Daniel P. Kahn : a NTIC law firm in Sophia
Kahn and associates business lawyers international chambers specialized in new technologies creates a branch at the CICA. The promoter, lawyer for Yahoo! among others, explains.
If its establishment doesn't make a real difference in terms of employment (one person at the moment), it does in fame for Sophia Antipolis : Kahn & Associates chambers has just opened a branch at the CICA ( International Centre in Advanced Communications). It is the only French branch of this business lawyers international chambers specialized in new technologies ( 62 persons including 40 lawyers). These chambers are famous all over the world. Last week, they were given the award of the 'European Technology Law Firm of the Year' during the e-business Forum organized by the European Technology Forum. A trophy competed by another international law firm, Bird & Bird and Osborne Clarke.The branch of Sophia will be run by Fabrice Perbost, one of the lawyers of the law firm. However, for its opening, Daniel P. Kahn came along to Sophia Start-up and to a business breakfast at the CICA to introduce and explain its establishment on the urban research park. Associated promoter of the law firm, lawyer for Yahoo! otherwise, he was aiming to set up a community service firm, when settling out of Paris.Sophianet.com : how did you come to this specialization in new technologies? Daniel P. Kahn :I focused on the technology sector from the beginning, that is to say from the opening of the law firm in 1998. I had already worked for technological customers previously. I continued in 1998. At the beginning, I was considered like a fool. To open a law firm specialized in new technologies! This beat revealed to be not as crazy as that! I met Steve Jobs while working for Next, and thanks to Next, I was on the web very early. This sector of NTIC has grown and allowed our expansion. From now on, we own a large office in Paris, a branch in Sophia and several branches abroad.Sophianet.com : why did you choose Sophia Antipolis rather than another place?Daniel P.Kahn :I met once the Senator Laffitte a few years ago who told me about the urban research centre. The other thing is that the law firm has already a few customers there. There is many interesting projects on the park and also in the region. We can find research centres, competences and projects. There is a local need. However, international people focused on new technologies and who practice the business law are rare.We have five categories of customers : large international groups, investment businesses (venture capitalists), e-business companies listed on the stock market and start-ups. Sophianet.com : quelle est votre 'politique' plus particulièrement en matière de start-up ?Sophianet.com : what is your 'strategy', particularly towards start-ups?Daniel P. Khan :I don't believe in the service exchange against an interest. If we acquire an interest within a start-up, we pay for it. We have done it already for a dozen of cases. However, the start-up will pay our services. There is less ambiguities in this way. We can provide punctual services which can lead to an assistance.Sophianet.com : what kind of advice can you give to start-up promoters? Daniel P. Kahn :There are many possibilities for start-ups. However, it is necessary to be very selective and study the possibility of raising money. Without a turnover, it is impossible to set up projects. It is all the more necessary to set up its company on a good basis. If you want to expand rapidly, it is better to set up a limited company rather than a limited liability company.The first advice would be to seek advice from a specialist from the beginning. He will help in the setting up of the company, in the drafting of work contracts which need to be well established, in the definition of the relationship between employer and employee, in the sharing of tasks between associates. There is a minimum of things to define, a minimum of rules to establish in the shareholders'pact linking the promoters.'