Patrick Diehl is a Partner at Matterhorn Legal, a boutique law firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity financings, and outsourced general counsel services. He focuses his practice on legal needs for early-stage companies and investment funds, including formation, financings, mergers and acquisitions, and other strategic corporate transactions, as well as offering general corporate advisory.
Before joining Matterhorn, Patrick worked as a corporate attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in San Francisco and Jones Day in New York, focusing on mergers and acquisitions. He has advised on transactions equating to over $1 billion. Patrick is a Harlan Fiske Scholar from Columbia Law School and graduated with honors in Political Science from the University of Chicago.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Patrick Diehl talks about the founding story and focus of Matterhorn Legal
- Who is Matterhorn Legal’s ideal client?
- How startups should structure their initial funding rounds to avoid complications
- Why startups need a clear chain of custody for all Intellectual Property (IP)
- How Matterhorn Legal helps its clients through several financing rounds
- Aspects to consider when pursuing a merger and acquisition
- Why it’s critical to comply with corporate formalities
- The driving force behind Patrick’s decision to focus on corporate law
In this episode…
Navigating the legal landscape of startups can feel like an uphill battle, riddled with complexities and unexpected challenges. What if your legal strategy wasn’t just about avoiding pitfalls but creating win-win situations for all?
Enter Patrick Diehl, a seasoned corporate attorney. With experience in large law firms and his own boutique practice, Patrick provides a unique perspective on startup strategies. His emphasis on creating positive, win-win transactions rather than zero-sum games sets him apart from his competitors. As a small business owner, Patrick understands the nuanced pressures and challenges of launching startups.
In this episode of 15 Minutes, host Bela Musits sits down with Patrick Diehl, a Partner at Matterhorn Legal, to delve into the world of win-win legal strategies for startups. Patrick shares practical advice for smaller investment funds and businesses, his philosophy on shorter-duration transactions, and how being a small business owner makes him a more empathetic legal counsel. He also discusses the pros and cons of various legal practices and how he found his niche in corporate law.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Bela Musits on LinkedIn
- Gladiator Law Marketing
- Patrick Diehl on LinkedIn
- Matterhorn Legal
- Thomas Earnest on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential.
To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition.
You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t.
Bela Musits 0:12
Hello, listeners. I’m Bela Musits, co-host for this episode of the 15 Minutes Share Your Voice podcast, where we talk with top notch law firms and attorneys about what it takes to grow a successful law practice. This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing. They deliver tailor made services to help your firm accomplish its objectives and maximize your growth potential to have a successful marketing campaign. And to make sure you’re getting the best return on investment, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. Gladiator Law Marketing uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and decades of experience to outperform the competition. To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com where you can schedule a free marketing consultation. Today’s guest on the podcast is attorney Patrick Diehl. He is a Partner at Matterhorn Legal, where he focuses his practice of law on early stage companies and investment funds across a range of legal needs, including formation, financings, mergers and acquisitions, and other strategic corporate transactions, as well as general corporate advisory. Welcome to the podcast, Patrick.
Patrick Diehl 1:27
Thanks for having me, Bela. I really appreciate it.
Bela Musits 1:29
Yeah, sure. So tell us a little bit more. I read the intro. But tell us a little bit more about your focus at Matterhorn.
