Jay Bettinger is a corporate partner and business attorney in Holland & Knight's Los Angeles office. Mr. Bettinger mobilizes and leads teams of attorneys to respond to client needs by leveraging the firm's capabilities efficiently and effectively with regards to capital markets, takeovers, workouts, reorganizations, bankruptcy, litigation, class action defense, government lobbying, national security, regulatory investigations and orders, data security and other practice areas.

Mr. Bettinger advises and counsels privately owned companies, investors, funds, family offices, trustees, entrepreneurs and executives on a variety of corporate and business matters, including minority ownership positions in publicly traded companies. He handles domestic and international business transactions, commercial agreements, formations and entity selection, joint ventures, private equity and debt security offerings, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), corporate finance, corporate governance, executive employment and compensation agreements, and regulatory compliance. Mr. Bettinger has a very extensive network of existing legal relationships, and he seeks to bring the highest quality and best value counsel into each situation. Leveraging his tax education and experience, Mr. Bettinger has a history and proven track record of effectively working with chief executive officers, chief financial officers, certified public accountants and business owners.

Mr. Bettinger has strong industry knowledge in technology, software, real estate, professional services, construction, energy, military products, domestic and international manufacturing, and distribution of consumer and durable products. He has significant experience in technology and web-based business such as social networking, second screen, software as a service (SaaS), mobile operating systems, e-commerce, video content and media companies.

Mr. Bettinger advises founders and owners of startups, early stage companies and larger entities on optimal ownership structures, restructuring, financings, joint ventures and spin-offs. In this capacity, he typically coordinates with private wealth planning specialists and trust and estate administrators and litigators to achieve an optimal corporate and trust structure that considers and balances factors such as business ownership, optimal entity organization, business risk mitigation, succession planning, multigenerational ownership, entity financing and exit planning, and tax optimization strategies. Mr. Bettinger often structures private investments and negotiates venture capital financing and private equity take-overs.

In addition, Mr. Bettinger has served as outside general counsel for hundreds of clients. In this role, he provides ongoing hands-on legal counsel and business advice to his clients. This includes services such as review and advice on various legal agreements and forms; budgeting; issue resolution for products, technology and service offerings; intellectual property acquisition and protection via patents, trademarks and licenses; direct business and legal advice to executive management; legal counsel to boards of directors during or outside of board meetings; and policy strategy and implementation across numerous enterprises, subsidiaries, divisions and business lines.

Mr. Bettinger also has significant experience with foreign clients. He routinely structures domestic operations for companies seeking to enter the United States. He is very experienced in issues unique to these organizations such as licensing arrangements and complex cross-border joint ventures and acquisitions. He has worked directly with clients based in Australia, China, Germany, Holland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal and Vietnam.

Mr. Bettinger is very experienced at crisis management and has advised clients during natural disasters, social unrest, military actions and pandemics. Most recently, companies are seeking out Mr. Bettinger for his extensive knowledge to respond to the challenging business and economic environment created by the war in Ukraine, including Russian sanctions. He previously worked with companies on matters concerning the international coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Bettinger was an attorney with a law firm in Irvine, California. In addition, he taught Advanced Business Planning: Financing the Startup and Venture Capital Financing as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Bettinger has founded several companies, including a reputation management company, and he is the named inventor on several patents. Mr. Bettinger also founded a nonprofit organization that reinvented startup contests by using patents as topics for competitions for universities and colleges to educate students and to help patent owners. In 2017, Mr. Bettinger formed and led a business and technology team that participated in the XPrize that was focused on artificial intelligence (AI). The team submitted a sophisticated AI solution focused on solving the global issue of fresh-water scarcity, and the team finished in the top 32 teams out of 187 initial teams and thousands of applicants.

Representative Experience

  • Representation as lead counsel on advising a chief executive officer and significant minority-owner on a contemplated $4 billion public offering of a pass-through business that included complex umbrella partnership (Up-C) structuring with a public company with a tax receivable agreement
  • Representation as lead counsel on matters concerning the resort and residential community build-out in an Opportunity Zone in Hawaii
  • Successfully represented the seller of a 40-year-old military technology company to a foreign buyer that involved a year-long Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approval process
  • Successfully represented a financial technology (FinTech) billionaire in a $100 million financing of privately held securities
  • Represented a company in the energy industry in a $100 million credit facility
  • Advise Holland & Knight transaction teams on California legal opinions, including complex opinions involving cross-border lending transaction involving interplay of California, New York, Delaware and foreign laws
  • Advised on structuring an artificial intelligence (AI) technology solution that enables users to optimize cryptocurrency trading
  • Successfully represented the sellers of a $100 million human resources software as a service (SaaS) solution focused on the construction industry
  • Representation on a complex partnership and corporate dispute involving a significant owner with a transportation and trucking company, including reorganization to resolve and settle the matter
  • Representation as lead counsel in advising California companies on relocating and moving to other states, including Texas and Florida
  • Representation as lead counsel in advising on the formation of a community development financial institution
  • Successfully represented a real estate development company in an acquisition involving $700 million to a private equity fund, which included simultaneous resolution of a complex $50 million business dispute and involved significant debt and numerous subsidiaries and affiliates, some subject to complex joint venture features
  • Successfully structured a leveraged buyout involving $250 million in underlying holdings with complex tax implications and significant legacy liabilities
  • Representation with hundreds of private offerings of securities
  • Representation as general counsel for 60-year-old company, operated and managed across three generations, to coordinate ownership, growth strategies and exit planning
  • Secured and responsible for all business and real estate transition and liquidation matters for significant trust and estate administration matter that included complex and extended trust litigation
  • Representation with dozens of mergers and acquisitions across all industry sectors
  • Representation with structuring a $100 million private equity fund
  • Created an innovative ownership structure for a high-velocity startup company to permit founders to accept venture capital financing while maintaining capability to engage in appropriate private wealth planning and trust and estate transactions
  • Created and implemented SaaS agreements for a startup technology company that became widely adopted by the largest media companies from 2006 to 2008
  • Successfully represented a technology company and led litigation and public relations teams in defense against an unrealistic investor in a business dispute that resulted in clawback of significant equity and forfeiture of investment
  • Successfully implemented data security breach preparedness planning and procedures for large enterprise companies with more than 10,000 employees, as well as formulated and led numerous responses and crisis management
  • Structured thousands of startups using C corporations, S corporations and limited liability company structures
  • Represented startup companies in numerous venture capital financings
  • Representation with the first call-through click business transaction between an internet provider and a mobile phone application, allowing a phone user to click and call on a mobile phone
  • Representation with structuring international operations and nationwide distribution agreements for a construction manufacturing company engaged in business in more than 50 countries
  • Representation with preparing terms of use for numerous technology companies for SaaS solutions with no prior competitors or precedent
  • Representation on matters concerning significant master service agreements for multinational companies
  • Prepared countless companies for due diligence in financings and acquisitions


  • University of San Diego, LL.M., Taxation
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, J.D.
  • Loyola Marymount University, MBA
  • UCLA, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), Tax Law Section
  • California Bar Association
  • Bruin Varsity Club, University of California, Los Angeles
Honors & Awards
  • Southern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2017-2020
  • Rising Star, Southern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-2010


Speaking Engagements