Christopher Austin is a partner in the Securities & Capital Markets and Fintech practices of Paul Hastings, based in New York. He focuses his practice on capital markets, cryptocurrency, venture capital, and corporate law, with extensive experience in public offerings, public and private company governance, and securities law compliance.
Mr. Austin counsels public and high-growth technology companies on general corporate and transactional matters, including advising on formation, venture financings, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, corporate governance, and intellectual property issues. He has extensive experience advising both companies and investment banks on capital markets matters, including leading deals involving BAML, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley, in connection with initial public offerings and follow-on offerings of technology and life sciences companies.
With a combination of securities law, fintech, and startup experience, Chris has become a recognized leader on cryptocurrency and blockchain matters. Chambers USA ranks him Band 1 for Fintech. His experience includes working with companies such as Hedera Hashgraph, Galaxy Digital, and others on issues around token sales, SAFT offerings, and securities law compliance. He leads a multidisciplinary team of money transmission, derivatives, broker dealer, litigation, and compensation and benefits experts to provide holistic advice in a rapidly changing regulatory environment. Notable fintech companies he has worked with include Betterment, SoFi, Personal Capital, Debtsy, Credit IQ, and Galaxy Digital.
Accolades and Recognitions
The Legal 500, Capital Markets: Equity: Equity Offerings - Advice to Issuers (2021)
The Legal 500, Leading Lawyer for Media, Technology, and Telecoms - Fintech (2021)
Chambers USA, Band 1 for Fintech (nationwide)
Yale Law School, J.D., 1992
University of Washington, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1989
Co-author, "Eliminating The Accredited Investor Concept Is Problematic," Law360, March 8, 2017
Moderator, Barclays Annual IPO Summit event "Setting the Stage - Preparing to Go Public," October 29, 2015
Presenter, Accelerator Workshop: IPO Insights event "Current Issues in the IPO and M&A Landscape," October 14, 2015
Beyond Meat in its IPO and securities law compliance.
Social Finance, Inc., in over $1.4 billion of venture capital financing and multiple secondary tender offers.
PagerDuty, Inc. as outside general counsel in venture capital financings and secondary tender offer, and as underwriter's counsel for Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan in its recent IPO.
Loadsmart, Inc. in various financings and as outside general counsel.
Industrious National Management Company, LLC, in various financings and as outside general counsel.
Betterment, Inc. in various financings and as outside general counsel.
Hungryroot, Inc. in various financings and as outside general counsel.
Hedera Hashgraph in over $100 million in SAFT financings in 2018, including the most recent $82.5 million SAFT round, and advice on formation, funding, securities law compliance, and regulatory matters.
Ooma, Inc., a provider of voice over IP communications solutions, in its initial public offering.
Morgan Stanley and Barclays, as underwriter's counsel, in the $130 million initial public offering of Rapid7, Inc. and multiple follow-on offerings.
Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, and Deutsche Bank, as underwriter's counsel, in the $230 million initial public offering of OnDeck Capital, Inc., an online alternative finance company for small businesses.
Coatue, in its $500 million investment in Liberty Media to support Charter Communications' acquisition of Time Warner and its $400 million investment in Liberty to purchase FormulaOne.
Deutsche Bank Securities, BofA Merrill Lynch, William Blair & Company, JMP Securities, Raymond James & Associates, and Needham & Company, as underwriter's counsel, in the $137.8 million NASDAQ initial public offering and the $121 million follow-on offering of Paylocity, Inc., a provider of cloud-based payroll and human capital management (HCM) software solutions.
Goldman, Sachs & Company, Deutsche Bank Securities, Jefferies, Canaccord Genuity, Piper Jaffray, and Raymond James, as underwriter's counsel, in the $130.8 million NASDAQ initial public offering and $109.9 million follow-on offering of Benefitfocus, Inc., a provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions for consumers, employers, insurance carriers, and brokers.
Eloqua, Inc., a provider of on-demand revenue performance management software solutions, in its $105.8 million initial public offering on NASDAQ and subsequent sale to Oracle.