We cover your everyday legal needs so that you can focus on growth.

We help companies of all flavors launch, from biotechs with significant IP assets to your classic two-coders-and-a-dream, and we help companies at various stages, from seed to public, protect and assert their intellectual property—inventions, slogans, creative works, you name it. If it's visionary and it's yours, we want to have a go at it. (And if someone disputes that it's yours, well, we'll take them to court and have a go at them.)

As we’ve thought through what sets us apart, we keep coming back to the thought that startups and other companies poised for growth need precise, SOPHISTICATED counsel.

We can give you that right advice at the right time.

We’re proud of the fact that Ridgeline Venture Law is Tennessee's only Certified B Corporation law firm. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. We’re also a 1% for the Planet certified law firm, and donate 10% of all client fees to nonprofits focused on social enterprise and environmental conservation. When you partner with us, you are in a way giving back to your community through our support to local nonprofits, sustainability practices, and model pro bono work.

For us, being a good “corporate” citizen comes second only to helping our clients prosper.


TEAM

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Kevin Christopher

Kevin Christopher is a registered patent attorney and San Francisco Bay Area expat with a penchant for startups, mountaineering, and his little girl’s Cheerio crumble charms. His practice areas include intellectual property prosecution, licensing and litigation, benefit and alternative company structures, and commercialization. 

Being a Certified B Corporation necessitates community engagement, and to that end Kevin sits on various local and statewide boards dedicated to sustainability and social empowerment. 

He is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law Class of 2017, Advisory Board Member for Chattanooga's INCubator and Cookeville's Biz Foundry, Executive Council Member for the Tennessee Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section, and Mentor for Chattanooga's Co.Lab, Nashville's Social Enterprise Alliance, and Tennessee's Life Science Network.

If you’re a glutton for punishment, you can read more about Kevin here.


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MICHAEL SOMMERS

Michael is our international guru and newest addition, most recently serving as in-house counsel for a large, multinational company in Germany. His practice areas include corporate law, intellectual property, complex transactions, insurance, arbitration and litigation. Michael also happens to be an expert at camel riding, finding the cure for jetlag, hunting down the northern lights, and searching for remote sites in the Alps to pitch a tent.

An avid cyclist and trail runner, Michael naturally has a thing for sustainable business practice, community engagement, and of course, Chattanooga. Our B Corp mission and center of the universe location were the perfect drivers to relocate him from a wait-til-you're-a-parent life of stellar beer and weekenders to the Maldives. 


 


XAVIER Brown

Xavier Brown is the 2017 Entrepreneur in Residence at Ridgeline Venture Law. (Xavier is a Millennial, but we try not to hold it against him.) True to his millennialism, Xavier helps us identify and develop tools that enable us to serve clients better.

This increased efficiency, in turn, puts us in a position to donate 10% of all fees to local environmental and social impact nonprofits.

We love being able to do that.

Xavier's tech entrepreneurship experience also gives us a richer understanding of the challenges that some of our clients face as they build new companies and disrupt markets. Tech has a tendency to do that, and by keeping his pulse on the latest trends, Xavier brings a deeper, wider perspective to Ridgeline Venture Law.

 

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ALEXANDRA SMITH

Alex is our SVP of Corporate Sponsorship, SVP of Market Research, and SVP of Intern Affairs. She suggested that a fancy title would look good on her grad school applications, so we gave her three. They're well deserved. 

Alex liaises with our B Corp, One Percent and Access Fund partners, zeros in on market trends and players to help us craft better patent and trademark strategies, and generally keeps the rest of us from over-duding one another.