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welcome

Welcome

Kaleo is the Greek word for “A Calling.”

Our calling is to redefine the way law is and should be practiced. With diverse backgrounds ranging from in-house counsel at publicly traded companies to partner at an AmLaw 200 law firm, our team is sophisticated, innovative, and perfectly suited to fulfill your business and legal needs. We have abandoned the billable hour and expensive overhead so that we can provide comprehensive business and legal services at a fraction of the cost.

We offer a  broad range of services to startups, large and small established businesses, and public and private entities.   We advise clients on the best way to manage legal risk while driving business growth and achieving exceptional business results.  Our work for public and private companies includes functioning as a virtual general counsel, serving as a fractional member of an in-house legal department, overseeing all legal operations (including hiring and managing outside counsel), and performing as an integral part of the executive team. We rely on strong interpersonal and communication skills, allowing us to build relationships that facilitate better results in communications between management, boards of directors, investors, and counter-parties. In addition to our areas of legal and business expertise, we also offer a skilled and experienced team of trial lawyers handling complex commercial, civil rights and toxic tort matters around the country.

Like our clients, we work smarter.  Having abandoned hourly rates, big law firm bureaucracies, and outsized overhead, we pass substantial savings on to our clients while efficiently fulfilling their legal and business needs.

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Our Team

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Brian A. Wainger

Brian’s diverse experiences from nearly twenty-five years in the practicing law providing a unique background for his work as a true general counsel. He began his career as An assistant attorney general and state prosecutor, before working in the commercial litigation department of McGuireWoods. He left McGuireWoods to serve as the General Counsel of a NASDAQ listed entertainment company, and started Kaleo Legal in 2008 to offer an innovative, lean approach to the practice of law in which the lawyer also becomes a valued business consultant. Although Brian has been recognized by Best Lawyers since 2017 for commercial litigation, he spends most of his time handling corporate and commercial transactional work for our clients on a fractional in-house counsel basis.

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Tina McRae

As an experienced attorney specializing in corporate and securities law, corporate governance and compliance, Tina has broad experience advising public and private company clients on a wide range of regulatory and transactional matters. After graduating from law school at the University of Virginia, Tina practiced as an in-house corporate and securities attorney at Norfolk Southern Corporation, a Fortune 400 NYSE company, until 2006. Tina then served as an adjunct professor of law at Regent University School of Law, until joining Kaleo Legal. Tina brings strong interpersonal and communication skills to every relationship, allowing her to facilitate better results in communications between management, boards of directors, investors and counterparties. She demonstrates an innate ability to quickly integrate into an organization and add immediate value.  She serves as a fractional General Counsel for a number of clients in the sports and entertainment, consumer products, government contracting, and technology industries.

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William R. Poynter

Billy Poynter focuses his practice on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, and all aspects of software creation, development, and implementation, in addition to dispute resolution of both IP and general business disputes. After graduating from law school at UVA, Billy spent one year practicing at a large firm in Washington, DC, before clerking for The Honorable Alvin A. Schall, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Prior to joining Kaleo Legal, he served as the co-chair of the Intellectual Property Litigation practice at Williams Mullen, and the vice-chair of the Intellectual Property Section. Throughout his practice, Billy has represented domestic and international companies of all sizes and types, including startups, mid-sized companies, and Fortune 500 companies, in various industry sectors such as software, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications, and transportation.  He currently serves as fractional General Counsel and Chief IP Counsel for a number of software and technology companies, in addition to providing other clients with in-house counsel services, on a fractional basis.

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John Swingle

John Swingle focuses his practice on intellectual property law, including patent prosecution in particular, and he serves as fractional in-house patent counsel for a Fortune 500 company.  After graduating from Harvard Law School in 2007, John spent three years in California as an associate in one of the country’s largest IP boutique law firms. More recently, John worked as an associate in Williams Mullen’s Intellectual Property Section.  John is well versed in all aspects of IP evaluation, acquisition, licensing, and enforcement.

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Will Dickinson

Will Dickinson focuses his practice on building clients’ intellectual property portfolios, protecting their brands, negotiating software and technology licenses, and enforcing clients’ intellectual property rights. Will has broad experience with intellectual property matters, including copyright and trademark counseling and registration, licensing, litigation, due diligence, domain-name (UDRP) arbitration, and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board matters. Throughout his career, Will has helped clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies with large trademark portfolios, to small and mid-sized business with important intellectual property assets, to state agencies with mission-critical IT systems.  Will serves as fractional in-house counsel for a number of software and technology companies, in addition to alcoholic beverage clients and consumer products companies.

