The Orrick Legal Ninja Series (OLNS)

VC & Tech Briefings - Germany

In substantially all of the major world markets, we have dedicated technology lawyers who support young German technology companies on their growth trajectory through all stages. As one of the top tech law firms in the world, we are particularly committed to bringing the American and German entrepreneurship ecosystems closer together.

ninja emojiFor this purpose, we have launched the Orrick Legal Ninja Series (OLNS). With this series we will provide overviews on current legal trends and take deeper dives on certain legal topics that are particularly relevant for start-ups and their investors. This series will be co-authored by a multidisciplinary team of attorneys from our national and international offices. It is our goal to tap into the rich reservoir of the venture capital and technology law know-how of our international platform and make it available to the exciting German entrepreneurship and innovation scene.

Why “Ninja Series”? This title might simply reflect the fact that some of us watched a little too much TV in the 1990s. But, seriously, “Ninja” has come to signify “a person who excels in a particular skill or activity.” That’s what the Orrick team strives to be when it comes to providing tailored advice to growing tech companies and their investors. We hope that the OLNS also empowers you to be Ninja entrepreneurs.

For an overview of our German Technology Transactions Companies Practice, including recent transactions and further publications, click here.

OLNS Publications

Orrick Legal Ninja SeriesOLNS#1: Venture Debt

Venture Debt - A potentially attractive complement to equity financings for start-ups that already have strong investors on board. This is a highly flexible instrument with very little dilutive effect for founders and existing investors.

Orrick Legal Ninja SeriesOLNS#2: Convertible Loans

Due to flexibility and reduced complexity compared to fully-fledged equity financings, convertible loans are an important part of a start-up's financing tool box-up. In a nutshell: A convertible loan is generally not meant to be repaid, but shall rather be converted into an equity participation in the start-up at a later stage.

Orrick Legal Ninja SeriesOLNS#3: Employment Law for Tech Companies

Young technology companies are focused on developing their products and bringing VC investors on board. Every euro in the budget counts, personnel is often limited, and legal advice can be expensive. For these reasons, legal issues are not always top of mind. But trial and error with employment law can quickly become expensive for founders and young companies.

graphic with Orrick Legal Ninja Series #4 coverOLNS#4: Corporate Venture Capital

Corporates are under massive pressure to innovate to compete with new disruptive technologies and a successful CVC program offers more than capital – access to company resources and commercial opportunities are key features that justify CVC’s prominence. This guide serves to share best practices for corporates and start-ups participating in the CVC ecosystem and also to ask important questions that will shape future direction.

cover of OLNS #5 OLNS#5: Venture Financings in the Wake of the Black Swan

In the current environment, all market participants, and especially entrepreneurs, need to be prepared for a softening in venture financing and make plans to weather the storm. In this guide, we share some of our observations on the most recent developments and give practical guidance for fundraising in (historically) uncertain times. We will first provide a brief overview of the current fundraising environment, and then highlight likely changes in deal terms and structural elements of financings that both entrepreneurs and (existing) investors will have to get their heads around.

Orrick Legal Ninja Series #6 OLNS#6: Leading Tech Companies through a Downturn

Steering a young technology company through a downturn market is a challenging task but if done effectively, the start-up can be well positioned to benefit once the markets come back. While OLNS#5 focused on raising venture financing during a downturn, in this guide, we want to give a comprehensive overview of the legal aspects of some of the most relevant operational matters that founders may now need to deal with, including monitoring obligations and corresponding liabilities of both managing directors and the advisory board, workforce cost reduction measures, IP/IT and data privacy challenges in a remote working environment, effective contract management and loan restructuring.

Coming Soon

OLNS#7: Flip it Right – Two-Tier U.S. Holding Structures for German Start-ups

Operating a German technology company in a two-tier structure with a U.S. holding company can have great advantages, most notably with respect to fundraising in early rounds and increased exit options and valuations. However, getting into a two-tier structure (be it through a "flip" or a set-up from scratch) requires careful planning and execution. This guide shows you what to consider and how to navigate legal and tax pitfalls.

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