Michael is an experienced emerging growth and technology attorney and entrepreneur who is very active in the Mid-Atlantic entrepreneurial community. He represents numerous top startups, emerging growth, and venture-backed companies across the country as an outside general counsel and in formations, business planning, regulatory reviews and implementation strategies, seed financings and venture capital investments, licensing deals, strategic alliances, and mergers and acquisitions. Michael has extensive experience in a multitude of diverse industries and emerging technologies, including e-commerce, mobile payments, digital health, consumer, social, food and beverage, and more.
Prior to joining Cozen O’Connor, Michael co-founded Baer Crossey McDemus LLC, a top boutique law firm providing technology, corporate, and outside general counsel services to emerging growth, venture-backed, and technology companies and investment firms. He also was an attorney with two top international law firms, where he worked on complex venture capital, private equity, technology, and merger and acquisition transactions. Michael also was a lead associate for and assisted in the development of a new practice group focused on the field of information and technology management. Desiring to work more substantively with startups, Michael subsequently was recruited to work for one of the top startup lawyers in the country, where he became intimately familiar with the Philadelphia startup ecosystem. Michael also served on the founding team and as the initial general counsel to mobile and social payments company, Venmo Inc.
Throughout these roles, Michael advised executives of both Fortune 500 and emerging companies across the country and internationally regarding their financing, technology, and exit strategies, and has counseled founders, corporate boards, and senior executives during all points of a company’s life cycle.
Michael also 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. Michael’s extensive studies in and deep passion for business and social entrepreneurship, combined with his legal experience, have led him to pioneer a novel model for the delivery of legal services in which he identifies and focuses on the ROI in all legal decisions. Michael utilizes the latest technologies to streamline the legal service delivery model for early stage companies by productizing and commoditizing services, using batching methodologies, and providing alternative billing arrangements to clients in order to help reduce client costs.
Michael earned his bachelor’s degree, with honors, and his law degree, with high honors, from Duquesne University. While in law school he was on law review. Michael has also studied at The Wharton School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.