For more than 30 years, Scott DeWald has helped clients plan and execute strategies, solve problems, and realize opportunities using business law, primarily in corporate formation, financing and acquisition transactions, and contract negotiations. His clients include public and private companies (startups as well as medium and large businesses), profit and nonprofit corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and government agencies.
Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Finance, Commercial Transactions, and Governance
Scott’s practice is concentrated on mergers and acquisitions, financing and other commercial transactions, raising capital, joint ventures, executive compensation, new business formation, and complex and simple contracts. He has represented buyers and sellers in stock and asset acquisitions and mergers in a variety of industries, including biotechnology, employee leasing, newspapers, banking, e-commerce, university technology licensing, automobile dealerships and auto loan financing, automobile parts and supplies, Internet and e-commerce, software development and licensing, computer hardware manufacturing, plastics manufacturing, computer data services and consulting, cable television, commercial spin-offs of university research, health care, financial institutions, contracting, hospitality, and wholesale jewelry equipment. He has represented entrepreneurs in emerging companies and larger established corporate issuers, underwriters, venture capital investors and angel investors in connection with public and private offerings of debt and equity securities, including debentures and preferred stock financing transactions, spanning startup capital, venture capital, and initial and secondary public offerings. For two airlines, his work involved public offerings of common stock.
Scott has advised boards of directors on a range of issues, including board and shareholders meetings, and has represented executives and companies on employment and executive compensation matters, including employment and severance agreements, stock option plans, and incentive bonus programs, including phantom stock plans.
Nonprofit Corporations and Government Agencies
Scott also practices extensively in nonprofit corporate transactions, including affiliation agreements among tax-exempt organizations and government organizations. He has represented public universities, state agencies, and tax-exempt corporations in collaboration agreements, tech-transfer agreements, and funding agreements. He has negotiated contracts both on behalf of and opposing sovereign Native American governments.
Banking and Lending
Scott has represented lenders and borrowers in secured lending transactions involving a wide variety of collateral. He has extensive experience in banking law, including the formation and regulation of financial institutions, such as banks and finance companies, as well as compliance with securities laws in connection with publicly traded preferred stock of a bank and the sale of the bank to another public company, including executive employment and merger agreements and the preparation of the S-4 registration statement and proxy materials.
Scott represented a local professional sports entity in connection with its offering of securities, purchase of a franchise, and the construction and financing and of a municipal-owned sports facility. For two professional sports organizations, he negotiated agreements with municipalities for the management of sports facilities.
Scott is a member of the Mergers and Acquisition Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association and its Task Force that is drafting the second edition of the Model Asset Purchase Agreement. He serves as the chair of the Legislative Committee of the Business Section of State Bar of Arizona and has been active in drafting and working with state legislators on the passage of over nine Arizona bills governing limited liability companies, corporations and partnerships, including the 2016 Arizona Business Entities Competitive Omnibus Act, 2013 legislation amending the Arizona Corporations Code, 2008, 1998, 1997, 1996 and 1994 legislation amending the Arizona Partnership and Limited Liability Company Acts, interstate banking, and 1990 technical and clarifying amendments to the Arizona Antitakeover Statute affecting Arizona public corporations.
Scott has been listed since 2007 in every edition of The Best Lawyers in America© in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions law and securities/capital markets law. He was listed in 2019 and 2018 Arizona Business Leaders in nonprofit organizations law and was listed in 2014 and 2015 Arizona Business Leaders under law, business and corporate. He is listed in the 2011-2020 editions of Chambers USA© in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. Martindale-Hubbell has rated Scott an “AV/Preeminent Attorney” in securities law and a 2014 "Top Rated Lawyer" in mergers and acquisitions, Martindale's highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. He is listed in the 2007-2020 editions of Southwest Super Lawyers in the area of business/corporate. He was named a 2013 Corporate INTL Global Awards winner. He was named North Valley Magazine's Top Lawyer 2011, in the area of commercial finance. He was also included in the 2010 and 2012 editions of AZ Business Magazine's Top Lawyers in corporate law and banking. Scott has been recognized by B Lab, a nonprofit corporation that certifies B corporations, as an attorney competent to advise clients regarding benefit corporations.
Scott has been recognized for his commitment to pro bono service at the Annual John P. Frank Pro Bono Awards Luncheon, for more than 50 hours of pro bono work every year since 2006.