Patrick Diehl 1:37
Yeah, so myself and Thomas Earnest are the two partners of the firm. We met each other a number of years ago working in the m&a group at the San Francisco office at Wilson Sonsini no sort of large, classic tech focused Silicon Valley based law firm. So we sort of, you know, grew up together in that environment. And as we were becoming more senior, I think it became more and more evident to us that there were a certain spectrum of ws ers clients that were maybe not best served by ws gr. And that doesn’t mean that they weren’t getting good legal advice. But when cost is brought into the equation, as it always is for, you know, emerging companies, it didn’t necessarily seem like ws gr was always the best fit. Um, so Thomas ultimately leaves Wilson Sonsini, founds Matterhorn with a couple other Wilson Sonsini guys, and basically spent the next two years nagging me and convincing me to follow suit. I eventually am convinced, and I also depart, I’m enjoying that one. Um, the thesis of Matterhorn is pretty simple. We take people who, you know, grew up in an la 100, big law firms and so have the requisite, you know, resumes, expertise, experience, you know, whatever you want to call it. But that the list of adjectives that make clients comfortable that, for lack of a better way of saying that we know what we’re doing, but because we don’t have a marketing department, because we’re a remote only company, because we don’t sponsor conferences, we don’t have a number of non paid legal staff. We don’t have fancy conference rooms, but you know, the San Francisco Bay, there’s a fair amount of fat in those models, Trent, and we’re able to basically pass those savings along to our clients. Um, we always say, look, the will the lawyers at places like Wilson Sonsini are fantastic. And we’re not here to denigrate them, we word them, but they’re very expensive, and that you often can get a more experienced lawyer at a boutique shop like ours, for the same or less cost. I think this was not originally the intention of the firm. But it became evident as we sort of started operating the firm, that actually one of the other big selling points was the sort of white glove treatment that they thought they were receiving from us, as opposed to their previous larger firm counsel, um, even firms that advertise themselves as sort of startup firms. Think of the Wilson Sonsini, he’s got he’s in debt, most of the world. They’re big business, right? We’re talking about hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars of annual revenue. And so if you’re not producing meaningfully, large legal bills on a regular basis, or transactions on a regular basis, that, you know, you know, lump sum payments, you’re not moving the needle in terms of their financial performance. And so naturally, I think the focus of a lot of the more senior folks in the firm is those big ticket items. You know, it’s not a surprise that, you know, Wilson was involved in the Twitter, Elon acquisition, right? Because those are the kinds of transactions that really move the needle financially for them. Unfortunately, that means if you sit at the other side of the ecosystem, a startup or an emerging investment fund that sort of focuses to start at UPS, you may be serviced by sort of a rotating cast of junior characters. And those people might be very smart. And they might one day be very good lawyers, but they haven’t been lawyers for very long, and that they’re probably to a certain extent learning on the job. And even more disappointing for clients sometimes, because that work is very hard. There’s a fair amount of turnover. And so not only are they being served by junior folks, but it’s it’s different Junior folks over the course of the relationship. Um, so that doesn’t necessarily add up to the most gratifying experience for people, especially when they perceive to fit, they’re still paying relatively large bills. So because we’re a smaller shop, you get to work with me, obviously, I have a team that sits behind me, but you know, I’m going to be the point of contact and involved in all matters. And I think that that’s something that puts clients at ease.
Bela Musits 5:51
Now, excellent points. So what’s sort of the sweet spot for you guys from a client perspective?
Patrick Diehl 5:59
Yeah, so I think we focus on startups, primarily in the technology space. And I use that word, broadly defined, right? So to include pharmaceutical companies to include medical device companies to include chipmaker software companies, right? There’s a lot of companies that that sort of fall under that umbrella. But if you if you think of technology broadly, the majority of our clients are in that sector. That’s not surprising, given our San Francisco origins, right. And then we’re at the stage of the company, we’re really cradle to grave, right. You know, I know, that’s a cliche expression, but you know, we can form the company put together the initial documentation and get them set up in Delaware. And we often like to see them all the way through an exit, which is usually for our clients, a mergers and acquisition event. Um, you know, obviously, IPOs are not super hot right now. And typically speaking, if one of our clients actually wants to go the IPO route, they will eventually outgrow us, and we’re okay with them. And I think that that means that they’ve done tremendously well. And that probably means that they’ve given us a substantial amount of legal work along the way. So when I think of applying graduating, I think that that is like it’s a win win situation, and I’m not sad to see them go, I’m usually happy to cherish the relationship we had with them up until that point, but for the clients that don’t have grow as m&a is usually the more likely exit event. So we’re sort of gonna represent them across that whole timeline, you know, form them up, you know, get them set up with a template, in a sort of toolbox of documents that they can, you know, start doing commercial deals, onboarding employees, putting benefits plans in place, including, you know, equity incentive options. And then also, importantly, raising money. I mean, the unfortunate reality is your idea can be gangbusters. But if you don’t have the money to sort of build it up, you will likely die. And so we’re here in specialize in helping companies and investment funds that sort of invest in companies of that stage and development through that venture financing process. And then finally, you know, we’re here to sort of see them go, right, well, we do a lot of m&a. I mean, both Thomas and I sort of started as m&a lawyers. And so that’s sort of where we began our legal careers and where maybe our deepest expertise lies. So we do a fair amount of m&a transactions, either for existing clients, or for transaction only work that’s actually referred into the firm, because of our expertise, right. Along the way, we obviously provide what we’d call general corporate advisory work. I like to think of that as a catchphrase for anything and everything that they need help with and running their business, whether it’s me or someone within my network, will find the right person who has the right subject matter expertise, and makes sure that, you know, on a day to day basis, their legal needs are addressed. All right.
