The SPAC Boom – Current Trends & What You Need to Know

National Venture Capital Association

Webinar | September.29.2020 | 1pm - 2pm (Eastern Daylight Time)


This event has already taken place. To access the replay and slides please click here: The SPAC Boom – Current Trends and What You Need to Know.



  • Finance Sector
  • Technology Sector
  • Life Sciences Sector
  • Equity Capital Markets
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Technology Companies Group
  • Corporate Governance

Karen Dempsey Partner Equity Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions

San Francisco

Karen Dempsey, a partner in Orrick's San Francisco office, is a member of the Corporate Group. She works with a broad range of public and private companies, venture capital firms and investment banks.

Karen is involved in a full range of corporate legal projects for high growth technology companies including venture financings, public offerings, public company securities law compliance matters and mergers and acquisitions. She also regularly advises public companies and board of directors on corporate governance issues. Karen's clients include private and public companies in the biotechnology, real estate, finance and Internet related industries. She also represents underwriters in initial public offerings and follow-on offerings and venture capital firms in investment transactions.

Karen is a frequent speaker on corporate and securities law topics including Initial Public Offerings, Corporate Governance and Sarbanes-Oxley matters. She is also Co-Editor of Part III of Venture Capital & Public Offering Negotiation, published by Aspen Law & Business.

Before joining Orrick, Karen was a shareholder at Heller Ehrman LLP and was chair of their firmwide corporate governance practice group.



  • Technology Sector
  • Technology Companies Group
  • Energy
  • Infrastructure
  • Fintech
  • Blockchain and Virtual Currency

Amanda Galton Partner Technology Companies Group, Energy

San Francisco

Amanda helps entrepreneurs reimagine the way in which our world works. High-growth companies and their investors rely on her creative and collaborative solutions to resolve both anticipated and unforeseen obstacles and developments. With Amanda by their side, these clients can focus on their true passion - innovation.

Amanda has been solving problems since her Peace Corps days in the plains of Guinea, West Africa, where she found, among other things, kinship and inspiration with Liberian refugees thinking about developing windmills to transform local energy production. Now as co-leader of Orrick’s Technology Companies Group, she uses her legal experience, business acumen, professional network and industry expertise to resolve problems before they arise, and leverage larger resources when needed. She advises at material stages of the corporate life cycle (formation, financing, and exits); and provides guidance and trusted governance advice on board, advisor, employment, separation, and other commercial matters. To further help budding companies thrive, Amanda keeps clients informed about recent investments in their space, invites them to influential events and connects entrepreneurs and investors with one another.

Amanda has worked with companies and entrepreneurs in a number of industries including:

  • Community and Connection (Massdrop, Wonolo, CareerLark, Roam, Neighborly, Maybrooks, Molly);
  • Financial Technology and Impact Finance (ZestFinance, Angaza Design, Konviv, Upstart Network, SunFunder);
  • Clean Tech and Energy & Infrastructure (Kestrel, Fisker, Bitnami, Nelumbo, Accelergy Corporation, BrightSource Energy, Folsom Labs, Global Thermostat, Instapio, Solecular, Big Metal Additive, Other Machine Company);
  • Food and Beverage (Nomiku, Perfect Day Foods, Masienda, Hampton Creek,, New Frontier Foods, Arable Labs, Global Food Scholar, i-Cultiver, Heat & Control, Landec); and
  • Health and Professional Services (Visor, 23andMe, eHealth Insurance, Garnysh, Lifespans, W Travel).

She has also represented global strategic investors such as Shell Technology Ventures, TOTAL S.A. and Intel Capital, as well as nationally based venture funds and impact venture funds such as Imprint Venture Lab.

In addition to her practice, Amanda dedicates time to advancing women in the U.S. and abroad. She serves as a cultural mentor and professional resource for emerging women leaders from the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa through TechWomen, a U.S. State Department initiative which empowers women technology leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Amanda also has served on the Board of CodeChix, a non-profit corporation which recruits, retains and inspires women engineers.

She also spends her time on projects which address her interest in global economic development. She is an active member of Orrick’s Impact Finance Leadership which supports investors and entrepreneurs who make social and environmental impacts alongside financial returns. She has also spent significant pro bono hours on the World Bank’s Doing Business project focused on Afghanistan, and handles international development-focused work for companies such as the Institute for Transformative Technologies.



  • Mergers & Acquisitions

Matthew Gemello Partner Mergers & Acquisitions

Silicon Valley

Matthew Gemello, a corporate partner in the Silicon Valley office, leads our global Corporate Business unit.

A seasoned deal lawyer, Matthew guides global technology companies and their financial sponsors through transformational domestic and cross-border transactions.  These deals range from private company buyouts and public takeovers in the US and around the world, to complex, multi-jurisdictional spinoffs and business carveouts.

Matthew has been recognized as a leading lawyer by numerous publications, including Legal 500 and he was selected by the San Francisco and Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top 10 Innovative Corporate Lawyers in California.



  • Technology Sector
  • Capital Markets
  • Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs)
  • Corporate Governance
  • Life Sciences
  • Technology Companies Group
  • Mergers & Acquisitions

Albert Vanderlaan Partner Capital Markets, Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs)


Albert Vanderlaan is a partner in Orrick’s Capital Markets and Technology Companies Groups. He works with public and private companies, SPACs, SPAC sponsors, venture capital firms and investment banks focused on the life sciences and high-growth technology sectors.

Albert is involved in a broad range of corporate legal engagements for high growth technology companies, including venture financings, public offerings, private and public company securities law compliance matters, de-SPAC transactions, SPAC IPOs, public company disclosure obligations and mergers and acquisitions. He also regularly advises private and public companies and their board of directors on corporate governance issues. 

Albert's clients include private and public companies in technology, automotive, Internet related industries, real estate, finance and the life sciences (including, among others, immuno-oncology, gene therapy, restorative cell therapy and medical device companies). He also represents underwriters in initial public offerings, follow-on offerings and PIPE offerings and venture capital firms in a variety of investment transactions. 

Albert was named to the Deal’s Top Rising Stars 2021 list, which recognizes top new partners at U.S. law firms who are “doing spectacular work in the field of deal-making and who have continued to progress in their career despite the obstacles put in front of them.”