Rod J. Howard, JD
Founder & Chairman
Joseph B. Hershenson, JD
Loren Wimpfheimer, JD
Consulting Advisor (Special Projects)
Consulting Advisor (UK, Europe)
Mr. Howard is a leading adviser on mergers and acquisitions in the technology and life science sectors, with more than 35 years’ of experience. He has handled hundreds of M&A engagements, involving over $75 billion in completed M&A transactions. He has advised buyers and sellers, boards and management teams in transactions of all sizes. In addition to his work in mergers and acquisitions, he has also advised clients on sensitive corporate governance and SEC disclosure matters. Mr. Howard has worked with large public companies and global investment banks as well as smaller public companies, venture capital and private equity investors, private companies, and financial advisors.
His work has spanned a variety of sectors, including data privacy and cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and machine learning, autonomous vehicles, wireless broadband, semiconductors, software, social media, telecom equipment, data networking, life sciences and energy. Before becoming a corporate lawyer, Mr. Howard was a securities and M&A litigator.
Mr. Howard has published numerous articles on M&A topics, has been a frequent speaker on mergers and acquisitions, and has chaired advanced courses of study for practitioners on mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Howard has been honored as a leading M&A lawyer in the Chambers Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers, and is a perennial Northern California “Super Lawyer” in M&A. He graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, was a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Judicial Circuit, and was a visiting scholar at the elite Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Private Law in Hamburg, Germany. Mr. Howard was a partner in the Silicon Valley offices of leading national and international law firms Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr (where he was a founding partner of the firm’s Silicon Valley office in 2005 and head of the firm’s West Coast M&A practice), Weil Gotshal & Manges, Brobeck Phleger & Harrison (where he chaired the firm’s M&A Group), and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich. Before moving to Silicon Valley in 1996, he practiced law in New York City for a dozen years, beginning his career at leading M&A boutique Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Joseph B. Hershenson is a corporate transactional lawyer in the technology and financial services sectors with over 30 years’ experience. He has advised on mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private placements, and other financing transactions aggregating over $15 billion. He has extensive experience with cross-border M&A and other international transactions and has advised clients on corporate governance, executive compensation, and securities law compliance matters. He has worked with public and private companies, global and regional investment banks, executives, and investors.
His work has spanned a variety of industries, including semiconductor manufacturing, consumer electronics, and life sciences as well as financial services. In addition, he has advised entertainment, retail, and hospitality companies.
Most recently, Mr. Hershenson has focused his activities on the development of an investment fund for fine art. This venture has given him extensive experience in capital raising and the formation of public-private partnerships as well as a deep understanding of legal services from a client perspective. In connection with this fund, Mr. Hershenson has spoken extensively on alternative investments,
Mr. Hershenson was a director in the business department of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canaday Falk & Rabkin, an elite San Francisco general practice firm, where he served on the professional responsibility committee and was in charge of the associate continuing education program. He was also a partner at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, then a leading Silicon Valley technology firm, and a principal at Troop Meisinger Steuber & Pasich, a Los Angeles firm which is known for its business and entertainment transactional practices. Prior to working in private practice, he was involved in the preparation of the Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects at the International Institute for Unification of Private Law in Rome, Italy.
Mr. Hershenson received his JD from Stanford Law School and his BA magna cum laude from Harvard College. Mr. Hershenson has a working knowledge of French and Italian and a reading knowledge of German.
Loren Wimpfheimer is a corporate transactional and technology lawyer and investor with over 20 years of experience working in large and medium sized public companies, investing in and leading start-up and other small companies, and executing strategies to create value. In these positions, he has played key roles in developing and executing acquisition strategies and has managed the full range of legal issues facing today’s senior management. By combining hands-on experience gained through acquiring over 80 companies (as both an advisor and as a principal), he brings an insight and operational process to help assure deal success.
He is a founder of CapKey Real Estate, an Atlanta-based real estate investor and developer.* Previously he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Iventa Corp., a Los Angeles/Mumbai-based cloud application software provider for music, media and publishing companies. He led a recap and ultimate sale of Iventa to a public company. Before that, he was SVP of Corporate Development and General Counsel of Witness Systems, a provider of workforce optimization solutions for contact centers, where he managed the global legal organization and led that company through a series of strategic acquisitions, as well as complex corporate and patent litigation, before leading its sale to another public company. Prior to Witness Systems, Mr. Wimpfheimer was Vice President and General Counsel for Harbinger Corporation, an electronic commerce software and services provider, where he was Vice President of Business Development and General Counsel and led that company’s M&A, litigation and other legal work and ultimate sale to another public company.
