Louis Lehot, partner with Foley & Lardner, was recently quoted in The Information in an article entitled, “SPAC Boom Helps Tech Founders Cement Control.” The article examines how mergers with special purpose acquisition companies can be an option that allows tech founders to maintain a greater level of control.

Originally Published here.


By Louis Lehot, a business lawyer at Foley & Lardner LLP in San Francisco and Silicon Valley

Special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), organizations that raise funds in the public markets for the purpose of acquiring a private company and taking it public, had their heyday during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, 248 companies went public through mergers with SPACs, exceeding the number of such deals in the past ten years combined, according to SPAC Data.

While the craze continued through the first quarter of 2021, issuance ground to a stunning halt in April. SPAC Research reports a nearly 90 percent drop…


Louis Lehot is a partner and business lawyer with, Foley & Lardner LLP, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles offices, where he is a member of the Private Equity & Venture Capital, M&A and Transactions Practices, and the Technology, Health Care, and Energy Industry Teams. Louis focuses his practice on advising entrepreneurs and their management teams, investors, and financial advisors at all stages of growth, from garage to global. Louis especially enjoys being able to help his clients achieve hyper-growth, go public, and successfully obtain optimal liquidity events. …


By Louis Lehot and Catherine Zhu, business lawyers at Foley & Lardner LLP in Silicon Valley

A few years ago, initial coin offerings (ICOs) were all the rage in the cryptocurrency world. They offered many projects the ability to raise funds quickly and easily, but they also drew the scrutiny of regulatory agencies. As I pointed out at the time, the regulatory landscape for ICOs was something of a Wild West, with multiple agencies claiming jurisdiction. While the ICO market eventually cooled, the rise of NFTs demonstrates a similarly complicated relationship with existing regulations. As we sketched out in our initial guide to legal issues in NFTs, the cost of non-compliance can be fatal. …


Photo by Edi Kurniawan on Unsplash

By Louis Lehot, Esq., and Catherine Zhu, Esq., Foley & Lardner LLP

Louis Lehot and Catherine Zhu of Foley & Lardner LLP discuss the rise of financial technology startups and the legal and regulatory scrutiny they may face.

This year has seen a surge in investor interest in fintech startups. CB Insights1 reported that the first quarter of 2021 was the largest funding quarter on record for fintech, surpassing Q2 2018, which included Ant Group’s $14B funding round.

Venture capital-backed fintech companies raised $22.8 billion across 614 deals in the first quarter of 2021, representing 15% growth in deal volume and 98% growth in capital, both measured on a year-over-year basis. Every…


With the significant global economies benefitting from considerable government stimulus, easing monetary policies, and increasing vaccination rates, a return to work is powering growth in gross domestic product across the board. We are seeing large employers offering piles of cash to workers to return to work and pent-up demand unleashed across virtually every sector of the economy. As a result, we expect to see significant growth in M&A transactions in the second half of 2021.

We sat down with Louis Lehot of Foley Lardner to discuss the outlook for M&A in the second half of 2021?

Q: As we enter…


Speculating about the future can be a perilous undertaking. If predictions from the twentieth century were right, we would be cruising around in flying cars and living in moonbases or on remote planets by now. Putting those pre-21st century fantasies aside, don’t make the mistaking of looking backwards when driving forward. To survive the pandemic, circumstances forced companies to cut costs, get lean, leverage technology and remote workers, going forward it will be harder to bring workers back online and find new ones than it will be to raise growth capital. …


By Louis Lehot, JD

Over the next 30 years, 16 Trillion of high net worth wealth will be transferred to the next generation. Historically, wealth transfer consisted of tangible assets like cash, investments, cars, property, etc. Fast forward to today, and it can now include a variety of digital assets, often in the form of cryptocurrency or NFTs.

This year, digital assets have dominated the news. For example, cryptocurrency, which has been around for a while, attracted much new attention over the last year because of its growing value, validation from public figures like Elon Musk, and bitcoin offerings from…


When the pandemic first hit the U.S. economy, many experts anticipated a decided pullback from comparatively risky investments like startups. Crunchbase reported in March of 2020 that “If past cycles are any guide, we can expect a sharp startup funding slowdown in coming months.” The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance concluded that “Investors and companies must be prepared to address and negotiate new or reemerging terms as investors seek to de-risk their investments and companies seek financing alternatives in response to rapidly changing market conditions.” Counterintuitively, outside of the travel and hospitality sectors, 2020 failed to usher in…


By Nicole Hatcher and Louis Lehot, business law partners at Foley & Lardner LLP in Silicon Valley

Why SAFEs will continue to dominate in early stages

Amidst historic highs for startup investment in 2021, and new records broken every month, one wonders whether we can expect the venture capital boom to continue. According to the data, demand for pre-seed and seed-stage deals are being driven by pent-up demand from volatile markets, and the necessity of innovation in light of the pandemic. The linchpin of venture capital investing, however, is the agreement between investors and the startup. …

Louis Lehot

Louis Lehot is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley office. Follow on Twitter @lehotlouis

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