Dolph Hellman



Dolph Hellman, a leading fund formation and commercial finance lawyer in the San Francisco office, is the Co-Chair of the firm's Private Investment Funds Group and a member of the firm's Corporate Department.

Dolph concentrates his sophisticated practice on private equity investor representation and fund formation as well as representing financial institutions and corporations in privately negotiated debt transactions. Dolph counsels some of the largest public pension plans in the United States and other institutional investors and helps them achieve their business goals with respect to various U.S.-based and international alternative investments (including funds focused on real estate, buy-out, venture capital and mezzanine investment opportunities) as well as sponsors in fund formation.

In addition, Dolph has a broad range of experience in commercial lending transactions, including secured financings, unsecured and asset-based financings, vendor and customer financings, subscription credit facilities, project financing, venture debt financings, letters of credit, receivables purchase financings and leasing. Dolph's clients include various financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies and numerous start-up companies (the latter group of which he represents in dozens of venture debt financing transactions each year for which he is recognized as one of the leading company-side counsel in the San Francisco Bay Area).

  • Dolph is a frequent speaker in the area of private investment funds, and recently moderated a number of panels for the Association of Asian American Investment Managers.

    Dolph is currently ranked in Chambers USA for California Banking & Finance. Clients regard him as "an integral member of our team. Not only is he always responsive, but he consistently has market-current advice and thoughtful analysis." He also served on the State Bar of California UCC Committee and was a member of the subcommittee that drafted the California Report on Legal Opinions in Personal Property Secured Transactions.

    Before joining Orrick, Dolph was an associate at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP in Los Angeles.

    In addition to being admitted in California, Dolph is also admitted in Colorado (inactive) and Hawaii (inactive).

  • Dolph's recent notable engagements in the investment funds area include the following:

    • Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF). Dolph represented OPERF as a limited partner investor in a €3.3 billion European buy-out private equity fund in which OPERF invested $500 million, as well as $6 billion US buy-out private equity fund in which OPERF invested $100 million. Dolph also recently represented OPERF as a limited partner investor in six real estate private equity funds (including funds focused on Asia and Brazil) in which OPERF made capital commitments totaling $600 million, as well as in connection with its $100 million investment in an open-ended fund focused on investing in a wide range of real estate debt securities.
    • CIGNA. Dolph recently represented CIGNA in connection with its $45 million investment in $900 million middle market equity and debt fund.
    • Asian Sovereign Wealth Fund. Dolph recently represented an Asian Sovereign Wealth Fund in connection with its $150 million investment in a late stage venture capital fund.
    • Large State Governmental Pension Plan. Dolph recently represented a large state governmental pension plan in connection with its $80 million investment in Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners L.P., a $3.5 billion real estate fund.
    • Washington State Investment Board (WSIB). Dolph represented WSIB, together with OPERF, in connection with their aggregate $215 million investment in a $975 million private equity fund focused on acquiring and redeveloping luxury resorts located in North America.

    Dolph's recent notable engagements in the commercial finance area include the following.

    • The Gap, Inc. Dolph represented The Gap in connection with its syndicated, unsecured working capital credit facility with JPMorganChase Bank and Bank of America, as co-lead arrangers.
    • Equinix, Inc. Dolph represented Equinix and certain of its foreign subsidiaries in connection with a its senior, secured, syndicated, asset-based, multicurrency revolving and term loan credit facility with Bank of America, as administrative agent.
    • Central Garden & Pet Company (Central Garden). Dolph advised Central Garden in connection with its syndicated, senior, secured revolving credit facility with SunTrust Bank as administrative agent.
    • BrightSource Energy, Inc. (BrightSource). Dolph counsels BrightSource in connection with its various financing needs.
    • Fulcrum Bioenergy, Inc. Dolph represented Fulcrum and certain of its subsidiaries in connection with its senior, secured, growth capital term loan credit facility with Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc.

    Dolph's recent fund formation work include the following:

    • SQN Venture Income Fund LP – formation of a venture debt fund focused on making growth capital and equipment loans to emerging companies.
    • Pathbreaker Ventures Fund LP – formation of an early stage venture capital fund focused on A/R and V/R.
    • 1517 Fund LP – formation of an early stage venture capital fund.
    • Linchris Hotel Corporation – formation of hotel focused real estate fund with parallel fund and REIT structures. Structuring of investment vehicles.
    • Hemi Ventures – formation of an early stage venture capital fund.
    • Alchemist Accelerator Fund II, LLC – formation of the sponsor’s second fund focused on investing in the companies that participate in the Alchemist Accelerator.
    • Fifty Years Fund II, LP – formation of the sponsors’ second early-stage venture capital fund.
    • Longevity Fund 2 LP – formation of the 23-year-old sponsor’s second early-stage venture capital fund focused on aging-related startups.
    • Mindset Ventures LP II – formation of the Brazilian sponsor’s second early-stage venture capital fund focused on investing in companies participating in various Microsoft accelerators located throughout the world.
    • Katalyst Ventures I, L.P. – formation of an early-to-mid-stage venture capital fund.