46th Annual Advanced Business Law Conference 2019: The Startup Business Counselor—Company Design for Founders, Key Employees, and Investors

MCLE Credits: 8.0
Ethics Credits Included: 2.0

Live on Site: Friday, October 18 - Saturday, October 19 / Wintergreen Resort
Registration and Lunch: 12:00 p.m.
Program: Friday, October 18 - 1:00 p.m. - Saturday, October 19 - 12:30 p.m
MCLE Credit: 8.0 (Ethics: 2.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 8.0 Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol


Why Attend?

  • Gain valuable tips and best practices from the experts
  • Network with your colleagues—and develop new contacts in specialized practice areas
  • Enjoy our social events and free time at Wintergreen Resort

Cosponsored with the Business Law Section of the Virginia State Bar

Virginia’s Premier Business Law Program!

This conference is designed to provide business lawyers with an in-depth, advanced-level overview of the legal and business considerations in structuring the ownership, governance, and capital raising of startup and emerging companies, as well as the opportunity to connect with other business lawyers from around Virginia. The presenters include small- and large-firm attorneys experienced in forming, restructuring, and assisting early-stage and growth companies in founder and employee equity terms and venture capital financings. Basic and some more detailed model practice forms will be provided.


Your live conference registration includes the Friday night conference dinner at Wintergreen—please plan to join us. Guests are welcome at an additional cost of $60. See registration options.


We have arranged a special lodging rate with Wintergreen: $134 per night for a single room. These are guaranteed only until September 17, so act fast. Please call Wintergreen at 855-699-1858 and say you are part of this conference.


Can't Attend?
E-mail distance_ed@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program is made available as an online or USB seminar.
E-mail publications@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program's seminar materials are made available for sale.



Friday, October 18, 2019

12:00 Registration and Lunch
12:55 Introduction
Steve Keeler
1:00 Starting Up Right—Part 1: Formation Without a Crystal Ball
Darden Bell, Steve Keeler

A practical discussion of choice of entity (business, legal, and tax issues), entity conversions (state law and tax), choice of jurisdiction, and founder-to-company contributions focused on venture-capital backed companies:
  • Advantages and disadvantages of corporations versus LLCs
  • Converting (under state or tax law) from one form to another
  • Using subsidiary entities
  • Choosing between Virginia and Delaware
  • Director, manager, officer, and controlling shareholder duties and liability protections
  • Issues relating to founder transfers of business plan, intellectual property, and other key assets and rights bullets
2:00 Starting Up Right—Part 2: Getting the Founders’ Deal (and Company Culture) Locked Down
Karl Knoll, Max Moyer

A new look at the critical importance of upfront planning around founder ownership, roles, and expectations, with company growth, the unpredictable and capital raising in mind:
  • Avoiding equal or arbitrary ownership allocations
  • Common and “Founder Preferred” stock rights and restrictions
  • Founder vesting and transfer restrictions, and preemptive, voting, and repurchase rights, and why they are good for the founders
  • Board seat rights and officer roles (and plans for change)
  • Management style or culture, including meetings, written consents, and outside directors
  • “Corporate Compliance” culture, including contract and other approvals, internal controls, and financial statements
  • Founder employment agreements (or not(?), but definitely covenants agreements)
3:30 Break
3:45 The Carrots and Sticks for Key People
Julia Kovacs, Cathryn Le Regulski

An advanced-level discussion of trends and the “market” for:
  • Equity grants (and profits interests) and options, including tax and securities law issues and vesting and transfer restrictions
  • Dealing with and incentivizing different classes of employees
  • Designing firm but fair non-disclosure, non-solicitation, intellectual property assignment, and non-competition agreements
  • Planning ahead for departing employee equity settlements and releases
  • Evolving best practices relating to data privacy and security and employee use of company devices
  • Independent contractors versus employees
  • Rewarding directors and consultants
5:30 Session adjourns
5:45 Cocktail Reception
7:00 Conference Dinner

