San Jose Business Attorney

Four Decades of Business Law Experience, from the SEC to Silicon Valley

Richard Burt (JD, George Washington University, ’73) began his legal career at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., in 1973. Now an attorney rated “AV”* “Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell, he heads his own law firm that serves the communities of the city of San Jose and of other cities in Santa Clara County, California as well as the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area. In the four intervening decades, Mr. Burt has garnered extensive legal experience at firms of various sizes: international commercial giant Wilmer Hale; the mid-sized Northern California firm Berliner Cohen; and, most recently, in practice for himself, after founding his own firm in 1984.

His firm now leverages this broad experience to provide boutique legal services in business matters and real estate matters to clients throughout California (as well as to out-of-state clients). The firm prides itself on providing to each client service of big-firm quality coupled with small-firm attentiveness. Whether the client is a large business enterprise, an entrepreneur just starting a business, or a professional in private practice, the firm has the ability to help.

Richard Burt’s Areas of Practice

Business Entity Formation: Mr. Burt organizes business entities, ranging from sole proprietorships and partnerships to corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs). His clients include existing businesses and startups, as well as founders of closely held companies, professionals, and investors in real estate. To learn more about this aspect of the firm’s practice, click here.

Outside General Counsel: Mr. Burt establishes relationships with existing businesses as well as with startups to provide ongoing outside general counsel. This allows both parties to establish a long-term counsel-client partnership based on mutual trust, and it provides the firm with an understanding of the particular needs and requirements of the client. Services provided under an outside-general-counsel arrangement can include review of standard agreements, drafting contracts, reviewing financing documents, advising on, negotiating, and preparing agreements for the purchase or sale of a business (M&A). As outside general counsel, the firm also provides the service of finding experts in other legal areas when the client needs a specialist. Read more about these services here.

Buy-Sell Agreements: A buy-out between co-owners of a business (including redemption of shares by the business entity) is often routine, but it can be the result of a tense, stressful negotiation. Mr. Burt is experienced in both these situations, and for those clients who wish to plan ahead, he helps avoid the disruption that a hostile buy-out negotiation causes by drafting a buy-sell agreement ahead of time. The firm chooses the most appropriate form of the buy-sell agreement, taking into account such factors as the number of partners, the nature of the event that can trigger the purchase or sale, the value of the business, the method of payment (and security for a deferred payment), and many other complexities. For a longer discussion of the issues surrounding buy-sell agreements, click here.

Richard Burt Understands the Legal Issues Silicon Valley Businesses Face

Mr. Burt offers the knowledge, skill, and experience needed to help clients navigate the legal complexities inherent in business matters and real estate matters, large and small. If you are looking for a lawyer, contact Mr. Burt at (408) 286-7333 or use the contact form here to schedule a consultation. (Please do not include any confidential information in your inquiry.)

*A longer explanation of the Martindale-Hubbell rating system is available at the “Peer Review Rating” tab.