More About Scott D. DeWald
- J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1981
- M.B.A., University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, 1981
- B.A., Yale University, 1976
- Arizona, 1981
- Arizona Legal Professionals Credit Union
- Arizona Foundation for Blind Children
- Wildest Club in Town, Phoenix Zoological Society
- Kiwanis Club of Arcadia, Past Charter Member, Director and Secretary
- Friends of Arizona Highways Magazine, Past President and Director
- Phoenix Theatre, Past President and Director
- State Bar of Arizona Business Law Section Committee on Rendering Opinions in Business Transactions, Past Member
- Translational Research Advisory Committee
- Technology Deployment Task Force of the Arizona Innovation Network
- Arizona Partnership for the New Economy
- Arizona Technology Incubator
- Valley Leadership Class of XIV, Member
- Arizona Technology Council, Former Board Member and Former Chair, Law and Technology Committee
- Executive Committee of Invest Southwest Conference, Member, 1992-present
- Arizona Venture Capital Conference, Former Chair
- Invest Southwest Conference, Former Committee Co-chair
- Maricopa County Bar Association Corporate Counsel Division, Member at Large for the Board of Directors, Former Secretary
- Business Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona Legislation Committee, Current Chair
- Business Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona Executive Council, Former Chair
- Acquisition of medical practices in connection with reorganization of existing entities by merger and creation of holding company.
- Sale of stock by audio visual services firm catering to large convention customers of major hotels to public company. Included negotiation of warranties tailored to representations and warranties insurance, creation of a new entity to manage certain interim customer services, and negotiation of noncompetition agreements.
- Sale of assets by automobile components remanufacturing firm to public company. Included negotiation of customized accounting principles for purposes of representations and purchase price adjustments, lease to buyer of real property retained by seller affiliate, environmental indemnities and noncompetition agreements.
- Sale of stock by transit advertising firm to public company. Included negotiation of possible price adjustments upon election under IRC Section 338(h)(10), negotiation of consents of municipalities to assignment of contracts with municipal airports, substitution of letters of credit securing company performance and encumbering company assets, as well as employment and noncompetition agreements.
- Sale of assets by bioscience product company holding patented water purity testing technology to public company. Involved payoff procedures through escrow of over 100 creditors, including holders of convertible notes and warrant holders, and earn-out provisions based on milestones over 24-month period.
- Sale of second-generation business selling to national and international markets in jewelry-making supplies. Handled all aspects of the transaction for the seller, including negotiation of the engagement with nationally prominent investment banker, confidentiality agreements with prospective buyers, and the acquisition agreement with ultimate buyer; multiple nonvoting shareholders granted powers of attorney and drag along rights; precious metals inventory price fluctuation required unique closing price adjustment procedure.
- Negotiated acquisition agreement for buyer, a Canadian corporation owned by a Canadian municipality, in the purchase of stock of a regulated public utility (water company) from a public corporation. Coordinated firm handing of a variety of environmental, real estate, bond financing, regulatory, water rights, and zoning and land use issues involved in the transaction.
- Represented public building materials company buyer in purchase of assets from aggregate and ready-mix company, including negotiation of the acquisition agreement and extensive due diligence regarding numerous mining sites in Arizona involving real property, permitting and environmental issues, and a deferred purchase note that entitles the buyer to offset environmental remediation costs.
- Represented sellers of health care facilities, one a nursing home in Tucson, Arizona and a pair of specialty hospitals combined with nursing facilities in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
- Represented public forest products company as buyer of LLC interests in major local homebuilder, and later represented company in severance and non-competition negotiations with management.
- Represented seller of LLC interests in heavy electrical contracting company, involving multiple entities, to a public company headquartered in another state, with negotiated limitations on indemnification liabilities relating to union labor contracts.
- Represented buyer in acquisition of new automobile franchise involving strategies for risks of seller creditor claims.
- Represented seller of third generation private company in sale of national park concessions operations, sale of home improvement retail/wholesale centers, sale of hospitality properties, and sale of building materials division.
- Represented seller of high-tech plastics manufacturer to public company, featuring escrow of retention bonus; previously represented seller in establishment of joint ventures in Brazil, Ireland, and Asia and growth through purchase of assets.
