Education

Harvard Law School
JD, 1974, cum laude

Harvard College
BA, 1970, cum laude

Admissions

Massachusetts

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  • Five partners have been singled out as 2014 Boston “Lawyers of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in AmericaRead more...

  • Choate is advising forward-thinking life sciences entrepreneurs as part of the MassCONNECT program.  Read more…

William B. Asher, Jr.

Practice Group Leader

t 617-248-5087   f 617-248-4000

“pragmatic judgment; strong strategic positions and calm demeanor in negotiations; dependable and technically excellent; wise counsel”

Chambers USA

Bill Asher is co-chair of the firm’s Business & Technology and Life Science Groups.

Mr. Asher has more than 30 years of experience in corporate finance and securities law, venture capital, M&A and corporate governance.  He was one of only 15 lawyers nationwide recognized by The Legal 500 as an elite “Leading Lawyer” in Middle-Market M&A (sub $500 million) and was also listed for Life Sciences.  Mr. Asher was named the 2014 Boston “Lawyer of the Year” for both Corporate Compliance Law and Securities Regulation by Best Lawyers.  He has been listed for many years in Chambers USA and Massachusetts Super Lawyers.

Practice Focus

Growth Companies:  advises growth companies, from start-up and early-stage through public offering or acquisition, on corporate formation, financing, strategic transactions, buy- and sell-side M&A, equity and executive compensation arrangements, corporate governance and other matters.

Public Companies & Capital Markets:  initial public offerings and follow-on capital markets transactions representing both companies and underwriters, as well as disclosure and securities law compliance for public companies.

Corporate Governance:  represents boards of directors, special committees and senior management teams in matters involving sensitive corporate governance issues, including M&A transactions, corporate aspects of internal investigations, related party transactions and management transition.

Representative Clients and Transactions:  practice focus in technology and life sciences, including representation of private and public companies, entrepreneurs and senior management, underwriters and investors.

Representative Engagements

Life Sciences

  • $65 million initial public offering of novel antibiotic drug development company.
  • Registered direct and confidentially marketed public offerings by life sciences companies on behalf of underwriter ranging in size from $5 million to $100 million.
  • Representation of publicly-traded cancer vaccine company in securities and financing matters.
  • $80 million sale of venture-backed orphan drug development company to public company.
  • Organization, $20 million venture financing and in-licensing for cancer therapeutics company.
  • Organization and angel financing for cancer drug development company in collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Technology Companies

  • Initial public offerings and follow-on transactions for companies in software-as-a-service, networking and communications, internet and digital media, computer graphics and speech recognition.
  • Representation of publicly-traded video delivery company in general corporate and securities matters, corporate governance, strategic investments and acquisitions.
  • Representation of e-learning company from initial venture financing through $160 million sale to strategic buyer.
  • Advise special board committee of  human resource management company in $1.7 billion sale to private equity buyer.
  • Representation of management team of network equipment company in $530 million sale to private equity buyers.
  • Corporate representation of serial start-ups by MIT professor in organizational, financing, strategic and general corporate matters.

Publications and Presentations

Mr. Asher is a frequent speaker on matters relating to venture capital and entrepreneurship, public offerings and executive compensation.  He has co-authored a chapter on equity compensation in Massachusetts Business Lawyering.

Professional Involvement

Mr. Asher is a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  He has also served as a member of the executive committee of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, an annual report on key technology industry clusters in Massachusetts.

 

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