Venture Law Corporation is a boutique corporate securities law firm based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
This page provides a brief summary about our firm and services The best way to get to know us, however, is to talk to us in person. Please do not hesitate to call our office if there is any information you need, or questions you may have, about our firm or our services. We can arrange a brief introductory call or a formal consultation if you need specific regulatory information or legal assistance.
Venture Law Corporation was formed in 1996 to provide corporate securities legal services to issuers and investors involved in the micro-cap and small-cap market in North America. Since this time, we have seen and been involved with several cycles of private and public market changes with respect to how companies raise capital and access the public markets.
For over 19 years we have been providing clear and straight talking advice to our clients. Clarity and understanding of the laws and regulations that apply to you is necessary for you to make the best choices for you and your business. We make sure you get off on the right foot by providing you with advice and direction that takes into consideration where you are heading too not just where you are starting from.
We tend to act more like in house counsel than outside counsel for many of our clients, given their needs for someone who can be more than just an executioner of legal services. We share our knowledge and help our clients achieve their goals by setting out all the options.
We encourage our clients to call before they make decisions that could result in legal complications. Often just one or two changes makes all the difference in the world in avoiding a legal problem down the road or obtaining a strong business result.
Given our client’s needs we operate differently than most law firms. For instance:
We are accessible 24/7. As a client you will have our office and cell telephone numbers. That way we are always close at hand when you need us.
We give practical advice. The law may allow you to do this or that but does it make sense given your particular circumstance? Is there a better way to reach your goal? We combine legal knowledge with a practical approach to your problems and try to avoid esoteric legal advice. We share our experience to advance your business interests.
You set the pace. Priorities are established by your needs and your schedule. Equity markets and deals are fickle. You need to be able to move fast if you don’t want to lose an opportunity to raise money or add to your business. We keep up with the pace you set in order to provide you with the advice, due diligence and documents you need, when you need them, to capitalize on those opportunities.
We will not pass your transaction from lawyer to lawyer – or legal assistant to legal assistant. Large law firms work on a pyramid system. Partners sign-up new clients and other lawyers and staff do the work. Each new person that comes into contact with your file needs to be “educated about your business” and “brought up to speed on the file”. Code for dog-pile billing. As a boutique securities law firm we work differently. The same partner and seasoned legal assistants will deal with your transaction from start to finish.
We provide fixed fee billing. Whenever possible we will provide you with a fixed fee for our services. No unpleasant monthly surprise when you view our invoices. Open the tab on Fixed Fees for more details about our fixed fee pricing of our services.
Services We Provide
Alixe Cormick, our principal, has over 19 years of experience assisting clients of all sizes – from startups to large public companies in all areas of corporate finance and securities law matters. This includes corporate formations, private and public securities offerings, consulting on Canadian and U.S. securities regulation, securities aspects of mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and other going public transactions as well as ongoing corporate and securities compliance advice.
We help our clients understand and navigate complex securities laws and stock exchange rules. Our clients include Canadian and non-Canadian private and public issuers, investors, funds, and registered dealers interested in accessing the North American corporate securities markets. When necessary, we introduce and co-ordinate with other legal and non-legal professionals key to our clients’ transaction success.
Listed below are some of the services we provide and have provided in the past:
- Public and private financings in Canada, the U.S. and overseas;
- Regulation A+ Private Placement Memorandums and Canadian Offering Memorandums;
- Incorporations of companies under the laws of BC, Canada, Nevada, Delaware and other jurisdictions;
- Stock exchange listings and quotes on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE), TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V), NYSE-MKT, Nasdaq, OTCBB and OTC Markets – OTCQB and OTCQX;
- Reverse takeovers of companies on the TSX Venture Exchange and the OTCBB;
- Joint ventures in Canada, US, Asia and Europe;
- Mergers, acquisitions and spin-outs of companies in and outside North America;
- Commercial contract negotiations and drafting.
- Stock option plans;
- Capital and corporate reorganizations;
- Broker-dealer registrations in Canada;
- Establishment and maintenance of investment funds;
- Exemption relief from securities law requirements in various jurisdictions; and
- Assistance with meeting ongoing compliance and maintenance requirements.
Why Fixed Fee Billing?
We prefer to work on a fixed fee per project basis whenever possible. It is our belief that when you are on an hourly rate billing system you are hesitant to call for legal help when you really need it because you are forced to constantly evaluate your need in terms of real time and current expense. We want you to call without thinking about how much its going to cost. Fixed fee billing also provides price certainty which we have found all our clients appreciate. No estimates. No ranges. No vague hourly rates. No complex itemized billing accounts. We also benefit by being able to focus on your project and not filling out detailed time sheets.
How Do You Determine a Fixed Fee?
We determine a fixed fee by looking at a number of different factors. The process at its simplest level involves four steps:
- We determine what you goals are in engaging a corporate-securities lawyer by a thorough discussion with you;
- We scope out your readiness, what items legal and non-legal will need to be addressed in reaching your goals, our level of involvement, and the milestones along the way;
- We discuss with you various options and pricing. If your are satisfied that we can move you to where you want to be, we provide you a retainer letter with a clear statement of scope and a fixed price;
If the terms of the retainer letter are acceptable to you, we ask you to sign the retainer and return a copy to us.
