Lyman Thai

I am an emerging companies and venture capital lawyer who has represented hundreds of startups through all stages of growth.

By the Numbers

I have guided companies, venture capitalists, and other institutional investors through over 200 venture financing transactions totaling over $4 billion of invested capital. With experience across hundreds of companies – and as the former chief in-house lawyer of a venture-backed technology company — clients can rely on me for sound business solutions and empathetic advice.

On any given day, I am advising founders, executives, and boards of directors on the following:

  • Corporate governance
  • Federal and state securities laws
  • Stock and option awards and administration
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Employment, benefits, and compensation
  • Commercial contracts
  • M&A and other strategic transactions – including equity, debt, and convertible instrument (SAFE) financings

Why Innovative Technology?

I love technology and once dreamt of becoming a computer engineer, but these early dreams were dashed by nearly flunking multivariable calculus in my first year of college. Today I support entrepreneurs and inventors in commercializing new technologies with the potential to improve lives and make a global impact. As a Silicon Valley lawyer, I leverage technology at every opportunity in my practice to provide cost-effective and efficient legal services.

My clients span a wide range of industries – including cloud computing, cybersecurity, digital media, enterprise software, financial technology, mobile applications, on-demand services, online travel, social media, software-as-a-service (SaaS), video games, and other emerging businesses and technologies.

Prominent Clients

  • A public cybersecurity company that I represented in their “unicorn” private company financings
  • A public EV battery technology company
  • An on-demand delivery company popular with reality TV stars
  • A leading digital trust and safety company
  • Corporate venture arms, venture capital firms, and startup incubators and accelerators

Why I Chose Foley & Lardner

Foley’s entrepreneurial and collaborative culture aligns with my dedication to legal practice innovation, efficiency, and knowledge sharing. The firm’s extensive and diverse legal experience across its international platform, and its strategic focus on the technology sector, empower me to exercise my creativity in crafting legal solutions for my clients’ novel businesses.

When not in the office, I may be at the park with my family and our dog, exploring neighborhood coffee shops and restaurants, at the poker table, the beach, at a music festival, or reading books – predominantly about business, investments, history, fantasy, and science fiction.


  • University of Michigan Law School (J.D., cum laude)
    • Editor, Michigan Law Review
    • Co-Founder and Production Editor, Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law
  • Harvard University (A.B.)


  • California