- Represented seller of employee “leasing” and benefits firm in sale to public company.
- Represented private cable television and telecommunications company in numerous sales and purchases of cable television systems and eventual sale to national operator.
- Represented wholesale distributor of health foods in sale of assets to public company and multiple prior stock purchase acquisitions including merger of three Florida corporations.
- Represented buyer (U.S. subsidiary of public Japanese company) in acquisition of industrial valves manufacturer.
- Represented seller of blueprint software company in sale to public company.
- Represented laptop semiconductor manufacturer in recapitalization and later sale of assets to National Semiconductor, Inc.
- Represented Spanish language media company in sale to national chain of newspapers and television stations.
- Represented management of atomic microscopy company in management buy-out from public company, reorganization and later sale to Agilent Technologies.
- Counsel to major hospital chain in sales of numerous hospitals, sale of joint venture assets to a physician entity, sale of home healthcare facilities, and creation of limited liability companies as vehicles for a home health care joint venture with a public company.
- Represented buyer in asset purchase of aggregate supplier in Utah essential for retail market penetration, including rights under aggregate mining lease to quarry rock products, real property lease for distribution center, and land use issues.
- Formed joint venture between multiple tax-exempt nonprofit blood banking organizations to create blood testing organization to operate testing laboratories in several states. Negotiated governance documents containing voting and buyout provisions.
Complex Commercial Contracts
- Negotiated arena lease and management agreement for prospective purchase of professional sports team in negotiations with municipality, drawing upon firm’s experience representing a prior bidder for the team out of bankruptcy and Scott’s negotiation of a similar arena lease for the Phoenix Suns.
- Negotiated commercial online gaming contract for a Native American tribe for the management of the prospective business of online gaming in California, including website management, in order to form an alliance for the lobbying of final legislation and capitalize on the resources of a major entertainment management company and a sovereign tribal community, providing flexibility for contemplated features of legislation not yet passed.
- Negotiated state economic development funding contract for bioscience research organization and amendments protecting state against reductions in employment within the state.
Nonprofits and Universities
- Structured alternatives for merger to acquire Arizona nonprofit educational institution, including exemptions from real property and sales taxes.
- Negotiated multiple affiliation agreements for nonprofit blood bank.
- Represented seller in strategic sale of blood bank operation assets to exit geographic market.
- Advised university on formation of entity in connection with collaboration among several universities involving sustainability measures for industry.
- Negotiated and documented spin-off of university’s solar panel testing operations to a private company, retaining an interest through an affiliate of the university’s alumni organization.
- Advised universities on legal structure of bioscience organization attracted by state universities, and later represented universities in the negotiation of a collaboration agreement with the new nonprofit corporation.
- With international counsel structured and formed Mexican nonprofit corporation and ownership vehicles to own research center used for archeological work in Mexico and potential other Mexican activities related to education.
- Helped structure nonprofit corporation that operates charter school that collaborates with university teaching programs.
- Worked on numerous matters for marketing and licensing entity specifically formed for the commercialization of university technology; created template for new entities to use as they are launched from university and seek private capital.
- Advised on license relating to a parking structure with solar panels on rooftops over buildings and parking lots.
- Provided legal opinions relating to university ownership of non-economic LLC membership interests in ventures.
- Advised on formation of entity to operate law firm employing university law school graduates.
Counsel to Boards
- Represented state banks in matters ranging from growth through acquisition to sale to public company.
- Has advised numerous boards of directors regarding conduct of board and shareholder meetings.
- Has advised executives and companies on employment and executive compensation matters, including employment and severance agreements, stock option plans, incentive bonus programs, secured credit facilities, and other lending transactions.
- Formation and later sale of assets of cost-accounting software company to publicly held corporation.
- Has advised and mentored numerous startup businesses.
- Sports: Represented a local professional sports entity in connection with its offering of securities, purchase of a franchise, and the construction and financing of a municipal-owned sports facility. For two professional sports organizations, negotiated agreements with municipalities for the management of sport facilities.
- Litigation: Representation of surviving co-founder and affiliates in litigation with heirs of deceased co-founder over buy-sell agreement for corporate shares.
- Litigation: Representation of Japanese public company in international arbitration over commercial contract.
