale of a majority stake to Dassault Systemes SE, a French public company listed on Euronext Paris, in a cash and stock deal
  • Docea Power SAS in its sale to Intel (NYSE:  INTC)
  • Kerensen Consulting in its sale to salesforce.com (NYSE:  CRM)
  • Tuplejump in its formation and subsequent sale
  • Stackstorm in its sale to Brocade (now part of Broadcom, NYSE:  BDCM)
  • Adotube in its sale to Exponential Interactive
  • MetricTest in its sale to Microlease (now part of ElectroRent)
  • The special committee of the board of directors of Tongjitang Chinese Medicines, an NYSE-listed public company, in negotiating an agreement and plan of merger with a bidder group led by its chairman and Fosun Industrial in a going-private transaction (recognized by China Business Law Journal as 2012’s Going Private Deal of the Year)
  • AOL LLC (now known as OATH), in the acquisitions of Sphere Source, Inc. and Goowy Media Inc.
  • CVC, Elevation Partners, Hellman & Friedman, Hony Capital, Riverwood Capital, Silver Lake Partners, Softbank, Symphony Technology Group, and TPG in leveraged buyouts, growth equity and venture investments
  • Credit Suisse as financial advisor in Heckmann Corp’s de-SPAC transaction with China Water & Drink

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Venture Capital & Growth Equity

Represented numerous venture capital, growth equity investment firms and corporate venturing groups in making minority investments in technology, healthcare, clean energy and other innovative businesses, including:

  • SoftBank Vision Fund in growth equity investments in Zymergen, Alto Pharmacy, Wag Labs, Slack, Guardant Health, 99 Taxis and 10X Genomics
  • Riverwood Capital in growth equity investments in Alation, Degreed, Druva, CloudVirga and Sauce Labs
  • Vivo Capital in growth equity investments in Maculogix, Harmony Biosciences and Green River
  • TCG Crossover in late-stage emerging life sciences investments in Affinia Therapeutics, Entrada, Artios and others, as well as private investments into public entities

  • NEA in seed and follow-on investments in Robinhood (IPO), ScoutRFP (sold to Workday), Automation Anywhere (largest Series A transaction ever at $265M), FightCamp, Evernow and dozens of other transactions for over a decade
  • Samsung Ventures in dozens of early- to late-stage investments in technology, healthcare and life science businesses, managing the portfolio and subsequent monetization transactions
  • LG Technology Ventures in its initial fund formation and in over a dozen early- to late-stage investments in technology businesses
  • Accel Andreesen Horowitz, Foundation Capital, General Atlantic, Nautilus Venture Partners, Oak Investment Partners, Propel Ventures and numerous other venture capital firms in making early- to late-stage venture capital investments in technology, life sciences, med-tech, med-device, healthcare and clean energy businesses
  • AIG, Atomico, CBRE, GE Ventures, Hanwha Q Cells, Lenovo, MS&AD Ventures, Next47, OSRAM, Robert Bosch, salesforce Ventures, Siemens and numerous other corporate venturing groups in making strategic investments in technology and healthcare businesses
  • Mighty Capital, X Ventures, BlueShirt Ventures, v2 Ventures, Second Peak and other venture capital funds in formation and fund management matters

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Emerging Growth Companies

Over his more than two-decade career, Louis has represented emerging growth companies from garage to global in all stages, from formation to liquidity, including:

  • Aquis (beauty-tech)
  • BankJoy (fintech) backed by Bessemer Venture Partners, CheckALT and SoftBank Opportunity Fund)
  • Bionure (life sciences)
  • Centric Software (PLM enterprise SAAS software backed by Dassault Systemes and Oak Investment Partners)
  • CheckALT (fintech, backed by Shai Stern)

