Richard E. Honen

Partner Albany, Canada

Rich is the leader of Phillips Lytle’s Startups Practice Team. He focuses his practice in corporate, finance and venture capital law, as well as complex mergers and acquisitions and commercial litigation. Rich provides corporate counsel to a broad spectrum of companies –from startup to Fortune 50 – and has lectured extensively, particularly on topics of corporate law, venture capital and entrepreneurship.

Rich has guest lectured at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University, Albany Law School of Union University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University at Albany, Ithaca College and Siena College, and has served as an adjunct professor at Union Graduate College (now Clarkson University).

Rich authored the chapter on “Legal Issues Affecting Private Equity and Venture Backed Companies” in Representing Private Equity and Venture Capital Backed Portfolio Companies (Aspatore/Thomson Reuters 2010) and was an Editorial Board Member and a chapter editor of “White’s New York Business Entities” (LexisNexis Matthew Bender), a leading treatise on New York corporate law. He is a former general editor for the LexisNexis Practice Insights (LexisNexis Online) and has written many articles on business and corporate issues for local publications.

Rich has served as a judge and mentor in numerous business plan events throughout New York State, including the New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC) – New York’s premier collegiate regional and statewide business plan competition – 43 North, the New York State High School Business Plan Competition, Venture B Plan and competitions sponsored by FuzeHub, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Communitech (Canada). Rich testified before a Joint Session of the New York State Legislature on behalf of Universities of Upstate New York Venture Forum (UNYTECH) in support of a proposed $25,000,000 seed stage fund for university-based startups. This grew out of his testimony regarding the need for a State-sponsored seed investment fund before the Task Force on Diversifying the New York State Economy through Industry-Higher Education Partnerships. Rich has spoken as a panelist for the New York State Writer’s Institute on “The First Amendment & Free Speech Under Attack” (with Floyd Abrams and others; moderated by Ashleigh Banfield), and is a recurring panelist on “The Roundtable” on WAMC, a local NPR Affiliate. In addition, he has spoken at the annual meetings of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) discussing “Large Company-Small Company Collaborations,” the National Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Conference discussing venture investing, the Vermont Investors’ Forum and the American Ceramics Society.

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Honors & Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Named the Best Lawyers® Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Albany, 2021
    • Named the Best Lawyers® Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Albany, 2019
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2007-2009
  • Jeffrey A. Lawrence Lifetime Contributor Award Recipient, Center for Economic Growth, 2016
  • Magical Mentor Award, 2017 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards
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Education & Admissions

Education
  • Albany Law School of Union University, J.D., 1985
  • State University of New York at Albany, B.A., 1982
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • Ontario, Canada – Foreign Legal Consultant
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Speaking Engagements

