Stephen Cooper is chair of the firm’s Emerging Companies and Venture Capital Team. Steve also leads the firm’s Food + Beverage Industry Group. He represents clients in all aspects of corporate and transactional law, including venture capital and private equity financings, debt financings, recapitalizations, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities law compliance, and general corporate matters.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Steve represents strategic and financial investors, and other corporate clients, in connection with mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures. He counsels both buyers and sellers in structuring such transactions and negotiating the applicable transaction documents. Steve has over fifteen years of experience in mergers and acquisitions transactions. He recently represented eTouches, Inc., an event management platform, in connection with its acquisition by HGGC, a leading middle-market private equity firm. In that capacity, he helped to manage the competing interests of the different stakeholders.
Emerging Companies and Venture Capital
Steve regularly represents start-up, emerging and fast growth companies in connection with all aspects of their business cycles, from formation through accelerating growth and exit. A critical component of this representation includes capital formation transactions, including friends and family, angel, venture capital and growth capital financings. In that capacity, he advises clients regarding, and negotiates the terms of, convertible promissory notes, subscription agreements, purchase agreements, stockholders agreements, limited liability company agreements and related documents. Steve also represents individuals, family offices and funds with respect to such transactions and the related portfolio company work.
Steve is actively involved in the innovation ecosystem. He is on the Board of Directors of Crossroads Venture Group, a professional association dedicated to supporting investment in high-growth companies, and a member of the Growth Network of the Business Council of Fairfield County. He has an extensive network of entrepreneurs, executives, investors and professional services providers which provides critical insight into the market and can result in valuable connections.
General Corporate Counseling
Steve counsels companies of all sizes on general corporate matters, and often acts as outside general counsel for small and mid-sized private companies without in-house legal teams. His clients represent many industries, with a special emphasis on the consumer products, food and beverage, technologies and software industries. General corporate matters for these clients include entity formation, corporate governance, and commercial and employment-related agreements.
Pro Bono and Community Involvement
Steve routinely represents non-profit companies on a pro-bono basis in connection with merger and acquisition transactions. In 2016, he was presented with an Outstanding Volunteer award from the Pro Bono Partnership.
Steve is on the Board of Directors of the McGivney Community Center, a nonprofit organization on the east side of Bridgeport which provides a variety of programs for children. In addition, he is on the Board of Directors of the Easton Community Center, which provides cultural, educational, recreational and social opportunities and programs for children, teens, and adults within the greater Easton community.
Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Steve was an associate at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., where his practice included both corporate and bankruptcy law. Before attending law school, he worked in the leadership office of the Honorable Richard Gephardt.