Harvard Law School
JD, 1974, cum laude
BA, 1970, cum laude
“pragmatic judgment; strong strategic positions and calm demeanor in negotiations; dependable and technically excellent; wise counsel”
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 has been listed for many years in Chambers USA, Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America and PLC - Which Lawyer for Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions. Mr. Asher has also been named in The Legal 500 for venture capital and emerging companies.
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.
- $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.
- 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.
- "Venture Capital: Nuts & Bolts," speaker, Practising Law Institute’s Annual Venture Capital Seminar, 2008-2013.
- “Look Before You Leap into a Securities Litigation Trap,” co-author, Securities Law360, October 2012.
- “Raising US Venture Capital in 2012,” panel moderator, BioFinance, Toronto, May 2012.
- “Q&A With Choate’s Bill Asher,” featured, Life Sciences Law360, May 2012.
- "Venture Capital: Nuts & Bolts," speaker, Practising Law Institute’s Annual Venture Capital Seminar, 2008-2012.
- “The Role of Board of Directors in Risk Oversight in a Post-Crisis Economy,” co-author, Bloomberg Corporate Law Reports, June 2010.
- "Boardroom Dynamics in 2010: Changing Roles for Management, Independent and Investor Directors," panelist, Association of Corporate Counsel Conference - Northeast Chapter, Boston, January 2010.
- “Anticipating New Exec Compensation, Disclosure Rules,” co-author, Law360, October 2009.
- Speaker, DolmatConnell & Partners Fall Conference on Executive Compensation, Waltham, October 2009.
- “More Venture Capital Firms Halt Their Fund Raising,” quoted, Mass High Tech, June 2009.
- Moderator, Executive and Board Breakfast Forum, December 2008.
- “Internal Risk Management,” panelist, Periscopes Up: Managing Your Company in Turbulent Economic Waters, Waltham, November 2008.
- Speaker, Cluster Theory and Practice: The Massachusetts Life Sciences Industry, Cambridge, January 2007.
- "Funding Conundrum: Investing in Early Stage Technologies,” panelist, Massachusetts Biotech Council's Mass Opportunities: A Biotechnology Investment Conference, Boston, November 2006.
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.