Overview

Layla is a partner in the firm’s Corporate Transactions & Securities practice group. She draws upon her diverse corporate legal experience to counsel clients on transactions throughout the business lifecycle. Layla focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions and emerging company and venture capital transactions. Layla counsels clients acquiring and selling companies, including private equity buyers and sellers, as well as strategic acquirers and operator sellers. She focuses on middle-market transactions, and her experience includes closing deals across industries.

She has extensive experience advising emerging companies and venture capital funds. She counsels investors and growth companies through the venture capital financing process. She also serves as outside general counsel to early stage and emerging companies without in-house legal support, including advising them on structuring complex commercial arrangements. Her work with entrepreneurs began as a law student clinician at the Bluhm Legal Clinic Entrepreneurship Law Center. Layla remains committed to serving her community and increasing opportunities for underrepresented founders. She has mentored startups and often been invited to speak on early-stage company legal issues.

Layla’s diverse deal experience also includes debt financing, such as representing lenders in commercial loan transactions. Her role as a business adviser is further enhanced by her experience acquired before law school in finance and accounting at a global consumer products company.

Experience

Examples of Layla’s experience include:

Emerging Companies & Venture Capital

  • Represented $125 million venture capital fund client in portfolio company convertible debt and early to late stage equity investments and IPO and M&A exits
  • Represented $500 million venture capital fund client in portfolio company convertible debt and early to late stage equity investments, typically as lead investor
  • Represented $70 million venture capital fund client in portfolio company SAFE, convertible debt and early stage equity investments
  • Represented a venture capital fund as lead investor in its investment in a consumer products company
  • Represented startups in initial limited liability company or corporate formation and exchange/conversion into a Delaware corporation
  • Represented technology enabled specialty clothing company in its Series Seed financing
  • Represented health and beauty products company in its convertible debt and Series A financings led by a corporate venture capital investor
  • Represented a technology client in a convertible note financing
  • Represented a cannabis client in its convertible note financing
  • Represented a $65 million venture capital fund in its final fund closing
  • Represented a $50 million fund in the formation of second venture capital fund
  • Represented a leading Midwest venture capital fund in the formation of its second venture capital fund

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Represented a public company buyer in its $11 million asset acquisition of a commercial real estate company
  • Represented a chain of over 25 pharmacies in its $25 million sale to a strategic buyer
  • Represented medical equipment manufacturer in its $17 million sale to a private equity buyer
  • Represented operating company in its acquisition of pizza manufacturer and retailer
  • Represented a specialty cooling client in its $35 million bid to sell the company
  • Represented a private equity buyer in its $300 million add-on acquisition of a specialty battery manufacturer
  • Represented a franchisee in its sale of a specialty fitness franchise
  • Represented a distributor of manufacturing equipment and products in the $7.4 million sale of a portion of its assets to its primary supplier
  • Represented a document storage company in the sale of its electronic document storage business to a strategic buyer
  • Represented a specialty financing company in its $60 million sale of the business to a private equity buyer
  • Represented a private equity fund in the acquisition of a specialty supply company
  • Represented a regional health insurance provider in its $22 million sale to a strategic buyer

Outside General Counsel

  • Served as outside general counsel to and drafted, reviewed and negotiated commercial contracts for companies in various industries

Commercial Lending & Specialty Finance

  • Represented commercial lenders in initiating and extending asset-based loans to finance working capital and transactions and refinance existing debt. Loan values ranged from approximately $5 million to $25 million
  • Represented a specialty financing company in capital lease financing transactions
  • Represented a debt fund in its formation of a bridge financing fund
Presentations
  • Presenter, “Technology, Protection vs. Collaboration (Protecting What You Are Building),” iTEC Conference Houston, November 2018
Distinctions
  • Illinois Emerging Lawyer in Closely & Privately Held Business, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Securities & Venture Finance Law, Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers, 2020
  • Named to The National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, 2018
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Texas State Bar Association
  • Women’s Association of Venture & Equity (WAVE)

Community Activities

  • The Junior League of Houston, Inc.
News