Bela Musits 8:47
Now, when you talk about financing, is it is it just financing with venture capital firms or private equity firms? Or do you also help folks with angel financing, convertible debt, and all those types of instruments as well?
Patrick Diehl 9:02
Great question. Um, so we definitely work with a ladder as well, I think we tend to see at the pre-seed stage, um, safes, convertible notes, sometimes even loans are the sort of most common investment instruments and it makes sense, right? They’re shorter, simpler documents that tend to be more standardized. And so they provide the least amount of friction, you get those early dollars in the door. So we definitely have clients, both on the investment side and on the company side, at that level. And then obviously, once you graduate to sort of a priced preferred stock round, we’re also able to assist there again on both sides of the table. Yeah.
Bela Musits 9:41
So, you know, one of the things that I learned in my entrepreneurial experience is that particularly with financing, you don’t want to do something with a with an angel round, or a convertible note, that later on when you’re doing an A round with a venture capitalist or B round with a venture capitalist, you’re then going to have to undo, because it’s unacceptable, or it’s a non starter for them. So how do you how do you sort of help companies? You know, deal with that?
Patrick Diehl 10:13
Yeah, I mean, it’s great point. And I think the context we see this most commonly in is with regards to vesting on founder shares, right? Founders will say, either A. they don’t want their shares to be subject to vesting, or sometimes B. that they want sort of Mark Zuckerberg style dual class stock, that sort of definitely preserves their voting control of the company. And my advice to them is basically what you just said, Look, you’re wasting your time and energy, and most importantly, your money by putting these structures in place. Because 95, maybe even 99% of investors are going to condition their investment on you on doing these things. So you end up in one of two bad results. One, you spend money to undo something you just put in place, or to you you lose investment dollars, because they walk away from the table, because it’s sort of a deal breaker on satisfactory terms.
Bela Musits 11:05
Right. And I think that’s why, you know, to your point, it’s really important to get counsel that focuses on these matters, and understands the subtleties in these preferred stock agreements, or these other offering agreements, not only from a legal perspective, right, there’s, there’s sort of SEC things you have to worry about. But but there’s also these, these little terms and conditions that can, as I like to say, make you radioactive, if you’re if you’re not careful.
Patrick Diehl 11:33
Yeah, I mean, we always joke internally, you know, what is market, because it’s a phrase, lawyers like to throw out a lot. It’s not always clear that they’re ever actually making evidence based claims, as opposed to just assertions about their perception of the market. Um, but it still is a valuable consideration, which is to say that there are dominant practices. And good counsel is going to be aware of what those dominant practices are. And so they can advise you ahead of time, hey, look, you’re really off the mark on this term, I suspect that any competent investor is going to make you undo it, let’s just not do it to begin with, you’re going to waste money on both ends of the spectrum, and you’re not going to accomplish anything. Um, I think it also plays on diligence front, right. So I know from a from a variety of transactions that almost all investors and almost all buyers for a technology company need a very clear chain of custody for all IP that’s developed. And usually that means an invention assignment agreement is signed by anyone who’s done any work, even remotely touching intellectual property, and they want a signed dated agreement for every single one of those people. And absent having that in place, you’re really going to fight an uphill battle in an m&a transaction or a financing event. So again, being able to spot and having an understanding of what you’re looking for, in terms of diligence issues that can be corrected on the front end, as opposed I spoke to buyers or investors on the back end, right.