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Shep Wainger

Shep is not your traditional litigator. He is a true trial lawyer with more than 25 years of experience trying and winning large and small cases before juries in Hampton Roads and around the country.  For the last 10 years, Shep has served as national coordinating counsel for an American automobile manufacturer, managing the scientific defense of thousands of asbestos-related claims.  He currently serves as Daubert/Frye counsel in asbestos litigation and as lead trial counsel throughout the country, obtaining numerous defense verdicts, including in Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and Arkansas.

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Shauna Barnes

Shauna Barnes provides trusted counsel to companies, with a particular emphasis on highly-regulated industries facing tough choices in the marketplace. She has a decade of experience giving legal advice, serving most recently as General Counsel for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. In that capacity, Shauna helped launch a distillery, introduce cans to market, and navigate over a dozen strategic distribution partnership changes. She also has extensive experience counseling executive and management teams on legal, compliance and regulatory risks surrounding day-to-day operations, strategic planning, international expansion, product rollouts, and major promotions and marketing campaigns.

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Ryan V. P. Dougherty

Ryan focuses his practice on state and federal court litigation in Virginia and the District of Columbia, having developed his practice at two American Law 100 law firms.  At Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC, Ryan defended a company against class action claims relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Additionally, he maintained an active pro bono practice at A&P, which included co-drafting an amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the American Bar Association.  As an attorney in McGuireWoods’ commercial litigation section, Ryan represented clients in a wide variety of industries – from Fortune 100 financial institutions to local entrepreneurs – at all levels of the Virginia state and federal court system.  For each of his cases, Ryan focuses on developing an assertive and effective litigation strategy consistent with each client’s business goals.

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services

Services

  • Corporate Law
  • Securities Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Venture Capital Transactions
  • Startups
  • Employee and Executive
  • Compensation
  • Business Organization
  • Corporate Governance and
  • Compliance
  • Private Equity
  • Intellectual Property
  • Entertainment Law
  • Technology and Software
  •  Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Toxic Tort Litigation
  • Municipal and Civil Rights Litigation
  • Insurance
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Recognitions

Kaleo Legal has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms in 2019 for both Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation in Norfolk, as well as for Corporate Law in Richmond.  Brian Wainger is recognized individually for Commercial Litigation, and Billy Poynter is recognized for IP Litigation and Trade Secret Law.

Chambers USA 2019 currently ranks Tina Bingham as a Recognized Practitioner for Corporate/M&A Law in Southern Virginia, and Billy Poynter in Band 2 for Intellectual Property Law in Southern Virginia.  In their evaluations, the firm’s clients emphasized Billy’s “extensive experience across a range of contentious IP matters including patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret matters,” in addition to his work advising on IP portfolio transactions.

Kaleo Legal’s attorneys are also recognized in Virginia Superlawyers, and in Virginia Legal Elite by Virginia Business Magazine.

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Our Story

Brian Wainger started the predecessor to Kaleo Legal in 2008, having just left the general counsel position at a public NASDAQ company. As general counsel, he recognized that the billable hour system does not create alignment between the client’s goals and outside counsel’s incentives. So Brian began providing GC services on a flat fee, monthly retainer basis to his client. Tina Bingham joined him in 2009, when she returned to Norfolk Southern, where she had previously spent her career as a full-time in house lawyer. Tina specializes in public securities and private equity law, in addition to general corporate law.  Billy joined them in 2014, after spending most of his career as lead counsel on large-scale intellectual property litigation around the country. He was attracted to the idea of redefining the relationship between client and counsel, on a basis other than billable hours, something Tina and Brian had already perfected over the past several years. Together, we have built a practice that consists of primarily two types of alternative fee arrangements: (1) a fractional general counsel practice, on a fixed monthly retainer, and (2) flat-fee, per-project arrangements.

We aim to become part of our clients’ executive teams, providing not just sophisticated legal services but business consulting advice as well. John Swingle joined us in 2015, specializing in intellectual property law, and bringing a patent prosecution specialty to the firm. And Will Dickinson joined our Richmond office in the fall of 2017, continuing to provide intellectual property and litigation services to our clients. Together, the five of us cover most of the legal services our clients need.  When the occasional project arises that calls for outside expertise, we partner with a short list of firms with whom we have very strong relationships, to get the work done for our clients in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

Because we have a strict policy of working with very little overhead, we are able to keep our fees extremely low compared with larger law firms who have similar expertise and resumes. We have no full time secretaries or associates. When we need to, we have relationships with staffing firms and part-time temps, whom we rely upon to ramp up for specific projects. Otherwise, we have a largely virtual practice, and each of us maintains physical offices at several of our clients’ locations. Our ability to minimize costs is just one differentiator from most other firms, and provides us with the flexibility to enter into any number of financial arrangements with our clients.