Ken Stratton

Chief counsel

As Chief Counsel, Ken Stratton heads our corporate and litigation practice groups and manages our San Francisco office.


  • Corporate Law & Securities

  • Mergers & Acquisitions

  • IP Licensing

  • Civil Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation

  • Labor & Employment Law

  • General Business Practice

  • Cannabis Law

Bar Admissions

  • California


  • New York University School of Law (J.D., 1994)

  • N.Y.U. Stern School of Business (M.B.A. in Finance, 1994)

  • University of Pennsylvania (B.A., with honors, English & Political Science, 1990)


Ken Stratton joined us as our Chief Counsel in December 2017 after spending nearly 25 years as a successful business attorney, both in private practice and at life science companies in Northern California. Most recently, Ken was the President and General Counsel of StemCells, Inc., a publicly traded biotech developing human neural stem cells as a treatment for several diseases and disorders of the central nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury and age-related macular degeneration.

As Chief Counsel, Ken heads our corporate and litigation practice groups and manages our San Francisco office. After running legal departments of various shapes and sizes, Ken is excited to be in a position to help grow the firm and shape the cannabis industry. Over the years, Ken has advised international conglomerates and local start-ups and everything in between; he appreciates that cannabis companies face unique challenges and have unparalleled opportunities in both California and beyond. Ken is prepared to apply all his talents, experience and energy to help the firm’s clients secure their place in the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

Before leading the legal function at StemCells, Inc., Ken held roles of increasing responsibility at various life science companies, including an oncology company and an international medical device company. Before going in-house, Ken was a corporate and securities attorney at a global “AmLaw 50” law firm and he was a litigator at the largest labor and employment law firm in the country. Ken has resolved over 100 disputes to his clients’ satisfaction and he has negotiated successfully over 200 financings and strategic transactions for his clients, including mergers and divestitures, IP licenses, joint ventures, equity and debt offerings, employment and contractor agreements, and various business collaborations.

Representative Deals

  • StemCells, Inc. (Stem Cell Sciences):  Successful acquisition of Stem Cell Sciences, a publicly traded UK-based specialty cell media company, with operations in England, Australia and the United States, for $4.5MM in registered shares of STEM and forgiveness of $700,000 in debt.
  • Medtronic, Inc. (AngioLink Corporation):  Successful acquisition of a vascular closure device company for $84 million, including acquisition agreements, employee retention agreements and amendments to existing supply contracts.
  • Intel Corporation (nSerial Corporation):  $65 million acquisition of nSerial Corporation (chip design), including acquisition agreements, employee retention agreements and amendments to existing supply contracts.
  • Structural and Materials Reliability Technology (The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company):  Successful management led buyout (MLBO) of an operating subsidiary (engineering services), secured note amendments and related debt and security agreements, merger agreement, and private placement memorandum.
  • Investcorp ( Successful $4.5 million investment, in cash and cancellation of debt, by Investcorp in (internet printing services), resulting in Investcorp’s acquisition of approximately 65% of’s voting securities and majority control, including cancellation of existing debt, issuance of new debt to certain investors, and issuance of voting and non-voting stock.
  • GlobalCenter (Exodus Communications):  Acquisition of GlobalCenter (web hosting) by Exodus Communications for approximately $6.5 billion in restricted stock, including proxy solicitation and international diligence efforts.
  • Ophthalmic Imaging Systems (Premier Laser Systems):  Threeway corporate acquisition by an Israeli medical devices company as part of a bankruptcy workout, including loan agreements and stock purchase agreements, SEC filings and board advice.
  • PeopleSoft (Oracle): Defense of PeopleSoft against the hostile tender offer by Oracle Corporation, including the drafting of Schedule 14D-9 and other SEC filings, amendments to poison pill, press releases and resolutions of PeopleSoft’s Board of Directors.
  • Medtronic (Genzyme Corporation): Execution and management of a joint venture agreement for the development of combination products using human cardiac cells and medical devices.
  • StemCells, Inc. (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine): Lending agreements for up to $40MM for the development of human neural stem cells for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and spinal cord injury.
  • Multiple equity and debt financings to raise in excess of $500 million, including the successful negotiation of registered direct, CMPO and ATM sales agreements and commercial lending agreements.
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