Bela Musits 13:07
And I think it just, once you have these things in order, and they’re sort of in market, right, whatever that means at that time. I think that also, not only does it does it, speed things up, but it also gives confidence to the investor or the potential investor, that you know what you’re doing. Right that okay, these these guys, these folks have their act together. And they don’t have a bunch of terms in there that are like, Oh, my gosh, what’s going on here? What type of counsel did they get? What were they thinking when they did these things? Right? It’s a thing that keeps the momentum of the deal going forward, and faster, as opposed to something that starts slowing the momentum of the deal down.
Patrick Diehl 13:48
You’re making my business pitch for me is this easy? But yeah, you’re exactly right. Which is to say, a lot of people come to us and say, Hey, we set this up on Clarkie, or Stripe Atlas are sort of one of the Automate services, which are, you know, perfectly good, most of the time, I don’t, I don’t want to be in denigrate them. And they kind of make this proposal, you say, Hey, I kind of want to bring you into last minute, I kind of want to go as long as possible without real legal expense. Now, when you get to the fine meeting event, I’ll bring you in. And you’re right, that that can often send a bad signal because it reflects that you’re not taking things seriously. And usually the best gauge of whether you’re taking something seriously is whether you’re spending money on it. And so if you’re not spending money on legal counsel, in the early days, it is going to send a signal to investors, that you might be the kind of people that cut corners or the kind of people that don’t put in legitimate, robust processes to get to the right outcomes. Right.
Bela Musits 14:46
Exactly. Exactly. So we talked about financing. We talked a little bit about IP, intellectual property. What are some of the other things that sort of startups legal needs are different than you know, larger companies?
Patrick Diehl 14:59
Yeah, So I would say the next big bucket is employment, right? I think a lot of people are benefited by being guided through a process of getting either on a PEO like try net, or just sort of an automated HR service provider like gusto or rippling. Understanding what triggers are requirement to qualify for payroll tax remittance, or maybe requires a full scale qualification to your business’s state. Understanding how different states differ with regards to the labor rules and what you can and can’t do with regards to whether someone’s employee or contractor and the terms of their service provider relationship if you put them in. So just guiding people through the sort of building out the early stage team and doing it right. And because so many of these companies are remote in nature, or at least distributed across the country, it means understanding the jurisdictional parameters and a bunch of different places. And I think that that’s something that without appropriate counsel, people can can make mistakes pretty easily.
Bela Musits 16:03
Yeah, yeah. What about this notion of positioning a company that’s going to most of the times they need multiple rounds of financing? So what are things that you can help a company do, let’s say, during and post series A financing, to make sure they’re positioned? Well, for a series B, and a series C?