View All
  • Panelist, WAMC Roundtable, October 3, 2023
  • Speaker, “Start-Up Company Investment Readiness,” CNY Biotech Accelerator, September 2023
  • Panelist, WAMC Roundtable, August 22, 2023
  • Panelist, WAMC Roundtable, July 18, 2023
  • Presenter, “Forming and Structuring Your Company Like a Boss,” SUNY Startup Summer School, July 2023
  • Speaker, “Legal Agreements for Gamers,” Level Upstate 2023, RPI, July 2023
  • Panelist, WAMC Roundtable, June 14, 2023
  • Panelist, WAMC Roundtable, May 3, 2023
  • Judge, 2023 New York Business Plan Competition, Upstate Capital, April 2023
  • Judge, Panasci Technology Entrepreneurship Competition, University at Buffalo’s Blackstone LaunchPad, March/April 2023
  • Panelist, WAMC Roundtable, March 30, 2023
  • Panelist, WAMC Roundtable, March 22, 2023
  • Panelist, “Conquering the Investment Challenge,” MedTech 2022, November 2022
  • Judge, FuzeHub’s 2022 Commercialization Competition, New York State Innovation Summit, October 2022
  • Panelist, “Concept to Commercialization” and “Funding Sources,” Capital Region BioInnovation Forum, Center for Economic Growth, October 2022
  • Panelist, WAMC Roundtable, September 28, 2022
  • Panelist, WAMC Roundtable, September 15, 2022
  • Panelist, The Roundtable, WAMC, July 2022
  • Speaker, Level Upstate 2022, RPI, July 2022
  • Speaker, “Forming and Structuring Your Company Like a Boss!”, SUNY Startup Summer School, July 2022
  • Speaker, IgniteU Summer Accelerator: SME Presentation, June 2022
  • Speaker, “Startup Funding”, Concept to Commercializations Virtual Series, CNY Biotech Accelerator, Upstate Medical University, June 2022
  • Presenter, “Protecting Your Ideas,” Science Meets Business Seminar, Office of Biotechnology and Business Development (OBBD), Albert Einstein College of Medicine, June 2022
  • Judge, New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC), Upstate Capital Association of New York, April 2022
  • Panelist, The Roundtable, WAMC, April 2022
  • Speaker, “Venture Capital and Early Stage Capitalization,” 2022 MWBE & VOB Accelerator, IgniteU NY, March 2022
  • Panelist, “The $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill,” The Roundtable, WAMC, November 2021
  • Panelist, “The Supply Chain Action Plan,” The Roundtable, WAMC, November 2021
  • Judge, FuzeHub Commercialization Competition, New York State Innovation Summit, November 2021
  • Lecturer, “The Business Idea Factory,” Cornell University, October 2021
  • Panelist, “The National Reconciliation Bill: Is the U.S. a failed state?,” The Roundtable, WAMC, October 2021
  • Panelist, “The Innovation Surrounding Renewable Energy,” The Roundtable, WAMC, October 2021
  • Speaker, “Update 2021,” New York State Bar Association, October 2021
  • Mentor, Orientation, Albany Law School, August 2021
  • Speaker, “Forming and Structuring Your Company Like A Boss,” SUNY Startup Summer School, July 2021
  • Judge, Final Round, New York Business Plan Competition, Upstate Capital, May 2021
  • Guest Lecturer, “Protecting Your Ideas,” Cornell University, The Business Idea Factory, October 2015, October 2016, October 2017, October 2018, April 2021
  • Guest Lecturer, “Protecting Your Ideas,” The Business Idea Factory, Cornell University, April 2021
  • Guest Lecturer, “DPOs and SPACs,” Business Law Survey Class, Albany Law School, March 2021
  • Mentor, “Pitch Please,” Blackstone Launchpad, UAlbany, March 2021
  • Mentor, LystenLab: The Gen Z Incubator, LystenNetwork, March 2021
  • Speaker, “Venture Capital and Technology Insights, and How to Best Scale Your Startup Ideas and Initiatives,” SUNY Schenectady Entrepreneur Class, February 2021
  • Panelist, VentureB Series, Center for Economic Growth (CEG), February, 2021
  • Exposium Presentation, Virtual I-Term, Tech Valley High School, February 2021
  • Judge, Capital Region Clash Invitational Tournament, Albany Law School, January 2021
  • Speaker, “Ask Me Anything” (Legal Q&A on Startups, VC Funds and Search Funds), Entrepreneurship Club, Columbia Business School, January 2021
  • Panelist, VentureB Series, Center for Economic Growth (CEG), November 2020
  • Judge, Virtual Pitch Competition 2020, Blackstone Launchpad, UAlbany, November 2020
  • Mentor, Spark Tank Competition, Siena College, Stack Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, October 2020
  • Guest Lecturer, “Law, Technology and the Socratic Method,” Questar III New Visions STEM Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, October 2020
  • Panelist, The Roundtable Panel, WAMC, January, March, April, May, August 2020
  • Guest Lecturer, “Forming and Structuring Your Company Like a Boss,” SUNY Startup Summer School, The Research Foundation for SUNY, July 2020
  • Guest Lecturer, “Legal Agreements for Gamers,” Level Upstate Summer Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, July 2020
