Verified Professional Lawyer: José Ancerxalid 1
José Ancer is to begin with a startup lawyer, with a shopper portfolio of startups of varied levels based mostly round Texas and different comparable ecosystems outdoors of Silicon Valley. He’s additionally the CTO of Egan Nelson LLP, a boutique agency, the place he actively can also be constructing automation software program to assist the agency compete towards bigger companies. He additionally writes on his weblog “Silicon Hills Lawyer” publicly and pointedly about his career — and sometimes takes photographs at sure practices widespread amongst startup regulation companies, together with Silicon Valley companies. You will get a way of what’s within the full interview by way of these excerpts.
On not being “owned” by VCs and repeat gamers
“José has a depth of experience in startup/firm formation/funding points and could be very founder-friendly. He was capable of information us by way of our seed stage whereas staying environment friendly and maintaining the billing affordable.” Mary Haskett, Austin, Texas, CEO, Blink Id
On early-stage and being “right-sized”
“I wrote a weblog publish referred to as ‘The Problem With Chasing Whales.’ It talks about this drawback of entrepreneurs hiring regulation companies which are overkill for what they’re constructing. We’ve had a number of shoppers change to us from the marquee regulation agency names, and whereas the most important grievance is value — our charges are lots of of dollars an hour decrease as a result of we maintain our overhead very lean, whereas nonetheless having top-tier legal professionals and lean infrastructure for scalability — one other widespread grievance is responsiveness. You’ve received one million greenback convertible word deal that it's essential get accomplished, and to you and your staff, that deal is the world, however the BigLaw lawyer you’re working with has IPOs and unicorn offers pushing your deal to the again of the road. It’s an actual drawback. Our goal profile shopper exits beneath $300M in a personal deal; which is a kind of startup that we expect has been very underserved by the normal hyper-growth oriented regulation companies out there.”
On authorized know-how and automation
“I spend plenty of time speaking to authorized tech entrepreneurs, as a result of effectivity by way of authorized tech has all the time been a core worth proposition of our agency. As I’ve reviewed and contemplated numerous instruments, one factor I’ve all the time come again to is that this unavoidable rigidity between flexibility and automation. Software program, even leading edge machine studying, can solely deal with a minimal degree of variation earlier than it breaks down and turns into extra problem (and price) than it’s value… Some companies have opted to lean very closely on the quick automation and standardization aspect, and settle for the rigidity that it inevitably introduces into their workflows… We’ve consciously gone a unique path… Our shoppers are likely to assume that constraining the recommendation startups get by boxing it into rigid software program (and pricing) is just not solely a penny-wise, pound-foolish confusion of priorities; it’s additionally precisely the sort of strategy that advantages buyers on the expense of one-shot widespread stockholders.”
Under, you’ll discover the remainder of the founder evaluations, the complete interview, and extra particulars like their pricing and charge buildings.
This text is a part of our ongoing collection overlaying the early-stage startup legal professionals who founders like to work with, based mostly on this survey we have open and our personal analysis. Should you’re a founder making an attempt to navigate the early-stage authorized landmines, remember to take a look at our ongoing series lawyer interviews, plus in-depth articles like this guidelines of what you need to get done on the company aspect in your first years as an organization.
Eric Eldon: You’re fairly outspoken concerning the state of startup regulation today. Break it down for me: what's Egan Nelson doing in a different way from the opposite regulation companies on the market?
José Ancer: In the event you take a look at the startup authorized market, everybody is aware of the marquee, excessive priced companies. They characterize Fb, Uber, Palantir, Apple, and so forth. However once you pay these companies $700 an hour, for instance, 25% ballpark goes to compensation for the legal professionals doing the primary work. 75% is paying for different stuff. So then the query clearly turns into, how a lot of that different stuff is admittedly crucial?
Our view is that there’s this phase of the startup market, and I name them non-unicorns, that's much more critical and scaled than what a tiny agency or solo lawyer can deal with, however for whom BigLaw is totally overkill. We see these corporations much more in locations like Austin, Denver, Seattle, New York, and so forth., and it’s why our focus is on these markets.
In the event you take a look at our legal professionals’ credentials, you’ll see an entire lot of Stanford, Yale, Harvard, and so on., in addition to marquee agency alumni. What you gained’t discover at our agency is ludicrously costly workplace area, cute occasions that don't have anything to do with authorized counsel, or armies of employees that don’t ship actual worth to the end-service for shoppers.
Our authorized expertise is paid very nicely, however our overhead infrastructure is designed for corporations that promote as a personal firm for beneath $300 million, or maybe function indefinitely as worthwhile corporations. These are “startups” that could be derisively labeled as “doubles” or “singles” in elements of Silicon Valley, however we expect have been considerably underserved by the market.