As a partner in Gould & Ratner’s Corporate Practice, Robert Chidester provides strategic counsel to investment firms, family offices and middle-market businesses in the United States and abroad on a range of corporate matters, including capital raises, securities issuances, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial contracts. He also regularly serves as an outside general counsel, advising on both complex transactions and routine operational matters.
Rob has extensive experience helping clients manage strategic technology assets, especially in matters relating to “clean tech”, ESG, and cryptocurrency matters. He also represents clients in the cryptocurrency space that provide software products, consulting, and other services, with a specific concentration in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space.
Rob also has experience in managing intellectual property acquisitions/divestments, as well as international patent registration strategies, and he has worked with clients in the acquisition of distressed assets through the bankruptcy process.
Some of Rob’s more recent successful transactions involving private equity and venture capital investments in technology companies include:
- Assisting family offices in clean energy technology investments or ESG funds, with an investment valuation of $100 million
- Structuring/forming a syndicate investment group for purpose of deploying approximately $100 million of capital into clean energy projects
- Managing three rounds of cross-border investments of $30-40 million total into lithium-ion battery technology company
- Helping several family offices, funds and entrepreneurs make cryptocurrency investments ranging between $50-100 million, primarily in the decentralized finance space
- Representing the lead investor in a $20 million investment into a nickel-zinc battery technology company
Rob prides himself on his ability to guide his clients in navigating complex business issues, having been on all sides of the attorney-client table and having a strong background in financial modeling. Before rejoining private practice, he served as general counsel for a large family office, worked on the first raise of capital for an energy focused private equity fund, and has worked in all aspects of the energy industry.
Before he started practicing law, Rob previously served as a financial and policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Energy's Laboratory System. There, he evaluated energy technology research and energy infrastructure projects in China and Northeast Asia. As noted above, Rob maintains his involvement in the energy industry, working with both financing parties and operating companies in the clean energy, environmental and social consciousness industries on matters related to waste heat recapture, energy storage and solar energy.
Rob was named a "Notable Rising Star in Law" for 2021 by Crain's Chicago Business.
Admitted in Colorado, Minnesota and Pennsylvania only; not admitted or licensed to practice law in Illinois.
- University of Colorado Law School, J.D., 2012
- Whitman College, B.A., Political Science , 2008
Key Cases or Transactions
- Represented a syndicate investment group for nearly a decade in the formation and structuring of the organization, as well as the deployment of ~$100 million of capital into the clean energy space.
- Represented a US-UK syndicate investment group that invests in the ESG, energy storage and medical industries, in domestic trade investment negotiations and closings.
- Represented the lead investor in the $20 million investment into a nickel-zinc battery technology company, and the transaction had a pre-money valuation of ~$200 million.
- Represented a client who was the lead investor in two sequential rounds of a lithium ion battery technology company, where the client invested $15 to $30 million.
- Led the investment and restructuring of a waste heat recapture company, including making a $5 million investment and restructuring the company to account for new circumstances.
- Represented a client in three discrete rounds of investments (over five years) in a solar technology company, and the transaction included both equity and convertible debt, for a total investment amount of between $15 to $20 million.
- Represented a cross-border client in three rounds of investment of $30 to $40 million into a lithium-ion battery technology company (with a pre-money value of $150 million) over the past four years.
- Represented a company that converts waste materials into carbon tax credits, both in the United States and internationally, in various carbon tax markets.
- Represented an investor who invested $5 million in a unique LED technology that alters the wavelength emitted by LED technology to improve agricultural yields.
- Represented several family office clients in clean energy technology investments, or ESG funds, with a valuation of $100 million invested in various funds.
- Represented a shipping company that transports goods and various products using clean waterways in the Northeast United States, using electric vehicle barges as a way of reducing emissions.
- Represented a $5 million investment into cell tower technology that improves 5G cell phone tower deployment.
- Represented an early stage software as a service provider (SaaS) that delivers business-to-business and peer-to-peer lending products for non-bank lenders and small and mid-sized banks.
- Represented a consulting client that helps customers design, build and deploy cryptocurrency miners at third-party locations to conserve electricity and create an alternative source of revenue. Additionally, they provide containerized solutions, designing a cost efficient, heat efficient and cooled location to run the computing hardware.
- Represented several family offices, funds, and other investors in cryptocurrency investments ranging between $50 and $100 million, primarily in the decentralized finance space.