  • Guest Lecturer, SUNY Startup Summer School, The Research Foundation for SUNY, June 2020
  • Panelist, “Leading in the Midst of COVID-19,” BizLab-Clarkson Lunchtime Entrepreneurship Series, April 2020
  • Guest Interview, The Unconventional Path: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Stories and Ideas With Bela and Mike, April 2020
  • Panelist, “Strategies to Help Entrepreneurs Survive the Pandemic,” The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) Boot Camp, March 2020
  • Mentor, Mentor Mingle, Blackstone Launchpad at UAlbany, February 2020
  • Guest Lecturer, “Financing the Business Transaction: Equity,” Albany Law School, Business Law Survey, February 2020
  • Panelist, VentureB Series, Center for Economic Growth (CEG), February 2020
  • Moderator, “Navigating Start-up Capital,” New York State Innovation Summit, October 2019
  • Speaker, Opportunity Pathways Networking Reception, Albany Law School, August 2019
  • Guest Speaker, BizLab-Clarkson Lunchtime Entrepreneurship Series, July 2019
  • Judge, New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC), April 2019
  • Speaker, “The Capital Region’s Startup Landscape: What We’ve Done and What We Still Need to Do,” Albany Roundtable’s Civic Luncheon Series, March 2019
  • Panelist, “Pathways to the Profession,” Albany Law School Open House, February 2019
  • Speaker, “Are Lawyers Entrepreneurs?,” The Unconventional Path Podcast, November 2018
  • Moderator, “Beyond Venture Capital: The Deal Economy,”Albany Business Review State of the Region Breakfast, September 2018
  • Guest Lecturer, “Legal Considerations for Startups,” Starting Up a New Venture, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, March 2016, March 2017, October 2017, March 2018, October 2018, April 2021
  • Speaker, “30 Yrs. Educating Upstate NY about Venture Cap & Angel Investing,” Startup Grind Albany, January 2018
  • Guest Lecturer, “Financing the Business Transaction: Equity,” Albany Law School, Business Law Survey, January 2018
  • Panelist, The Roundtable Panel, WAMC, January 2018
  • Judge, Commercialization Competition 2017, FuzeHub, November 2017
  • Moderator, “How to Raise Investor Capital Panel,” Commercialization Competition 2017, FuzeHub, November 2017
  • Panelist, “The First Amendment & Free Speech Under Attack,” “Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World,” New York State Writers Institute Event, October 2017
  • Speaker, “Welcome Remarks,” StartUp Tech Valley Season 5 Kick-off, September 2017
  • Guest Lecturer, “The Legal Workshop,” REVEAL Summer Accelerator Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, June 2017
  • Panelist, The Roundtable, WAMC Radio Show, May 2017
  • Moderator, StartUp Tech Valley Event, April 2017
  • Moderator, “Growing Businesses Through Acquisition,” UVANY, March 2017
  • Guest Lecturer, “Legal Considerations for Startups,“ Siena College, Seminar in Entrepreneurship, February 2017
  • Guest Lecturer, “Financing the Business Transaction: Equity,” Albany Law School, Business Law Survey, February 2017
  • Guest Lecturer, “Business Formation Best Practices,” Clarkson University, Entrepreneurship, September 2016
  • Guest Lecturer, “Protecting Your Ideas,” Ithaca College, Entrepreneurial Innovation, August 2016
  • Presenter, “Founders’ Agreements,” REVEAL Summer Accelerator Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, July 2016
  • Moderator, “Getting Funded,” UVANY Venture Forum, June 2016
  • Presenter, “Legal Considerations for Startups,” Stocchetti Summer Accelerator Program, June 2016
  • Panelist, The Roundtable, WAMC Radio Show, May 2016
  • Guest Speaker, “Technology and the Law,” Questar III New Visions STEM Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, May 2016
  • Guest Lecturer, “The Legal Workshop: Understanding Term Sheets,” Albany Law School, Tech Valley Center of Gravity, March 2016
  • Speaker, The Legal Workshop: Founders’ Agreements, Albany Law School, March 2016
  • Speaker, “Negotiating Term Sheets for Equity Financing,” The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) Growth Strategies & Resources to Execute Boot Camp, October 2015
  • Speaker, “Understanding the Fundamentals of Licensing in the Context of Raising Capital from the U.S. Perspective,” IP, Trademark & Copyright Workshop, September 2015
  • Guest Lecturer, “Financing The Transaction: Equity,” Albany Law School, Business Law Survey, September 2015
  • Guest Lecturer, “Protecting Your Ideas,” Ithaca College, Entrepreneurial Innovation, August 2015
  • Speaker, NY EXCEL CLEANTECH Program, Skidmore College, August 2015
  • Speaker, “Good and Bad Economic Indicators,” Northeast Public Radio WAMC, January 2015
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Activities & Professional Associations