Patrick Diehl 16:28
Yeah, I mean, it’s all about processes, right? Presumably, by the time you get post series, A, most of the documentation they’re using is already gonna be in place, they have a terms of service, they have a template master service agreement, they have a template offer agreement, they have a template consulting agreements. So from a documentation perspective, as long as those are the documents are signing to do business, either with people or commercial parties, they’re going to be in, they’re going to be an athlete. Um, what I find is the biggest problem is when companies are not sufficiently communicative with their lawyers. And so they go a little bit off the deep end, or they they wander into to new territory, and don’t think to consult you on Well, what do I need to be doing slightly differently here, now that I’m doing something, you know, different than I have before? Yeah. So like, you know, obviously, a little bit of self serving advice, but like, keeping your lawyers in the loop. And that doesn’t mean that like, you have to have a 30 minute conversation with them before you do anything. But big things, sure. Small things, keep them copied on the emails, right. I mean, the point is, we’re here to issue spot and identify when you may have gone astray. And the earlier we do that, usually, the easier the remedy is, um, but keeping us in the loop so that we can be involved in decision making and making sure that the processes you’re using to sort of conduct business are going to be you know, by the book, right, they’re going to write a look. I mean, generally speaking, the best way to to please an investor is for them to have to complete their due diligence review and have nothing of note come out of it. And the easiest way to accomplish that is just to run your business by the book. I mean, running startups is not a new game, right? I mean, there are new ideas for what those startups do, right? from a process perspective, this is a pretty well written book. And as long as you’re consulting with people who are familiar with it, and you run your business accordingly, you’re going to avoid a lot of weird questions or, you know, awkward questions from investors.
Bela Musits 18:38
Right, right. So speaking of kind of being in the loop and being informed, do you typically sit on the board or are an observer at board meetings?
Patrick Diehl 18:46
So we don’t sit on the board. And we actually don’t recommend it, because we think it can create conflicts of interest. But we do offer to attend all board meetings. And I think we’re not the only firm that does this, but we’ll do so free of charge. Because I think that’s a nice little nudge to incentivize our clients to really do that. And that allows us to stay in the loop most easily because the first and best time to hear about new directions the company is going to take is usually at a board meeting.
Bela Musits 19:16
Right. Right. Now, you’re out in in the Valley, San Francisco area. There’s a lot of entrepreneurial activity. A lot of the entrepreneurs understand a lot of these rules and regulations and ways of doing business. Do you also get involved with companies that are outside of that geography?
Patrick Diehl 19:39
Yeah, so we do have clients that are all across the country. I mean, I won’t say we have any clients in Iowa that have you know, it’s it’s not every state but but it’s it’s certainly it’s a good number of them. And I I think that that, in large part was a result in Natick, and, you know, the idea that people could start businesses and operate businesses from a lot of different places. Um, even if they’re still recruiting talent primarily from Silicon Valley. Um, so because of that we do have clients sort of across the country, primarily in larger cities or sort of mini tech hotspots that you would expect. But it’s certainly not all California. I mean, maybe 50 60%. I’m not looking at our client list, but still is in Silicon Valley. So it’s obviously a dominant portion of our practice, but certainly not the exclusive geography that we serve.
Bela Musits 20:30
Yeah, yeah. Now we’ve talked about financing and various different rounds and getting ready for them. Is there anything additional or more specialized that you need, or more specific that you need to do for a merger or acquisition?
Patrick Diehl 20:45
Yeah, so I think the biggest thing to think about in an M/A event is that the diligence dive is going to be significantly deeper. And any corrective action is going to be required on the front end. And that’s for two reasons. One, when you’re buying the entirety of the company, you assume the entirety of its liabilities. So you want to have a better sense of what those are. Whereas if you’re buying 10% of the company, you know, incentives can be a little different. The second thing is that because you’re going to own 100% of the company, or close to it, after you close the transaction, you’re going to be responsible for anything that was done wrong. So you can’t do things like hey, in the financing round, we’ve identified this issue, within 60 days, after we closed, the financing management team has to go and you know, address it, in an m&a event management team has gone in all likelihood, or you know, some of them are gone, or they’re at least at the direction of new pilots that have done so. So in large part, the correction, both the time the energy of planning, and importantly, the cost are now going to be borne by the buyer, as opposed to the seller. So that means it becomes particularly important to early on in the process, identify if any of those issues are going to exist, and get on fixing them, because they may hold up the deal.
Bela Musits 22:03
Excellent. Excellent. So just to be clear, in my own mind, you represent some of your clients are startups. Some of your clients are private equity firms, venture capital firms, and some of your clients are companies that are acquiring startups, is that correct?
