When Day Pitney partner Lane Watson was attending law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, he thought he would never end up in private practice. Watson obtained his degree in 1997, when the tech bubble was just beginning in San Francisco. Logically, he was drawn to corporate law, but a twist of fate (his wife was offered a professorship at UConn) brought him to Connecticut from the Bay Area. So he was able to experience the tech bubble boom and crash on the East Coast instead. He continues representing startup companies and other privately held companies, and works on mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust issues, commercial contracts and private placement of securities.
"My current practice is heavily weighted toward mergers and acquisitions and general corporate work of all kinds," said Watson. "The tech boom originally directed my attention to the transactional practice and at that time our clients in the startup space were on very fast timelines and all over the place with the issues they faced."
Watson, who worked in London before law school and once sold an Apple computer to The Who's Pete Townsend, says he has learned a lot from working with entrepreneurs of all types.
"It takes a certain type of personality to see your startups through or build a company year after year," says Watson. "Most people would not be able to endure the uncertainty and risk involved. It may look easy from the outside, but it takes an enormous amount of work and faith in what you're doing. I like to help those people, whether they are just starting out or are trying to exit."
Watson's experience in helping companies of all sizes makes him an attractive advisor to many of the firm's long-term clients such as Najeti Ventures.
"Lane has consistently provided to me and my partners the highest level of client service. I would particularly note his responsiveness, attention to detail and a keen ability to offer unique and creative solutions to complex issues," said Chad Denen, Managing Director of Najeti Ventures, who has worked with Watson for eight years. "He is our first port of call on legal matters arising from our transactions and I trust Lane implicitly."
CORPORATE AND BUSINESS LAW
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., cum laude, 1997
Stanford University, M.A., 1991
University of Arizona, B.A., magna cum laude, 1989