Afshin Hakim has the broad range of experience and unique legal background makes him an invaluable asset for startup companies. Having been trained in top tier international firms, both as a litigator and a corporate attorney, and having served as General Counsel of a privately held company, have provided Mr. Hakim with a unique and broad skill set, which are priceless to startup companies.
A good startup attorney has to have a deep understanding in various aspects of the law in order to best represent and advise a startup company. This is because a startup company by nature touches upon many areas of the law from the outset, including employment, intellectual property, real estate, tax, and securities laws. The founders of a startup will need to determine how to best initially structure the company. Should it be a Delaware corporation or a California limited liability company? What are the pros and cons? How and from whom should it raise money for its initial seed investment – debt or equity – friends and family, angel investors, or venture capital firms? How do the federal and state securities laws apply to issuance of stock? What about the Jobs Act? Can the company hire independent contractors instead of employees? What are the risks? How do you best incentivize employees – how does a stock option pool work? What about making sure that all technology created by employee and independent contractors become property of the company? These are just some of the initial issues that most new companies face, and which a startup lawyer has to be well versed in to handle appropriately on its behalf. In addition, the company and the startup attorney need to keep an eye out for the long term prospects of the company and its future growth. The long term perspective requires a startup attorney with experience representing mature operating companies — companies with more sophisticated corporate governance structures who have faced and resolved greater legal challenges throughout their growth phase.