I have been working on corporate and securities transactions since 1988. My wife, Meredith, and I were married in 2000 and I am the proud father of two children (Brooke born in 2001 and Grant born in 2004). I am an active participant in my community, coaching basketball and baseball teams and volunteering in charitable organizations as well as at my children's school. I am a life long athlete and an avid golfer.
I graduated from Brown University in 1988 with a B.A. in Psychology. Additionally, I took classes in business management. While at Brown, among other activities I was a member of the track team and the co-founder and first president of a co-educational fraternity.
From 1988 through 1990 I worked as a corporate legal assistant in the mergers and acquisitions department at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York. While there I assisted on some of the largest M&A transactions ever.
I left Davis Polk after two years and attended the University of Miami School of Law, with my electives focused on corporations, finance and securities. I received my J.D., magna cum laude, in 1993, and was an Articles and Comments Editor of the University of Miami Law Review. I graduated ranked #8 out of 341 in my class and was named a Dean’s Honor Scholar as well as a member of Order of the Coif and Phi Delta Phi legal honor society. I served on the Corporate Law Digest and received American Jurisprudence Awards in Torts, Civil Procedure II and Legal Ethics and a Professorial Commendation in Securities Regulation. Additionally, I authored Interstate Securities Corp. v. Hayes Corp.: Should the Economic Loss Doctrine Apply to Actions Against Fiduciaries?, 47 U. Miami L. Rev. 1193, and co-authored The ABCs of a Leveraged Buyout, 1 Corp.L.Dig. 1.
I started my legal career doing securities and general corporate transactional work in the New York office of Latham & Watkins. Latham is one of the largest and most prestigious firms in the world. While there, my practice emphasized securities and general corporate law. Representative transactions included public and private offerings of common stock, preferred stock and high yield debt (representing both issuers and underwriters), asset and stock purchase transactions as well as drafting proxy statements, annual reports, 1933 and 1934 Act filings and general corporate contracts.
In 1996 I left Latham and co-founded a company that designs and markets golf equipment, apparel and accessories, serving as President and General Counsel for 3 ½ years. While serving as such, I guided the company through multiple rounds of private financing and the company achieved sales in seventeen states before ultimately consummating an underwritten IPO.
The process of taking my own company public taught me that the experience smaller companies go through in these types of transactions is very different from that of the larger companies I had previously represented – and oftentimes not in a good way. I decided that I wanted to try and change this and subsequent to the IPO, I phased myself out of the company, resigning in early 2000 to start my firm.
Over the past 17 years I have established a global client base. I have represented clients based throughout the United States and in numerous countries. In 2008, my firm was ranked as #8 in the United States in rankings of the number of PIPE (private investment in public equities) transactions consummated as investor’s counsel. I am admitted to practice in Florida and New York.
I provide legal services and business consulting to publicly traded and privately held corporations, primarily as corporate general counsel and in transactions involving securities offerings or other SEC issues. Services include preparation of all documents for private and public offerings of securities (equity and debt), negotiation and drafting of business contracts and documents, developing strategies for and effectuating business transactions including private placements, public stock offerings, proxy solicitations, spin-offs, business combinations, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, reverse mergers into “shell” companies, preparing 1933 and 1934 Act filings and general SEC compliance.
1. I read about you on your website. Now in your own words, please describe for our Clients the foundation that the Law Office of James Dodrillis built upon?
My firm’s mission is to provide clients with the corporate and securities transaction expertise that comes from hiring a big firm but in a boutique, one on one setting allowing for a personal relationship. By working in this manner I have flexibility in my billing practices and can provide an extremely high level of service in a very economical manner.
2. Please offer information to our Clients on your background and experience regarding your law practice?
I’ve been involved in corporate and securities transactions since 1988. I began my legal career at one of the world’s largest and most prestigious firms but left to start my own company in the golf industry. I grew that company to sales in 17 states prior to taking it public, successfully consummating from a business standpoint what many of my clients seek to do. I now combine that business experience with my legal background to provide a unique perspective in helping my clients.
3. Share with our Clients a challengingClient you’ve worked with, how you helped and the end result?
I was hired to assist in the sale of a business that was owned 50/50 by the two founders. For more than 2 years prior to hiring me, the founders were in litigation against each other with mutual allegations of fraud, embezzlement, theft of corporate intellectual property, etc. There was tremendous distrust between them. Accordingly, I not only had to negotiate the transaction with the potential buyers, but also was forced to essentially mediate between the two owners (who each had separate individual counsel who had reached a point they couldn’t communicate effectively due to how contentious the litigation had been). I successfully negotiated the sale of the primary business and subsequently the remaining operations. As a final point, I was able to negotiate the settlement of the lawsuits. Both founders, as well as their attorneys, stated that they don’t believe the deals would have ever been completed were it not for my management of the situation.
4. Please tell us some questions a Client should ask when looking for a Lawyer?
- What is your experience in this area?
- Is this your primary area of practice?
- What other areas of law do you practice? (I believe clients are best served by an attorney who focuses on a narrow area instead of one who practices in many areas – thus diluting the depth of their experience.)
- Have you worked with clients in similar situations to ours?
5. Describe what separates Law Office of James Dodrillfrom others in your space?
My combined experience of working on multiple-hundred million and billion dollar transactions as an attorney along with being an entrepreneur and taking my own company from concept through IPO allows me bring a level of expertise and experience to the table that is difficult to match. I see business and the law as a continuum and am a creative thinker who knows what running a business entails. Additionally, I use my background to help even small, start-up companies in a cost efficient manner.