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In Latest Tech IPO Frenzy, Big Brands Make for More Legal Work

Xiumei Dong LAW.COM

If March and April are any indication, 2019 is going to be a huge year for tech companies going public.

While the current activity doesn’t match the late-1990s dot-com boom, market watchers said, the companies now entering the public market already have well-known brands. For their law firms, that means more complicated legal work and a greater demand for capital markets lawyers.

More Mature Companies, More Work

While the legal fees reported in S-1 filings relate only to the companies’ IPOs, the law firms’ work for those companies often continues after they are on the public market.

“I am sure those lawyers are putting in a lot of late nights recently,” said Kate Reder Sheikh, the managing director in the associate practice group for Major, Lindsey & Africa, “I expect that capital markets associates in the Bay Area are working pretty darn hard right now in order to accomplish the goals of their clients.”

The increasing capital markets work has also driven up the demand for securities lawyers in the Bay Area, Reder Sheikh said. With more companies choosing Bay Area-focused law firms for their IPO work, Reder Sheikh said she expects more associates to move to California, instead of going for the traditional capital markets such as New York or London.

“I think a lot of that is being driven by the IPO activity,” she said.

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