Business and Legal Developments | November 2023 | Louis Lehot

Louis Lehot
5 min readNov 8, 2023

Friends,
Sharing business and legal developments as we see them today, both good and less good.

Starting with the good, artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to exert its influence on numerous sectors, forever changing our approach to work. As businesses and organizations worldwide adopt generative AI technologies like ChatGPT, they are faced with the promise of unprecedented opportunities, challenges, and legal complexities. Many of our events this past month discussed the implications of AI technology as it relates to start-ups, investors, and the legal field. That’s why we created our handbook, Navigating the AI Frontier: Legal and Operational Insights Into Generative AI, to help.

While the global economy continues to struggle and faces numerous challenges, there could be some good news in Latin America. According to a report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean rose 55% in 2022 to $224 billion. Andrew Thiollier shares his insights on investment activity in the region.

In our last newsletter, we shared our thoughts on the M&A landscape overall. This month, we take a deeper look at M&A activity in the Biotech sector specifically. Trends in this sector include:

  • An expiration in patents for many top-tier medications will lead to increased competition between generic suppliers and a surge in market consolidation via M&A.
  • The use of AI and precision medicine is driving scientific breakthroughs.
  • Venture capital investors are also becoming more discerning, concentrating on companies offering innovative technologies and promising drug candidates.

In the past month, our team has provided valuable insights into various topics. Louis Lehot shared insights on the new CA Bill SB 54 regarding diversity reporting for VCs. Alidad Vakili continued his video series with this week’s focus on Start-up Advisors: How to Choose the Right Attorney.

Last week, we participated in the NACD Crisis Management Tabletop Exercise. We will share key takeaways from NACD events soon.

We welcome Tiaan De Nysschen as our new Business Development Executive. He will lead marketing and business development efforts for the group. His previous role was at a venture capital firm, where he worked while pursuing his MBA.

Less good: The past month has seen the horror of terrorist attacks, loss of life, and devastation in multiple places. Bellicose statements do not bode well. Deal-making is slowing and under pressure. But the show goes on…

As always, do not hesitate to reach out if we can help you brainstorm a legal or business challenge you are facing or if we can connect you to a potential investor, professional, or entrepreneur.
Your Foley & Lardner Silicon Valley team (Natasha Allen, Eric Chow, Brandee Diamond, Louis Lehot, Lyman Thai, André Thiollier, Alicia D’Alba Dorner, Alidad Vakili and Tiaan De Nysschen).

Events

Recent Events:
TED AI | October 17–18, 2023
TED AI 2023 was one for the books! Day 1 consisted of four sessions on Intelligence & Scale, Synthetics & Realities, Autonomy & Dependence, and Art & Storytelling all through the lens of AI. Day 2 was more hands-on, with a series of panels and workshops. Natasha Allen co-led a workshop on Law and AI with Max Sills (Midjourney)and Laura Safdie (Casetext). Their moderator, Ina Fried, asked thought-provoking questions that led to great conversations. Natasha had a very memorable point regarding lawyers who use generative AI eventually outpacing lawyers who don’t. Later on, Louis Lehot participated in a workshop accompanied by Deep Nishar (General Catalyst, ex-SoftBank), Jeremiah Owyang (Blitzscaling Ventures), Vijay Reddy (Mayfield Fund), and our moderator Alessio Fanelli (Decibel Ventures). We talked about the new funding landscape for generative AI start-ups.

Founder and Funders | October 24, 2023
Foley & Lardner proudly hosted the Beyond Capital Ventures Founders and Funders breakfast on Tuesday, October 24. Against the backdrop of SOCAP, Beyond Capital Ventures introduced guests to critical actors in our ecosystem.

BayBrazil Conference; Brazil in the 21st Century | October 27, 2023
BayBrazil gathered founders, investors, and tech leaders from Brazil and the U.S. for a dialogue on the innovation economy. André Thiollier moderated a panel, “The Global Venture Market — will the VC funding decline stifle innovation?” at the BayBrazil Conference.

Web3 XR AI Digital Conference | October 28, 2023
The digital conference gave attendees the opportunity to gain insights from experts in AL, Web3, XR, and understand the global impact of these technologies. The group also highlighted job opportunities through Starship Seekers, connecting recruiters and job seekers. Louis Lehot was interviewed by Professor Sepi Chakaveh on attracting capital for the next stage and how to access U.S. markets.

Private Company Compliance: Investigations, Regulations, and Litigation | October 31, 2023
Foley sponsored the NACD Private Company Compliance: Investigations, Regulations, and Litigation Webinar. Thomas Carlucci joined the discussion to provide insights into the role of compliance and why directors should care. Louis Lehot moderated the panel discussion, which featured commentary from panelists Scott Kupor (Managing Partner, Andreessen Horowitz), Jeff Thomas (Nasdaq), and Claudia Fav Munce (NEA)

Upcoming Events:
NACD Northern California Crisis Management Tabletop Exercise | November 2, 2023
During this time of “permacrisis,” it’s important for directors, no matter how experienced, to be ready and able to safeguard their organizations. This in-person event will be centered on crucial themes such as CEO succession and cybersecurity issues and provide a framework to take back to your boardrooms to plan for any type of eventuality. We will also have speakers sharing their stories throughout the evening.

Highlights

Strengthening the Flow of the Biotech Sector’s M&A Pipeline
Collaborations and M&A deals have become so deeply ingrained in the biotechnology landscape that they act as a vital force propelling innovation and expansion. Learn More

Corporate Venture Capital Investors Set Their Sights on Brazil
Latin American start-ups have been drawing the attention of venture capital investors for the past few years, particularly Brazilian-based start-ups. Learn More

Deals

Foley Represents True North in Minority Investment in iLink Digital
Foley Advises Steve Madden in Acquisition of Almost Famous
Foley Represents Bioluminescence Ventures in Emergence from Stealth with $477M AUM​
Foley Advises Ventricle Health in $8M Seed Funding
Foley Represents Jelly Belly Candy Company in its Sale to Ferrara Candy Company

Originally published on Foley.

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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