Present Activities

  • Albany Business Review, Leadership Trust, Member
  • Innovate 518, Capital Region Innovation Hot Spot Advisory Committee, Member
  • WAMC radio, Affiliate on Technology and Venture Capital
  • Questar III New Visions Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Guest Speaker
  • The Center for Economic Growth, Former General Counsel, Executive Committee Member, and Director
  • Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, Former Board Member

Past Activities

  • FuzeHub, Inc., Manufacturing Innovation Fund Selection Panel, Chair
  • New York Business Plan Competition, Capital Region, University at Albany – School of Business, Judge, April 2018
  • IgniteU NY Summer Accelerator, Office Hours, June 2017
  • RPI Business Model Competition, Judge, April 2017
  • Union Graduate College (now Clarkson University), Legal Aspects of Business, Adjunct Professor, Fall 2015

Professional Associations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Upstate Venture Association of New York, Inc.

Articles & Publications

Articles

  • Author, “Viewpoint: How Rich Honen Analyzes a Startup’s Potential,” Albany Inno, March 2022
  • Author, “During Startup Week, Let’s Take Tech Valley to Next Level,” Pulse, LinkedIn, August 2018
  • Author, “5 Questions To Ask Your Startup Attorney,” 43North, August 2014
  • Author, “Building Angel Networks in New York State,” Guest Column, New Jobs New York, July 2006
  • Author, “Lawyers Must Understand How to Close, Not Kill, A Deal,” Albany Business Review, August 2003
  • Author, “New Law Will Raise The Bar On Bankruptcy,” Albany Business Review, April 2001
  • Co-Author, “Bank’s Counsel Works Just To Protect The Bank’s Interest,” Albany Business Review, May 2000
  • Co-Author, “Company Must Know How To Protect Its Intellectual Property,” Albany Business Review, December 1999
  • Co-Author, “Recent Law Allows for Historic District Tax Breaks,” Albany Business Review, June 1998
  • Author, “Non-Competes Help Protect Firm’s Information,” Albany Business Review, June 1997

Publications

  • Chapter Author, “Legal Issues Affecting Private Equity and Venture Backed Companies,” 2010 Inside The Minds® Series, Representing Private Equity and Venture Capital Backed Portfolio Companies (Aspatore/Thomson Reuters), December 2010
  • Contributing Author, Legal Handbook for Early Stage Business, Albany Law School, The Center for Law & Innovation, October 2009
  • Editorial Board Member, “White, New York Corporations,” (LexisNexis Matthew Bender), 2006
  • Editor, “Judicial Dissolution,” Chapter 11 of “White New York Corporations,” (LexisNexis Matthew Bender), 2006
  • Co-Author, “From Concept to Commercialization: Practical Insights on the Intersection Between Intellectual Property and Corporate Law,” Bright Ideas (a publication of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association), Fall 2003
  • Author, “Venture Capital Investing in Emerging Growth Regions,” Capital Growth Interactive Venture Guide, April 2001