FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Christopher M. Cerrito

Dickstein Shapiro LLP

Stamford, CT, USA


Christopher Cerrito is a partner in Dickstein Shapiro’s Corporate & Finance Practice. He focuses on solving the business needs of start-ups, as well as representing venture capital investors and middle market and Fortune  1000 corporations. In addition to serving as general outside counsel for many companies across various industries, Chris handles mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, corporate governance issues, and intellectual property issues. Chris has specific experience with technology and consumer product companies and transactions. His experience in technology and trademark licensing complements the needs of his clients.

Education
Boston College, B.S., 1993, magna cum laude
Boston College Law School, J.D., 1996, cum laude

Bar and Court Admissions
Connecticut New York

 AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
Chris works with early stage and middle market companies whose growth and profitability are driven by technology products and services and consumer products. His representation often starts with advising on the formation structure of the entity, continues with representing the companies in financings, day-to-day contracts, contracts that are significant to the growth of the company, advising on various other issues as they may arise, and ultimately assisting the company in it preparation for and consummation of its liquidity event, whether an equity sale, asset sale, merger, or otherwise.

Chris often serves as special counsel representing private companies engaged in mergers and acquisitions or other strategic alliance transactions (with both public and private companies), and Fortune  1000 companies undertaking mergers, acquisitions, or strategic alliances with private middle market targets.

Chris represents both individuals and entities providing seed funding as well as venture capital to growth companies, particularly when investments are in technology and consumer products companies.

Chris represents both licensors and licensees of various types of intellectual property, including software, patented technology, trademarks, and trade secrets.

He often advises the boards of private companies on various matters including their duties to the shareholders or members of the companies.

Chris also advises companies and executives in connection with employment contracts and incentive compensation. His involvement with employment contracts and incentive compensation structures when acting as outside general counsel to emerging growth companies extends to representation of companies or executives when not representing the company generally.

BACKGROUND
Chris came to Dickstein Shapiro from a national firm where he was a partner focusing on the same type of representation.

Chris is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society for his achievements in his undergraduate business degree. He also received the award recognizing him as the top student of his undergraduate business class heading to law school.

He graduated with great honors from undergraduate and with honors from law school.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Chris sits on the board of directors of the Connecticut Technology Council.

He serves as a judge in the business plan pitch competition at the Connecticut Innovation Summit, an event bringing technology companies from across New England and the Mid Atlantic to present their companies to investors. The event is sponsored in part by the Connecticut Technology Council and Connecticut Venture Capital Group. He also serves as the MC for the finals of the competition.

OUTSIDE THE FIRM
Chris is an avid skier, having started at the age of 5. He also enjoys waterskiing, wakeboarding, basketball, tennis, golf, and spending time with his wife and three children.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTER EXPERIENCE
Represented Solais Lighting, Inc. in connection with a merger with and into a wholly-owned subsidiary of PowerSecure International, Inc., a NASDAQ traded Company. Consideration was a combination of cash and stock.

Representation of a gourmet popcorn manufacturer, in connection with the negotiation and documentation of its credit facility.

As general outside counsel for a well-known, fast-growing consumer products company, represented the company in multiple rounds of financing, negotiated supplier and customer agreements, advised the board on various issues including the establishment of special committees, and worked with the senior business team to provide practical advice in light of business positioning.

Following the acquisition of the businesses of several entities in the health care information space by a

Fortune  500 client in which he led or assisted in the various acquisitions, drafted the new form of master licensing agreement encompassing both the existing and newly acquired products and services.

Assisted a start-up client in its negotiations with a large international health care entity for the licensing of the client’s patented infrared light technology with the field of hematology, including validation testing of the application.

RECENT NEWS AND VIEWS
Speaking Engagements
2013 Connecticut Innovation Summit, November 7, 2013
Test My Pitch Workshop, Connecticut Technology Council Innovation Summit, October 4, 2013

HONORS AND AWARDS
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, February 2014
Connecticut Super Lawyers, October 2013
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, March 2013
Legal 500: The Client's Guide to the US Legal Profession, 2012
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, March 2012

AREAS OF FOCUS
Corporate & Finance
Mergers & Acquisitions
Private Equity
Alcoholic Beverages
Consumer Goods & Services
Information & Technology
Biotechnology & Life Sciences
Securities

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