Back to New York City: How I Came Full Circle

by Scott Edward Walker on February 2nd, 2011

Background

As I have previously discussed, I began my legal career as a corporate associate at two major law firms in New York City.  After nearly eight years, however, I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life helping entrepreneurs (like my father) — not executing large, complex transactions for multi-national corporations and private equity funds.

I also saw a big problem in the legal marketplace: entrepreneurs and their companies were paying a small fortune to have their legal work done by junior associates getting on-the-job training; or, put another way, the big-firm template just didn’t work for entrepreneurs.  (I discuss this issue in detail in the video on our home page.)

Accordingly, I decided to open my own shop in California, the land of the entrepreneurs.  So in 2005, my wife and I headed west; and, after passing the California Bar exam (and getting the lay of the land), I launched Walker Corporate Law Group, a boutique corporate law firm specializing in the representation of entrepreneurs.

The NYC Tech Scene is Exploding

But a funny thing happened while I’ve been out here in California: the startup scene in New York City began “exploding” (to use Chris Dixon’s term).  Indeed, super angel Ron Conway wrote in an email to Chris about a year ago:

The pace of innovation in the New York area is very impressive right now. Some of the top entrepreneurs in the country are building and scaling companies in the NY ecosystem.

Paul Daversa, CEO of Daversa Partners (an executive search firm to VC’s and the start-up community), wrote a few months ago that:

[F]or the first time in my 20 years of search, the deal flow and investment lines have begun to blur as NY has become a hot-bed for building great tech companies, and leadership talent is migrating to New York.

And just a couple of days ago (in an article about Jonathan Teo, formerly of Google), Joel Cutler, managing director of General Catalyst Partners, stated that:

New York’s start-up culture is booming, and there’s so much brilliant talent that it’s attracted one of the Valley’s rising stars.

Not to mention all the emails and phone calls I was receiving from New York City entrepreneurs, who were all saying the same thing: “if you only had a New York office.”

OK – I cry uncle.

Our New New York City Office


Welcome to our new office on the 26th floor of the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue in Manhattan.  Welcome also to my two new colleagues in New York: Daniel Chakrin and Philip Kahn.

Daniel is great and is already helping me with an exciting, new client in Manhattan named Cheek’d — a cool, online dating service.  He has 10+ years of corporate law experience, including nearly five years at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and 2+ years at Schulte Roth & Zabel, LLP.  He also has a strong accounting background, having spent two years as a certified public accountant at Deloitte & Touche, LLP prior to attending law school.  Daniel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business (B.S. in Economics, cum laude), where he was a Joseph Wharton Scholar and Benjamin Franklin Scholar, and New York University School of Law (J.D., cum laude).

Phil is also great.  He has 15+ years of corporate law experience, including as (i) a corporate associate at Debevoise & Plimpton and Akin Gump in New York City; and (ii) Associate Counsel at Major League Baseball Enterprises.  Phil has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, public and private financings, joint ventures, securities law matters (including distressed-debt trading), and corporate governance matters.  Phil graduated from Vassar College (B.A.), where he majored in History and minored in Economics; and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude), where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Cardozo Law Review.

Conclusion

Here’s a shout-out to all the entrepreneurs in New York City: there’s a new law firm in town, with a new business model that is designed to help entrepreneurs succeed.  If you’d like to grab a beer with me or one of my colleagues, just call me directly at 212-631-4221.  Cheers, Scott

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2 Responses to “Back to New York City: How I Came Full Circle”

  1. John Moccia says:

    Good luck Scott & team – welcome back to NY!