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Richard A. Lyons

Phone: 510.834.6600
Fax: 510.808.4672
E-mail: RLyons@wendel.com v-card


Richard, a partner in the firm, practices business and intellectual property (IP) law.  He has worked with green businesses for more than two decades. He was a key player in putting together the nation's first utility-scale, institutionally funded wind power project.  He was lead counsel on the merger that created the first and largest national natural foods distributor.   As a co-founder of Wendel Rosen’s green business group in 2002, he helped Wendel Rosen become the first certified green law firm in the country. 

Richard also co-founded a clean-tech company in the mid-80’s to manufacture thin film solar cells.  With his co-founder, he pitched the company to venture capitalists.  In retrospect, they were a little early in the cycle, but the experience gave him a deep appreciation of the needs of new ventures.

As a business lawyer, Richard is experienced with business operations, organization, financing, and mergers and acquisitions, including choice of entity, corporate governance, shareholder agreements, equity and debt financing, distribution and vendor agreements, covenants not to compete, and employment agreements.  He has represented companies and investors in venture capital and angel funding rounds throughout his career.  He enjoys working with founders and senior management of entrepreneurial private companies. 

As an IP lawyer, Richard is experienced with trademarks, trade secrets, copyright and patent licensing.  This IP expertise has led to representation of businesses involved in feature films, music and the media.  With a background in computer programming pre-law school, Richard has also had substantial legal experience advising technology industry clients regarding the development, licensing, acquisition and distribution of different types of technology, including software, the internet, hardware and bio-tech. 


  • University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law; J.D. (1982)
  • University of California, Irvine; B.A. (1971)

Close Admissions

  • State Bar of California
    • Member, 1982 to present

Close Publications

  • Independent Power, contributing editor on law and finance topics, 1985 to 1990

Close Affiliations

  • Alameda Chamber of Commerce
    • Past president, 1999 to 2000; director, 1997 to 2002
  • Trans Pacific National Bank
    • Director, 1996 to 2010
  • Inner City Advisors
    • Director, 2003 to 2006
  • Silicon Island Technology Consortium (SITCON)
    • Co-chair, 1996 to 2001; association of East Bay technology companies
  • Jazzschool
    • Director and corporate secretary, 2002 to present
  • California State Bar Association
    • Member, Corporations Section, 1982 to present
    • Member, Intellectual Property Section, 1990 to present
  • Alameda County Bar Association
    • Member, 1990 to present
  • Wakefield Jazz Quartet
    • Member (guitarist), 1998 to present

Close Speaking & Teaching

  • “Hot Topics for California Manufacturers: Public Offerings for Private Companies & Who Owns Your Improvements,” East Bay Manufacturing Group, October 2013
  • "Act Local: Think Metric: Preparing for Global Partners," presenter, California Clean Tech Innovation, Oakland, California; November 2, 2011
  • "How Hot Triple Bottom Line Companies Raise Money in a Cold Environment," Moderator, Natural Products Expo West, March 6, 2009
  • University of California, Berkeley Extension
    • Business and Management Department, Adjunct Faculty, including courses on mergers and acquisitions and business start-ups
  • "Mergers and Acquisitions of Natural Products Companies," Lohas Market Trends Conference, speaker, July 2000
  • "Buying or Selling a Business," Lorman Education Services, Oakland, 1999