Honors & Recognitions
- The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Aiken, S.C., Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Securities / Capital Markets Law, 2007-2021
- Southwest Super Lawyers, Business/Corporate, 2018-2021
- Chambers USA, Corporate/M&A, 2011-2020
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent™ rating, 2019
- Arizona Business Magazine, AZ Business Leaders, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019
- Four Lewis Roca Lawyers Named AZBusiness Leaders 2020AZBusiness, 11/22/2019
- Scott DeWald Recognized as 2019 Volunteer of the Year Finalist of AZBusiness Angel AwardsAZBusiness Angel Awards, 11/7/2019
- Honors & Recognitions, 04/8/2021
- Press Release, 08/20/2020
- Press Release, 04/24/2020
- Honors & Recognitions, 04/6/2020
- Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Attorneys Recognized as 2019 Southwest Super Lawyers® and Southwest Rising Stars®04/15/2019
- Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Attorneys Recognized as 2018 Southwest Super Lawyers® and Southwest Rising Stars®04/23/2018
- Press Release, 08/15/2017
- Press Release, 2017-05-31
- Press Release, 04/4/2017
- Press Release, 2017-04-11
- Press Release, 04/12/2016
- Press Release, 03/22/2016
- Arizona Attorney , 03/1/2019,
- Legislation enables electronic meetings and easier written shareholder consents and corrects common issues affecting Arizona corporations and partnerships, 07/22/2016,
Presenter, “Arizona’s New LLC Act,” AFIT, July 2019 (AFIT is the Arizona Forum for Improvement of Taxation, a coalition of the Arizona State Bar, Arizona Society of Enrolled Tax Agents, Arizona Association of Accounting and Tax Professionals, and the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants with liaison from the Internal Revenue Service and the Arizona Department of Revenue.)
Presenter, “Mergers & Acquisitions—Part I: Early Stages of M&A Transactions: From Decision to Sell Up to the First Definitive Draft Agreement” and Part II: “Indemnification,” State Bar of Arizona's Annual Convention, June 2019
- Speaker, "Arizona’s New LLC Act," Attorney General's Office, October 2018
- Speaker, "Balance Profit with Purpose, Pros + Cons in becoming a B Corp," CoHoots, October 2018
Presenter, "Arizona’s New LLC Act: Promoting Certainty and Protecting Freedom of Contract Part I: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know," and “Part II: Expanded Coverage for Drafters of Operating Agreements," State Bar of Arizona's Annual Convention, June 2018
- Presenter, “Choice of Jurisdictions Face-off: Should I form in Arizona, Nevada, or elsewhere,” State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention, June 2016
- Presenter and Seminar Co-chair, “Arizona Benefit Corporations,” State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention, June 2015
- Presenter, "Fresh Harvest: Arizona's New Amendments to the Corporation Code and New Crowdfunding Exemption," Business Law Section, State Bar of Arizona, March 2015
- Presenter, Pathway for Maximizing Business Value, October 2012
- Presenter, Advising Entity Management - Fiduciary Duties, Indemnification, and Director and Officer/Errors and Omission Coverage, State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention, June 2012
- Presenter, Business Law in Divorce and Estate planning, State Bar of Arizona, June 2010
- Presenter, Doing Deals in a Down Economy, 2010
- Presenter, Advising Clients in a Distressed Economy, January 2009
- Presenter, Transforming the Wealth of your Business through Succession of Sale, March 2008
- Presenter, Drafting LLC Agreements, National Business Institute, September 2006, February 2005, June 2003 and October 2001 and Lorman Education Services, June 2002
- Presenter, HB2779: Fair & Legal Employment Act, July 2007
- Presenter, Drafting Opinion Letters, April 2007
- Presenter, Recent Developments and Prospective Legislation in Business Entity Name Selection, State Bar of Arizona, October 2005
- Presenter, Growth Strategies for Bootstrapped Companies - Building Shareholder Value in Today’s Market, February 2005
- Presenter, Intellectual Property Issues, Securities Laws and Regulations, and the Term Sheet, TVC, December 2004
- Presenter, 21st Century Opinion Letter Drafting, Annual State Bar Convention, June 2004
- Interviewed in 2002 on Sky Radio regarding Mergers and Acquisitions
- Lectured and published numerous others articles on limited liabilities companies, nonprofit corporation boards, securities, venture capital, legal opinions, e-commerce, and the Uniform Commercial Code
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