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.
He 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.
Louis Lehot regularly acts as company-side counsel in mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, spin-offs, strategic investments and joint ventures.
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.
Public and private companies, financial sponsors, venture capitalists, investors and investment banks seek him out for smart counsel and skill in forming, financing, governing, buying and selling companies. For more than 20 years, Louis has represented companies from a myriad of industries at all stages of their development.
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 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:
“Louis is experienced and knowledgeable.”“He’s very strong in all aspects of venture capital.”
“The ease of working with Louis and his ability to cross over into international space.”
“Louis Lehot is known for the high quality of his advice, his responsiveness and passion for his clients.”
“Louis is a fantastic lawyer and business partner.”
“He is incredibly client-centric, he’s responsive and commercial.”
“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. In 2021, Louis joined the advisory board member of Home of Hope.
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)
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
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:
- 20Cube Logistics in a business combination agreement with Evo Acquisition Corp.
- The League App, Inc. in its sale to Match Group, Inc. (NYSE: MTCH)
- 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 HubTM 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
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)
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)
- 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
Prior to returning to Silicon Valley in 2005, Louis practiced in New York, London and Paris.
- 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)
- Recognized, Chambers USA, Venture Capital (since 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)