Insights from a Seasoned Startup Lawyer


Adam Mishcon, Esq.


I am General Counsel for several tech startups, including companies funded by Sequoia Capital, 500 Startups, Google Ventures, etc.  I share time between San Francisco, Washington State, New York City, and Portland (OR).  I practiced with a large commercial firm, then coded as a developer, before returning to law - focused on startups, financing, contracts, and licensing. I also regularly address privacy compliance and have managed several data breach response programs.

I have an engineering degree with  a triple-major in electrical engineering, computer science and math, and a law degree from Duke Law School.  I am member of the Committee on Standards and Open Source of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association (SVIPLA),  the Intellectual Property specialty group of the American Bar Association (ABA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society Technical Committee on Security and Privacy (TCSP), the Privacy Bar Section of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and TechGC (a private, invitation-only, community for General Counsels of leading venture capital firms and venture-backed companies).  I’m currently active on the Executive Committee of the Duke Law Club of Northern California Board, and co-lead of the Sequoia Capital General Counsel Roundtable.  

I have been a Co-Founder, Board Member, Executive, and General Counsel for Sencha Inc., a Sequoia Capital funded Open Source software company.  As part of the founding team, I lead much of the business side of the company in the early days, then drafted a business plan, made introductions at top VC’s, and closed a $14MM Series A round with Sequoia.  From there we grew the company to over 100 employees, significant revenues, millions of customers, and additional fundings.  Sencha continues to be a leader in web application development platforms.  I am also General Counsel for High Fidelity, a Google Ventures funded company founded by Second Life founder Philip Rosedale to create a next-generation virtual world interactions and experiences.  I started my legal career as an attorney in corporate matters, commercial finance, real estate, and intellectual property with the top national law firm of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.

I recently co-drafted the form license agreement (EULA) for attorneys across the country, as published by the AIPLA.  I’ve also had the honor of speaking on Open Source Licensing and related issues at the American Conference Institute’s 18th Annual Practical and Tactical Art of the Deal, as a speaker for the prominent Bay area incubator 500 Startups, and for other audiences.  I'm a regular attendee of the California and Washington Bar Associations' annual Intellectual Property Institutes, and the Annual Meeting of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.