Jose Ancer is first of all a startup lawyer, with a patient portfolio of startups of various stages based around Texas and other similar ecosystems outside of Silicon Valley. He’s too the CTO of Egan Nelson LLP, a boutique conglomerate, where he actively is also improving automation software to help the firm participate against larger firms. He also writes on his blog “Silicon Hills Lawyer” publicly and pointedly about his professing — and often takes hits at certain practices common among startup ordinance houses, including Silicon Valley houses. You can get a sense of what’s in the full interrogation via these excerpts.
On not being “owned” by VCs and recur players
“Jose has a degree of expertise in startup/ company formation/ funding issues and is highly founder-friendly. He was able to guide us through our grain stage while standing effective and hindering the billing reasonable.” Mary Haskett, Austin, Texas, CEO, Blink Identity
“I feel, and our clients would approve, that independence from the VC/ recite player community, be included with penetrating knowledge of startup financing and high-stakes corporate governance( board controversies ), allows us to say things, do things, and even write things( on my blog) that the startup parish perfectly needs to see and hear, but that “captive” advocates have been unwilling to offer because of the very real risk of reprisal from influential money players who cite them business. I’ve become a bit of a bete noire of lawyers who’ve built their traditions by spurning conflicts of interest and labor as company solicitor despite being “owned” by VCs across the table.”
On early-stage and being “right-sized”
“I wrote a blog post announced’ The Problem With Chasing Whales.’ It talks about this problem of industrialists hiring constitution houses that are overkill for what they’re building. We’ve had a lot of clients switch to us from the pavilion regulation house names, and while “the worlds largest” grievance is expenditure — our proportions are hundreds of dollars an hour lower since we are impede our overhead extremely lean, while continuing to having top-tier advocates and lean infrastructure for scalability — another common accusation is responsiveness. You’ve got a million dollar convertible tone agreement that you need to get done, and to you and your employees, that distribute is the world, but the BigLaw lawyer you’re working with has IPOs and unicorn batches pushing your cope to the back of the line. It’s a real problem. Our target profile patron outlets under $300 M in a private deal; which is a type of startup that we suppose has been very underserved by the traditional hyper-growth familiarized law conglomerates in the market.”
On law technology and automation
“I spend a lot of time talking to legal tech inventors, because economy via legal tech has always been a core values overture of our firm. As I’ve reviewed and entertained various tools, one thing I’ve always come back to is this unavoidable hostility between flexibility and automation. Software, even cutting edge machine learning, can only handle a negligible level of change before it breaks down and becomes more beset( and costs) than it’s usefulnes … Some firms have opted to lean very heavily on the fast automation and standardization slope, and approving the inflexibility that it unavoidably initiates into their workflows … We’ve consciously gone a other direction … Our clients tend to think that restraint the advice startups get by boxing it into rigid application( and pricing) is not only a penny-wise, pound-foolish disarray of priorities; it’s likewise exactly the various kinds of coming that helps investors at the expense of one-shot common stockholders.”
Below, you’ll find the rest of the founder revaluations, the full interview, and more details like their pricing and reward arrangements . em>
This article is part of our ongoing serial submerge the early-stage startup lawyers who founders love to work with, based on this survey we have open and our own study. If you’re a benefactor trying to steer the early-stage law landmines, be sure to check out our ongoing series lawyer interviews, plus in-depth sections like this checklist of what you need to to get out of here on the corporate back in your first years as a company . em>
Eric Eldon: You’re quite outspoken about the regime of startup ordinance these days. Crack it down for me: what is Egan Nelson doing differently from the other law firms out there ? strong>
Jose Ancer: If you look at the startup law market, everyone knows the pavilion, high-pitched priced firms.They represent Facebook, Uber, Palantir, Apple, etc. But when you compensate those houses $700 an hour, as two examples, 25% ballpark is going to compensation for the lawyers doing the central cultivate. 75% is paying for other trash. So then the question undoubtedly becomes, how much of that other stuff is really necessary?
Our view is that there’s this segment of the startup market, and I call them non-unicorns, that is far more serious and scaled than what a tiny house or solo lawyer can handle, but for whom BigLaw is absolutely overkill. We meet these companies a lot more in places like Austin, Denver, Seattle, New York, etc ., and it’s why our focus is on those marketplaces.
If you look at our lawyers’ credentials, you’ll understand a whole lot of Stanford, Yale, Harvard, etc ., as well as marquee firm alumni. What you won’t find at our firm is ridiculously expensive power seat, cute events that have nothing to do with legal counsel, or hordes of staff that don’t deliver real value to the end-service for buyers.
Our legal aptitude is paid very well, but our overhead infrastructure is designed for companies that exchange as a private companionship for under $300 million, or perhaps operate indefinitely as productive firms. These are “startups” that might be derisively labeled as “doubles” or “singles” in parts of Silicon Valley, but we visualize have been substantially underserved by the market.