PHILADELPHIA – May 4, 2020 — Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce nine attorneys from Baer Crossey McDemus LLC — a nationally known tech and corporate law boutique that counsels startups, emerging growth companies, and a wide range of corporate clients on venture, private equity, M&A and technology-related transactions — have joined its Philadelphia office. The new hires, which include managing partners Andrew Baer, Michael Crossey, and Christopher McDemus, will stretch the firm’s reach within the global technology, and emerging growth business communities.
Baer joins the firm as a shareholder and will chair its expanded Technology, Privacy & Data Security Group, which helps clients address a range of cyberlaw, privacy and data security issues and technology- and Internet-related transactions, including drafting and negotiating software, IT services, data and digital media agreements, advising clients in the use and protection of IP assets, counseling clients on the protection of personal data and other sensitive data assets, as well as counseling companies on compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and GDPR. Crossey and McDemus also join as shareholders and will co-chair the firm’s Emerging Business & Venture Capital Group and oversee the COpilot program, the firm’s online resource for assisting and onboarding startups and entrepreneurs.
“From a strategic standpoint, Baer Crossey represents an infusion of talent — experienced, business savvy lawyers with nationwide contacts throughout the emerging business, venture capital, and technology communities — that will enhance our Corporate practices, as well as support Intellectual Property and many other groups,” said Michael J. Heller, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “They bring, for example, a strong background in the online data privacy space, which impacts every one of our clients regardless of the business they’re in. I’m both excited and pleased to welcome Baer Crossey aboard.”
“Andy, Michael, and Chris are not only well-versed in data security and privacy laws, but they understand the technology business,” added Ira Gubernick, Co-Chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice. “As ever evolving technologies continue to infiltrate every aspect of business, they counsel on the laws and rules for licensing, privacy and data security across multiple platforms and industries. And their team greatly strengthens our already deep bench in assisting emerging businesses during all stages of their development. We are thrilled to welcome them to the firm.”
An author and frequent guest lecturer at the Wharton School and other universities, Baer focuses his practice on buy- and sell-side technology transactions that typically involve cloud computing, data privacy, IP, software, and security and interactive marketing regulatory compliance. His clients include financial institutions, cloud computing companies, digital interactive agencies, adtech companies, data brokers, blockchain companies, online ad networks, software and mobile app developers, media monitors, and international e-commerce companies. Baer previously served as chief legal officer of a Philadelphia healthtech company and as technology and privacy counsel at Advanta Corp.
“The clients we assist with technology- and privacy-related legal issues range from large household names to small, diverse verticals in the healthtech, adtech and fintech fields,” Baer said. “We’ll continue to bring our boutique approach and experience to all of these clients, whatever stage of the life cycle they’re in, helping them nurture and grow their businesses. And, of course, we’re extremely thrilled to be able to offer a much broader suite of high-quality legal services on a leading national platform. We’ll also help more established Cozen O’Connor clients facing a growing number of technology-related legal issues, from data privacy to IT outsourcing.”
An experienced emerging growth business and technology attorney, Michael Crossey is a key player in the mid-Atlantic entrepreneurial community and represents top startups in Philadelphia, New York, California, and beyond. Crossey believes firmly that fostering early-stage companies is crucial and in the importance of supporting entrepreneurs and nurturing fledgling companies throughout every step of their growth.
Also a frequent lecturer at the Wharton School, Penn School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and elsewhere, and an active participant in local entrepreneurial initiatives, Crossey takes an enthusiastically supportive role with his clients, often serving as their outside general counsel and a strategic adviser. He advises startups and emerging companies throughout all aspects of their life cycles from formations, business planning, regulatory review and implementation strategies, seed financing and venture capital investments, licensing, strategic alliances, to mergers and acquisitions and other liquidity transactions.
Additionally, having previously served as the first general counsel to the now highly successful mobile payment company Venmo, Inc., as well as a co-founder, outside investor, and general counsel to many other fast-growing top venture-backed startups, Crossey brings to Cozen O’Connor a unique background in emerging technologies and startups.
“Our business and finance practice has always represented all manner of companies, from startups run by young dynamic teams, to mature corporate enterprises, to the funds that provide them with capital,” Crossey said. “Many of us have served as inside counsel, co-founders, and investors to startups and larger companies at some point of our careers, which gives us a unique insight into privately held and publicly traded businesses of all sizes helping to bridge the gap between business and the law. That experience is beneficial — not only to Cozen O’Connor’s business clients, but the venture capital entities providing them with the funds to grow.”
A VC and M&A deal lawyer for more than 24 years, McDemus began his career in venture as a Cozen O’Connor associate. In addition to global law firm experience, he brings significant senior in-house experience. Previously, he was Senior V.P., Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer at Scünci International, Inc., V.P. and Assistant General Counsel at ICT Group, Inc. and Senior V.P. and General Counsel at ClearPoint Business Resources, Inc.
McDemus advises both emerging and mature entities at all stages of their life cycle, in venture capital, private equity and debt financing transactions as well as M&A, divestitures, spin-offs and other strategic transactions. With a deep passion for helping companies grow, he enjoys counseling clients at a strategic level while also immersing himself in day-to-day legal and tactical matters. For startups, emerging growth and venture-backed companies that may include business plan and business model development, exploration of capital structures, pitch coaching, building growth and exit strategies and making introductions to his national network to assist clients in raising capital.
“I’ve always viewed myself as a businessperson with a law degree. As a result, understanding my client’s business inside and out is a priority, as is building very close personal relationships with key individuals. It’s the lynchpin to making good deals and uncovering opportunities a client may not have contemplated,” McDemus said. “As co-chair of the Emerging Business & Venture Capital Group, I plan on using those same skills to nurture and help build Cozen O’Connor’s startup and emerging growth clients, in whatever manner I can. That will also allow me to continue to do something I am very passionate about — networking and interacting with the venture capital community and providing my experiential insights through COpilot.”
Other Baer Crossey attorneys joining Cozen O’Connor’s Corporate Practice include:
Raymond D. Agran, who joins as of counsel, brings more than 35 years of experience advising on a range of commercial issues, including securities law, acquisitions, and intellectual property licensing.
Chad Cowan, a transactional attorney who represents both buyers and sellers in mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions, joins the firm as a member.
Christopher Dodson, a former software engineer, advises clients on regulatory matters and technology contracts.
Matthew Klahre advises clients on technology, privacy, and intellectual property law matters.
Benjamin Mishkin advises clients in complex data transactions, software agreements, and intellectual property matters.
Joel Ruffini works with clients through the entire life cycle of their business. He also acts as outside general counsel to emerging growth companies.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 750 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 30 offices across two continents.
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