Practice Groups and Client Sectors:Corporate, FinTech, Cryptocurrencies, and Blockchain, Intellectual Property, Technology
Areas of Focus:Corporate Governance, Intellectual Property Transactions and Due Diligence, Mergers and Acquisitions, Technology Licensing, Startups and Startup Financing, Venture Capital & Angel Financing, Israel, Europe
Dror Futter focuses his practice on startup companies and their investors, and has worked with a wide range of technology companies. His fifteen years’ experience as in-house counsel includes positions with Vidyo, Inc., a venture-backed videoconferencing company, and New Venture Partners, a venture fund focused on corporate spinouts. Prior to that, Mr. Futter was Counsel to the CIO of Lucent Technologies, as well as supporting parts of its sourcing organization.
Mr. Futter’s practice has four main focus areas:
External General Counsel
As a former General Counsel and the sole attorney at a venture that went from 80 to 300 employees during his tenure, Mr. Futter has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by fast-growing companies and the type of business-focused legal counsel they require. In addition, his background allows him to counsel clients on a broad range of subjects without the need to involve other subject-matter experts. As a result, he is exceptionally well suited to serve as an external general counsel for growing companies with sophisticated legal needs that do not have internal counsel.
Mr. Futter has represented companies and venture funds in numerous equity and debt financing rounds, from early “friends and family” and Seed rounds to later-stage mezzanine financings, and has been on both sides of the table in these transactions. On the corporate side, he routinely handles corporate formations, employee equity plans and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Futter has also been involved in over 40 corporate spinouts and understands the unique concerns of corporate venture investors.
Transactional IT & IP
Mr. Futter represents clients in a broad range of transactions, including: software licenses, SaaS Agreements, outsourcing agreements, development agreements, website terms and conditions, patent licenses, direct and indirect channel distribution agreements, services agreements, manufacturing agreements, and other supply chain agreements.
Mr. Futter advises clients with respect to legal developments in the rapidly developing blockchain space. He has helped identify the legal issues that should be addressed in developing blockchain-based consortia and other enterprise blockchain applications.
Prior to joining Rimon, Mr. Futter was a partner at the McCarter & English law firm where he was part of the Corporate Department and Venture Capital Practice Group.
Mr. Futter is a 1986 magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and 1989 graduate of Columbia University School of Law. He also earned an Executive MBA in 1999 from the American Electronics Association Executive Institute of Stanford University.
Further to his academic and legal career accomplishments, Mr. Futter is a recognized thought leader in the areas of venture capital and technology transactions. Among other things, he serves on the Model Forms Drafting Group of the National Venture Capital Association, the legal advisory board of the Angel Capital Association and Legal Working Group of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance. He is also a frequent speaker on venture-related topics for area Meetups and conferences.
In addition, Mr. Futter is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Stevens Venture Center of the Stevens Institute of Technology and a Mentor at Princeton University’s Keller Center, the Columbia IBM Blockchain Accelerator and SOSV’s dLab Accelerator.
Venture & Technology
- “SAFEs 2.0: YCombinator Updates the Form,” Crowdfund Insider, 2018
- “NVCA Updates Its Series A Model Legal Documents,” LegalBytes, 2018
- “Confronting Down Rounds,” V.C Experts, September 2016
- “How to Bubble-Proof Your Venture,” V.C. Experts, May 2016
- “Enterprise Sales Agreements for Startups,” Work-Bench, October 2015
- Co-author, "Intellectual Property Due Diligence," New Jersey Lawyer, May/June 1994
- Co-author, "Top 10 List of Intellectual Property Pitfalls," New Jersey Lawyer, February 28, 1994
- Co-author, "Dilution Doctrine: Powerful Yet Unclear," Legal Times, October 26, 1992
- Chapter on Blockchain Law in PLI’s “Financial Product Fundamentals: Law, Business, Compliance” Treatise, 2018
- “ICO Tokens & the SEC: You Can’t Even Give Them Away …. No, Seriously” Crowdfund Insider, 2018
- “SEC on ICO’s: The Central Thing is Decentralization,” Crowdfund Insider, 2018