Our fixed fee is a function of the scope of the work and the value we anticipate creating; not the time we spend on it. Our practice area is quite narrow and we have over 19 years of experience in providing corporate securities services. We know what it takes to get the work done and the surprises we are likely to face which are out of our control.
For more information about how we determine our fixed fee pricing for a transaction please read: How Much Does an Offering Memorandum Cost?
What if the scope changes?
We will discuss the changes and then agree on a new scope and price, or charge you at our hourly rate for any add-on items if their scope cannot be readily determined at the outset.
Our prices include everyday disbursement costs.
We are not in the business of making money through photocopies and word-processing. Our fees include these routine costs as part of doing business.
Non-routine photocopying and word-processing jobs are out-sourced and billed to you at cost. We pass along any long distance charges outside of North America, non-local courier charges, and filing fees. We also charge a separate fee for formatting and filing your documents on EDGAR and SEDAR.
Our Principal: Alixe Cormick
Alixe Cormick, our principal, is a lawyer and member of the British Columbia Law Society, the Canadian Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She started Venture Law Corporation in 1996 to focus on providing legal services to micro-cap and small-cap private and public companies.
Alixe has personally been involved with assisting over 150 companies listing on stock exchanges and trading boards in North America, and the sale of over 100 private issuers primarily in the tech and biotech space. She has been involved with a number of private and public offerings, reverse takeovers, spin-outs, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs and other corporate combinations of public and private companies.
Alixe is an active speaker on the topic of crowdfunding, raising capital, and going public at conferences in Asia and North America.
She takes it as a compliment that a number of active and former lawyers regularly request she assist their companies in corporate securities matters when they either have a conflict or a unique issue.
- Life Sciences Institute University of British Columbia – Commercialization Advisory Board.
- National Crowdfunding Association of Canada – Legal Advisory Board.
Mentions in the Media
- Tyler Orton, (2016, November 17). B.C. ‘Playing Catch-up’ as Ontario Unveils New Fintech-Friendly Initiatives. Business in Vancouver.
- Alois, JD. (2016, September 28). Status Quo is Not an Option: OSC Chair Acknowledges Fintech Requires New Approach, Announces OSC Launchpad, Crowdfund Insider.
- O’Brien, Frank. (2016, May 26). Crowdfunding Fails to Gain Traction in Canada. Some See the Online Product as More of a Marketing Ploy than a Financial Strategy, Western Investor.
- O’Brien, Frank. (2016, May 31). Crowdfunding Slow to Gain Traction in Commercial Real Estate, Business in Vancouver.
- Orton, Tyler. (2016, March 22). Marketplace Lending Booms Even as P2P Lenders Face ‘Uncharted’ Regulatory Waters, Business in Vancouver.
- Orton, Tyler. (2016, March 21). Startups Navigate Regulatory Patchwork Amid New Equity Crowdfunding Rules, Business in Vancouver.
- Alois, JD. (2016, February 29). NCFA Prepares for Big Crowdfunding Event this Week in Toronto, Crowdfund Insider.
- Lampert, Allison. (2014, June 24). Real Estate Investors Locked Out of Crowdfunding Craze Over Fear Home Flippers will Move In, Financial Post.
- Andrew, Stefanie. (2014, June 6). The Legalization of Equity Crowdfunding in BC.
- Santry, Charlotte. (2014, June 2). New Money, Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
- Duffy, Andrew. (2014, May 6). Group Aims to Match Startups, Investors , Times Colonist.
- Meagher, Bill. (2014, May 5). States make own crowdfunding rules, rather than wait for SEC, The Deal Pipeline.
- Wallin, Joe. (2014, April 19). State-Level Equity Crowdfunding: The Next Big Thing, Xeconomy.
- Tossell, Ivor. (2014, March 28). Dot-com 3.0. Globe & Mail Report on Business April 2014 Magazine, p. 24-25.
- Parry, Jacob. (2014, March 20). BCSC Proposes New Startup Crowdfunding Rules, BC Business.
- So, Candice. (2014, February 25) 4 Thoughts on the Future of Crowdfunding. IT Business.
- Co-sponsor and Contibutor. (2016, November). 2016 Alternative Finance Crowdfunding in Canada Report, National Crowdfunding Association of Canada.
- Conkin, Bret and Cormick, Alixe. (2015, October 7). Crowdfund Insider – Part Three: Is Culture Killing Equity Crowdfunding in Canada: Real Estate Spotlight. Crowdfund Insider, online magazine.
- Conkin, Bret and Cormick, Alixe. (2015, September 2). Crowdfund Insider – Part Two: Is Culture Killing Equity Crowdfunding in Canada? Crowdfund Insider, online magazine.
- Kosak, Brian and Cormick, Alixe. (2014, Fall). How Much Money Can a Company Keep When Crowdfunding. Private Capital Markets Magazine, p. 68-69.
