LOS ANGELES — Lewis Feldman, the founding chair of Goodwin Procter's Los Angeles office, has left the national law firm to run a firm that advises and invests in crowdfunding platforms.
He left the law firm to concentrate on Heritage Capital Ventures LLC and Heritage Technology Services, two firms he founded in January 2015 that focus on digital technology applied to financial services and security. He is also an investor in crowdfunding sites including Realty Mobile, Patch of Land and Crowd Street.
"I have had a wonderful run at Goodwin Procter," Feldman said. "It has been an honor and privilege to be the founder of the California offices and to see how well things are doing and continue to do."
Feldman said he made a decision last year to step down as chair of Boston-based Goodwin Procter's Los Angeles office. Goodwin Procter partner Dean Pappas replaced Feldman as chair of Goodwin Procter's 35-attorney Los Angeles office in June 2014.
Feldman led the firm's public finance practice until his last day at Goodwin Procter on Sept. 30.
Feldman joined Goodwin in 2006 to found its Los Angeles office; and then helped grow the law firm's presence in California to three offices with 130 lawyers, Regina M. Pisa, chairman of Goodwin Procter said in a statement.
Pisa attributed the firm's rapid growth in California to Feldman's "leadership and vision."
Feldman, 59, has advised clients on $100 billion in debt and equity financings in private and public real-estate transactions, transportation and infrastructure. He has made a career of working at the apex of public-private partnerships. He has served as counsel for cities working on short-and-long-term financings to build infrastructure and with developers like Five Point Communities involved in major developments in northern and southern California to structure the financings for their projects.
In addition to running the new firm, he will continue to work with clients with which he has longstanding relationships.
A veteran of both the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s Feldman has learned to find where opportunities lie during economic shifts.
He recalled giving a pep talk to the attorneys he managed after the 2008 economic crash in which he told them law firms have survived other economic crashes by shifting the focus of their practice to match opportunities as the economy changed.
"You have to be ready to pivot" as new opportunities emerge, Feldman said.
Feldman is pivoting into an industry that has typically been driven by youthful wunderkinds, who founded businesses by creating products with a team working out of a garage.
Heritage has an advisory group that helps people understand the application of online technologies to create efficiencies as well as to launch their own online crowdfunding sites, Feldman said. The firm also has a private equity fund that focuses on digital technologies and a real estate private equity fund that invests in income properties.
Alon Goren, one of the leading crowdsite builders, is the firm's lead software development engineer. Tracy McWiliams, an investment banker, is a co-founder.
Crowdfunding, a process of using an online platform to raise money for a project or business venture, started out as a way to raise money for non-profit ventures, but the concept has grown exponentially over the past two years as a way to fund projects or business ventures - and Feldman wants to be part of the new world.
The industry has grown globally to $16.2 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $34.4 billion in 2015, according to Massolution, a report from crowdsourcing.org, which tracks the industry.