  • Design Barn, Inc., the creator of Lottie Files (multi-platform animation creation tool backed by M12, Adobe and 500 Startups)
  • GoodData (enterprise SAAS, backed by General Catalyst, a16z, Intel Capital and Visa Ventures)
  • Mindvalley, Inc. (edtech, personal growth, consumer internet)
  • Mirantis, offering enterprises unprecedented speed to ship code faster across public and private clouds (backed by Intel Capital, Insight Venture Partners and August Capital)
  • Proseeder (fintech)
  • Regrow Agriculture (agtech, backed by Main Sequence Ventures, M12, AJAX and the corporate venture arm of Cargill)
  • Securly (security for edtech, backed by Owl Ventures and Defy Ventures, sold to Golden Gate)
  • Sharecare (NYSE: SHCR, the digital health platform that acquired doc.ai)
  • Spire Bioventures
  • Learning Squared, the creator of Square Panda (AI for edtech, backed by Andre Agassi)
  • Tuplejump (big data, sold to a Cupertino based company)
  • Vcheck Global (background check solutions for investors backed by Shai Stern and Seth Farbman)
  • WannaSplit (fintech)
  • WineAccess (consumer internet, backed by Norwest Venture Partners)
  • Zero Cognitive Systems, Inc. (AI for productivity automation, backed by OneWay Ventures, Altair and others)

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Capital Markets Transactions

  • doc.ai and founders in combination with Sharecare and Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp. in a de-SPAC’ing transaction (2021)
  • SoftBank as selling holder in Slack’s direct listing (2019)
  • SoftBank as selling holder in 10x Genomics’ IPO (2019)
  • SoftBank as selling holder in Guardant Health’s IPO and follow-on offerings (2018)

  • CHC Group, Ltd. in its IPO (2014)
  • LegalZoom in its attempted IPO (2012)
  • RealD in its IPO and follow-on offering (July and December 2010)
  • OpenTable in its follow-on offering (2009)
  • Represented underwriters, Micron (2009)
  • CBRE in multiple capital markets transactions
  • Represented underwriters in Heckmann Corporation’s SPAC IPO and financial advisors in its subsequent de-SPAC transaction (2007-2008)
  • Represented underwriters in AMIS Holdings’ public offering (2007)

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Convertible Notes, Investment Grade and High Yield Bond Offerings

  • GLG Partners in private placements of convertible bonds (2009)
  • Micron Technology in public offerings of convertible bonds (2007 and 2009)
  • The underwriters in POSCO’s offering of exchangeable bonds (2008)

  • The underwriters in convertible bond and call spread transactions with SanDisk (2006)
  • Northrop Grumman, France Telecom, Orange, STMicroelectronics, Rhodia, ALSTOM and Dassault Systemes SA in multiple capital markets transactions for ordinary shares, high yield bonds, convertible bonds, exchangeable bonds and other instruments, as well as in public reporting and SEC compliance

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EDUCATION
  • Boston College Law School (J.D., 2000)
  • Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service (B.S.F.S., 1994), International Law
  • Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg (C.E.P., 1993), International Relations
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Prior to returning to Silicon Valley in 2005, Louis practiced in New York, London and Paris.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Committee, Subcommittee on Negotiated Acquisitions
  • The Association of Corporate Counsel, Bay Area Corporate and Securities Law Committee
  • The Churchill Club, Silicon Valley Chapter
  • The French-American Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco
  • The Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel
  • Former advisory board member, The Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange (SVDX)
RECOGNITIONS
  • Recognized, Chambers USA, Venture Capital (2021)
  • Selected as an Acritas Star, Acritas (2021)
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 US, Mergers & Acquisitions/Corporate and Commercial (2015)
  • Identified as a California leader in Capital Markets: Debt & Equity by Chambers USA (2012 – 2015)
  • Recognized as a “Power Player” by Always On (2012)
  • Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers 2021 and Super Lawyers – Rising Stars (2011-2012) 
  • Named an advisory board member by the Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange (SVDX) in partnership with Stanford Law School’s Rock Center for corporate governance (2016 – 2019)
  •  Appointed to Boston College Law School’s Business Advisory Council (2017)
  • A two-time faculty member at the world-renowned Stanford Directors’ College (2017 and 2019)