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Angel Investor Pishevar Brings Perkins Coie Lawyer In-House

Feb. 12, 2020, 4:16 PM

A partner from Perkins Coie, a law firm known for its work in emerging companies and technology, is moving in-house to work with angel investor and entrepreneur Shervin Pishevar.

Kyle Wood recently left Perkins Coie’s Dallas office to become chief legal officer for private wealth management firm Sofreh Capital LP, Pishevar’s Miami Beach, Fla.-based family office. Pishevar, who was born in Iran, immigrated to the U.S. as a child with his parents in the late 1970s. He then made his fortune from early investments in startups like Airbnb Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.

“Shervin Pishevar is a highly successful venture capitalist focused on strategic investments in the technology sector,” a spokesman for Perkins Coie told Bloomberg Law. “We’re proud of having provided legal counsel to Mr. Pishevar and wish Kyle continued success in his new role.”

When Pishevar offered Wood a position at Sofreh, he knew it was “a unique opportunity to join a team with a successful track record of identifying and investing in innovative concepts, people, and businesses,” Wood said Wednesday in his own emailed statement.

“I will be primarily responsible for managing day-to-day legal matters and building a team (in-house and outside law firms) to handle the larger scale projects we have coming down the road,” Wood said. “I am very excited for what we have in store for the future.”

Since early 2019, Wood has been a partner in Perkins Coie’s technology transactions and privacy law practice, as well as the firm’s blockchain technology and digital currency group. He joined the firm in late 2016 from the Dallas office of Andrews Kurth, now known as Hunton Andrews Kurth, where he spent nearly three years as counsel.

During Wood’s time in private practice he specialized in advising startups and more established companies. He previously ran his own firm and worked as a technology transactions associate at Jones Day, which he joined in early 2007 after starting his legal career in-house at Sun Microsystems Inc. Wood also spent a year at enterprise cybersecurity company Nominum, now part of Akamai Technologies Inc.

Pishevar’s Legal Ties

Pishevar, who relocated from San Francisco to South Florida in 2018, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Last summer, he was one of several investors who participated in a $2.5 million fundraising round by Coinmine Inc., the creator of the Coinmine One cryptocurrency mining service.

In addition to Airbnb and Uber, Pishevar’s other investments include online pharmacy PillPack LLC, on-demand delivery service Postmates Inc., financial services startup Robinhood Markets Inc., cloud-based software company Slack Technologies Inc., and eyeglass retailer Warby Parker, according to the entrepreneur’s personal website.

Perkins Coie has enjoyed a longtime client relationship with Amazon.com Inc., which paid $750 million to acquire PillPack in 2019. Public filings show the firm also has handled trademark work for Bolt Mobility Corp., a Bal Harbour, Fla.-based electric scooter company co-founded by Olympic gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt and Bita Sarah Haynes, Pishevar’s sister. Pishevar himself has invested in Bolt.

Uber also tapped Perkins Coie to conduct an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations that led to the June 2017 resignation of the ride-sharing giant’s former CEO Travis Kalanick. Pishevar publicly supported Kalanick, whose ouster spurred the venture capitalist to launch a successful campaign to keep the former CEO on Uber’s board of directors. Kalanick ultimately left the board this past December after selling more than $2.5 billion in Uber stock. Uber raised $8.1 billion in an initial public offering last year.

The C-suite turnover at Uber preceded Pishevar’s decision to step down in December 2017 as managing director of venture capital firm Sherpa Capital and executive chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, a transportation technology company he co-founded in 2014 and which once employed Pishevar’s brother, Rockville, Md.-based attorney Afshin Pishevar, as its former chief legal officer.

Bloomberg News and other news outlets have previously reported on multiple claims of sexual misconduct against Pishevar, who through his lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has denied the allegations and said they were part of an “organized smear campaign” orchestrated by unnamed business rivals.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at mferullo@bloomberglaw.com; Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

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