Doug leads our founder practice and is a senior partner.
As head of our founder practice, a niche practice focused on personal general counsel services for company founders, chief executive officers, venture capitalists, senior executives and wealthy families, Doug's core practice is a combination of corporate, employment and executive compensation where he advises clients personally on M&A transactions and complex employment law and corporate issues. Doug also leverages the firm's strengths in litigation, trust and estates, tax, family law, real estate, crypto and digital assets and charities and charitable giving to meet a wide spectrum of needs of individual private clients.
Doug has extensive experience advising emerging growth companies, often as outside general counsel in the areas of corporate law, privacy, data security and technology transactions. Doug has been general counsel of three startups, including the first GC at LinkedIn and the first lawyer to represent LinkedIn when the company was founded and Nauto, Inc., a big data/AI company in the autonomous vehicle space funded by Greylock Partners and Softbank (Doug also represented this company since it was founded). Doug often draws on his experience as general counsel to tech companies when serving as personal general counsel to founders.
Me in a minute
Many of my clients consider me to be a combination of a life coach, therapist and lawyer
Although I have served as outside GC and general counsel to several fast-scaling companies in Silicon Valley, my passion is being a consigliere to founders, CEOs, and senior executives. I regularly advise founders on the creation and sale of their businesses and often represent the entire executive team in negotiations with both their company and the acquiring firm in an M&A deal. I have extensive experience representing some of the most high-profile founders and CEOs in Silicon Valley when they join and leave companies. My practice representing these clients is a unique combination of employment law, executive compensation, and corporate.
Many of my clients consider me to be a combination of a life coach, therapist and lawyer, as one of my superpowers is counseling them as they go through some of the most challenging moments of their lives - such as being forced out of the company that he or she started or a dispute with a co-founder, investor or their board. I love this part of my job because I am able to make a tremendous difference in the lives of my clients in a relatively short period of time. I also enjoy being able to represent many of my clients multiple times and aim to build long-term relationships with them.
One of the reasons I am able to successfully represent technology entrepreneurs is that I have a first-hand insight into Silicon Valley as an operator, founder, and investor. I have served as general counsel and member of the executive teams of several startups including LinkedIn where I was the company's lawyer when it was founded and served as its first general counsel in 2007 and 2008 and most recently Nauto, Inc., a big data/AI company backed by Softbank and Greylock Partners - a company I also represented since it was founded and served as its first general counsel.
I also have regularly served as outside general counsel to several startups where I have been responsible for “GC” level projects such as high-level board issues; M&A; data security; implementing a contract management system; opening offices internationally; scaling the legal department and hiring a general counsel. As an entrepreneur, I was the founder of Mandell Law Group, PC, a boutique law firm I ran for almost twenty years and was a co-founder of the software services company Originate. I was also deeply involved with EO (Entrepreneurs' Organization) for years as a member and board member in the San Francisco Chapter. I have invested and advised several startups including: Phylagen, Motiv Power Systems, Solar Mosaic, BloomReach, 23&Me, Nauto, and LinkedIn.
I am passionate about art and photography. I am a former professional photographer and am a collector of fine art photography. I am Trustee of the CJM (Contemporary Jewish Museum) in San Francisco and on the Photo Accessions Board of SFMOMA. Philanthropy is also a big part of my life. I am a founding member of Battery Powered, a sophisticated giving circle that gives away millions of dollars and am an advisor to Crisis Text Line, which helps people with mental health issues through technology and big data.