- Cormick, Alixe. (2014, Spring). The Ontario Proposed Friends, Family and Business Associate Exemption. Private Capital Markets Magazine, p. 30-32.
- McCord, Randy and Cormick, Alixe. (2013, Fall). Tear it Apart: The Anatomy of an OM and the Importance of Investors Understanding It. Exempt Edge Magazine, p. 54-56.
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
- 2017 Canadian Crowdfunding Summit, Mars Discovery District, 101 College Street, Toronto, ON, March 1, 2017.
Past Speaking Engagements in 2016
- Crowdfunding versus Pitching Angels: What Route to Finding Investors is Right for You? The 10th Annual Vancouver Island Economic Summit, Vancouver Island Conference Centre, 101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5J8, October 27 & 28, 2016.
- VanFunding 2016, National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, Imperial, 319 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, October 18, 2016.
- Lessons for Canadian Founders & Investors: What Drives your Success or Failure? Vancouver Start-Up Week, CBRE Offices, 2500 – 1021 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC, September 28, 2016.
- Real Estate Crowdfunding, Canadian Bar Association: Real Property Vancouver Section, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, 2400-745 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC, June 8, 2016.
- 2016 PCMA Private Capital Markets Conference, Toronto Board of Trade, First Canadian Place, 77 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, ON, May 9, 2016.
- 9th Annual Registrant Regulation: Conduct & Compliance, by Strategy Institute, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, April 27-28, 2016.
- Fundica Roadshow – Road Talk, Small Business BC, 601 West Cordova Street, Suite #54, Vancouver, BC, April 15, 2016.
- Greater Vancouver Homebuilders’ Association 2016 Annual General Meeting (Special Guest Speaker), Riverway Clubhouse, 9001, Bill Fox Way, Burnaby, BC, April 6, 2016.
- Community Crowdfunding Summit, Coast Inn of the North, 770 Brunswick Street Prince George, BC, March 16, 2016.
- 2016 Canadian Crowdfunding Summit, Mars Discovery District, 101 College Street, Toronto, ON, March 3, 2016.
- Recent Regulatory Developments in Equity Crowdfunding, Canadian Bar Association: Saskatchewan Securities Law North Section, Saskatoon Club, 417 21st St E, Saskatoon, SK, February 10, 2016.
- Capital Advantage 2016, Seattle, Washington State Convention Centre, 98101, Seattle, WA, January 21, 2016.
Past Speaking Engagements in 2015
- The 9th Annual Vancouver Island Economic Summit, Vancouver Island Conference Centre, 101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5J8, October 28th & 29th, 2015.
- 4th Annual GCCB Conference – Regulation A Plus Master Class, Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, 2000 Fashion Show Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89109, October 26, 2015.
- Capital Advantage: Raising Capital for Your Startup, Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3, October 22, 2015.
- UK Re$earch Money Conference. Facing the Future: How FinTech and Alternative Finance are Transforming the World, Canada House – Trafalger Square, London, England SW1Y 5BJ, October 13-14, 2015.
- VanFunding 2015 Crowdfunding Conference, Library Square – Alice MacKay Conference Centre, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 6B1, September 29, 2015.
- The Future of Alternative Finance: The 2nd Annual CrowdFunding USA Forum, National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC, May 7th & 8th, 2015
- Canadian Equity CrowdFunding Symposium: Crowdfund Beat, The Spoke Club, 600 King Street West, Toronto, ON, May 5, 2015.
- 2015 Funding Roadshow: Vancouver: Fundica, Small Business BC, 601 West Cordova Street, Suite 54, Vancouver, BC, April 29, 2015.
- 2015 Canadian Crowdfunding Summit, Mars Discovery District, 101 College Street, Toronto, ON, March 3, 2015. Video Available.
Past Speaking Engagements in 2014
- Growth Capital Summit, National Press Club, Washington, DC, November 19, 2014.
- Mining Law 2014: CLEBC, Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver, BC, November 5, 2014.
- The 8th Annual Vancouver Island Economic Summit, Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Nanaimo, BC, October 29th & 30th, 2014.
- The 2014 Annual Canadian Equity Crowdfunding Conference: Vancouver, Simon Fraser Wosk Conference Center, Vancouver, BC, May 29, 2014.
- Saskatchewan’s Emerging Equity Crowdfunding Environment, Bessbourough Hotel, Saskatoon, SK, May 28, 2014.
- Igniting Venture Capital in BC: Expert Panel on new Equity Crowdfunding Opportunities, Delta Suite Hotel, Vancouver, BC, May 21, 2014.
- Investors First Evening Launch Party: Following the Crowd – Keeping Up with the Buzz Around Crowdfunding, Where is it Going and What Are the Benefits and Risks to Investors? Laurel Point Inn, Victoria, BC, May 14, 2014
- Growth Capital Expo 2014, Ceasar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV, April 29-May 1, 2014.
- Experts Panel Discussion Equity Crowdfunding and Market Trends, NCFA Canada Webcast, February 21, 2014. Video available.