Richard Bruder specializes in the needs of growing, entrepreneurial companies, including high potential entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and second stage companies.
Richard’s practice includes: helping venture capitalists, angel investors and entrepreneurs negotiate and close funding rounds; representing buyers and sellers in merger and acquisition transactions; creating advisory boards for his entrepreneurial clients; providing “strategic legal advice” and, helping family-owned businesses survive and thrive.
Richard’s ideal clients include: 1) High potential entrepreneurs with a “change the world” business who need a sophisticated, efficient deal lawyer to help them navigate stages of growth. 2) Successful businessmen and women who are presented with the opportunity for a “great deal,” but aren’t sure where to begin to get the deal done. 3) Power users of legal services (second stage entrepreneurs whose business model often requires frequent use of a lawyer) who can experience lower fees and better quality legal services through a relationship-based fixed fee pricing model.
Richard has handled hundreds of early stage companies/funding rounds during his 35+ years of practice. In the past six years he has handled 38 funding rounds since coming to Kemp Klein – about one every other month. Since a funding round takes 60-90 days to close, there has seldom been a time when he hasn’t been working on at least one funding deal during this period, often two or more at the same time.
Richard says, “This work is the most satisfying work that I do. The investors and entrepreneurs that I represent literally ‘change the world’ through the products and services they bring to the market.”
Richard serves as counsel to Plymouth Venture Partners I, LLC (a $20 million early stage investment fund), Plymouth Venture Partners II, LP (a $40 million venture fund), Plymouth Venture Partners III, LP (a $60 million venture fund) and Plymouth Growth Partners IV (a $40 million venture fund); he has also served as counsel to two funds out of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business (The Frankel Fund, led by Professor Tom Porter, and the Social Venture Fund, led by Gautam Kaul, Ph.D.).
Prior to joining the Kemp Klein Law Firm, Richard founded and for 7 years served as managing partner of his own law firm, Enterprise Law Partners, PLLC. Prior to forming Enterprise Law Partners, PLLC, Richard spent 20 years as a senior partner at a prominent business law firm in the metro Detroit area. While at that firm, Richard was a member of the firm’s corporate practice group primarily advising clients on corporate finance transactions as well as mergers and acquisitions activities. His specialty areas included traditional bank financing, mezzanine lending, venture capital, seed and start-up financing, mergers, stock and asset deals as well as leveraged recapitalizations of family-owned businesses.
In his earlier years, Richard practiced law for five years at one of the largest law firms in downtown Detroit, where he engaged in a general practice, representing clients including the Detroit Lions, the Ford Family Foundation, Comerica Bank as well as a variety of other business entities.
In addition to the general experience above, Richard has negotiated and closed the following multi-million dollar transactions: The sale of a family-owned business in a $26 million leveraged recapitalization and sale to a private equity fund, which included tax planning, Hart-Scott-Rodino filings, $11 million of commercial bank financing, and executive employment agreements/real estate leases for the founding family members; $14.2 million asset sale of an advertising agency specializing in the sale and marketing of “elevator music” including advertising spots to one of the largest competitors in the field; $21 million stock sale of a family-owned metal stamper to a Chicago based financial buyer including a reinvestment of a portion of the sales proceeds by the founder’s sons; $40 million asset sale of a video duplicating house to one of the world’s largest video producers; the transaction involved a careful balancing of the asset sale, with a fulfillment/servicing contract between the seller’s affiliate and the buyer, and a complex negotiation of a software license from a third party software vendor; $20 million sale of a nationwide amusement business to a west coast firm undertaking a rollup of similar businesses; multiple angel financing rounds in the $750,000 to $3 million range, in a variety of high-tech, software, and consumer products for emerging growth companies as well as many other transactions involving venture investing, stock and asset sales, and real estate purchase/financing in the $1 million to $10 million range.
Richard has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 in the field of Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law (Copyright 2021 by Woodward/White, Inc., of SC).
J.D., magna cum laude, Wayne State University, 1981;
LL.M., Masters in Taxation, 1985
B.A., University of Michigan (Economics), 1978
Bar and Court Admissions:
State Bar of Michigan, 1981
U.S. Tax Court, 1985
State Bar of Michigan
Family Business Council
Ann Arbor New Enterprise Forum
Michigan Venture Capital Association
Vistage Michigan-Trusted Advisor
Toastmasters (past President of local chapter)
Great Lakes Entrepreneurs Quest (Coach of the Year, 2010)
Tow-Truck Driver or Wingman? How to Get the Most Value From Your Lawyer; Commentator, Summer 2020
Six Legal Issues That Founders Must Get Right; Commentator, Summer 2016
Reg. D – Rule 506 – The Other White Meat; Commentator, Summer 2015
Advisory boards – the power of focus; Commentator, Spring 2015
Fly fisherman on the Au Sable, Boardman and Jordan Rivers in northern Michigan, as well as the Huron and Clinton Rivers closer to home; beekeeper; sailor; instrument-rated private pilot and flies a Cessna Skylane out of Oakland Troy Airport; mindfulness meditation and yoga practitioner (working on touching his toes)
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