Reed Smith has brought on Marc Hauser, who recently chaired Napa Valley boutique GVM Law’s cannabis law department, to help grow its cannabis law practice.
Hauser moved from Chicago to California’s Napa Valley during the winter of 2017, drawn by the Golden State’s better weather and thriving wine industry. However, as more states legalize the use of cannabis, the self-proclaimed “wine nerd” has also found himself getting more involved in deals relating to the cannabis industry.
“The legal cannabis industry is still relatively new in this country and quickly changing,” Hauser said. “As more investment capital comes in, as competition from the legal Canadian companies comes in, as companies are quickly trying to gain a national presence, as a result, there is a lot of consolidation.”
Hauser joined Reed Smith last week as counsel in its global corporate group, and co-vice chair of the global firm’s cannabis law team. At Reed Smith, Hauser will represent businesses and investors in the cannabis and hemp industries, advising on transactions and risk-related matters.
“Deals are getting bigger and bigger, the industry is now solidly in the middle market,” he explained. “There is an opportunity for national and international firms to help out and provide the kind of legal work that is necessary to get a large deal done.
Hauser began his legal career at Goldberg Kohn in Chicago in 1998, later moving to Sachnoff & Weaver, which merged with Reed Smith in 2006. He then joined Equity Group Investments in 2002, a Chicago-based private investment company founded by Sam Zell, as associate general counsel. He spent 15 years at the investment firm before moving over to Napa’s GVM Law.
“I’ve known Marc for nearly two decades, and I’m thrilled that he has joined Reed Smith,” Matt Petersen, co-head of the firm’s global corporate group, said in a statement. “Marc is a corporate attorney who has structured and advised on all types of complex transactions, bringing a practical approach to business and risk issues that impact all businesses and investors. His dual perspective, coming from both in-house and in private practice, is a great addition to our strong transactional practice.”
Reed Smith, which has been expanding its cannabis law practice on both coasts, now has a total of 19 lawyers advising the cannabis industry, including 16 partners, according to its website.
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At his Reed Smith profile page they write
Marc is a member of our Global Corporate Group and is the co-vice chair of our Cannabis Law Team. He has over two decades of experience advising clients and colleagues on billions of dollars of business transactions, both working in-house and at law firms.
After starting out practicing corporate law, securities law, and capital markets finance, Marc joined Equity Group Investments, a private investment company founded by Sam Zell, a Forbes-listed multi-billionaire and active corporate and real estate investor. As Associate General Counsel at EGI for over 15 years, Marc advised on billions of dollars of complex investment and acquisition transactions across industries and asset classes.
Marc’s transactional experience covers a broad range of industries and asset classes, including private equity and venture financings, acquisitions and dispositions, governance, restructurings and workouts, debt financings, real estate transactions (including acquisitions, financings, and leasing), and complex tax structuring.
In addition, Marc’s deep, international network of professionals and investors throughout the cannabis, CBD, and hemp industries gives him access to an extensive knowledge and skill base to benefit transactions and businesses. This allows him to generate a macro perspective on deals and industries and advise growth companies on strategy and positioning. Marc works closely with his clients to find the optimal route for growth and exit, balancing risks and maximizing optionality.