Patrick Diehl 22:20
Yeah. So I think we’ve become so so on the m&a side of the equation, we do both right, so representing companies that are being sold, and that’s almost always small company acquired by big company, right? That’s right, a smaller party. But increasingly, we’ve become a good choice for caught late stage private companies or early stage public companies for their smaller m&a transactions. So they may use a more established larger firm for their 100 million or $200 million transaction. But oftentimes, they do a fair number of 15, 25, 35 million dollar transactions as well. And having counsel that they view as equally competent, but certainly quite a bit cheaper to sort of execute the smaller transactions is attractive to them.
Bela Musits 23:05
Yeah, yeah. So as you reflect back on your career, are there like, the top three or four problems? I’ll call them that you see, when you first engage with the firm? Say, oh, gosh, you know, these are really common, and a lot of small firms are not doing this correctly.
Patrick Diehl 23:30
Yeah. So there’s definitely a couple though, the easiest one is corporate formalities, right. And what I mean by that is principally writing things down and keeping good robust records. You see startups cut corners on this all the time. And it almost always produces a half of work either before an m&a transaction or a financing transaction, to try to collect what is missing, because most sophisticated investors are not going to give you dollars, if you can’t demonstrate, you know, frankly, what’s happened in the past year to three years. And to your earlier point, it also just sends a really bad signal that you’re not taking things seriously that you don’t know what you’re doing.
Bela Musits 24:11
And just to be clear, when when you’re talking about this specific area, it’s more than just board minute minutes, right? You’re talking about employment agreements, contracts with vendors and suppliers, stock option agreements, all that type of stuff.
Patrick Diehl 24:27
Yeah, I’m talking about the whole shebang. Right. And I think that the biggest error we see sometimes is things that weren’t discussed and agreed to over email. And in a lot of cases, that that’s not enough, right. So having a signed contract, and having written board and stockholder resolutions, or in the case of consent signed consents is important, right? You want to basically have a piece of paper that is tied to every significant action undertaken for the whole history of the corporation. The easiest way to do that is just to be good about processes early on to understand, hey, everything’s gotta get signed, it’s gotta get site Save to Google Drive or Dropbox, we’re going to build out a folder structure. So it’s easy to find things. And just building good habits that you continue to use as the company gets bigger. It’s really hard to build good habits when you have a 75 person company, because there’s so much happening at that point, right, like, putting in the processes after the fact, almost never works. So we really encourage people to try to get on the right side of that early.
Bela Musits 25:33
Yeah, yeah. And what are what are, let’s say I have a firm, I’m listening to this podcast, and I have a little startup that I’ve been doing myself. I’ve self funded it. And I’ve used my, you know, local attorney, who helped me buy my house, kind of do the documents and stuff. Is there some point that, you know, I should I should call you guys in? Or should I talk to my attorney and say, hey, you need to call up, Patrick. Because this stuff is starting to get specialized. I guess what I’m trying to ask in an awkward way, is to you guys sometimes consult with other legal firms to sort of sort of help them work through this and sort of be brought in as an expert?
Patrick Diehl 26:23
Yeah. I mean, there’s no right or wrong answer here, right. I mean, okay, kind of like medicine, you know, there’s not an infinite, but certainly a ton of different areas of specialty. And any lawyer that tells you that they can serve you and all of your legal rights, is lying to you, right? That, that either that or they’re going to give you very, very uneducated advice in certain areas. So I think it’s important, whoever you choose for counsel, that they’re honest with you about where their expertise lies, and importantly, where does not lie. Um, so I think an important quality in a lawyer in a law firm is that they play well in the sandbox, right? That they realize that there are going to be situations where they need to work with other law firms to complement or supplement their areas of specialty. And we certainly do that all the time. So it’s not unusual that, you know, we’ll we’ll have a problem. And you know, it gets really deep in in tax land, and we need to bring in someone who’s more of an expert in tax law, sometimes it gets really specific. I mean, we’re working with a client the other day, but, you know, hippo regulatory issues. And so we did some searching in our network, and we found a good fit for them, with someone who specializes specifically in the regulatory apparatus around HIPAA. And so our ability to find those people, bring them under the tent, and then use them alongside us to assist our clients, I think that’s one of our better qualities. I think we always tell clients, if we can’t do the work for you, we’ll find someone who can. Um, and obviously, or at least, the way our engagement letter works is we sort of bring those people in and just build them out to the client on the back to back capacity. So we don’t charge any referral fee or up charge, we really just think that, you know, whatever that person charges is what the client should pay. And that improves the service relationship. And that’s really the reward we’re gonna get by deepening, you know, a client bond.