Saturday, October 19, 2019

7:45 Breakfast
8:15 Raising Capital—From Convertible Notes, to KISS and SAFE Forms, to Seed and Series A Preferred Equity
Brian Burke, Matt Clary, Max Moyer

An in-depth overview of the evolving trends in and “market” for structuring equity, debt, and hybrid investments by angels, venture capital funds, and alternative investors, including:
  • Updating company documents and records in anticipation of outside investors
  • The importance of the business plan, revenue model, and projections in anticipating current and future capital needs
  • Dealing with founder control and dilution issues, option pools, and valuation foot faults and gaps
  • Considering SAFEs, convertible notes, and notes and warrants before issuing stock or membership interests, including traps for the unwary
  • Investor terms and rights in seed versus Series A preferred financings, including the nuances in liquidation preferences, preferred returns, participation rights, and investor veto and board seat rights
  • In-depth review of typical investor agreements, including investor rights, voting and drag-along, right of refusal and tag-along, and other agreements
  • Caveats in using investment bankers, finders, and broker-dealers
  • Unique issues in raising capital from corporate VC or strategic investors
10:15 Break
10:30 Ethics for Lawyers Representing Founders and Organizers of Startups
Jim McCauley
  • Client identification—who is/are the “client” or “clients”?
  • Joint representation—representing multiple founders/investors; engagement letters; and advanced waivers
  • Fee agreements and equity billing arrangements—taking stock in lieu of fees and Rule 1.8(a) (business transactions with clients)
  • Avoiding creation of unintended attorney-client relationships with constituents and investors
  • Post-formation: managing conflicts and obtaining waivers/informed consent
  • Lawyer serving on client’s board of directors and conflicts of interest
  • Candor in negotiations, representations, and taking advantage of adversary’s mistake
  • Dealing with represented and unrepresented persons—Rules 4.2 and 4.3
  • Technology issues—protecting confidential and personal information
  • Confidentiality (Rule 1.6), attorney-client privilege and work product, and exceptions and waiver
12:30 Seminar Adjourns
12:45 Networking Reception and Lunch



Steven L. Brinker, Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, PLC / Norfolk
Matthew A. Clary, III, Law Offices of Matthew A. Clary, III / Fairfax
John M. Huddle, The Global Law Group, PLC / Richmond
Brent Justus, McGuireWoods LLP / Richmond
Steven J. Keeler (Chair), McGuireWoods LLP / Charlottesville
Karl T. Knoll, Clarabridge, Inc. / Reston
Autumn R. Visser, Woods Rogers PLC / Roanoke


Darden Bell, Keiter / Glen Allen
Brian Burke, Cooley LLP / Reston
Matthew A. Clary, III, Law Offices of Matthew A. Clary, III / Fairfax
Steven J. Keeler, McGuireWoods LLP / Charlottesville
Karl T. Knoll, Clarabridge, Inc. / Reston
Julia T. Kovacs, DLA Piper LLP (US) / Washington, DC
Cathryn Le Regulski, DLA Piper LLC / Reston
James M. McCauley, Virginia State Bar / Richmond
Max Moyer, Triumph Advisors PLLC / Vienna

Locations, Dates and Fees

LIVE REGISTRATION FEES (Friday lunch, cocktail reception and dinner, Saturday breakfast and reception/lunch, and printed materials included)

$360 regular registration.
$420 regular registration with one guest dinner.
$340 preregistering VSB Business Law Section member.
$400 preregistering VSB Business Law Section member with one guest dinner.
$380 on-site registration (if space is available).


Wintergreen / Friday and Saturday, October 18-19
Wintergreen Resort (Venue Website / Google Map)
Route 664
(800) 273-3390

We have arranged a special lodging rate with Wintergreen: $134 per night for a single room.  These are guaranteed only until September 17, so act fast.  Please call Wintergreen at 855-699-1858 and say you are part of this conference.

A special 15% discount and free shipping on Virginia CLE®–published books will be available for purchases made at the seminar site.

Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored through 5:00 p.m. of the DAY BEFORE the seminar. 

If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, please contact Virginia CLE® well in advance of the program date.

Private recording of this program is prohibited.

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