Corporate and Securities

HKW’s experienced corporate team takes a no-nonsense, pragmatic approach to corporate law and business transactions that is more responsive and effective than the typical corporate law firm. We never lose sight of our clients’ business objectives and always provide sound and meaningful legal and business advice to help them meet their goals. We often use non-traditional billing arrangements; such as flat recurring or transaction specific fees that align our interests with those of the client more closely than rigid billable hour fee schedules.

In-House and Big Firm Experience

HKW’s corporate lawyers have a unique combination of high level in-house (including public company general counsel) and big firm experience that allows them to provide pragmatic, common-sense and cost-effective solutions to sophisticated corporate legal issues. Our lawyers understand the business realities behind the legal issues they handle, and strive to solve problems creatively rather than just identifying (or erecting) barriers to a company’s business objectives. Put simply, any lawyer can spot issues, but it takes a superior lawyer and business advisor to figure out the most effective way to protect a client legally while always keeping in mind the business objective at hand.


Our business lawyers work to deliver clear, practical legal advice in plain English, rather than hiding behind legalese. We pride ourselves on adding real business value for our clients. We solve problems effectively, cost-efficiently and resourcefully.

Flat Fee Arrangements

Many clients have a legal role that needs to be filled on a regular basis, but prefer not to hire a full-time general counsel or in-house attorney. Our lawyers are experienced in designing monthly retainers and project-based, fixed-fee billing for a full range of business projects that a typical in-house lawyer faces–and can handle these projects at a fraction of the cost it would take if billed by the hour. See more about our flat fee arrangements by clicking here.

Corporate Practice Specialties:

HKW lawyers have experience in handling all types of corporate transactions, with particular emphasis on the following categories.

Commercial Transactions, Contracts and Leases

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Corporate Governance

Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients at the board level, and often help prepare for and attend board and committee meetings. We help our clients ensure they are using industry-accepted best practices without burdening management with unduly complex governance processes.

Debt Financings

We have represented both borrowers and lenders in numerous commercial financing transactions from simple note offerings to subordinated and mezzanine debt to complex credit facilities and secured transactions.

Franchisor/Franchisee Agreements

HKW lawyers have represented numerous franchisors and franchisees with respect to negotiation and preparation of UFOCs and franchise agreements, and are well-versed in both federal and state regulations applicable to franchises.

Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions and Counseling

HKW lawyers have experience handling all types of intellectual property transactions, from the initial protection and registration of intellectual property, trade secrets and other intangible assets, to the licensing and enforcement of patents, trade marks, copyrights, and trade secrets and proprietary technologies. When necessary, our corporate lawyers can seek the assistance of our intellectual property litigation group when addressing our clients’ intellectual property related needs.

International Transactions

HKW has years of experience handling international business transactions. Scott Wharton served as Chief Legal Officer for Digiquant, a Danish telecommunications software company and as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of LHS, a German-based telecommunications software company with dual listing on the Neuer Markt of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. During his time with these companies, Mr. Wharton negotiated and closed business transactions of all sizes and types in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Joint Ventures

Our attorneys have handled large joint ventures involving Fortune 500 companies and international corporations.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Our attorneys have served as primary counsel in many of the largest merger and acquisition transactions in the Southeast, representing buyers, sellers and sometimes as special counsel to the board of directors or a specific shareholder group.

Outside General and Corporate Counsel Services

HKW corporate lawyers regularly serve as dedicated outside general or corporate counsel for our clients, typically on a flat monthly fee basis. We offer a defined, flat monthly fee service that allows clients of all sizes to meet their ongoing need for day-to-day legal support on an outsourced basis.
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Outsourcing Transactions

HKW lawyers have handled large human resources, data center, information technology and other business process outsourcing agreements and RFPs.


We have served as securities counsel in transactions from small private placements to IPOs. We have ample experience in conducting Regulation D private offerings, as well as helping in-house counsel meet ongoing reporting requirements for public companies.

Shareholder Relations and Agreements

We often handle complex shareholder disputes and negotiations, both as corporate counsel and on behalf of one or more shareholders or shareholder groups.

Stock Option Plans and Agreements

HKW’s lawyers are well-versed in the quickly changing world of equity compensation, including newly revised tax rules governing valuation of options and deferred compensation arrangements.

Venture Capital Transactions

Our attorneys have represented issuers or investors in hundreds of venture capital transactions, including some of the largest in the Southeast, from initial seed rounds to late series rounds and bridge transactions.