Bela Musits 28:12
Now, those are some really good points. Those are some really good points. So let me switch gears here a little bit. And talk a little bit more about you specifically, what sort of was the driving force that you decided to go into law and then sort of into corporate law?
Patrick Diehl 28:29
I do not have a great answer to the first question. I think I grew up and did a lot of high school debate. And so I thought the adversarial analytical process of law would be similar to that. And that’s true. But to be fair, it’s much more true for litigator, which is not ultimately, I became, but I think, you know, the analytical, argumentative sort of analysis based rules and conclusions appealed to me a lot because of my high school debate experience, which I was pretty deeply involved in. Um, once I got to law school, and I sort of actually started learning more about the different types of law, I realized a couple of things about litigation that made it less appealing. The first was, it takes a long time. And maybe I’m your classic millennial with a short attention span, but I prefer transactions are matters that lasts a couple of months, not a couple years. Um, and so just in terms of keeping me engaged and making sure that I’m the best version of myself for my clients, I need a shorter duration for any individual matter. The second thing is that I didn’t really like the adversarial nature of litigation. Now, I think in most cases, it can be very zero sum where you really can either be the winner or the loser. I found it really appealing that we can apply our analytical skills in the context of corporate law in situations where we can at least deem them win win right where everyone walks away happy It doesn’t mean that on any given term, one person didn’t win or lose. But on the whole, the transactions can be viewed as as positive from both sides. And that’s a really nice feeling, both when you’re working through the transaction, but also and most importantly, when you end the transaction, and everyone congratulates each other maybe goes out to dinner together. And that’s a sense of we’re going to continue building together. That’s really cool to observe. Yeah, excellent. Excellent.
Bela Musits 30:26
So if there’s listeners that want to find out more, more about Matterhorn and more about you, Patrick, where’s the best place for them to go?
Patrick Diehl 30:33
Yeah, our website is going to be the best bet. So I don’t know if you can include a link to it in the description here, but it’s matterhornlegal.com. Not that hard to remember.
Bela Musits 30:42
Okay, matterhornlegal.com. I will make sure that’s in the show notes. Now, my last question, is there anything that I haven’t asked you, that you would like to share with our listeners?
Patrick Diehl 30:53
Yeah, I think that the the one thing we like to emphasize, especially when we’re working with smaller investment funds or smaller clients, is that it helps to have someone as your legal counsel that also runs a small business. I remember that when I was at Wilson Sonsini, I might have been really good on the legal points. But we had our own HR department, we had our own marketing department, we had our own billing department, there was a lot of areas of the relationship that I didn’t touch at all. Now that I’m a partner and sort of administrator of Matterhorn. I am in charge of setting up our billing, I am in charge of running our CRM, I am in charge of making sure we’re registered in the appropriate states and our benefits policies are compliant with the state’s laws. A lot of the just sort of nuts and bolts of running a business are things that I understand 20 times better now that in my mind, I think that that’s good for clients that I can relate to the pressure points and what’s causing them tension in the in their daily lives in a lot better way than I could five years ago.
Bela Musits 31:52
Yeah, yeah. Excellent. Excellent. Hey, Patrick, thank you for being a great guest on the podcast. I really enjoyed our conversation.
Patrick Diehl 32:00
Yeah, thank you for having me on, Bela. I really appreciate the chance to talk to you and hopefully to share some some good news with your listeners.
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