- “Blockchain Law: ICO Regulation and Other Legal Considerations in the Blockchain Ecosystem,” The Current: The Journal of PLI Press,” 2018
- “Creation of an ICO Safe Harbor Would Provide a Zone of Regulatory Certainty in a Market Flooded with Questionable Compliance,” Crowdfund Insider, 2018
- “Op Ed: ‘We Never Thought of That’ — When Venture-Backed Companies Undertake Reverse ICOs,” Bitcoin Magazine, 2017
- “A Cryptocurrency by Any Other Name May Still Smell Like a Security,” LegalBytes, 2017
- “Perspective: The Accenture Blockchain Patent,” JD Supra, October 2016
- Speaker, Inside the VC Industry’s View of University Spinouts: Critical Insights for TTOs, 2019
- Speaker, Princeton Entrepreneurship Council’s Startup Workshop: Legal Considerations for Startups, 2019
- Speaker, CFA Institute, Blockchain Panel, 2019
- Speaker, PLI Seminar, Fintech 2018, “Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies 101”
- Panelist, “Security Token Panel,” Alchemist Money Summit Tel Aviv, 2018
- Organizer & Speaker, PLI Webinar “Attorney Ethics - Counseling Clients Undertaking an ICO,” 2018
- Moderator, "TigerTalks in the City: Bitcoin, Blockchains, ICOs and More," Princeton Entrepreneurship Council and Bendheim Center for Finance, 2018
Speaker, "Good, Bad and Evil about ICOs and How to Do it Right?" DC Digital Asset Investment Forum 2018
Speaker, UCEDC, “Negotiating Sales Contracts,” 2018
Speaker, “Not All Term Sheets Are Created Equal,” TechXel Venture Expert Series, 2018
Speaker, “Investment Term Sheets,” Princeton Keller Center, 2018
Speaker, "Venture Nights Panel Discussion," Prime Tech Partners, 2018
Speaker, PLI Seminar, "Understanding Financial Products 2019." Topic Cryptocurrency and Financial Products.
Co-Chair, PLI Seminar, “Blockchain 2.0: 2018 Legal & Regulatory Developments
View More Speaking Engagements
Co-Chair, PLI Webinar “Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts – What Lawyers Need to Know,” 2017
Speaker, “Dividing Founders’ Equity and Understanding Venture Compensation,” Stevens Institute of Technology, 2017
Panelist, ABA Webinar - “How Companies Work with Start-Up Suppliers and Vendors,” 2017
Speaker, “Contract Excellence,” TechXel Stamford Expert Series, 2017
- Panelist, “Entrepreneurs –Are They Wired Differently?” Princeton University Reunions Alumni-Faculty Panel, 2016
- Panelist, “Divvying Up the Pie - Early Stage Start-up Valuation and Distributing Equity,” Princeton University – Office of Technology Licensing, 2016
- Panelist, “5 Ways Successful Businesses Handle Legal Challenges,” JBiz Expo, 2016
- Speaker, “Critical Terms in Sales Agreements,” Cambridge Innovation Center, 2015
- Speaker, NCMA Boston Chapter, “International Commercial Agreements,” 2015
- Organizer & Speaker, PLI Webinar - “Before Series A - Convertible Note and Series Seed Funding for Startups,” 2014
- Panelist, New York Enterprise Tech MeetUp - “Sourcing to the Enterprise,” 2013
- Speaker, Princeton Startup Collective - “Top 10 Things Your Startup Attorney Should Tell You,” 2013
- Panelist, NYU Law School - “Non-Practicing Entities in IP,” 2013
- Panelist, Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting - “When the Software Police Come Knocking,” 2007
- Panelist, PLI Seminar – “Structuring, Negotiating and Implementing Strategic Alliances,” 2005
- November 5, 2013 Engagement with China: Issues for Small & Medium Enterprises, San Diego, CA
- October 5, 2013 Implications of Myriad on IP Protection for Personalized Medicine and Protecting IP in US and China, 9th Annual SABPA Pacific Forum, San Diego, CA
- Co-Chair, PLI Seminar, Venture Capital Law, 2001-2010, 2017-2018, Panelist – 2011-2016
MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS
- Model Forms Drafting Group of the National Venture Capital Association
- Legal Advisory Board of the Angel Capital Association
- Entrepreneur in Residence at the Stevens Venture Center of the Stevens Institute of Technology
- Mentor, Keller Center for Innovation, Princeton University
- Mentor, Columbia IBM Blockchain Accelerator
- Member of the Enterprise Working Group and Legal Working Group of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance
News, Events, & Insights
Beware of employee equity, the credit cards of the venture community
Insights November 04, 2019
Block.one, Creator of EOS, Settles with the SEC. Was it a Slap on the Wrist? Did EOS Get a Pass from the Feds?
Insights October 03, 2019
Craig Wright’s Hidden Treasures: Court Order to Unlock the Tulip Trust
Insights September 23, 2019
Blockchain 2.0: 2019 Legal & Regulatory Developments
Events Sep 26, 2019
On the Second Anniversary of the DAO: The Token Universe’s Cat Food Moment
Insights August 21, 2019
Princeton Entrepreneurship Council’s Startup Workshop: Legal Considerations for Startups
Events May 31, 2019