Trent Dykes

Jay Coogan

Partner, Philadelphia

jay.coogan@dlapiper.comT +1 215 656 2461F +1 215 606 2061

I left my native New Orleans right after law school, spent six years doing corporate deals at Wall Street law firms and ended up in Philadelphia having to start a practice largely from scratch, and I still have no idea how that happened. As a result, my practice has a broad scope, from startups and VC funding, through private equity, to advising private and public company boards in securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions, and it's helped me differentiate my practice from some of my competitors in my relevant markets, particularly with startups.

Why startups? What else? My whole legal career is the result of sudden leaps into the unknown and the subsequent improvisation (also known as "poor planning and impulsive behavior"). When you’re starting a practice, there is an element of "hit 'em where they ain't" and a great place to learn to sell, and to find potential clients that did not already have a preferred legal services provider, was the local entrepreneur ecosystem. I also derive more satisfaction from what I perceive is the greater marginal gain that my advice and experience bring to less experienced (although no less bright) younger or first-time business leaders. Finally, with startups, you always know that you're talking to the boss.

Favorite reads: When in doubt, it is difficult to resist going back to The Economist; my concern is that it's the last honest broker of business news upon which I can rely. I hope I'm wrong. I do try to get a sampling of business and political news off the web every day to keep a balance of perspective, as you run across enough material about deals and the startup world during the workday anyway.

Why a global firm? Nobody's any place anymore, so you have to be everywhere. I've got one client whom I haven’t seen in person in eight years. Doesn't matter now. Being at the world's best international startup law platform is simply getting ahead of an obvious curve. Tomorrow’s new funding source could be on the West Coast, and next week's joint venture could be half here and half in Milan. You have to have it all.

My passions: I am the proud inheritor of my family's New Orleans Saints season tickets that we've held since the franchise was founded in 1966; at least you figure I'm both loyal and patient, perhaps to a fault; only the daunting cost of plane flights has me screaming at the television at home most fall Sundays instead of getting down to the SuperDome. I have a weakness for 80s New Wave, although my sons recently have me downloading Drake and J. Cole. And it doesn't have to be Mardi Gras every day, but I like a good party from time to time.

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