Mr. Wimpfheimer has almost 20 years of experience in the M&A lifecycle, from identifying growth areas to negotiating purchases and sales to integrating acquired companies. He has led the search for new growth opportunities and ways to improve the value proposition to customers. In this process, his team evaluated business partners, merger and acquisition opportunities, and venture capital investments. After graduating from law school, he worked in the corporate departments of a New York-based international law firm, Rogers & Wells (now Clifford Chance), and then the leading corporate law firm of the U.S. Southeast, King & Spalding. Mr. Wimpfheimer received his BA in economics from Emory University and his JD from Columbia University Law School.
* CapKey Advisors and CapKey Real Estate are separately owned and operated. CapKey Advisors does not engage in real property investment and development, and CapKey Real Estate does not engage in the practice of law.
Ms. Green, who is CapKey's Director of Special Projects, is a non-lawyer who consults on a variety of special situations and projects. She is fluent in Mandarin, and holds graduate degrees in business (MBA, Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley) and psychology (Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University) in Palo Alto), and has worked in investment management with a large buy-side investment management firm. Ms. Green has advised on Chinese business and cultural issues, human resources matters, financial analysis, and other special projects. She was a physics major at Beijing University before emigrating in the early 1980s to the United States , where she completed her undergraduate studies in physics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Ms. Miller has over a dozen years’ experience in corporate practice, and has advised clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, venture capital and related contracts (including confidentiality, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, purchase and sale agreements, and private equity agreements), private offerings (including hedge fund formation and offerings), and related securities filings and compliance, and general corporate law advice. She is licensed to practice in California and New York, and was a member of the M&A Group led by Mr. Howard at Brobeck Phleger & Harrison in Palo Alto before moving to New York, where she practiced with a firm before founding her own independent practice to address the needs of small to medium-sized businesses. She holds a J.D.-M.B.A. from the University of California at Davis, where she was managing editor of the law review, and a B.A. in quantitative economics and decision sciences from the University of California at San Diego.
Over his career, Mr. Millea has combined extensive expertise and experience in law, investment banking and business. He received an MBA with distinction from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and studied law at the University of Chicago Law School and the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he received his JD. He holds an M.Sc. degree from The London School of Economics, where he studied economics, and a B.A. from Beloit College, where he majored in economics and literature.
Mr. Millea was the founder and CEO of Dapper Games Limited, a developer and publisher of social games for Facebook and mobile platforms. At Dapper, he was responsible for all business and strategic matters. His responsibilities as CEO included oversight of all areas of the business. In these positions, he was also responsible for essentially all legal matters, including all day-to-day legal matters, intellectual property, the drafting and negotiation of licensing, development, and distribution agreements, employment agreements, composer agreements, and financing agreements, the drafting of online terms of service and privacy policies, the review of web hosting and service level agreements, domain name acquisition, and oversight of copyright and trademark matters. Prior to that, Mr. Millea was Business Affairs Manager for Emote Games Limited, a developer and publisher of online social games, and iFone Limited, a developer and publisher of mobile games. At iFone, he also led the company’s sale to Glu Mobile and was responsible for the drafting and negotiation of major licensing, development, and distribution agreements with companies such as Sega, Atari, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, The Tetris Company, Vodafone, and Motorola. He originated and closed exclusive mobile licenses for Sega titles, including Sonic and Super Monkey Ball.
Before his company-side work, Mr. Millea was an investment banker at Scott-Macon Ltd., where he was a managing director in technology and telecommunications, Kaufman Brothers, L.P., where he was a managing director and head of mergers and acquisitions and mezzanine finance, and Barington Capital Group, LLC, where he was a managing director in M&A and mezzanine finance. In these positions, he was responsible for new business and execution of engagements involving mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and private placements of debt and equity in the areas of new media, telecommunications, data communications, IT, enterprise software, semiconductor capital equipment, and semiconductor manufacturing. He began his investment banking career in the high yield and M&A groups at Prudential Securities, Inc. and Paine Webber Incorporated (acquired by UBS) in New York City.
In 1991-92, Mr. Millea assisted in the privatization of Filmové Studio Barrandov and other enterprises in the Czech Republic as a consultant and team leader with the international privatization group of PriceWaterhouse. He is the author of “Czech Privatization: The Case of Filmové Studio Barrandov,” published in the Journal of International Affairs (Winter 1997: 489-504).
Before becoming an investment banker, Mr. Millea was a litigator at the New York law firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler. He is a member of the New York bar.
Joey M. Tran is a founder of Acceleron Law Group LLP and a special advisor to CapKey Advisors. He has extensive expertise and experience regarding the legal and practical issues faced by start-up and emerging growth companies. He is also an entrepreneur in his own right, as a member of the founding team of a technology company later sold to a large social media company and as co-founder of a growing specialty foods company. His work with Mr. Howard dates to their time together in the Palo Alto office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where his work included numerous large, complex M&A transactions. For additional information on Mr. Tran, see his biography at https://www.acceleronlaw.com/joey-m--tran.