Christopher Austin is global head of Orrick’s Capital Markets practice and global cochair of Orrick's Blockchain and Cryptocurrency practice. He focuses on capital markets, cryptocurrency, venture capital and corporate law, with extensive experience in public offerings, public and private company governance and securities law compliance.

Chris counsels technology companies of all sizes and stages of development, including advising on formation, venture financings, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, corporate governance, and intellectual property issues. He is a recognized leader in capital markets work for both companies and investment banks, leading deals involving BAML, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley, in connection with initial public offerings and follow-on offerings of technology and life sciences companies.

With a combination of securities law, fintech and startup experience, Chris has become a recognized leader on cryptocurrency and blockchain matters, working with companies such as Hedera (Hashgraph), Shapeshift, Threefold Foundation and others on issues around token sales, SAFT offerings and securities law compliance.  He leads a multi-disciplinary team of money transmission, derivatives, broker dealer, litigation and comp and benefits experts to provide holistic advice in a rapidly changing regulatory environment.

Chris also works with many of Orrick's financial industry tech clients, including Betterment, SoFi, Debtsy, Kabbage and Galaxy Digital.


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    Prior to joining Orrick, Chris was a partner at Goodwin Procter for four years, and a partner at Ropes & Gray for 16 years, including three years in its San Francisco office.

  • Chris's recent engagements include:

    • Social Finance, Inc., in over $1.4 billion of venture capital financing and multiple secondary tender offers.
    • PagerDuty, Inc. as outside general counsel in its recent venture capital financings and secondary tender offer.
    • Pinterest, Inc. in connection with corporate governance and financing matters.
    • SailThru, Inc. as outside general counsel for all corporate matters.
    • Betterment, Inc. in various financings and as outside general counsel.
    • Hungryroot, Inc. in various financings and as outside general counsel.
    • Hedera Hashgraph in connection with crypto currency and corporate matters
    • Ooma, Inc.,a provider of voice over IP communications solutions, in its million initial public offering.
    • Morgan Stanley and Barclays, as underwriters counsel, in the $130 million initial public offering of Rapid7, Inc.  and multiple follow-on offerings
    • Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank, as underwriters counsel, in the $230 million initial public offering of OnDeck Capital, Inc., an online alternative finance company for small businesses.
    • Coatue, in its $500 million investment in Liberty Media to support Charter Communications’ acquisition of Time Warner and its $400 million investment in Liberty to purchase FormulaOne.
    • Deutsche Bank Securities, BofA Merrill Lynch, William Blair & Company, JMP Securities, Raymond James & Associates and Needham & Company, as underwriter’s counsel, in the $137.8 million NASDAQ initial public offering and the $121 million follow-on offering of Paylocity, Inc., a provider of cloud-based payroll and human capital management (HCM) software solutions.
    • Goldman, Sachs & Company, Deutsche Bank Securities, Jefferies, Canaccord Genuity, Piper Jaffray and Raymond James, as underwriter’s counsel, in the $130.8 million NASDAQ initial public offering and $109.9 million follow-on offering of Benefitfocus, Inc., a provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions for consumers, employers, insurance carriers, and brokers.
    • Eloqua, Inc., a provider of on-demand revenue performance management software solutions, in its $105.8 million initial public offering on NASDAQ and subsequent sale to Oracle.

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