Richard A. Lyons

Richard A. Lyons

t: 510.834.6600
f: 510.834.1928


University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law; J.D.

University of California, Irvine; B.A.

  • Profile

A partner and chair of the firm’s food and beverage practice, Richard is highly experienced in corporate, securities, and intellectual property (IP) law. He co-founded the firm’s intellectual property and green business practice groups and has deep insight in a broad range of business and legal matters. Richard is passionate about helping visionary companies meet their objectives.


Versed in all aspects of the “business of business,” Richard guides clients in legal matters related to operations, organization, financing, and mergers and acquisitions. He assists clients in entity formation, corporate governance, shareholder agreements, equity and debt financing, distribution and vendor agreements, covenants not to compete, and employment agreements, and has represented companies and investors in venture capital rounds and private equity transactions.


Richard has represented both companies and professional investors in countless  exempt private securities transactions, including founders, accredited investors, venture capitalists, private equity, family offices, and strategic investors. He is experienced with disclosure and registration requirements under state Blue Sky and federal securities laws. He has advised clients on private placement memoranda, stock purchase agreements, structuring investor preferential returns, representations and warranties, and related ancillary agreements.

Intellectual Property

Richard is experienced with trademarks, trade secrets, copyright and patent licensing, and advises clients concerning the selection and clearing of trademarks, the protection of trademarks, and infringement issues. He has represented retail brands and businesses involved in digital entertainment and production services. With a background in computer programming, Richard has substantial legal experience advising software companies and, developers of  enterprise products, including  cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) .

Food and Beverage

For more than two decades Richard has guided food and beverage companies, including natural and organic businesses and investors, in matters related to growing, manufacturing and production, co-packing and contract manufacturing, distribution, retail and online retail, food service, consumer brands, FDA labeling requirements, and third party certifications, such as Organic, Non-GMO and Fair Trade. He has also worked on product recalls and product recall insurance coverage issues.

  • Represented investor in sports equipment manufacturing company in sale to Dutch public company for $150+ million.
  • Represented seller of software as a service to major U.S. public cable company.
  • Represented investor in Canadian natural food company in $100+ million sale to public U.S. company.
  • Represented venture capital fund as lead or co-lead investor in 15 financings in the natural foods and products industry.
  • Represented real estate entrepreneurs in connection with offerings by 12 LLC’s raising approximately $50 million from investors.
  • Represented consumer products company in $5 million Series A offering.
  • Represented organic food company in $5+ million Series A offering.
  • Represented organic food company in $3+ million Common Stock offering.
  • Represented natural online retailer in convertible debt offerings.
  • Represented buyer in leveraged buy-out of ingredient supply company.
  • Represented CGI-based creative services company in more than 30 transactions with major and independent film studios, advertising agencies and game companies.
  • Represented major land owner in Altamont Pass in connection with $100+ million repowering wind projects.
  • Represented municipal utility in contracts with power suppliers and users of substation facilities.
  • Represented fair trade organic food company in $5 million Series B offering.
  • Represented organic and fair trade food manufacturer in acquisition of North American trademark rights and worldwide trademark registration matters.
  • Represented largest West Coast distributor of natural food in merger that created the largest U.S. distributor of natural food.

Alameda Chamber of Commerce

  • Past president, 1999 – 2000; director, 1997 – 2002

Trans Pacific National Bank

  • Director, 1996 – 2010

Inner City Advisors

  • Director, 2003 – 2006

Silicon Island Technology Consortium (SITCON)

  • Co-chair, 1996 – 2001; association of East Bay technology companies

California Jazz Conservatory

  • Director and corporate secretary, 2002 – present

California State Bar Association

  • Member, Corporations Section, 1982 – present
  • Member, Intellectual Property Section, 1990 – present

Alameda County Bar Association

  • Member, 1990 – present

Wakefield Jazz Sextet

  • Member (guitarist), 1998 – present

Richard was a co-host of The Wendel Forum, Wendel Rosen‰’s weekly radio interview program that aired Saturday mornings on 960 KNEW AM Radio in 2012 and 2013. Past episodes of the program are hosted on the Green Business Practice Group’s blog archive located at

He is a contributing author to the firm’s Food and Beverage Law Blog.


Are Your Options Underwater?

Are Your Options Underwater?

04/21/2020 | Wendel Rosen LLP

Equity incentives – often in the form of stock options – are a key part of  executive compensation.  Option holders work for a company exit that can produce a big…

Full Article
What Startup Entrepreneurs Need To Know About Crowdfunding Before They Raise Money

What Startup Entrepreneurs Need To Know About Crowdfunding Before They Raise Money

01/20/2014 | Wendel Rosen LLP

Note: Originally published in the January 20 online posting of JD Supra. Consider Crowdfunding in Tandem with a Reg D Offering If you are going to take on the expense…

Full Article


So You Did/Did Not Get a PPP Loan, Now What?

So You Did/Did Not Get a PPP Loan, Now What?

05/11/2020 | California Craft Brewers Association

California Craft Brewers Association presents “So You Did/Did Not Get a PPP Loan, Now What?” on May 11, 2020 with featured speakers Richard Lyons, Partner and Co-Chair of Wendel Rosen’s…

Full Article
Legal Workshop for Tech Entrepreneurs

Legal Workshop for Tech Entrepreneurs

06/27/2013 | 2.Oak

Wendel Rosen and 2.Oak will co-host a panel presentation, “Legal Workshop for Tech Entrepreneurs,” from 11:30 to 1:00 on Thursday, June 27, 2013 in the David I. Wendel Conference Center, 1111…

Full Article


University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law; J.D.

University of California, Irvine; B.A.

Richard A.'s latest blog post