About Chris Covington
I have been a business lawyer for over 30 years, and have used my legal, financial and management experiences in a wide range of positions.
Early in my career, as an associate and partner in a 40-attorney San Francisco Bay Area law firm, I learned that I enjoyed working with CEO’s, CFO’s and other key management members on “bet the company” transactions, and naturally gravitated toward Mergers and Acquisitions. My initial years focused on developing my expertise in the basics – due diligence and the documentation of transactions. As I assumed more responsibilities and worked more closely with clients – both buyers and sellers – I enjoyed learning what financial considerations were critical to their business objectives.
I also learned that I thoroughly enjoyed building businesses, and embraced the notion that business executives need solutions, not detailed explanations of what cannot be done. That understanding also resulted in my developing expertise in multiple business-related practice areas – from securities to commercial leases, and from managing litigation to conducting a shareholders’ meeting. The focus of an effective business counsel must be on providing real-world, cost-effective solutions for a wide variety of problems and businesses.
That understanding also resulted, in part, in my decision to go in-house and becoming a senior executive and the General Counsel at dynamic companies that completed their IPO’s during my tenure. During the 1990’s, I was the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Vanstar Corporation (formerly known as Computerland), where I assisted in its transformation from a global franchisor of retail computer stores to a $2.7 Billion, 7,000-employee direct seller of hardware, software and technology services to the Fortune 500. I was also able to further my interest in Mergers and Acquisitions, by managing an acquisition program which resulted in the company acquiring over 25 businesses, with combined sales exceeding $1 Billion.
I subsequently became the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Interland, Inc., a web hosting and Application Service Provider (an “ASP”). At both Interland and Vanstar, I managed the legal function and prepared each for their successful IPO’s. I also managed each company’s consideration of strategic alternatives and their eventual mergers with other public companies. After the sale of Interland to a competitor, I became a Senior Assistant General Counsel at Wal-Mart, providing general counsel services to its $15 Billion global procurement division, and supervising the provision of legal services for 28 offices in 16 foreign countries.
More recently, I have combined my understanding of the financial issues critical to successful mergers and acquisitions with my years of knowledge from both documenting and managing transactions to work as an investment banker, assisting both public and private companies make acquisitions, sell their companies, or sell divisions of their companies. I have been a principal at Martin Wolf Securities, LLC, a FINRA registered broker dealer providing Mergers and Acquisitions services primarily to the technology market, since 2004.
PREVIOUS POSITIONS HELD
- During the 1980’s – my first decade of practice – I was a business attorney for two San Francisco Bay Area firms, and a partner at Hardin Cook Loper Engel & Bergez.
- During most of the 1990’s (until 1999), I was the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Vanstar Corporation (fka Computerland), a NYSE $2.7 Billion, 7,000 employee seller of hardware, software, and technology services to Fortune 500 companies.
- In 2000 and 2001 I was the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Interland Corporation, a NASD web hosting and Application Service Provider.
- In 2003 and 2004 I was a Senior Assistant General Counsel at Wal-Mart, providing general counsel services to its $15 Billion global procurement division, and supervising the provision of legal services to 28 offices in 16 foreign countries.
- Since 2004, I have been a Principal at Martin Wolf Securities, LLC, a FINRA registered broker dealer and investment-banking boutique providing Mergers and Acquisition services to the technology market.
- Before going to law school, I was a Captain in the U.S. Army, and was both an Assistant S-3 for a battalion in Florida, and an Executive Officer for a HAWK battery in Germany.
ADMISSIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
- State Bar of California
- United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California
- American Bar Association
- Contra Costa County Bar Association
- Alameda County Bar Association
- FINRA registered representative, with Series 7, 24, 27 and 63 licenses
- Member, Association for Corporate Growth (“ACG”)
- Member, Provisors
- Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. [Sacramento, California, Salzburg, Austria, and Copenhagen, Denmark.]
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.